Nietzschean striving vs. the sinkhole of indifference - Printable Version

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Nietzschean striving vs. the sinkhole of indifference - Asolsutsesvyl - 02-15-2021

In Thus Spake Zarathustra, Nietzsche describes, early in the text, the ideal of man taking charge of his own destiny, striving to reach the other end of the awkward journey from animal to something else (which Nietzsche called the "superman", as different existentially from the human engaging in human monkey business, as that human is from the apes) -- and an anti-ideal, what would happen if existential development fizzled out while humanity lived on through its technology as a hive of aimless standardized citizens who blandly persusade themselves that they are "happy".

The most conventional, even academic, wisdom was characterized through a preacher of good sleep, greatly honored and respected, listened to by many, teaching them how to live in such a way that what they do at day leaves them no trouble at night. Zarathustra muses, "if life had no sense, and I had to choose nonsense, this would be the desirablest nonsense for me also."

Humanity is a mess, and creates complicated messes for itself, including -- as Nietzsche views it -- through the inhuman monstrosity of "the state". But zooming in, there's far more basic problems than what happens at the large and abstract level in a way that made Nietzsche think of a slow collective suicide taking place. In many ways, at various scales, what people develop follow the ideas of those who preach death rather than life, who have worldviews centering around something denying life or its meaningful development on Earth. This includes various religious doctrines, in Nietzsche's view, which teach people to give up on everything except a striving to escape from the dreadful confines of life on Earth, sometimes through bringing a self-destructive striving to crush any real goodness and potential they may have in the name of whatever is fervently imagined.

Nietzsche's description of spiritual development may be a good match for those who, however they began, then went on to inwardly carry great burdens of obligation and "thou shalt", values handed to them as wisdom from external sources, until, genuinely convinced, as a result life revolves around taking on and carrying heavy loads seemingly for its own sake. All these great golden values which somehow arrived from outside may, in a next stage of growth, be seen to be like the scales of a great dragon, which needs to be defied with a purity of raw inner strength yearning for freedom. In thus embodying a holy "No", the older and shallower virtuous order is inwardly destroyed. Thereafter in spirit can unfold a childlike new beginning, where the creative role becomes genuine and a holy "Yes" is embodied.

Quote:Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman--
a rope over an abyss. A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring,
a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting.
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal:
what is lovable in man is that he is an over-going and a down-going.

Nietzsche's Zarathustra is a man who used to believe in a God he later realized was a phantom mirroring human nature and weaknesses. After a decade of withdrawal and solitude, he no longer believes in that miserable creator who distracted himself from his pain and shortcomings by fixing his attention on a creation filled with pain and shortcomings (that's Nietzsche's vision of a Christian God). He has recovered from his inwardly ashen state and is calmly filled with a new fire in its place. And he wants to help people, but soon learns how messy it can be to try to communicate controversial things.

To inwardly break molds of conventional, barren normality, people need to be capable of self-contempt, not in a conventional moral sense, but rather seeing how small, flaky, and transient one's happiness and reason and virtue are. Rather than genuinely living for something which makes life worthwhile, or for knowing, or a striving to embody a way of being, usually neither the good qualities nor their opposite are truly at the core of a person. As seen from a more detached (or perhaps simply alienated, through a heavy disillusionment) perspective, the good qualities are usually like small, weak animals moving along haphazardly and always needing more food, always poor in spirit.

There's of course several ways in which things could be different from that, and Nietzsche's protagonist, while strikingly positive on the whole, describes things in an ambiguous way which brings far greater emphasis to avoiding the usual dead ends than to bringing any pure vision of positive spirituality into focus.

