File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_2000/nietzsche.0006, message 32

Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 17:22:31 -0700
Subject: Re: Convictions

At 10:38 AM 6/14/00 +0500, you wrote:
>	The word spider is used often in Nietzsche's works. The word "spider
>skepticism" is used in Beyond good and evil" and I don't have the exact
>source right now., "Spider" is repeatedly mentioned in Thus Spoke
>Zarathushtra; in "The Tarantulas","The scholars", "The vision and the
>riddle","Before sunrise","The three evil things" etc. The spider"spins"
>its "cobweb" around our every thoughts. It is a form of skepticism but
>in the worst possible form. Rather than increasing knowledge it destroys
>it by creating needless suspicion, doubt and most of all it destroys our
>faith in ourselves, in fact its very nature is to destroy all form of

"The Tarantulas": I agree with Lampert's interpretation of the tarantulas

That the tarantula bites hoping to incite Zarathustra to practice revenge,
which would be the ultimate repudiation of his own philosophy. After all,
how could N criticize Christianity as a form of revenge when he himself
abides by the same practice? Spiders are symbolic of the unequal's lust for
revenge expressed through a longing for equality.

"On Scholars": This is a critique of knowledge from others and practiced
like a puppet, knowledge that is spoon fed and swallowed whole and spit out
as if truth. ("They are good clockworks: but take care to wind the
correctly!") Their "loaded dice" has no sense of intellectual courage and
is swallowed by bias and secret agendas, predominantly the agenda of
equality, which is anti-nature. Zarathustra is "too hot and burned by [his]
own thoughts" because he is creating rather than regurgitating what is
spoon fed, he lives "over their heads" and looks down from his peaks
because his philosophy is one more natural and honest.

"The vision and the riddle": Here, N is talking about the eternal return
and for the first time openly expresses it: "Was *that* life? Well then!
Once more!" This after encountering the spirit of gravity -- the
personification of ressentiment and revenge. In contrast, man is the most
courage animal because he can say, "Yes! Once more" to life and have to
courage to "suffer" it again. Of course, then suffering would not then have
the same connotation as it did (in The Wanderer section preceding this one,
for example.) But Zarathustra has one more hurdle to jump, which is
symbolized by the swallowing of the snake.

"Before sunrise" is the celebration of health after Zarathustra has
overcome his nausea of the eternal return of the little man. Yes, even the
spirit of gravity shall return. It appears that N is talking about skeptics
here with his use of doubters, but he is talking about those who doubt the
possibility of the eternal return and the affirmation of all things: "For
all things have been baptized in the well of eternity and are beyond good
and evil; and good and evil themselves are but intervening shadows and damp
depressions and drifting clouds." And this line seems to contradict your
argument: "that there is no eternal spider or spider web of reason; that
you are to me a dance floor for divine accidents, that you are to me a
divine table for divine dice and dice players." Zarathustra is speaking
here about ideology and dogma that feigns to have The Answer to a better
world. There cannot be one answer that will solve the riddle of life simply
because "all things have been baptized in the well of eternity and are
beyond good and evil". 

"The three evil things" is significant because it is only after Zarathustra
says yes to all of life that he can now think of creating new values. He
has consistently warned his disciples to beware (be skeptical) because he
might be just another preacher of revenge. Only after he has said yes to
everything, even his devil, The Spirit of Gravity, can Zarathustra be
trusted with creating new values. Until then, his disciples should be

How then, shall we know when a mentor is preaching out of the sprit of
revenge? N tells us, but if nothing else, we should just pass by and
perhaps return later to see what, if anything, has changed. At any rate,
spiders have more to do with revenge than with skepticism.

>	--- from list ---
"Having resentment is like taking poison and waiting 
for the other person to die" -- Malachy McCourt.

	--- from list ---


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