Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Review:: Delusive Sensibility (2007)

From The Philosopher, Volume LXXXXV No. 1 Spring 2007



DELUSIVE SENSIBILITY
in Nietzsche’s philosophy

Reviewed by Zura Shiolashvili


 
Writing From The Late Notebooks, edited by Rudger Bittner
(Cambridge University Press 2003)
In the critical introduction of the latest collection of Nietzsche's previously unpublished writings, Writing From The Late Notebooks, light is cast over the contradictions within Nietzche's moral judgement while supporting the value of his thought.

That thought, according to the introduction, is centred in Nietzsche's theory of man's will to power, a theory which ultimately fails. Also discussed is the relation of this will to power to the descending survival of human existence and that life is the most important value. According to Nietzsche, "One must understand all motion, all 'appearances', all laws', as mere symptoms of inner events." And from the editor's introduction, "Thus all motion organic or not, has an inner side." He adds:
The somewhat cavalier fashion in which Nietzsche proceeds here, may be explained by the fact that in this point he is following his ‘great teacher’, Schopenhauer... It is one and the same will that manifests itself both in the forces of inorganic and the forms of organic nature.
and that: 
As far as it's scope is concerned, Nietzsche's 'will to power' simply takes over the place of Schopenhauer's will... The great defect of the present reading is that, understood this way, the doctrine of the will to power has no chance of being true.
In this essay I would like to give my own critique of Nietzsche's statement. If we believe Nietzsche, that all motion is merely symptomatic of inner events means that their motion has no synchronic connection with the outside world, then how can they exist? But if he means that both organic and inorganic motion have an inner side then Nietzsche becomes forced to acknowledge the importance of the metaphysical world within human nature, which is a contradiction of his 'wisdom'. In the introduction the authors also very clearly note Nietzsche's moral judgement upon Christianity and nature itself: 
As the naturalist reminds us, we are primarily living creatures; because it is hostile to life, our morality is thus negation of our very being. Hence we should try to liberate ourselves from it.... Yet it is difficult to understand how there can be such a thing as a morality hostile to life. If we had received our morality from above, it might easily clash with how we live. In Nietzsche's view, however, our morality arises from the way we live - so how can it turn against it?
Scientifically it is possible to extract a drop of blood in order to measure its condition and make a diagnosis of health. Similarly, in a spiritual way, I would like to analyse some thoughts from this latest offering of Nietzsche's writings and previous work to reveal the sensory delusion of his philosophy.

Nietzsche's pronouncement, ‘God is dead’, states the absolute priority of animal desire over the sublime value of mind. Free will, as seen by him, is a pleasure wherein consciousness embodies only a tool of man's feeling, i.e. there is no existent passion in the mind by which feeling can be exalted. In a word, he believes the mind should be driven by instinctive emotions. Hence, for Nietzsche the free will of animal nature in a human being represents the highest value in the existent world. But the question is: how does Nietzsche understand animal nature in the human ego and human nature in the animal ego? Nietzsche's sarcastic attitude toward morality requires a genuine response. Nietzsche's doctrine simply expresses the view that the purpose of morality is to destroy a sublime understanding of human nature. I hope to shed some light on the ugliness of this concept of aesthetic pleasure.

Let me continue with another quote from Nietzsche:
The animal functions are, after all, in principle a million times more important than all beautiful states and heights of consciousness: these are a surplus, except where they have to be tools for the animal functions.
From this revelation we have no alternative but to think that Nietzsche's aesthetics, as expressed in his book The Birth of Tragedy and Zararathustra, were totally motivated by his animal instincts and his consciousness was only a poetic tool of external decoration, as it had no sublime worth, pointing to the value of beauty. According to Nietzsche, we can summarise: the more animalistic man is, the deeper his aesthetic comprehension. However, if his true self is the 'animal functions’ and not the mind, neither his thoughts nor his animal passions can be true. For by the rational mind a human being is seen to be human, not merely by animal functions. Bright beauty strewn with stars does not personify a biological organism, but is illustrated by the shape of a celestial body glittering in the sky. Such luminosity has a pure, cognitive influence upon the human psyche.

