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The Overcoming of the Superman

1,996 words

Translated by Bruno Cariou

The facility with which ideas lacking any real consistency sometimes acquire an evocative force, to the point of becoming a sort of alibi for the passions, is amazing: those who have held them to be true, experience them as such so vividly that they end up believing they have found confirmations of them in their own deepest experiences.

This can be said, for example, of evolutionism and Darwinism. The theory of the descent of man from the beast, and of the selection of the species through the affirmation of the strongest over the various conditions of the environment, through adaptation and hereditary transmission of acquired characters — this materialistic and anti-aristocratic myth of the scientism of yesterday — there isn’t anyone, now, who sees it as anything more than a wavering hypothesis, which has had its day, and which, as time goes by, is progressively stripped of its presumed ‘positive’ bases. Nevertheless, this theory, until yesterday, appeared to a whole generation almost as a revelation: not as an hypothesis among many others, to be considered and tested within the strictly scientific field, but rather as a new and certain vision of the world, an illuminating discovery, and a new consciousness acquired once and for all by mankind.

And here we find art such as that of Jack London, a typical example of the passionate alibi which we referred to. Jack London often makes us really live the theory of evolution and natural selection. Serving as the basis for his general conception of life, in a whole series of personages, vicissitudes, descriptions and episodes, it seems true, indeed obvious, to us. The evocative force of art makes it seem as if a world really existed, in which biological heredity, the instinct of conservation, and the struggle for existence were indeed the fundamental driving forces, and the supreme human type appears more or less as that of the magnificent beast, the animal which, in the fullness of all its energies and of all its vital instincts, has prevailed over everything, has resisted everything, moreover, as sum of a series of heredities transmitted to us through the dark ways of blood, from the primordial times of the savage dweller of forests and icy deserts, if not even of ferocious pre-humanity.

The atmosphere in which the myth of the ‘superman’ has taken shape and developed is not very different. This is due in part to Nietzsche himself. We say, in part, because the philosophy of Nietzsche is made up of elements which are much more heterogeneous and varied than most people realize. It is however undeniable that the evolutionist superstition, with its biological appendices, has greatly influenced one aspect of Nietzschean thought, which is far from peripheral, and which is naturally the worst. And it can be said that, until yesterday, what has been most widely understood in Nietzsche is generally this aspect, precisely because it was the one which was most directly connected to ideas prevalent in our time.

The Nietzschean theory of the ‘superman’ is an appendix of naturalism, and, as such, is something which belongs by now to the past, and, taken as it is, could only succeed in diverting the aspirations of the best of the new generation — to the extent that it begins and ends in the ‘religion of life’ or, better, in the ‘superstition of life’. This is how we think we should describe a conception at whose center lies pure vitality, in its simply biological meaning — which natural scientists consider from the outside, with the same methods as those they apply to matter, while ‘voluntarists’, ‘intuitionists’ and ‘actionists’ try instead to know it in the form of direct feeling, of the immediate data of consciousness. But, either way, this principle is purely animal, instinctive, pre-personal life, it is the root and the deep will of that in us which is merely body and nature.

Now, it seems that the conceptions of which we are speaking cannot see anything else in man, or that, if they do discern something else, they see it only as secondary and derivative with respect to ‘life’. The ‘I’, for them, is not a supernatural principle, it is not the expression of another reality, but is more or less the feeling of the vital force, a feeling which can be increased or diminished, fortified or exhausted.

It is solely from this that the famous Nietzschean concept of the “reversal of all values” — Umwertung aller Werte — and the consequent theory of power, originate and derive their meaning. A whole system of ethical, social and religious conceptions, according to this theory, conspired for centuries against ‘life’, and favored an ominous mis-selection, by exalting as value and spirit all that mortifies and emasculates instinct, that veils or lowers the feeling of the vital force. These conceptions are the values of ‘decline’ and ‘resentment’ announced by the slaves, the weak, the underprivileged, the outcasts of nature, who, through them, have overcome the basis on which, in strong and sound times, the superman, and the right of the superman as master of men, depended, and have prevailed. Nietzsche proclaims the revolt against these “values of decline”, unmasks their poisonous nature, and offers as principle of a new judgment the criterion that only what confirms the vital instinct, what justifies the vital instinct, what strengthens the vital instinct, whose maximum expression is for him the will-to-power, can be said to be true, moral, legitimate, spiritual and beautiful; that which detracts from life, limits life, condemns life and chokes off the will-to-power, is false, immoral, bad and subversive. A new religion of the will-to-power is proclaimed by Nietzsche, as prelude to the advent of a new age of the superman.

