"... the abyss will gaze back into you.”

June 4, 2015


“And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

__Friedrich Nietzsche


I was having dinner with a friend the other night who is well endowed (can I say that?) with metaphysical and philosophical wisdom…He is an erudite in almost all schools of abstract and transcendental thought…When he quoted Nietzsche he received my ‘Oh… we are not going to discuss the misogynistic musings of Friedrich’….glare…quickly he began to change the subject and I have to admit for a moment I was guilty of being unreceptive to new ideas …yet I was in the mood for a lively discussion…. so I acquiesced and asked him why he thought Nietzsche, who influenced so many great thinkers was accused of promoting misogynistic ideas.. He responded by telling me that my sentiment was not shared globally …and that he felt many female philosophers and writers interpret Nietzsche’s attitudes toward women as a way to open a discussion on the matrix men create and believe about women…He explained to me that Nietzsche had few friends of either gender and no genuine passionate relationship…My friend went on to say that Nietzsche was often quoted as saying that he was determine to live a single life because he detested the limitations and obligations of the whole civilized order of things….so he noted it would be difficult to find a woman free-spirited enough to follow his lead...It appears he felt that his views were beyond the comprehension of most women or far too radical for women to accept or be competent enough to follow…Nietzsche is deserving of some sympathy considering he was raised in a household of primarily women…perhaps this motivated his chauvinistic  attitude toward women…He seemed to be a very lonely person…almost tragic…There is no politically correct way to approach the writings of Nietzsche…except with an open mind and an appetite for  elusive theories and the ability to imagine a physical universe of perpetual struggle and force that repeatedly complete its cycle and returns to the beginning…


My friend and I went on to have a three hour debate on Nietzsche’s life …and in the process I remembered the first time I encountered the philosophy of Nietzsche and how enchanted I was by his books and by the writings of the many authors he influenced, especially Thomas Mann and Camus, but also Herman Hesse and Rilke…


Nietzsche said, “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”


Perhaps truth will always be subjective…always interpretive… but I know that I agree with Friedrich on one thing….”I would believe only in a god that knows how to dance.”


Gesso Cocteau….

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