Friday, 26 February 2010

Nietzsche and Conscience

Opening randomly the book Nietzsche in Turin, I met the line talking of Ecce Homo, "In Nietzsche's case he makes himself fearless, noble, without psychological murk, combative, untainted by Christian notions of sin and conscience."
The idea here is of the idea of sin and conscience as being diseased false impositions on the free self. While the inculcation of feelings of guilt regarding one's very human existence, as with much of traditional organised religion, is of course just so diseased, still the existence of conscience as a reaction to 'sin' is an inseparable aspect of being human. The conscience is the barometer to our self-realising. Just as action and reaction exists in the physical domain, the same applies in the inner sense. For a human to be not possessed of a conscience would be to be a diabolical automaton, who for instance could sexually abuse a child, and feel no inner consequent reality. The whole attempt to deny the existence of sin and conscience is an infantile form of materialism where the world of cause and effect, held so very dear, comes to a total stop where the world of consciousness is concerned. Cause and effect are attempted to be done away it in the field of consciousness.

I've written here in earlier pieces on gnosticism, where the individual flees from 'flawed' human existence back into a spiritual perfection, and Nietzsche's here, as is the general attempt to deny the existence of sin, is a similar, more contemporary form of this same fleeing. Rather than face a world that includes pain, sorrow, etc., one attempts to deny these impediments' very existence, thus leaping over these obstacles to one's perceived happiness. However the famous Beyond Good and Evil is very much a manifestation of evil if one sees its necessary implications where the most evil actions like child abuse and mass murder are excused as not evil at all. Rather than a freedom beyond the concepts of good and evil, it is more a case of Beneath Good and Evil. The man in truth of course doesn't need those concepts to be in truth, it is an inner living truth rather than an ideologically sustained one, but the concepts themselves do refer to genuine realities, and the attempt to deny this is as said the modern equivalent of the gnostic unable or unwilling to cope with reality fleeing from existence into a spiritually immature version of same, where an intrinsic aspect of being, the conscience, is declared to be hacked off, and that the words 'good' and 'evil' simply don't refer to any external reality, that they are essentially unreal words. And the reality is anyone who does behave in a diabolical fashion in his actions can but reap in his inner world what he sows, as shown in a work like Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. The self is infallible, one is exactly as one is.

One final tangential observation, a while back having just read Dostoevsky's The Idiot, and then dipping into Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, what an ugly impression Nietzche's work made, where things like love and compassion are themselves described as diseased, weak phenomena; Neitzsche painting himself into an ever narrowing ideological corner whose false dimensions cannot but eventually collapse in upon themselves.

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