It must be recognized that, by “will-to-power”, Nietzsche does not mean solely the will to outer dominion, but intends also inner dominion. The superman is not only the dominator of men, but also the one who knows to render his own instincts, developed up to an elementary, frightening vehemence, subject also to his own absolute mastery, and yet not in the sense of choking them off, but rather of holding them, almost like wild animals, ready to release whenever he so desires. However, in both cases, that is, as dominator of himself, as also in the domination of the exterior world, in the aspect of Nietzsche’s philosophy which we consider here, the whole thing always ends up being reduced to mere feeling. The value of the will-to-power, arduously developed through the paths of both good and evil, through the most extreme tests, bounded only by the most insane limits, ruthless both towards itself and towards others — this value is always that of an increased and exacerbated feeling of ‘life’, and of an ‘I’ which draws its self-consciousness and its self-confirmation from nothing else but this wild feeling itself.

The wave swells, but does not find outlet, does not find transfiguration. Exasperation, basically, runs in neutral; asceticism is dark, almost ‘diabolical’, enjoying itself, devoid of superior meaning.

One commentator on Nietzsche, George Simmel, has spoken about vicissitudes in which the extreme intensity of life transforms itself and almost changes into a different quality, a ‘more-than-life’. But, in the world of the Nietzschean Superman, the premises for this to achieve reality are missing: there is lacking an idea, a point of reference, which acts, so to speak, as transformer in the circuit of life, and which actualizes it as ‘light’, as ‘super-life’ — as revelation and affirmation of everything supernatural. Apollo, that is, the Olympian principle, the Olympian superiority, interpreted by Nietzsche as a symbol of exteriority and unreality, always remains for him a danger, the enemy of Dionysos, that is, of life, the uncontrollable impulse of life, which gorges itself on itself, says ‘yes’ to itself, and does not want to be different from what it is, considering every after-life as an illusion and as an escape for impotent and sick people. The circle remains closed. And we remain convinced that, since he evoked, even though unconsciously and on the speculative plane, an apex of life to whose intensity only a supernatural point of reference could be adequate, and since he did not possess such a point of reference, so that this intensity, forced back in itself, so to speak, caused a short-circuit — we remain convinced that this situation was what really led Nietzsche to a tragic end, to madness.

If “man is something that must be overcome”, if “man is a bridge which leads from the beast to the Superman”, this overcoming, this passage, is illusory, unless one works from the premise of the existence of two opposite natures, two opposite worlds, and if one continues instead to consider ‘life’, and ‘life’ alone, in its various forms and intensities, as everything.

Today, racism seems to build upon the worst aspect of Nietzsche’s heritage, in that it tends to reduce every value to a biological basis, to make life, blood, and race the measure and condition of every spiritual form, and thus falls into a distorting reductionism which quite simply closes off the path towards true overcoming and true super-humanity.

What we consider to be the basis of value, and what was always traditionally considered to be such, is that ‘life’ is not spirit and spirit is not ‘life’, but that spirit gives shape to ‘life’, and that what in ‘life’ shows a truly superior and dominating character does not originate from ‘life’, but is a manifestation, through or by means of ‘life’, of spirit, that is, of everything supernatural. Once the true center is recognized in these terms, clearly the first pre-condition for any true overcoming is the gradual shift of one’s self-consciousness, one’s sense of one’s own ‘I’, from the pole of ‘life’ to the pole of ‘spirit’. Now, the various voluntarist, actionist, purportedly racist tendencies at work today are striving in precisely the opposite direction: by strengthening, using all possible means, the purely physical and ‘vital’ feeling of the ‘I’, they simultaneously strengthen the prison of the latter, and create a hardening, an insolence, an exasperating and materialistic perception of will, individuality, health and power, all of which represent so many obstructions to inner emancipation. And the circuits then remain closed. The point of reference for the ‘self-transformation’ of the ‘intensively lived life’ into ‘more-than-life’ is lacking. The Superman does not go beyond the “beautiful domineering beast” or the “demon” of Dostoevsky — this is the reductio ad absurdum of Nietzsche. Devoid of outlet, every evoked intensity cannot but give rise to a lacerating hypertension, internally — to the dumb tragedy which the ‘titan’ always bears in himself.

