Saturday 8 March 2008

The Vision And The Riddle

[not concerning Nik Kershaw] *smile*

Following on from Tony's post on Friedrich Nietzsche (here) and my own post on Samuel Beckett's "Waiting For Godot" (here) I was reminded of Nietzsche's narrative of Zarathustra walking gloomily through the deadly pallor of dusk – gloomy and hard, with lips pressed together – on a trail that ascended through shrubbery towards a mountain path; here he meets a dwarf and they reach a gateway:

[…] “Behold this gateway, dwarf!” I went on: “it has two aspects: Two paths meet together here: no one has ever reached their end.
This long lane behind us: it goes on for an eternity. And that long lane ahead of – that stretches for another eternity.
[…] The name of the gateway is inscribed above it: “Moment”
But whoever would follow one of them, on and on, farther and farther – do you believe, dwarf, that these paths contradict each other, eternally?”
“All that is straight lies”, the dwarf murmured contemptuously, “All that is crooked – time itself is a circle.”
[…] “Behold this moment!” I went on. “From this gateway “Moment” a long, eternal lane runs backwards: an eternity lies behind us.
“Must not whatever can happen have already happened: have been before, have passed by before?”
“And if all things have been here before; what do you think of this moment, dwarf? Must not this gateway, too, have been here – before?
And are not all things bound fast together in such a way that this moment draws after it all that is to come?
Therefore – itself too? For whatever can walk this long lane out there too, it must walk once more.
And this slow spider that creeps along in the moonlight, and this moonlight itself, and I and you at this gateway whispering together, whispering of eternal things – must we not all have been here before?
And must we not return and run down that other lane out before us, down that long, terrible lane – must we not return eternally?”

[The above is composed of excerpts from Friedrich Nietzsche's "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" Part III "Of the Vision and the Riddle" (2)]

A Dark Philosopher
Karl L Le Marcs


Karl Le Marcs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karl Le Marcs said...

oh, and:

".........the idea of eternal recurrence, the highest formula of affirmation that can possibly be attained"

Ecce Homo - Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1)

Karl Le Marcs said...

"The doctrine of 'eternal recurrence', that is to say of the unconditional and endlessly repeated circular course of all things...."

Ecce Homo - The Birth Of Tragedy (3)

*Both above quotes again come from Friedrich Nietzsche*

Karl Le Marcs said...

And the profound:

"Again and again
and again and again and again
And again and again.
Why don't you do it -
Why don't you do it again.
Again and again and again..."

by Status Quo.

Hurlyburly said...

I for one am confused.

Are we allowed to post comments too? ;0)

SM Kovalinsky said...

Karl; These passages I have always found lovely and profound; they are the reason that Tony's CTF theory resonated so fully for me with intuition and spirit. Do you also remember his, "O man take care; what does the deep midnight declare" and his poem, "From High Mountains"? (My collection of over 1500 books are all boxed up in storage now; I fear I may never lay hands on them again). But this is a nice post. Best regards as ever, SM

Anthony Peake said...


You simply never cease to amaze me with both your knowledge and your analytic abilities. Yet again you have found exactly the right quotation that hits the nail on the head.

Have you any idea why it was that Neitzsche was so pre-occuped with the concept of the Eternal Return?

I am also interested to know if The Great Man (II) (the Great Man (I) being Philip K Dick) had any history of epilepsy. I suspect that he may have been severely bi-polar so this may go part of the way to explaining his interest in such a subject. Also do we have any evidence that he may have been aware of his Daemon?

Karl Le Marcs said...


Nietzsche encountered the idea of the Eternal Recurrence in the works of Heinrich Heine, who speculated that one day a person would be born with the same thought-processes as himself, and that the same applied to every other individual. Nietzsche expanded on this thought to form his theory, which he put forth in The Gay Science and developed in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

As to his Mental Illnesses, much has been written and suggested (although often somewhat scurrilously, if you ask me).

I'll discuss it with you when I see you next, to save blogspace and my typing fingers.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Hi Susan Marie, yes, you were certainly in mind when I was re-reading it the night I wrote the post, and I do indeed know the other Nietzschean works you mentioned.
Your words as ever mean a lot to me.

Karl Le Marcs said...

And Hurly,
When would I ever want to, or indeed ever stop you from commenting on my posts.