I should stop myself, but I wont. Nietzsche is my most favorite thought right now. Today I was thinking how some of his ideas are very similar to Emerson’s. I just read a complete work of Emerson and Cornell West talks very highly of Emerson (he states that a women I respect, Gloria Steinem, embodies Emerson ideals as do many other “free” thinkers).  I enjoyed pieces of Emerson’s work but I felt like he was very superficial, and lacked depth in knowing. His arguments didn’t seem to hold weight to me. The were more like words on a page that seemed very nice and good but lacked structural integrity. Also he just felt like an elitist wuss. He is like the rich kid whose moms bought him all of his clothes and lied them out on the bed for him. He said the right things and got good grades but he lacked understanding. He could tell you how to build a house but his hands lacked callouses and he had never actually built a home. That is what Emerson was to me.

This is exactly what I feel “Nietzsche expands, develops, and dramatizes insights that Emerson presents in an almost casual way” This is all about the two. Nietzsche, on the other hand, admired Emerson. I feel like Emerson is a friend that I say, “no I like her, she is great, but lets not invite her to the dinner party.”

*poetry verse philosophy*

my friend Nietzsche was talking shit about poetry today he says things like this

“Poets are shameless with their experiences: they exploit them.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

this is from an article titled: Why Do Poets Lie Too Much? Nietzsche, Poetry and the Different Voices of Zarathustra

They lie and their lies don’t have depth, they are superficial, shallow seas; neither their thoughts nor their feelings penetrate the depths. They are guided by boredom and lust, present shallowness as depth, pose as reconcilers, but they are, in fact, mixers, bring the unmixable together and create eclectic forms. They are poor in style and mix eclectically where the form and the content remain apart, where a variety of disparate elements is not creatively appropriated, which is the mixing of modern style, or lack of style.

Verily, their spirit itself is the peacock of peacocks, and a sea of vanity!

I thought this very interesting because well Zarathustra is a poet and as I think Nietzsche is too. But really Nietzsche is getting all pompous saying certain poets are shallow and trite while HE, isn’t. He is a poet of blood, experience and life.

Here is an interesting article Nietzsche, Philosophy, & Poetry  who makes this argument ” Therefore, we cannot draw a distinction between the philosopher as a seeker after objective truths and a poet as a seeker after wholly ‘subjective’ and relativistic experiences.”
But I think that there are some distinctions that can be made between poetry and philosophy. I don’t think that there is much reason or rhyme (this is an joke to myself) in making the distinction. Perhaps poetry is an expression of what is known while philosophy is an expression of knowing and the unknown. Here is a debate on the topic.

But more so when I read poetry I look for similarities. I see pieces of myself in the work. I feel the depths of the emotion and the impact of the experience. Oscar Wilde spoke that the artist has a great responsibility to expand experiences  to make them more vibrant that the actual event. In that the act of reading about it is a greater emotional sensation that actually being in it. To me, that is what poetry strives for. Philosophy on the other hand, I read differently, I read for similarity and consistency with my own mode of thought but I also read it to breach my own experience to bring me to a place of uncertainty.

Nietzsche is a bit inconsistent from what I am gathering and he also loved poetry. His “favorite poet” was Friedrich Hölderlin he was diagnosed with extreme hypochondria and later declared “mentally unfit.” Who wants a “mentally fit” poet?

‘Another day’

Another day. I follow another path,
Enter the leafing woodland, visit the spring
Or the rocks where the roses bloom
Or search from a look-out, but nowhere

Love are you to be seen in the light of day
And down the wind go the words of our once so
Beneficent conversation…

Your beloved face has gone beyond my sight,
The music of your life is dying away
Beyond my hearing and all the songs
That worked a miracle of peace once on

My heart, where are they now? It was long ago,
So long and the youth I was has aged nor is
Even the earth that smiled at me then
The same. Farewell. Live with that word always.

For the soul goes from me to return to you
Day after day and my eyes shed tears that they
Cannot look over to where you are
And see you clearly ever again.

*hermann hesse*

Like any good college student I read a lot of Herman Hesse. I think that Hesse is an amazing and thought provoking writer and I love how he blends dualities like masculine and femininity, east and west, thinking and feeling, reality and imagined, man and animal, past and future…etc. After reading quite a bit of his work  (I am one of those kind of readers, I like to read the authors entire collection) I noticed, all of his books seemed to follow the same skeletal structure. Man longs for something different or is forced to be exposed to something different. The difference confronts who he was and or his inner demons. Usually the dualism comes into play here and he must struggle with his desires/longings/wants/isolation. There is chaos here. Then there is some sort of transcending where the newly enlightened character resolves and accepts his conflicts.

I was reading Nietzsche today and scribbled in the margin, “I wonder what Hermann Hesse thought of this?”  there are a lot of similar underlining themes, this spawned a guick-ish internet search. Fact: Hermann Hesse had a crush on Nietzsche too.