The true type of the Superman is, rather, Olympian: a calm greatness which expresses an irresistible superiority, something which terrifies and at the same time compels veneration, which prevails and disarms without fighting, establishing suddenly the feeling of a transcendent force, completely under control but totally capable of release, the wonderful and frightening sense which antiquity associated which the concept of the numen. Supra-life — that is, spirit, totally realized in its supernatural aspect — which permeates and governs absolutely everything which is ‘life’, is the substance here. But this type, the true Superman, cannot be treated merely as a construction of the thought of today. There is no great tradition of antiquity, whether of the East or of the West, which did not possess it. The tradition of the ‘divine right’ of the legitimate Kings, because they were the virile bearers of a force from above, is its last echo. To conceive the sudden re-emergence of this ancient conception, in a world where every great horizon was dead, where, to serve as immediate ideological substance for its incarnation, there were only the profane and opaque myths of evolutionism and natural selection, and a confused need for force and liberation — to conceive this is also to understand the invisible genesis of the theory of the Nietzschean Superman, its limit, and the path which can lead beyond it.

Source: http://thompkins_cariou.tripod.com/id82.html

 

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7 Comments

  1. Greg Johnson
    Posted February 10, 2011 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Why does complexity need to be explained? Why does it need to be explained in terms of the simple? Why is disorder more primordial than order? Scientific materialists carry around a huge number of metaphysical assumptions, and whenever these are challenged, they find it very difficult to even grasp that they are challenged to defend their discourse philosophically. Usually they just rant about the menace of mysticism and obscurantism.

  2. no
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    I should also like to add that it significantly undermines our own position, when we use facts and logic and evidence to debunk things such as “afro-centrism” and bogus black invention claims, as you have been doing on this site, only to turn around and promote anti-science quackery of the Evola variety.

    You can’t have it both ways: Evola’s account of human origins and pre-history is every bit as ludicrous as NOI’s evil scientist Yakub creating the white race. There’s zero evidence for either; though Evola’s myth is of greater antiquity, it still has nothing to back it up. If we have any integrity at all, we apply the same standards to ourselves as we apply to others when it comes to determining fact from fantasy: no “free rides” for those allegedly “on our side.”

    Evola and the other Traditionalist writers have interesting things to say, and some useful insights, but people who take the Traditionalists seriously on all issues, especially scientific issues, are not doing our side any favors. There is a role for these myths and legends and esoteric teachings but they shouldn’t be understood to trump actual facts we can ascertain with our own eyes and minds.

    We’ll start taking the Traditionalists seriously on scientific topics when they show an actual appreciation for what science actually is and how it works, and start demonstrating some actual scientific proofs and evidence for their claims about the origins of humanity and life in general. They haven’t done so; they haven’t even tried, because they reject the methodology of science out of hand.

    Since science isn’t what Traditionalists are about, perhaps they should consider not commenting on topics they obviously know nothing about – too late I understand for Evola; I’m speaking now to his fan club. You guys need to do better than this. A bit less uncritical praise and regurgitation of the dogmas of “the master” and a better integration of Traditionalism into a more realistic world view would be helpful. We whites really don’t need yet another oddball lunatic religious cult telling us what to do or how to think; that’s been tried too many times already with disastrous results.

    • Fourmyle of Ceres
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      It eems “The Overcoming of the Superman” requires the overcoming of the misunderstandings, errors, omission, and general straw men of others.

      Glad to oblige!

      no wrote:

      You can’t have it both ways: Evola’s account of human origins and pre-history is every bit as ludicrous as NOI’s evil scientist Yakub creating the white race. There’s zero evidence for either; though Evola’s myth is of greater antiquity, it still has nothing to back it up. If we have any integrity at all, we apply the same standards to ourselves as we apply to others when it comes to determining fact from fantasy: no “free rides” for those allegedly “on our side.”

