Nietzsche & Will?

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Nietzsche & Will?

Postby AliceKnewIt » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:22 am

My friend, who is not a thelemite, commented to me that Friedrich Nietzsche wrote much about the will, and he wondered why I hadn't read Nietzsche yet.

Has anyone here read Nietzsche; is his concept of will anything similar to the Thelemic concept of Will?
What would you recommend I read by Nietzsche?

Thank you
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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby Takamba » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:52 am

Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Beyond Good and Evil
The Antichrist
The Will to Power


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Nietzsche
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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby AliceKnewIt » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:52 am

Thank you.

How would you compare Nietzsche's concept of Will to the Thelemic concept of Will?

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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:01 pm

AliceKnewIt wrote:How would you compare Nietzsche's concept of Will to the Thelemic concept of Will?

Nietzsche's concept was the old fashioned delusion of personality based will.
Love is the law, love under will.
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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:12 pm

Dara Allarah wrote:True, but there is no better author that I can think of that can make this distinction crystal clear.

Which distinction?
Love is the law, love under will.
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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:32 pm

I think that's probably true. Nietzsche is the great Humpty Dumpty of philosophers, and there is much that can be gained from that.
Love is the law, love under will.
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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:05 pm

Agreed. And Nietzsche is a prime example of someone who caved in completely from the extreme imbalances and distortions in his character. He's my favorite example of the consequences of treading the shors of the Abyss without first having an unshakable linkage to the Divine.
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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:42 pm

Agree with much of what has been said. Also would like to add that one needs to be careful when reading Nietzsche's "The Will to Power", since it was compiled by his Nazi sister. Nietzsche was disgusted by antisemitism.
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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby AliceKnewIt » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:32 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:
AliceKnewIt wrote:How would you compare Nietzsche's concept of Will to the Thelemic concept of Will?

Nietzsche's concept was the old fashioned delusion of personality based will.


I had a gut feeling that was the case.....

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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby AliceKnewIt » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:34 pm

kasper81 wrote:
crowley said he considered Nietzshe to be "almost an avatar of Thoth" however Nietzsche seemd to be a cranky misanthrope with all the worst German stereotypical traits hence Hitler's affinity with him


Where does Crowley write this? - Nietzshe to be "almost an avatar of Thoth"
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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby Q789 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:19 am

Yes i like that Jim and the end of his life seems to prove it.
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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby Q789 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:42 pm

He did write some very good material such as 'Beyond Good and Evil' as well as 'God is dead'. In which he referred common religions definition of God has passed its time.

Although, he was mad, and did miss the point of the 'true will'- he was a major influence to Western Mankind. For example, we occultists have3 known for Aeons that there is no good and evil- that it is infact a theological disease of Monoetheistic religion. Well isn't that what Nietzsche said?

It was his sister Elizabeth- who was photographed standing next to Adolf Hitler- who abused his works to further National Socialists ideals.

I was thinking today whilst at the gym (dam good meditation) about what Jim said about flirting with the abyss without having a good grounding in your own spirituality. I am thinking that the story of Hanzel and Gretel is a warning of such, also didn't HP Lovecraft suffer the same?

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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby IAO131 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:20 pm

AliceKnewIt wrote:My friend, who is not a thelemite, commented to me that Friedrich Nietzsche wrote much about the will, and he wondered why I hadn't read Nietzsche yet.

Has anyone here read Nietzsche; is his concept of will anything similar to the Thelemic concept of Will?
What would you recommend I read by Nietzsche?

Thank you
93 93/93


93,

Nietzsche's idea was often termed the "Will-to-Power," and he saw the entire world as manifestations of this Will. All things - humans included - are expressions of this Will-to-Power. The difference is that Thelema views the nature of Will not as Power (one thing triumphing over another) but as Love (one thing uniting with another). They are actually very, very similar - he even calls it the "procreative life-will" in Thus Spoke Zarathustra (in one translation).

Firstly, we can see that Aleister Crowley thought very highly of Nietzsche: he not only included as a Gnostic Saint in Liber XV but thought of him as a prophet of the Aeon of Horus. Crowley said of him: “Nietzsche may be regarded as one of our prophets...” (Magick Without Tears, ch.48), “Nietzsche was to me almost an avatar of Thoth, the god of wisdom...” (Confessions, ch.76), and “Read Nietzsche!” (“The Ordeal of Ida Pendragon” from The Equinox I:6).