So, we are speaking about cognitive loveliness that is not sensual, something which penetrates through the psyche to our animal ego. Hence, it means that in our animal nature the mind is attracted to the pure shape and colour of celestial beauty as well as delight in it. This is a pure spiritual longing that exists within feeling. Because an animal does not strive for purity, in which we agree, even with Nietzsche: ‘the spirit appears as a symptom of a relative imperfection of the organism. The pure spirit is a piece of pure stupidity.’ (From, The Anti-Christ)

But given the sublime nature of a human being we have to conclude that an existence of the self within the mind (as our second nature) has its inborn purity linked with consciousness, perceiving celestial beauty for its delight. Nietzsche has nothing to say on it, but the beauty of pure comprehension affects our animal ego. With its very disposition it beautifies the sensitiveness of flesh, that is, it purifies and elevates it.

Such a process must be the main reason for our transformation into human beings, which embodies the whole loveliness of nature. Consequently, our elevation over animal urges gives birth to the sparkle of beauty in our sensual glamour. Because the pure passion of the mind represents the main reason for our elevation over blind animal passion, psychologically, during sensual inspiration without a disposition of pure passion of the mind, a human being descends into the glamour of blind animal ego. Such a spiritual fall reveals the free will of a vivid nature, a happiness which is its sweetest bestial lust. As the pure passion of the mind manifests the pearl of love., the sublimated charm of a man becomes nothing but the death of the fallen ego, which is the sweetest lust to be like a beast. Hence the mind of purely animal passion is the self-same hell in which we can see the root of Nietzsche's antagonism towards idealism and Christianity.

Seeing that spiritual purity is a lie for Nietzsche, the exaltation of the sublime nature of the mind means ignorance of his animal pride and will to power, upon which is built his psychological self.

Thus he proclaims that, "animal functions are, after all, in principle a million times more important than beautiful states and heights of consciousness". Such deviation is only an opportunity for him to defend his fallen ego. If Nietzsche had ever looked at his fallen ego from the highest state of beauty he would have seen the vanity of his animal pride, illuminating the ugliness of his depravity. Instead, pure morality for Nietzsche must be acknowledged as all that is metaphysically absurd and, hence, idealism and Christianity as "anti-nature". Hence, obedience to animal lust ruins the loveliness of sublime passion by which a human being is marked out to be a human being. This is the cruel picture of the degeneracy of spiritual treasure in Nietzsche's theory, placing the importance of animalistic functions over the beautiful states and heights of consciousness.

Nietzsche could not master the heaven of happiness in human nature, with his free will to say no to its suffering, preferring rather to become like a joyous animal pursuing pleasure, rather than a misfortunate human being. When external beauty does not embrace the depth of loveliness in human nature, sensual glamour is defined by the blind animal ego wherein it is charmed. Therefore, if the sensuality of man is not accompanied by pure passion of thought, its glamour remains on the surface of its enchantment -that is to say, there is an emptiness in beauty. How miserable is the genius, who his whole life gallops on a horse, only to find one day that this horse was only a donkey!
 
‘What is Jewish morality? What is Christian morality? Chance robbed of it innocence; happiness polluted by the concept of 'sin'.’ writes Nietzsche, in The Anti-Christ. And: ‘Christianity is also opposed to everything that is spiritually well constituted,- only a sick reason can be used as Christian reason, Christianity sides with everything idiotic.’

According to Nietzsche, sin is a slave-psychology that originated from Jewish culture and Christianity is a branch of the same tree, causing the devaluation of happiness. Let us look at this psychology. Psalm 116 tells us: "I am greatly afflicted; I said in my consternation: men are all a vain hope." Here, I would say, is a classic example of the light of great wisdom spoken from an immeasurable depth of the human spirit, revealing simultaneously the abyss between great pain and love. Can anyone oppose this truth? His name is Nietzsche, the 'cleverestÇ and highest', for whom spirituality is a foreign experience, if there is no blind enjoyment or laughter in it, since "God is dead". Christian psychology is the ugly branch of sorrow by which mankind became wretched and fearful in its hope of mercy.

Though Nietzsche was very lenient with animals, it seems he never reflected on the simple truth that in spite of the fact that animals have no religion. They have their own character and among them are both the strong and weak. This is not because of religion but because of nature itself. A deer can never become a wolf, nor an ass a deer. If a guiltless rabbit is chicken-hearted and weak, it does not mean it should be hated and despised, but be loved all the more. This represents a genuine love of the earth, one which, Zarathustra, as Nietzsche's highest wisdom, was unable to see at all but mocked.