      In reply, we can have it both ways, when the truth is seen through two lenses, one of the Mind – the material world – and one of the Soul – the spiritual world.

      Can you have water that is invisible?

      Yes – what’s in the atmosphere.

      Can you have water that is hard and solid?

      Yes, look at ice.

      Can you have water that is soft, and flows.

      Yes – turn on your faucet.

      The same substance, revealing different properties when subjected to different conditions.

      It is not by accident that the metaphor of water for the soul appears in the Bible, and many other spiritual texts.

      Evola, and other Traditionalists, ar describing the Fall and Transformation of Mankind; Humanity is a central point in this process.

      no wrote:

      We’ll start taking the Traditionalists seriously on scientific topics when they show an actual appreciation for what science actually is and how it works, and start demonstrating some actual scientific proofs and evidence for their claims about the origins of humanity and life in general. They haven’t done so; they haven’t even tried, because they reject the methodology of science out of hand.

      In reply, to the (politically correct!) scientific materialist, “there is only one Race, and that is the human Race.

      Yet, we see that there is a vertical component to Race; those who help us return to the Stars, and those who will stay trapped in the mud.

      Only one Race offers its posterity “Honor, Discipline, and the Stars.”

      Yet, you can not look at us externally, and see this.

      You must observe us by the results of our labors; from the frozen music of architecture to the transcendental tools of mathematics (used to form temporal tools of increasingly greater effectiveness, by the way).

      You see, when we refer to “science” we do not refer to “science” as something frozen at this stage of material development; rather, we speak of the intellectual honesty of hypothesis, test of hypothesis, form new hypothesis, test again, over and over, not until we get it “right,” but until we get it BETTER – “trial and error.”

      We pass that test daily. How many other Races even want to go to the Moon, much less the Stars? Such a “methodology of science” is seen by the remarkable results.

      no wrote:

      A bit less uncritical praise and regurgitation of the dogmas of “the master” and a better integration of Traditionalism into a more realistic world view would be helpful.

      In reply:
      THAT is part and parcel of the metapolitical project.

      We whites really don’t need yet another oddball lunatic religious cult telling us what to do or how to think; that’s been tried too many times already with disastrous results.

      In reply, “…another oddball lunatic religious cult…disastrous results.”

      Like Cosmotheism?

      We can learn from this.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted February 10, 2011 at 1:20 am | Permalink

      Some thoughts:

      (1) There is no “party” line here. Not all of the articles I deem fit for publication agree with one another or coincide with my thinking.

      (2) I see no reason not to publish articles on European folklore and myth.

      (3) I think that Darwinism in particular and scientific materialism in general have eminently questionable assumptions, and I am certainly not going to treat them as immune to criticism on this site.

      (4) You really don’t see how question-begging your approach is, by demanding the use of scientific method by those who question its scope and validity.

      (5) Personally I love Nietzsche, but Evola is a very challenging and profound critic.

      (6) You’ll love the next piece by Mike Bell that I plan to reprint here, on human devolution.

  3. no
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    This article right here demonstrates the complete incompetence of “Tradition” as espoused by Evola et al when it tries to “take on” modern science. “Iranian for Ayans” has nailed it, and “Fourmyle of Ceres’s” response is simply a gigantic “nuh-uh!”, sticking one’s finger’s in one’s ears and shouting “I can’t hear you!” over and over.

    If you simply admitted, as some “soft Traditionalists” (such as Joseph Campbell did), that you are indulging in myth making, that your myth is “true” in an entirely different sense from the sense that reality (and the tools used to discover and measure reality, ie science) is true, then you might be on to something. But no, you insist that your myth is “true” in the same sense that a literalist Bible-thumper insists that his myth is “true”, and that therefore science is false. And in doing so, you make yourself ridiculous to anyone who has even a shred of scientific knowledge.

    A true Aryan respects facts and the true nature of reality. Reality is that which continues to exist even when you cease to believe in it. Evolution is a fact, backed up by massive and mutually-reinforcing evidence from multiple fields of scientific study: geology, zoology, paleontology, genetics, cladistics, the fossil record, the geologic column, DNA sequencing; the list is endless and the evidence is constantly growing.