In general, Crowley sympathized with Nietzsche's assessment of Christianity as 'slave morality.' He wrote, “I entirely agree with Nietzsche that Christianity is the formula of the servile state; true aristocracy and true democracy are equally its enemies. In my ideal state everyone is respected for what he is. There will always be slaves, and the slave is to be defined as he who acquiesces in being a slave” (Confessions, ch.60). He also writes:
“The Book [of the Law] announces a new dichotomy in human society; there is the master and there is the slave; the noble and the serf; the "lone wolf" and the herd. [The "Master" roughly denotes the able, the adventurous, welcoming responsibility.  The "slave:" his motto is "Safety first," with all that this implies.  Race, birth, breeding etc. are important but not absolutely essential factors] (Nietzsche may be regarded as one of our prophets...)” (Magick Without Tears, ch.48)

“Area [or Common] Morality: This is the code of the "Slave-Gods," very thoroughlyy analysed, pulverized, and de-loused by Nietzsche in Antichrist.  It consists of all the meanest vices, especially envy, cowardice, cruelty and greed...” (Magick Without Tears, ch.70)

“Christianity has fallen, and so Christ has already become the 'devil' to such thinkers as Nietzsche and Crowley. --- O.M.” -Note in Crowley's translation of Eliphas Levi's The Key of the Mysteries

“...kindness and conscientiousness and altruism are really drawbacks to the progress of humanity. As Nietzsche said this, and I too agree with him, there is little more to be said.” -Liber 888


From Crowley's knowledge of Nietzsche, we can guess that he read at least The Gay Science, Beyond Good and Evil, and The Antichrist. He mentioned Antichrist by name in the above quotation, and essentially mentions Beyond Good and Evil in the following commentary to Liber LXV V:37, “O ye that are beyond Aormuzdi and Ahrimanes! blessèd are ye unto the ages:”
“In Persian Theology, the principles of Good and Evil. Cf. Nietzsche; and in our own doctrine, expressed in many ways in many places.” -Commentary to Liber LXV V:37

He also writes regarding the ethic of Thelema and going beyond good and evil:
“[In 1919] my main idea had been to found a community on the principles of The Book of the Law, to form an archetype of a new society. The main ethical principle is that each human being has his own definite object in life. He has every right to fulfil this purpose, and none to do anything else. It is the business of the community to help each of its members to achieve this aim; in consequence all rules should be made, and all questions of policy decided, by the application of this principle to the circumstances. We have thus made a clean sweep of all the rough and ready codes of convention which have characterized past civilizations. Such codes, besides doing injustice to the individual, fail by being based on arbitrary assumptions which are not only false, but insult and damage the moral sense. Their authority rested on definitions of right and wrong which were untenable. As soon as Nietzsche and others demonstrated that fact, they lost their validity.” -Confessions, chapter 87.


In the essay of Magick Without Tears when Crowley describes the Three Schools of Magick. He essentially defines the White School by quoting from The Book of the Law and then citing Nietzsche, relating the two closely:
“We may define the doctrine of the White School in its purity in very simple terms. Existence is pure joy.  Sorrow is caused by failure to perceive this fact; but this is not a misfortune.  We have invented sorrow, which does not matter so much after all, in order to have the exuberant satisfaction of getting rid of it.  Existence is thus a sacrament. Adepts of the White School regard their brethren of the Black very much as the aristocratic English Sahib (of the days when England was a nation) regarded the benighted Hindu.  Nietzsche expresses the philosophy of this School to that extent with considerable accuracy and vigour.  The man who denounces life merely defines himself as the man who is unequal to it.  The brave man rejoices in giving and taking hard knocks, and the brave man is joyous.” -Magick Without Tears, ch. 7


Crowley also writes, “Yet this I charge thee with my Might: Live Dangerously. Was not this the Word of thine Uncle Friedrich Nietzsche?” (Liber Aleph, ch.47) This mention of “live dangerously” is most likely a reference to The Gay Science (“the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is - to live dangerously ... “) although similar lines appear in Thus Spake Zarathustra.

Finally, Crowley also writes about Nietzsche's knowledge of going beyond opposites:
“It is characteristic of all high spiritual vision that the formulation of any idea is immediately destroyed or canceled out by the arising of the contradictory. Hegel and Nietzsche had glimmerings of the idea, but it is described very fully and simply in the Book of Wisdom or Folly.”
-The Book of Thoth


From these quotations it should be apparent that Crowley not only knew Nietzsche's writings fairly well for his time but was greatly influenced by them. He hailed Nietzsche not only as a Gnostic Saint of the E.G.C. but also a prophet of the Law of Thelema, a title Crowley did not throw around lightly.

