Nietzsches Overman metamorphoses

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Verts, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. A little something I've been reading and researching as of late, something I find endlessly intriguing. I thought I'd share it with all of you in hopes of spreading knowledge and encouraging your own metamorphoses. 
    “Overman” refers to Nietzsche's conception of a man who has literally overcome himself and human nature. In essence, an Overman is one who has superseded the bondage of the human condition and reached a liberated state of free play and creativity. This state can be seen as the state of the pure individual, a person unencumbered by the influences and authorities of society and other people. This person wills their own destiny, creates their own values, and dances with the game of life to the tune of their own spirit.
    In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche writes of three spiritual metamorphoses that must be undergone for the individual to reach the state of Overman. These transformations are rather prescriptive in nature, and thus can be seen as a sort of guide to becoming Overman, or liberating one's spirit.
    #1: The Camel

    Following this passage Nietzsche continues to list many things that one may consider to be the most difficult or trying of one's life experiences. The point here being that the camel must invite these burdens in order to complete the first of these three metamorphoses. One must battle with fear, love, truth, death, confusion, thirst for knowledge, and all of the other aspects of human existence. The camel embraces these challenges in the name of duty and nobility.
    #2: The Lion
    Nietzsche goes on to describe how the camel ultimately enters “the loneliest desert” before becoming a lion. The lonely desert metaphor can be interpreted as follows: The camel has sought out and invited the struggles that life has to offer. In doing so, it has become alienated to a certain extent. It has become different from others and from the society that produced it; it finds itself questioning everything, both its worth and the value of its pursuits.
    The desert can be seen as a place of existential crisis, where the camel ponders whether or not any universal laws or virtues exist to guide it and give it purpose. For Nietzsche, such universal virtues and absolute purpose do not exist. The camel is forced to confront this possibility, and thus, the camel must become a lion. Nietzsche writes:

    When the camel discovers that universal truth and virtue may be non-existent, it has two choices: it can reject life as meaningless and probably commit suicide, or it can claim its own freedom and create its own meaning and virtue. To become Overman, the camel must obviously do the latter; it must ascend. To do this, the camel must destroy the largest barrier to true freedom: the duty and virtue imposed by tradition and society. This is what Nietzsche's great dragon represents. The dragon of THOU SHALT, commanding the camel and a great many other camels that thou shalt go to school, thou shalt be obedient, thou shalt get a job, thou shalt marry a woman and have kids, thou shalt this and that and the other. The dragon of “THOU SHALT” can also be seen as simply representing everyone who would try to tell one how to live one's life. 
    The camel must reject this dragon of tradition and commands, but it cannot in its current, duty-loving form. Thus, it must become a lion. Its trials have allowed it to attain enough strength to become a lion. The lion symbolizes courage, tenacity, disillusionment, and even rage. Only in this state is the spirit able to deliver the “sacred “No.”” The “sacred “No”” represents the utter rejection of external control and all traditional values. Everything imposed by other individuals, society, churches, governments, families, and all forms of propaganda must be denied in an empowered roar.
    That is not to say that the lion believes all virtues and values imposed by such entities to be evil or corrupt. Indeed, they could be useful and good. However, it is the fact that they come from an external authority that requires their rejection. An Overman is an absolute individual, and thus must create his own values on his own terms.
    #3: The Child
    After the spirit has delivered the sacred "No", it still requires one last metamorphosis before ultimately becoming the Overman.

    So, Nietzsche holds that the lion must again transform in order to forget. The spirit has undergone much duress and turmoil in its transformations, but it must cleanse its mind of the past. In delivering a “sacred “Yes””, the child affirms the moment, affirms uncertainty, and affirms the flux of life. The child becomes a self-propelled wheel, just as life can be viewed in the same terms. The child elects to roll with life, dance and play with it.
    Ultimately, for Nietzsche, pure creation arises from this state of play. When one can achieve a child-mind - a mind immersed in the moment and filled with wonder and playfulness - then one can will his own will, create his own virtue, and thus create his own reality. In undergoing this final metamorphosis, the spirit overcomes itself, conquers its world, and reaches the state of Overman. The spirit achieves liberation.

  2. Respect to Nietzche. Finally understood the man today. He says wise things.
  3. #3 Messiah Decoy, Nov 1, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2014
    I find that sometimes you have to compromise your ideals with traditional social values.

    It's a tricky balance but it's essential for being happy.

    The truth is some traditions make actual sense and some individual ideals do not.

    Rejecting tradition shouldn't be a knee jerk attempt at rebellion. It needs to be founded on reason so it will actually have integrity and genuine meaning.

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