What did Nietzsche purport to see and hear that hadn’t been seen and heard before?

The gay science 221-75: In 301, Nietzsche says that higher human beings “see and hear immeasurably more” than lower human beings. 

In section 301 Nietzsche says, “Whatever has value in our world now does not have value in itself, according to it’s nature- nature is always value-less, but has been given value at some time, as a present- and it was we who gave and bestowed it. Only we have created the world that concerns man!” Nietzsche claims to have discovered many new insights, but the idea of nature as ‘value-less’ is one of his main interests. The Idea that man creates his own structure in an otherwise random soulless environment is possible. Our history of ethics, morals and values are based on thousands of years of people making things up. Some rules and ideas have lasted and others have not. It is the ability of the thinker to see beyond the imaginary structure of nature and look at its true value-less state. But understanding the real and the imaginary both causes opposite emotions in the individual. In 301 he says, “ the higher human being always becomes at the same time happier and unhappier. But he can never shake off a delusion: He fancies that he is a spectator and listener who has been placed before the great visual and acoustic spectacle that is life.”

It is a sign of weakness to depend on the imaginary structure, one of which would be god. It is the realization that god was created by the individual which is the point. Like in section 302, “This was the happiness of Homer! The state of him that gave the Greeks their gods- no, who invented his own gods for himself!” In a greater since man creates his own structure, be it an individual one (personal ideology) or a group structure (religion). There is an example in section 300, “Did Prometheus have to fancy first that he had stolen the light and then pay for that- before he finally discovered that he had created the light.” This idea is stated again in section 320, “What I want is more; I am no seeker. I want to create for myself a sun of my own.”

I think these notions of self created structure lead clearly into the idea of ‘Will to Power’. This extreme view on the individuals ability to manipulate not only his own belief system but also those of other people is what Nietzsche had to give in terms of seeing and hearing what had never before been seen or heard.

Nietzsche, F. W. (2009). The Gay Science. (T. Common, Trans.). Stilwell, Kan.: Digireads.com.

Categories: Writing

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