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Thread: Nietzsche, Schöpenhauer

  1. #21
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    Contentment?


    Introspection can indeed be a pointless and perilous pursuit. It can lead to worry or finding faults with oneself – faults that can never truly be repaired. If it really worked, the self-help industry would no longer exist, having solved the eternal problem of mankind’s unhappiness and woe.


    Contrary to a myth that has been with us since the 18th century, and propagated by the wilder elements among the Enlightenment movement, by political utopians, the advertising industry, psychotherapists and the pharmaceutical industry, mankind, and men, can never attain a utopia or utopian state of mind.


    If you believe happiness to be the norm, or live in expectation of its arrival, you are, paradoxically, only going to end up more unhappy. This is what the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer believed.


    Widely caricatured as the philosopher of misery, Schopenhauer wasn’t trying to make us feel depressed by his ostensibly gloomy writings; rather, he was trying to liberate us from false expectations. As he wrote in his most influential work, the two-volume The World as Will and Representation (1819, 1844): ‘There is only one inborn error, and that is the notion that we exist in order to be happy… So long as we persist in this inborn error… the world seems to us full of contradictions.’


    He would have wise counsel for today’s youth, who have been taught to focus on their feelings. He wrote in his final work, Parerga and Paralipomena (1851): ‘What disturbs and renders unhappy… the age of youth… is the hunt for happiness on the firm assumption that it must be met with in life. From this arises the constantly deluded hope and so also dissatisfaction. Deceptive images of a vague happiness of our dreams hover before us in capriciously selected shapes and we search in vain for their original.’


    The ultimate lesson to be drawn from Schopenhauer is that the key to happiness is not to seek it. As one of his disciples, a certain Friedrich Nietzsche, put it: ‘The right way of life does not want happiness, turns away from happiness.’ Nietzsche concluded that life was primarily about struggle. To embrace strife and woe: this is the emancipatory war that lets us finally become content and complete.



    Contentment?


    06 X 2019.

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  3. #22
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    Very true. I'd stop short of calling myself a happy person but I'm quite content, all things considered. Contentment can ultimately be achieved by lowering one's expectations or, better still, not setting unrealistic ones in the first place. In the latter case there will be no sense of disappointment either, which is a bonus.

    Happiness is not life's default state but there's a bit of a stigma attached to acknowledging this as an individual. Places such as Facebook can therefore be illusory because a lot of people will go to great lengths to present a happy persona, regardless.

    No worries though, because if the Lib Dems get into power they'll make happiness obligatory and they already have plans to appoint a Happiness Minister ... I dread to think what Messrs. Nietzsche & Schopenhauer would have made of of this

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventrue View Post
    What I don't like about Nietzsche:

    No idealism - You have to understand, this half-Pole, half-German was always the outsider looking in. This clearly influenced him. He understands the Will to Power but doesn't want to use it for the good of the whole - he simply wants individuals to embrace it for their own enjoyment. This is a man without family and children to care for.

    Eternal recurrence - Well, you can't expect one man to get everything right. Here Nietzsche borders on the religious, in that he doesn't understand how the universe works. This is not philosophy. It can be discarded without hurting the rest of his work.

    Dionysus/Apollonian - An interesting thought, but it is erroneous to divide the world's urges into these two. Actually, having read some Nietzsche I don't believe he always did. How, for example, would you fit slave morality into this division? It can occur both in the Dionysian and the Apollonian. No, this part of his philosophy is not very important. And it ties back to what has already been said: his love for the Dionysian lifestyle comes from being the non-idealistic outsider looking in, with no concern for the whole.

    Too damn boring - I mean, his books are thick and tedious! Really, you can understand Nietzsche simply by reading a collection of quotes, and by having an IQ in the 90th+ percentile, and by having the courage to be Politically Incorrect. There's no need to read through his entire collection.
    And here is a guy who knew nothing worthwhile about Nietzsche, let alone the fact that Nietzsche was closer to Hitler's ideology than Schopenhauer.

    No idealism - It'd have been more proper to say that Nietzsche may have lacked a foundation for his later ideas. He began with excellent Hellenic ideals, but in the course of his inquiry, he encountered other contradictory views and couldn't decisively settle on what direction to take. Kalergi rightly accredited him as the only non-jewish ethicist in Europe. Nietzsche was the first to call for Europe to return to itself.

    Eternal recurrence - His given reason for denouncing this teaching is wrong. Religion and philosophy are two sides of the same coin. Always has been. In antiquity, what remained of ancient Greek idealism was split evenly, with the one degenerating into idolatry and the other degenerating into arbitrary sophism and abstracts. The average religion reaches it's apex in mysticism (i.e. Sufi, yogi), which is on a comparable level with typical philosophy.
    It's a mistake to begin an inquiry from the standpoint of consciousness (as has been the case with most leading theosophists). One needs to have a stable foundation which is anchored in a treatise of the material world. That's why Jefferson could think highly of the Epicureans and why Francis Bacon deemed Democritus to be more important than Aristotle/Plato. That's why Stoicism was more effective than neo-Platonism and why NS showed such a disregard for the afterlife (while affirming it's necessity to Aryanism).

    The reform in philosophy began with Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. The future reforms in religion will have the effect of displacing the widespread idea that spirituality is devout feeling, sentimentality, an emotional process, etc. with the realization that spirituality is a scientific investigation, a mental effort to understand, is a system building procedure, completely compatible with science.

    The teaching of eternal recurrence is wrong since development is neither linear nor cyclical, but both. Goethe said it was like a spiral with ups and downs.

    Dionysus/Apollonian - Not something I've invested time into, can't say anything here.

    Too damn boring - Anyone who can't summon the time or energy to examine all the perspectives Nietzsche has to offer is clearly devoid of understanding. Nietzsche is a very complex case, his philosophy cannot be gleamed from a mere collection of quotes as with Schopenhauer or Aquinas.

    Regrettably, most people are simplistic in their reading (prefer reading from the front to back, only read a book once and never pick it up again), are too used to speed reading (a complex accumulated from reading only newspapers), or are on the lookout only for what pleases them (as was the case with this poster).

    It's no wonder why they complain about a book such as Mein Kampf or Das Kapital being tedious.

    A helpful method I picked up from Leon Degrelle: start from the concluding chapter and inspect the index before delving into it. That at least gets to the point faster.

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