Bakker and Nietzsche

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« on: May 14, 2013, 09:31:34 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
My second "Bakker and.." thread.

What influences from Nietzsche's philosophy can we see in Bakker's books, and what parallels?

The most obvious one is Kellhus and his embodiment of the Nietzschean overman, a person who is totally unbound by morality and has complete control over himself, letting him control others. If I remember right, the first PON book opens with a Nietzsche quote.

Any other ideas?

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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 09:31:41 pm »
Quote from: Galbrod
This is a great thred to start! In addition to the series opening up with a Nietzsche quote (as mentioned above), the books are packed with ideas and concepts that are (in my mind) close to the reasoning of Nietzsche. You can for example compare the central theme of before-after in the series to the following ideas of Nietzsche:

"Cause and effect: such a duality probably never exists; in truth we are confronted by a continuum out of which we isolate a couple of pieces, just as we perceive motion only as isolated points and then infer it without ever actually seeing it. The suddenness with which many effects stand out misleads us; actually, it is sudden only for us. In this moment of suddenness there are an infinite number of processes which elude us. An intellect that could see cause and effect as a continuum and a flux and not, as we do, in terms of an arbitrary division and dismemberment, would repudiate the concept of cause and effect and deny all conditionality."

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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 09:31:46 pm »
Quote from: Meyna
+1 Galbrod. Wow. I never thought the Nietzschean undertones were so strong in the Dunyain philosophy.

+1 Auriga, too, for starting the thread and making the original connection.

Ninja Edit: Overman and Uberman are the same thing :lol:

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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 09:31:50 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
Quote from: Meyna
Wow. I never thought the Nietzschean undertones were so strong in the Dunyain philosophy.

Yeah, the Dûnyain ideology is fairly Nietzschean - they've taken his premise of "God is dead, so there is no true morality other than rational self-interest" to its logical extreme. They also seem to follow Nietzsche's idea that true enlightenment can't be attained humanely, so they've bred themselves into something beyond human. And, like true ubermenschen, they've erased all ethics and morals in themselves, which are just obstacles in their path to the Logos.

(Of course, you can argue that there's no such thing as a totally amoral organism, just as there's no such thing as an absolutely indifferent mind. Life is a manifestation of need, after all, and so it is by definition caring. Even if this care and love is only towards the self.)

Nietzsche also said this, in his "Beyond Good and Evil":

I never tire of underlining a concise little fact which these superstitious people are loath to admit — namely, that a thought comes when “it” wants, not when “I” want . . .

So, the Dûnyain are turning themselves into self-controlled minds who have thoughts only when and how they want. Kellhus is pretty much the embodiment of what Nietzsche called the "Apollonian" soul - the will to overcome, to dominate, to force chaos into order.

(Cnaiur, on the other hand, is closer to what Nietzsche called the "Dionysian", the irrational and disorderly. He's described in pretty Nietzschean terms - we hear that Cnaiur "looks down on all outlanders as though from the summit of some godless mountain.")

Quote
Overman and Uberman are the same thing


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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 09:32:00 pm »
Quote from: Madness
That quote from Beyond Good and Evil is the Nietzsche quote from the beginning of TDTCB ;).

That cat should be an emoticon.

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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 09:32:04 pm »
Quote from: Bakker User
Quote from: Auriga
(Of course, you can argue that there's no such thing as a totally amoral organism, just as there's no such thing as an absolutely indifferent mind. Life is a manifestation of need, after all, and so it is by definition caring. Even if this care and love is only towards the self.)

Though couched in somewhat different terms, this is essentially one of the biggest puzzles about the Dunyain for me, especially given Bakker's other writing.

But I should bring up another thread for that.

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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 09:32:09 pm »
Quote from: Galbrod
Life would only be a manifestation of need under the condition that identity is established which, in its turn, require memory. If there is no recollection of events leading up to a certain point in time, even caring for one self becomes an impossibility. Thus the tragic fate of the nonmen erratics and their (from the outside) gradually more depraved behaviour becoms a rather natural effect of their lapse of memory - moving from caring individuals (even if only caring for themselves) towards step by step transforming into beings of pure becoming.

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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 09:32:14 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
Quote from: Galbrod
Life would only be a manifestation of need under the condition that identity is established which, in its turn, require memory. If there is no recollection of events leading up to a certain point in time, even caring for one self becomes an impossibility. Thus the tragic fate of the nonmen erratics and their (from the outside) gradually more depraved behaviour becoms a rather natural effect of their lapse of memory - moving from caring individuals (even if only caring for themselves) towards step by step transforming into beings of pure becoming.

Tr00 dat. In many ways, the Nonmen's loss of memory is a form of death. Their personalities are lost, to the point that they become beings that only experience but don't really live, since they don't have any true "self" as a point of reference.

(Which is also why I find most ideas about the afterlife a bit dumb. There is obviously something beyond death, but it won't really be me experiencing it, since all my physical senses and memory will be gone. What makes us into who we are, after all, is just configurations of neurons. The atheist fear of "eternal darkness after death" is equally stupid, since I won't have a physical mind that experiences this black void. I do believe in a continued existence after death, in some state or other, but the "self" will have transformed into something else. Anyways, I'm just rambling here, and this convo about death and the afterlife is a bit off-topic to my Nietzsche-thread.)

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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 09:32:19 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
Any more thoughts on Nietzschean themes in PON?

IMO, there's a pretty interesting parallel between Nietzsche's fate and Kellhus' at the end of TTT. As we all know, Nietzsche went insane at the end of his life when trying to rewrite the superego (as his worldview was all about gaining mastery and  freeing the individual from the restraints of the ego).

Similarly, Moenghus says that Kellhus has gone insane from seeing the Thousandfold Thought. To us readers, it seems that Kellhus is the height of sanity and pure reason, but Moenghus might prove to be right. Did this also remind you guys of Nietzsche?

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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 09:32:24 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Quote from: Auriga
Tr00 dat. In many ways, the Nonmen's loss of memory is a form of death. Their personalities are lost, to the point that they become beings that only experience but don't really live, since they don't have any true "self" as a point of reference.

This - this is what led to my if Dunyain conditioned Ishual and taught them [beings that only experience but don't really live] that they could develop new entities [self as a point of reference], diminishing or living off of the pain of their "past" selves - the "selves" of the original Nonmen.

Also, I apologize, Auriga, I just don't know enough/haven't understood enough Nietzsche to really comment.

What you write seems internally valid though :).

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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 09:32:30 pm »
Quote from: Callan S.
Quote
Overman and Uberman are the same thing

(I think it's Neil Cassidy's cat)

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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 09:32:35 pm »
Quote from: Meyna
Quote from: Callan S.
Quote
Overman and Uberman are the same thing

(I think it's Neil Cassidy's cat)

Linking to that site is broken, it seems. Here is the image again:

Anyway, I do hope I'm right in thinking that there are no differences between Overman and Uberman, save translation the cat picture captured my reaction, in any case  :D