As to Christianity, though history accepts that the authority of the Christian church was corrupted, affecting the spiritual degradation of humanity, it is nonetheless real. Here, none can oppose Nietzsche. Even now, many hypocrites with their pure power of pleasure can be seen. This should not be understood as mixing pure and impure water in the same glass. If a treasure is covered by dust it does not mean it should be rejected. Rather, it must be cleaned to see its worth. The existence of the mind within the body provokes inner resistance in human nature itself, not just for a religious reason, but first because of thought which personifies man's ego rooted in its will. The deeper is our moral discernment, the greater the suffering within animal nature. This is a simple truth, and needs no specific affirmation philosophically or psychologically.

Thus the concept of sin is like poison to the animal psyche in its origin, by its free will it can never be exalted semantically. Therefore Nietzsche's concept of free will, as in all his cultural achievement, deflowers the concept of beauty and in his psycho-sexual wisdom he appears to mutilate his art.

Despite his excellent achievement of stylistic writing in Zarathustra, it has to be acknowledged that his spiritual sensibility is flavour without mind. In his philosophy, I would characterise wisdom as like an attractive women who betrays; and the stylistic prose of his philosophy is the pure decorated frame of a corrupted painting. Thus his animalistic laughter sounds worse than misfortune. Though his ideas sometimes describe reality, yet they simultaneously reveal a blind, individual passion that needs light of day.

Take for an example his concept of the will to power. If Nietzsche had said the will to power must proceed from the sublime nature of mind, not out of the animal pride that would be progress nearer the notion of the truth, philosophically and psychologically. Such a mind creates a human nature superior to one grounded in animal power and passion alone, that which is above animal instinct and its physical reason. We are asked by the very existence of our moral sensibility to see human nature this way. The greater the purity of mind, the more the freedom of the animal self is restricted in human nature, through which man's feelings are adorned with beauty. In this way animal passion shares its free will with the will of the sublime mind. In rejecting this concept, Nietzsche can only call Christians domestic animals and see "sin" as a slave-psychology, the devalued residue of a Jewish culture. Surely, here we could agree with him: there exits no sin for animals; they are free from it. It would be inhuman to restrict their joyous freedom! Swine are honoured with the most freedom among slaves.

Now I want to move on to consider Christian aesthetics, though I am afraid my attempt to enlighten will not heal any "idiot" from pride in his animal sensibility. As the mind manifests the sublime nature of the self by way of consciousness, animal sensibility is given aptitude to comprehend beauty, reinforcing its longing for pleasure. For the gift of consciousness embodies freedom of the mind and not the sensitive animalistic self, the longing for happiness gives birth to an inner resistance between the values of comprehension and the animal instinct for freedom.

As consciousness appears in the first stream of beauty, the mind, with its ambition rewarded, eagerly aspires to guide human feelings, dignifying passion with the concept of beauty. In this way, the worth of human passions must embody purity that is acknowledged as a treasure of beauty. For the free will of passion has an advantage over consciousness, being under the obedience of animal gratification, the sublime beauty perceived in consciousness loses the bliss of itself and becomes a captive of its happy-hunting ground. During such ecstasy animal passion is excited by the animal sense alone and not merely by the pure loveliness of the sublime consciousness.

As a result, the seduced charm is transformed into animal gratification, thus, happiness loses the worth of its sublime beauty; it loses its purity as well. Without purity even beauty loses its meaning, thus, without pure concept the satisfied sensual passion becomes empty, as it loses the meaning of sense as well. Such an aesthetic illustrates the Christian comprehension of human nature, which Nietzsche believed was immoral, leaving him in the wild emptiness of bestiality. Can an animal be an idiot? Scientifically, no, but philosophically it is very possible.
Life as an individual case: hypothesis starting from here and extending to the total nature of existence. : strives for a maximum feeling of power : is essentially a striving for more power : striving is nothing other than striving for power. 
(Writings From the Late Notebooks)
Restricted to his animal functions Nietzsche was powerless to comprehend the glory of beauty within the sublime nature of the mind, his animal striving for more power should be admitted as the natural outcome. The emptier the animal passion, the wilder it is. Here I would like to advance a key concept of Religion. It is true the value of religion is always associated with the notion of purity, purity with the uninvited guest of dirt, attached to it in its kingdom. Purity personifies the treasure of beauty. Only in the sublime nature of the Word can the psychological impurity of religion be removed that threatens to triumph over the value of Beauty. 
Enough. For the time being belief in the body is a stronger belief than belief in the mind; and anyone who wants to undermine it will most thoroughly by undermining . . . measured by intellectual standard, this whole phenomenon 'bodyÇ is as superior to our consciousness, our mind.

