File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_1998/nietzsche.9809, message 48

Date: Sat, 19 Sep 1998 11:49:26 EDT
Subject: Re: What does it mean?

In a message dated 98-09-18 19:03:19 EDT, you write:

<< What does anyone think of the idea of "eternal recurrence", for example?
 Sounds more Hindu than Greek, to me.
         ---Randall Albright
The eternal return is just the opposite of reincarnation, I think, because
reincarnation takes the heat off--you’ll eventually get it right, even if it
takes a thousand karma cycles--plod plod.  On the other hand, Nietzsche is
saying with Moses, Choose ye this day! Only he's ratcheting it up full
blast--choose ye this instant.  Focus, full attention, no second chances.   T-
shirts at the Oscar Wilde play in New York--quoted the witty jailbird to the
effect that yielding to temptation takes a lot more courage in certain cases
than just saying no.  Exactly right.  Exciting idea because it’s pedal to the
metal honesty--are you saying “no to drugs” be a good Christian sheepie, for
example, or because you might get in a jam?  I understand that Nietzsche would
probably still give you some good reasons for saying no, but the point is that
if you make the choice on the basis of anybody else’s reasons you’re not
taking full responsibility for your own life.  Doesn’t Neitzsche keep pointing
out that really living like this is like standing on a precipice, this
terrifying abyss of absolute freedom constantly gaping at your feet?  But this
seems similar to Sartre to me, too.  But thinking about Randall’s response on
the other item, I guess you’d say that Sartre has an implicit (humanist, nee
Christian )assumption that you’re going to work against, not for, the Nazis,
while Nietszche would say that every single decision begins from the
perspective of absolute freedom of choice, that the question to ask is which
of these possibilities would I want to repeat ad infinite-nauseum? 

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