Quote:I love those that know not how to live except as down-
goers, for they are the over-goers.
I love the great despisers, because they are the great
adorers, and arrows of longing for the other shore.
I love those who do not first seek a reason beyond the
stars for going down and being sacrifices, but sacrifice
themselves to the earth, that the earth of the Superman
may hereafter arrive.
I love him who liveth in order to know, and seeketh to
know in order that the Superman may hereafter live. Thus
seeketh he his own down-going.
I love him who laboureth and inventeth, that he may
build the house for the Superman, and prepare for him
earth, animal, and plant: for thus seeketh he his own
I love him who loveth his virtue: for virtue is the will
to down-going, and an arrow of longing.
I love him who reserveth no share of spirit for himself,
but wanteth to be wholly the spirit of his virtue: thus
walketh he as spirit over the bridge.
I love him who maketh his virtue his inclination and
destiny: thus, for the sake of his virtue, he is willing to
live on, or live no more.
I love him who desireth not too many virtues. One
virtue is more of a virtue than two, because it is more of
a knot for one's destiny to cling to.
I love him whose soul is lavish, who wanteth no thanks
and doth not give back: for he always bestoweth, and
desireth not to keep for himself.
I love him who is ashamed when the dice fall in his
favour, and who then asketh: "Am I a dishonest player?"--
for he is willing to succumb.
I love him who scattereth golden words in advance of
his deeds, and always doeth more than he promiseth: for
he seeketh his own down-going.
I love him who justifieth the future ones, and redeemeth
the past ones: for he is willing to succumb through the
present ones.
I love him who chasteneth his God, because he loveth
his God: for he must succumb through the wrath of his
I love him whose soul is deep even in the wounding,
and may succumb through a small matter: thus goeth he
willingly over the bridge.
I love him whose soul is so overfull that he forgetteth
himself, and all things are in him: thus all things become
his down-going.
I love him who is of a free spirit and a free heart: thus
is his head only the bowels of his heart; his heart, how-
ever, causeth his down-going.
I love all who are like heavy drops falling one by one
out of the dark cloud that lowereth over man: they her-
ald the coming of the lightning, and succumb as heralds.
Lo, I am a herald of the lightning, and a heavy drop
out of the cloud: the lightning, however, is the super-

Human potential is compared to a dark cloud carrying the potential for something greater to manifest out of it. Zarathustra compares himself and others of like mind to heavy raindrops falling out of the cloud, heralding the coming of lightning, when humanity finally attains something greater than itself. But there's also a contrasting vision of what happens when and where the potential dissipates while nothing much comes from humanity.

Not all are capable of genuinely questioning the value of how and what they currently are, by looking at it soberly. Can they still, somehow, be spurred on to develop a real valuation of deeper ideals, and see that differences exist of a kind which justifies real and heartfelt striving to change?

Quote:They have something whereof they are proud. What do
they call it, that which maketh them proud? Culture,
they call it; it distinguisheth them from the goatherds.
They dislike, therefore, to hear of "contempt" of them-
selves. So I will appeal to their pride.
I will speak unto them of the most contemptible thing:
that, however, is the last man!"

Zarathustra envisions a bad final age in the development of civilization, where technology keeps humanity alive, and people live very long, colorless, apathetic lives, having no ambitions or preoccupations beyond living like amiable animals in a world of routine and normality, and where the abnormal (having anything in them not in harmony with such life) simply leave the rest alone in order to be treated for whatever insanity they are viewed as having. A formless herd in which all are perfectly alike. Along with all of the old problems of humanity, all the old potential has also faded away.