* * * * * *

Jim Eshelman wrote:
AliceKnewIt wrote:How would you compare Nietzsche's concept of Will to the Thelemic concept of Will?

Nietzsche's concept was the old fashioned delusion of personality based will.


No, it wasn't. It is unfortunate that you appear to have such a complete misunderstanding of his notion of Will, as you are missing out on a lot of Nietzsche's genius. See above.

Q789 wrote:Yes i like that Jim and the end of his life seems to prove it.


People say the same about the way Crowley died. It's no argument against the validity of someone's philosophy. That is what philosophers call the "ad hominem" fallacy.

A common thing that I hear from some Thelemites is that "Nietzsche was good when I was a teenager, but I grew out of him." Problem is that Nietzsche is too dense and profound for any teenager to truly grasp, especially with no knowledge (let alone extensive knowledge) of Western philosophy required to see his genius in terms of philosophy. The same thing is said of Crowley, and we know that Crowley, although he can be, is more than an adolescent wet-dream... and so is Nietzsche.

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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby AliceKnewIt » Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:27 am

Thank you, IAO131, for your thorough answer.

Someday, when I have time :?: , I will read at least some of Nietzsche and come to my own conclusions.

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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby danica » Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:25 pm

I'll side with Jim on this.
without quoting at length (all Nietzsche's books I have are in Serbian, and it is not worth bothering to translate parts of them now, to 'prove' the point) I'll just say that the basic problem with Nietzsche's work, and his essential difference from Thelema, is the lack of Love - there's no Neshamah in his concept of human being, noting higher than the 'I'; basically, he sees the ego as the source of power.
I would say that he did not understand the Self - Non-self dialectic, the necessity of Other which is ultimately higher/different than the I-consciousness of Ruach - necessity of that for Ruach itself.
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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby gmugmble » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:18 pm

So who can recommend a good biography of Nietzsche?
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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby Mephisto » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:32 pm

IAO131 wrote:Nietzsche's idea was often termed the "Will-to-Power," and he saw the entire world as manifestations of this Will. All things - humans included - are expressions of this Will-to-Power. The difference is that Thelema views the nature of Will not as Power (one thing triumphing over another) but as Love (one thing uniting with another). They are actually very, very similar - he even calls it the "procreative life-will" in Thus Spoke Zarathustra (in one translation).


This and what follows is probably the most fair and objective assessment--in a nutshell--of a very complex, talented, and tortured genius who wrote some of the most inspired works of literature ever penned.

He stands alongside Crowley as one of the greats of world literature. Nietzsche's mastery of language was equal to that of Goethe's; he had the ability to pack so much subtlety into a phrase, a sentence, a book. Thus Spake Zarathustra is his masterwork and is worthwhile assimilating. Those who decry the man out of hand are no better than the Crowley-bashers who know so little of the man's work but yet seem to take a perverse pleasure in denigrating (I love that word) the man's character and value as an author.

It is safe to say that Nietzsche's influence as a philosopher/author and importance as a figure in world events is equal to or greater than Crowley's. The two have a great deal much in common ideologically: the ideas of Will and slave mentality crop up again and again. I am too lazy/haven't the time to write the man a good apology (in the Greek meaning of Apologia), but suffice it to say that Nietzsche's works have that mysterious quality of rendering fecund one's own mind by virtue of their merit. Whatever his failings in the realm of sanity, Nietzsche documented a tragic descent into the Abyss of Personality that is not only poignant and inspired, but often pure genius. That being said, some of his work is embarrassingly sophomoric and self-centered (again, much like Crowley).

It pains me to see the fellow dismissed out of hand. "The Antichrist," another of his masterworks, is the most perfect and brilliant and amusing polemic against Christianity ever written. And let us not forget that although the man was a stark Anti-Anti-Semitist, his ideas much influenced German culture and ideology and did much to influence the first two World Wars.

I could go on...

In closing, one should not judge a book by its cover. Many of our great geniuses found themselves in the asylum.

gmugmble wrote:So who can recommend a good biography of Nietzsche?


Walter Kaufmann is undoubtedly the best translator and biographer as far as Nietzsche is concerned. His translation of Faust is also not half bad.
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Re: Nietzsche & Will?

Postby chris S » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:15 pm

What do (you) people think of the idea of the Greaco warrior class as having no concept of "evil"? Everything aggressive, wealthy, healthy and uplifting was considered to be "good" whereas the opposites were considered, "bad".

I'd have to say that most of the history of the Greek warrior class has been written through the prejudicial eye of the Athenians.. a bit like trying to understand Africa based on colonial records.
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