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
Hermann Hesse

Versus Ayn Rand who thought

Philosophically, Nietzsche is a mystic and an irrationalist. His
metaphysics consists of a somewhat “Byronic” and mystically
“malevolent” universe; his epistemology subordinates reason to “will,”
or feeling or instinct or blood or innate virtues of character. But,
as a poet, he projects at times (not consistently) a magnificent
feeling for man’s greatness, expressed in emotional, not intellectual,
terms.’ *Objectivist* March 1968, p. 6

‘Nietzsche’s rebellion against altruism consisted of replacing the
sacrifice of oneself to others by the sacrifice of others to oneself.
He proclaimed that the ideal man is moved, not by reason, but by his
“blood,” by his innate instincts, feelings and will to power–that he
is predestined by birth to rule others and sacrifice them to himself,
while they are predestined by birth to be his victims and slaves–that
reason, logic, principles are futile and debilitating, that morality
is useless, that the “superman” is “beyond good and evil,” that he is
a “beast of prey” whose ultimate standard is nothing but his own whim.
Thus Nietzsche’s rejection of the Witch Doctor consisted of elevating
Attila into a moral ideal–which meant: a double surrender of morality
to the Witch Doctor.’ *For the New Intellectual* p. 36

Ayn Rand can s my d. I am at the irrational place with my love where I have decided that Nietzsche is being ironic and sort of poking fun at us all when he talks about women, and compassion. He strokes my hair and tells me “baby, I really didn’t mean it.”

To be totally honest, I don’t really like Ayn Rand, but this is a really interesting interview with her.

*I love nietzsche*

John Fante is one of my favorite authors and I have read every book he has written and at least one book about him. From his works I was first intrigued by Nietzsche. This is a piece from his book ask the dust

“I pulled the huge door open and it gave a little cry like weeping. Above the altar sputtered the blood-red eternal light, illuminating in crimson shadow the quiet of almost two thousand years. It was like death, but I could remember screaming infants at baptism too. I knelt. This was habit, this kneeling. I sat down. Better to kneel, for the sharp bite at the knees was a distraction from the awful quiet. A prayer. Sure, one prayer: for sentimental reasons. Almighty God, I am sorry I am now an atheist, but have you read Nietzsche? Ah, such a book! Almighty God, I will play fair in this. I will make You a proposition. Make a great writer out of me, and I will return to the Church. And please, dear God, one more favor: make my mother happy. I don’t care about the Old Man …”

I know it is more user friendly to have less text but I love this story so much and I can’t stand to cut out more of it.

The road to Los Angeles
They went to bed. I had the divan and they had the bedroom. When their door closed I got out the magazines and piled into bed. I was glad to be able to look at the girls under the lights of the big room. It was a lot better than that smelly closet. I talked to them about an hour, went into the mountains with Elaine, and to the South Seas with Rosa, and finally in a group meeting with all of them spread around me, I told them I played no favorites and that each in her turn would get her chance. But after a while I got awfully tired of it, for I got to feeling more and more like an idiot until I began to hate the idea that they were only pictures, flat and single-faced and so alike in color and smile. And they all smiled like whores. It all got very hateful and I thought, Look at yourself! Sitting here and talking to a lot of prostitutes. A fine superman you turned out to be! What if Nietzsche could see you now? And Schopenhauer what would he think? And Spengler! Oh, would Spengler roar at you! You fool, you idiot, you swine, you beast, you rat, you filthy, contemptible, disgusting little swine! Suddenly I grabbed the pictures up in a batch and tore them to pieces and threw them down the bowl in the bathroom. Then I crawled back to bed and kicked the covers off. I hated myself so much that I sat up in bed thinking the worst possible things about myself. Finally I was so despicable there was nothing left to do but sleep. It was hours before I dozed off. The fog was thinning in the east and the west was black and grey. It must have been three o’clock. From the bedroom I heard my mother’s soft snores. By then I was ready to commit suicide, and so thinking I fell asleep.

They wouldn’t give me a ride. He killed crabs, that fellow up there ahead. Why give him a ride? He loves paper ladies in clothes closets. Think of it! So don’t give him a ride, that Frankenstein, that toad in the road, that black spider, snake, dog, rat, fool, monster, idiot. They wouldn’t give me a ride; all right so what! And see if I care! To hell with all of you! It suits me fine. I love to walk on these God-given legs, and by God I’ll walk. Like Nietzsche. Like Kant. Immanuel Kant. What do you know about Immanuel Kant? You fools in your V-8s and Chevrolets!

It was always the park. I read a hundred books. There was Nietzsche and Schopenhauer and Kant and Spengler and Strachey and others. Oh Spengler! What a book! What weight! Like the Los Angeles Telephone Directory. Day after day I read it, never understanding it, never caring either, but reading it because I liked one growling word after another marching across pages with somber mysterious rumblings. And Schopenhauer! What a writer! For days I read him and read him, remembering a bit here and a bit there. And such things about women! I agreed. Exactly my own feelings on the matter. Ah man, what a writer!

I am currently reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra. I love it. I thought that Nietzsche would be masculine, aggressive and verbose but this book is simple and sweet. It is gentle and feels like an old, maybe slightly odd, man telling a story to a little girl. I don’t know if I am “getting it” though because everything I read about him paints him is another light, like WTF is this (besides some christian dude throwing up all over Nietzsche’s work). True, I am less than 100 pages in but so far I want to pour tea for him as he eats a cracker and I tell him, I like what he has to say and I also like his mustache.

and here is an exciting educational journey