Quote:It is time for man to fix his goal. It is time for man to
plant the germ of his highest hope.
Still is his soil rich enough for it. But that soil will one
day be poor and exhausted, and no lofty tree will any
longer be able to grow thereon.
Alas! there cometh the time when man will no longer
launch the arrow of his longing beyond man--and the
string of his bow will have unlearned to whizz!
I tell you: one must still have chaos in one, to give
birth to a dancing star. I tell you: ye have still chaos in
Alas! There cometh the time when man will no longer
give birth to any star. Alas! There cometh the time of the
most despicable man, who can no longer despise himself.
Lo! I show you the last man.
"What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What
is a star?"--so asketh the last man and blinketh.
The earth hath then become small, and on it there
hoppeth the last man who maketh everything small. His
species is ineradicable like that of the ground-flea; the
last man liveth longest.
"We have discovered happiness"--say the last men, and
blink thereby.
They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for
they need warmth. One still loveth one's neighbour and
rubbeth against him; for one needeth warmth.
Turning ill and being distrustful, they consider sinful:
they walk warily. He is a fool who still stumbleth over
stones or men!
A little poison now and then: that maketh pleasant
dreams. And much poison at last for a pleasant death.
One still worketh, for work is a pastime. But one is
careful lest the pastime should hurt one.
One no longer becometh poor or rich; both are too
burdensome. Who still wanteth to rule? Who still wanteth
to obey? Both are too burdensome.
No shepherd, and one herd! Every one wanteth the
same; every one is equal: he who hath other sentiments
goeth voluntarily into the madhouse.
"Formerly all the world was insane,"--say the subtlest
of them, and blink thereby.
They are clever and know all that hath happened: so
there is no end to their raillery. People still fall out, but
are soon reconciled--otherwise it spoileth their stom-
They have their little pleasures for the day, and their
little pleasures for the night, but they have a regard for
"We have discovered happiness,"--say the last men,
and blink thereby.--

If for a gross caricature you ignore the complete death of the inner life, and use the "objective measurements" of conventional psychiatry, then I suppose it's a socialist utopia. More to the point is that it's a vision of equality being reached through the death of individuality, by taking away all except the human "shell" and making that docile.

Hope for any kind of development past the current, usual mess which humanity is, draws upon the chaos and uncertainty still in people. Without it, people would never go far in any direction.

The anti-ideal seems to match the idea of the "sinkhole the indifference" very well -- just as well as societies fragmenting into smaller and smaller warring groups which get nowhere except reversing their former development, and other visions of the evaporating of understanding and loss of inner striving to become anything more or different, leaving humans living on like animals in a truly meaningless existence. As for the ideal it is contrasted with, the main theme is the inner driving force which keeps a person fundamentally at odds with descent into the sinkhole.

Personally, I think this may resonate especially strongly with people who feel an invisible pressure in the form of all which would strive to force them into such an anti-ideal mold, a silent pressure which feels as if it slowly threatens to suffocate, or drown, or perhaps grind down a person a little at a time. In the most vehement inner rejection of the anti-ideal resonating with Nietzsche's ideal, there may be -- going by experience -- something bitter and pungent, but at the same time, it's something in part soul-deep in driving one away from dead ends, not only conventional ones but also non-conventional ones like indoctrination with a belief system which would ultimately cripple existential development.

As for the character of Zarathustra, he realizes not long after these first speeches that the "good and just" in conventional terms were so offended by what he said (and possibly a few other things they overheard) that he had made mortal enemies. In his further journeying, he resolves never again to try to teach the multitude, and instead to look for worthwhile friends and companions as he travels the world.

For those reading further (search and PDFs you will find), the ethics and aesthetics of Nietzsche are somewhat mixed-up, in relation to what would most clearly reflect a metaphysical polarity. This may in part be explained by him drawing very heavily upon Aristotle, whose legacy includes not only the ubiquitous materialistic philosophy, but also ideas of good qualities developing out of war, instead of good causes justifying war, and other ethically backwards things. Nietzsche also swallowed various other influences respectable in his time, but later seen past as knowledge advanced. The more original stuff he came up with withstands the test of time better.

RE: Nietzschean striving vs. the sinkhole of indifference - MrWho - 02-15-2021

A very thorough exploration of intent. It is much like an electrical charge. (No movement without potential)

This post is most appreciated. ♾♥️☀️

RE: Nietzschean striving vs. the sinkhole of indifference - flofrog - 02-15-2021

Asolsutsesvyl, isn’t it interesting that Kubrick decided to use richard strauss Also sprach Zarathustra for the opening clip of the stone in space odyssey? ... Wink

RE: Nietzschean striving vs. the sinkhole of indifference - Asolsutsesvyl - 02-17-2021

(02-15-2021, 04:55 PM)MrWho Wrote: A very thorough exploration of intent. It is much like an electrical charge. (No movement without potential)

This post is most appreciated. ♾♥️☀️

Not to detract from anything about intent which people get out of what I posted -- and I mainly think of intent as something more "now" -- but I personally had in mind something fuzzily more long-term mainly.

