File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_2002/nietzsche.0202, message 6

Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2002 09:59:10 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Of the Three Metamorphoses

Hi all:

After weeks of being too busy to reply to this list, I'd like to make a few
comments about the thread that I started out on "Of the three metamorphoses".
I'm sorry if you think it's just a little too late for this or if the notes I'm
going to point out seem inadequate.
	Extracting from some of your views on the 'child thing', here's a brief
account on what's been said and my humble opinion on the subject:

-First, my question was:

> In Z's Part One, Z's discourses, the first one is named 'Of the Three
> Metamorphoses':
> "I name you three metamorphoses of the spirit: how the spirit shall become a
> camel, and the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child."
> The thing is that I find quite clear and elaborated the first and second
> metamorphoses of the spirit (camel and lion) but rather obscure the last one
> (child), where I find N didn't elaborate his concept of a child as much as
> previous ones. He just names a few 'features' that such a spirit should/would
> have, such as innocence, forgetfulness, etc. Could anyone point me in the 
> right direction? (either other works of Nietzsche or comments found somewhere
> else).

-Ric B. brought up what I think was a good point. He wrote:

> there are reasons why the concept remains rather vague. After all, if 
> the child is the overman and there has never yet been an overman, a 
> full account of the child would be an accurate 
> prediction of the future. maybe we can only receive a good sketch?

What I find interesting is the connection between the child and the overman:
the child should supposedly be seen as the overman, or at least what N calls
'a creator' in Z (creator of values among other things).
	And I agree with him too in finding the concept of the child only 
vaguely sketched and not perfectly outlined: perhaps the overman/child belongs
more to the future than to the present/past.

-Nathan brought up a somewhat common sense view. He wrote:

> Basically the child is innocent not by being pure (for no one and no thing is

> pure) but because the child forgets.  Think about little kids when they have 
> fights and each says "I'm never playing with you again" -- in about 15 
> minutes they're playing again.  When their parents get into a fight, though,
> and say "I'm never going to speak to you again", they never speak to each 
> other again.
> The parents are sunk in ressentiment; the innocent forgetting of the child is

> a path to overcoming.

No comment on that. It seems so obvious to me that I find no option but to
with him completely. Sorry if it sounds simple minded on my part.

-There was an additional opinion which agreed with Nathan's:

> forgetfulness of children, which helps them reinvent themselves,

I think ressentiment should be overcome by anyone (not just children) who wants

to reinvent him/herself, or simply by anyone who wants to live in the present
(and plan for the future) and not in the past (which is when ressentiment 
begins). And some authors believe Z's teachings are aimed mainly at the future 
(the overman, who has to reinvent himself in order to exist as such), and not
even to the present, which (according to these authors) Z/N finds tightly 
coupled to the past (the present would be just a consequence of the past).

-John Peterson wrote:

> it is important to note that children are easier to control than
> adults. They are innocent, which means they are not suspicious, and 
> they are forgetful, which makes them manipulable. 

This would be a negative perspective of the child. The child as a manipulable
being. And I can't agree with it, because it would imply that Z's teachings 
would not be destined to the overman, but to the individuals who would control 
(or manipulate) the overman. Sounds too dissappointing to me, as I think N's 
target readers are the future overmen and not the leaders who'd controle them. 
I think it'd be a rather dangerous view otherwise, connecting it directly to 
the nazis (for example), which is something I just can't do (but that has been 
done before by many in the past, that is, connecting N's ideas with the nazis' 

> Camel, Lion, Child. First work, then war, and finally - What? 
> Perhaps Nietzsche's new world?

I'd rather say: Camel, Lion, Child. First work, then work as a way of fighting
and creating, and finally... whatever it is you consider N's new world: Uthopy?

-Ruth Chandler wrote:

> I find it easier to think of all three things as a process rather than a 
> series with an end product.

I'm sorry but can't agree with that. N's words were too clear in my opinion:

"how the spirit shall become a camel, and the camel a lion, and the lion at
last a child."

I mean, there would be a process with three stages and a final end product.
And that was all I had to say.
Some 'polemic' views, I hope.
Have fun.

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