(Writings From theLate Notebooks) 
So how can Nietzsche's doctrine be interpreted? It might be said: it is better to be a healthy idiot than to be clever and sick. A philosophical dilemma, is it not? But let us define it: a clever person who is sick, in both cases, has advantage over the healthy idiot.

First, he is clever and, secondly, to be sick is not the end. A chance still remains to succeed. As for the idiot, he will never become wise and there is a high probability that one day he will become sick in his idiocy. I would say that Nietzsche, with his bodily intellect, turns the value of life up side down. If we share Nietzsche's belief that our physical body is superior to our consciousness, another question arises: is physical existence more important than consciousness, as it would be with an animal? What meaning does bodily existence have without a notion of being human? The animal feeling as a matter in itself does not represent the notion, for it is empty, but the notion is transformed into feeling itself.

Even as an atheist, Nietzsche's theory seems very weak and regressive. It would be logical if he would equate consciousness with the body as a whole. For example, as an atheist philosopher he could say: Belief in the body should be held on equal ground, with the same strength, as belief in the conscious mind. I would argue that ambition of the self is determined by our consciousness, which independently from animal passion, must define the spiritual value of life. Without consciousness, animal functions in their free will are blind. In this blindness they reveal that free will cannot be moral, deflowering not only the subjugated mind but also the body.

Hence, anyone who affirms a priority of bodily functions over consciousness is subservient to immorality. If Nietzsche means physical survival as a priority of animal functions over consciousness, animal functions that equate to eating, drinking and satisfaction, it is true. We are aware that by the animal functions we come into being, but we do not need to pursue this; it is not philosophy even for non-philosophers. The gloominess of the matter is not that Nietzsche emphasises the importance of animal functions, but that his doctrine strives for the contrary side of the value of life. For him, an animal is a man and a man is an animal. "The constructor of morality" could not perceive that if you are a rational animal, it does not mean you are as yet a human being. Thus using consciousness just as a tool for animal sensibility it is not only a spiritual fall but the devaluation of human passions.
Without existence the value of life is absent.
Without the value of life existence is non-existence.

The value of consciousness and physical functions of the body is like two pearls of life in human nature. The purer of the two is the most precious. 
I would like to analyse some thoughts from this latest offering of Nietzsche's writings and previous work to reveal the sensory delusion of his philosophy. Sometimes we can see the accuracy of Nietzsche's thought, as when in he represents the ugly side of human nature in Zarathustra: "Once you were apes, and even now man is more of an ape than any ape." But when with the same breath he attacks the sublime passions of human nature, he turns into the monkey he thought to mock, becoming a clown through his own efforts. I would ask: Can "the architect of morality" be a liar?

In Beyond Good and Evil he says: "This is something in the morality of Plato, which does not really belong to Plato, but which only appears in his philosophy". And from Zarathustra: "I love him whose soul is lavish, who neither wants nor returns thanks: for he always gives and will not preserve himself." Do these words belonging to Nietzsche? This is the natural revelation of his wickedness. Firstly, in his borrowed wisdom inexperience betrays him.Secondly, this idea is developed in Christian nature long before that which he mocks and the meaning of this sentence contradicts all his psychology.

In this sentence Nietzsche elevates himself to the level of saint for whom generosity and kindness represents perfection in his concepts and wants nothing for himself (Here Nietzsche with his animalistic egotism is aping much again).

I would like to unmask Nietzsche's kind generosity. Let us look at what he wrote, later, in The Anti-Christ.
What is bad? Everything stemming from weakness.... The weak and failures should perish: first principle of our love of humanity. And they should be helped to do this. 
Where is his kindness and generosity which he admires and love? If we compare the spirit of these two sentences to each other and believe they are written by one man, to speak carefully we should accuse him of lying or quietly we can call him a real scoundrel. Even the ugly may be beautiful if no one can see what ugliness is and vice versa. But that which is not ugly and nobody can see that it is not ugly, might be neither beautiful nor ugly, for in this case there is less blindness.
 
Who could be Nietzsche in this world where there is less blindness?



The author would like to express his especial thanks to: Mr and Miss Keith and Mary Gwynne for their encouragement and support during my work on this article,also my thanks go to Pastor Jan McKenzie for his part in helping to bring it to fruition.


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