Actually, I re-read it with a different focus after the remark about intent, and got something out of it I didn't have as clear a view of before. In turn, I am now reminded of the theme of "Transient, Sustained and Eternal" discussed in another thread.

There's something deeper down that has a lot to do with how intent is and can be focused. It can be more in the background than the foreground, but forms a large part of the inner environment, both shaping how intent can work and otherwise how inner life relates to outer life.

In part it may be compared to "background current" in a system, but not so much in contrast to intent, rather instead intent would stand out as transient intensifications, or focusing, or application -- and it can go the other way too, intent shaping how this "background" can shape up (as it lives its life beyond conscious focus). Maybe this "something" is more like the intent at a different level, or shaped differently than something rising and falling in time.

This longer-term "something" else could also determine what a person most "resonates" with in a deeper sense. In turn, it can be said to be lost, or locked into a resonance with the "the sinkhole of indifference", if a person has fallen into that sinkhole.

RE: Nietzschean striving vs. the sinkhole of indifference - Asolsutsesvyl - 02-17-2021

(02-15-2021, 08:25 PM)flofrog Wrote: Asolsutsesvyl,  isn’t it interesting that Kubrick decided to use richard strauss  Also sprach Zarathustra for the opening clip of the stone in space odyssey? ... Wink

I had a listen to and read a bit about it, and the "sunrise" theme for that opening part of the music stuck out, as related to the beginning, or birth, of something. The 2001 beginning shows a hidden mysterious beginning for the human drama. As for Zarathustra, his theme in the beginning of the book is that of a new beginning, like a new sunrise, but in relation to 2001, the humans of the world are then perhaps more like the apes at the beginning of 2001.

RE: Nietzschean striving vs. the sinkhole of indifference - MrWho - 02-17-2021

Forgive me for oversimplifying, it is my nature.

Overcoming the sinkhole of indifference is easier when we make the hole less deep.

All is one.

Infinite love and light.

RE: Nietzschean striving vs. the sinkhole of indifference - Asolsutsesvyl - 02-17-2021

Simplifying is filtering, how anything comes into focus when there's many things. What matters most is how useful it ends up, and no need to apologize for making it work.

Yeah, the collective sinkhole seems deep, but for individuals may be bigger or smaller, or come closer or move away if they change.

Connected to that, there's long been something deep in me difficult to describe, a strange itch in part behind why I made the first post on this. It's like part of me began to pay attention to something general in life and the world long ago, and never stopped, and at a different level, something has both limited and pushed my intent accordingly.

When something related to that -- or anything else as deep down -- matters to others, I don't know how it may look to them, or which part of it comes into focus, or where it leads... It's not usually something I've discussed directly, and I tried to make it easy enough for others to grab on to something relevant for them.

RE: Nietzschean striving vs. the sinkhole of indifference - flofrog - 02-17-2021


If this is the itch, I find completely something to grab, Asol, thank you

Quote:Thereafter in spirit can unfold a childlike new beginning, where the creative role becomes genuine and a holy "Yes" is embodied

RE: Nietzschean striving vs. the sinkhole of indifference - Asolsutsesvyl - 02-19-2021

That's both nice and connected to what I had in mind, but at a distance from it.

The personal "itch" is old -- at least 15 years or so -- and changing and growing in the years thereafter, going through various stages until what also came to mind for you is more clearly in sight, and it remains to see what happens next. But earlier on, that nice new beginning is not close, but instead at the end of a long and dreary tunnel. The "itch" is something that makes it impossible to fully relax, to fully feel at home in any way of life, until reaching the other end of that tunnel.