    If I ceased to believe in evolution, species would continue to evolve, fossils would continue to exist, and science would go on studying and discovering the facts of evolution. If you ceased believing in Evola’s mumbo-jumbo, nothing in the real world would change at all. Because there’s nothing there to change; reality is not as Evola described it. All that would change would be your interior mental state. That’s what a myth is: a “truth”, not a fact.

    It takes a titanic ignorance to simply sweep all of the science and evidence aside and substitute in its place an ancient middle eastern/Platonic theory of emanations as “fact” for which there is not a shred of evidence.

    Reality is that which continues to exist even when you cease believing it. Try it sometime: you’ll find out who it is who is really fooling himself.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted February 10, 2011 at 1:25 am | Permalink

      Who exactly are you accusing of Traditionalist fundamentalism here? Your whole obnoxious tirade is premised on the (false) notion that some horrible person at Counter-Currents is pushing some fundamentalist esoteric cult. Perhaps you need to praise reason less and use it more.

  4. Fourmyle of Ceres
    Posted February 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Some grab the bull by the horns.

    You guys grab the bull by the balls with this one.

    Books can profitably be written on each paragraph in this piece, but there is one section that I would like to deal with, as it ties [retty much directly into what must be one of the foundations of the metapolitical project, the recapturing, and transformation, of the Vital Masculine.

    Julis Evola wrote:

    But, in the world of the Nietzschean Superman, the premises for this to achieve reality are missing: there is lacking an idea, a point of reference, which acts, so to speak, as transformer in the circuit of life, and which actualizes it as ‘light’, as ’super-life’ — as revelation and affirmation of everything supernatural. Apollo, that is, the Olympian principle, the Olympian superiority, interpreted by Nietzsche as a symbol of exteriority and unreality, always remains for him a danger, the enemy of Dionysos, that is, of life, the uncontrollable impulse of life, which gorges itself on itself, says ‘yes’ to itself, and does not want to be different from what it is, considering every after-life as an illusion and as an escape for impotent and sick people. The circle remains closed.

    (emphasis added in bold)

    This is a concept of seminal importance, the closed circle of the static, stagnant, matriarchal social order, having the need for the masculine that men have for mules.

    Evola is leading towards a pivotal concept here, which is this:

    Just as the Soul creates the Mind, you can not use the Mind to conquer the Mind. An external force, literally streaming from above, must be used to transform the obstacle seen by the Mind, into the opportunity seen by the Soul, the opportunity for soul – spiritual – development.

    This is the Initiation event, which cascades out into Eternity, best described in Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, where Lt. Col. DuBois writes to Johnny Rico of “the hump” he had overcome, without realizing it at the time.

    Such events are required for boys to become men, and men to become leaders of men.

    This is the foundation for a wordless understanding that one is now operating on a higher level of Reality, and that (Dionysian!) childhood is at an end. One bonds oneself willfully to the fulfillment of a much greater purpose than one can comprehend at the time.

    The gelding of our sons – the literal destruction of our potential warrior/priest caste in the womb – will be worse for us than an attack with atomic weapons, for absent the Olympian merging of the priest and the warrior – the man of deep contemplation and the man of action unto conquest – we remain boys in the bodies of men, soft geldings who compensate for their lack of masculine certitude with an adoption of the manner of Form – playing HALO 3, and World of Warcraft for hours, in the safe online world – over the all but willful abrogation of the matter of Substance – transformation of the Lower Aspects of the Persona in trial by combat.

    Our women have implanted the personae of daughters in the minds of our sons, and really seem rather happy with this. This is the depth of the Culture War which was declared against us by the minions of The Destroyer, and to which we willfully sacrifice our posterity in the name of political correctness.

    Julis Evola wrote:

    And we remain convinced that, since he evoked, even though unconsciously and on the speculative plane, an apex of life to whose intensity only a supernatural point of reference could be adequate, and since he did not possess such a point of reference, so that this intensity, forced back in itself, so to speak, caused a short-circuit — we remain convinced that this situation was what really led Nietzsche to a tragic end, to madness.

    In reply, Nietzsche could not accept the feedback loop he saw before him, and could not see a way to break the circle with the (Masculine) staff of hierarchical organization, given his place and time.

    Such duties were met by those who worked with the young Chancellor in defining the NSDAP Cultural Moment.

    We can learn from this.

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