Life cannot really be good on the wrong end of it, but while it is so, it is subtly maddening how it is usually impossible to communicate any of the deep question and sense of something vaguely not quite being right, with others in general, as it seems like almost nobody is able to feel anything connected to it. But all hope and fear tied to the value of existence can seem related to it.

I read on Wikipedia about Nietzsche's word play, lost in the English translation, which may be related to this. Related to the metaphor of life as a rope or bridge, he juxtaposed a word usually associated with downfall and doom with a word usually associated with (successful) crossing and transition. (That particular word play is straightforward for me, as I can see that it works exactly the same in Swedish.)

That kind of tension between opposites, and vague sense of not knowing what is what, has to do with it. And in earlier stages, the more I learned years ago from an external "authoritative" source, the stronger the tension between opposites became, instead of lesser, and the greater the subconscious confusion, until something happened like "The Tower" in the Tarot. That was not the middle in time, but it was roughly the middle in archetypal patterns, I think. Afterwards I seem to be closer to the good end, the doom is gone, even when life is confusing or feels hopelessly stuck in the moment. Something much lighter often breaks forth, without the old sad weight that used to hang on to what was more lighthearted.

Another sci-fi metaphor comes to mind, related to this tension between opposites (down vs. up). A bit silly perhaps, but a poignant cover image:
[Image: Phantasy_Star_III_box_US.jpg]
(And of course, there's the point that the original title was "Successors of Time", those who succeed time and take its place at its end, but the English translators found that too weird and replaced it, hence: doom.)

Though there I make something meaningful of the staircase, as a different variation on the theme which Nietzsche's "rope" or "bridge" was also used for, a journey to a different stage. In Mouravieff's Gnosis books, a staircase symbolizes a 7-note journey across an octave of development. (Related to the work on the 7 rays in the Ra material -- no detailed comparing yet done that I know of.) The staircase is formed so that steps would crumble if people stop climbing for too long. Not many climb it, but having crossed a first threshold into beginning to do so, there is no way back, and the journey goes up (and possibly down again) until a second threshold is finally reached, and a new beginning with it, or time runs out for humanity to develop further.

Why can people only go forward from the first threshold, and not back to before it? Because the value of everything changes when a deeper learning takes place. Happy or not, successful or not, what remains then is a striving, until it reaches success or failure in some definite way, and the personal fate and its relation to all else no longer seems as if hanging shakily over an abyss being crossed... And that first-stage deeper learning can take place early in life -- maybe the mysterious time/space self decides everything about when such learning can "click", in one person at age 15, in another at age 51, etc. The nature of further deeper learning after that, after the center of meaning shifts away from the essence of "ordinary life" in social and material aspects, is far more mysterious and the kind of stuff having to do with the real meaning of how people develop and what they do, and so also the law of confusion in full force.

Well, that's both long and the best -- but, rather "textbook" -- answer I have so far, but it's possible others may have some fresh angle to it, perhaps short and simple.

RE: Nietzschean striving vs. the sinkhole of indifference - flofrog - 02-19-2021

I wonder how much such an 'itch' might reverberate, and in all is subliminally one, how that could ignite a very present but very underground same personal itch among many other-selves.. It's really difficult for me, because I am a sort of basic person, to imagine a real sink of indifference, and above all during this little chaotic phase we are living right now. Wink

Also, I feel the very first deeper learning is very addictive, one may fall for sure, but retreat for comfort, it's pretty difficult to resist that itch once it's become conscious. Also, to use that cool image above, I wonder if the stairs gets to have several branches left and right [not with a polarity meaning ] just because when deeper meaning happens it tends to open much much wider the landscape

I hope others post on this, something more interesting than my feeble thoughts BigSmile Thank you Asolsutsesvyl

RE: Nietzschean striving vs. the sinkhole of indifference - Asolsutsesvyl - 02-20-2021

A quick answer, in part simply to add in the Q'uo description of the sinkhole of indifference from the 2020-01-04 transcript. That expansion on the idea makes it much easier to imagine.

Quote:Gary: Q'uo, I'm interested in what Ra calls "the sinkhole of indifference." [Between the 50% STS and 95% STS.] They coined that term to describe the population of our planet which has not polarized, presumably over a long period of time. [...] I'm wondering if the sinkhole of indifference operates as a sort of collective gravity well that holds people in a state of indifference.

[...] Objects within a room or a larger environment will take on the temperature of that environment unless there is some input that allows them to change temperature, say like electricity that can heat something up above room temperature, or keep something cold below room temperature. I liken that to the will and faith necessary to polarize. [...]

Q'uo: I am Q'uo and am aware of your query, my brother. We believe that you have quite eloquently stated the basic principle with your analogy of the sinkhole of indifference being that place wherein there is a, shall we say, a momentum of indifference-which is a paradoxical way of stating it, we realize.

The indifference that is expressed by those entities which do not find it possible within their own being to generate the desire to seek beyond the nature of their daily round of activities, beyond the mundane world, beyond that which they have always known . . . they seek only to reproduce the day before, the getting of the job, the making of the money, supporting of the family, gaining stature in the community and so forth.

[...] have no concept of that which is more than the experience they have previously had. They are unable to generate the faith or the will in any concept beyond the mundane world. They have this general feeling that this world is all that there is, that there is a beyond to this world is totally unknown to them and unimportant to them as long as they are able to provide themselves and their family with the basic ingredients for survival.

The sinkhole of indifference, then, begins to draw all into it that are of this nature [...]. So, this is a kind of momentum of a reverse order that does not allow movement forward in consciousness. The heart is hardened, the mind is closed, the movement is miniscule, thus, there is no progress in the spiritual sense.

As a saying goes, "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them." That seems to happen to those inside the sinkhole.

But how did it begin on a large scale? Here's a description of a tunnel vision in which "the now" outwardly is all that is ever sought, and the inward connection to something going far beyond the nature of the outward "now" is too dim to spur on anything else... And, centrally, this extending beyond the current incarnation in a self-sustaining pattern.

Quote:The sowing of indifference, then, began as a seeding of consciousness that produced the mistaken conclusion that the present moment experience was all that was available. Thus, the movement beyond the present moment experience was not sought as an alternative to existing within that moment self-created by entities that had little success in seeing the greater view of the life experience.

These entities also had little contact, therefore, with their greater being, their higher self or unconscious mind so that there was little chance that pre-incarnative choices could be made more clearly observable or perceived by these entities. Thus, by not being able or willing to move beyond the present moment self-constructed, they found themselves within a bind in which the mind was unable to see any further than the imagine of the self that had been projected by time and experience in previous incarnations that had carried forth into the present incarnation in each instance. Thus, there was the slowing of any forward movement so that the entities began in a metaphysical sense to go round and round instead of moving outside of the circle, outside of the previous conception of the self, and begin to allow perceptions of all kinds to expand into greater and greater views of the self, other selves, and the world around all.

There's more interesting stuff I've not included in this shortened quoting. Not limited to, but including, a possibility of a collective rude awakening:

Quote:However, we would remind each present that at some point there could be a planetary catastrophe of such a nature that all entities upon the planet would then see the folly and futility of holding on to that which has been, for it has brought them to the brink of catastrophe and destruction, so that a response could be generated that would be the positively polarizing choice of polarity, all in an instant, so that this planet could shine as that which imbues all entities with the love and the light of the One Infinite Creator. Though this possibility is seemingly miniscule in its potential, it is ever possible, my friends.

But at the level of individuals, individual crises also often seem to happen before intensive striving and "spiritual awakening".

I also wonder if the old news of reported increases in mental illness in modern society may have to do with more and more souls tightening their schedules as lives are planned in the current age. Faster and more intense learning and spiritual life being more painful and difficult...