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How Nietzsche made me 'not a Jungian'


rhlangan
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My view of Nietzsche was mainly through Lucy Huskinson's work on Jung and Nietzsche--as well as Jung's reading of Nietzsche-- and so I was missing something. Reading Nietzsche directly, I saw that 'God is dead' and 'Apollo vs Dionysus' was barely scratching the surface, and Nietzsche's philosophy was less about demolition than it was construction and honesty in motive, especially pertaining triumph of active forces over ressentiment and bad passions.  There is something in Nietzsche that is very visceral, almost Whitehead-ish at times--he's constantly talking of differences of forces and processes, rather than post-hoc static study of things. There's a passage somewhere in Beyond Good & Evil, I forget where, where he sort of 'gives away the game' of what he's doing and defines the Will to Power as these sort of forces; or rather, he states, quasi-hypothetically, "If I were to define the Will to Power as this...". And from that moment on I realized he was as very much covertly systematic as I think Deleuze or Bergson or any of those guys are, once you pull back the rhetoric. They're building something that requires the archetype, the virtual, the active... whatever you want to call it... both within and without, a concrete universal of the world. I think reading Nietzsche directly sort of gave me the confidence to consider all that without Jung as the foundation for me, if that makes sense. 

I think that all resonates a lot with what's in Jung, but not starting with the container of 'mind' to get there, which in some ways becomes even more liberating I think, in the same way archetypes being found in nature 'frees' them from futile talk about "do we find them in genes? Or brain structures? Or...". I think all that talk is a waste of time, anymore than trying to find genes for broad personality features often is dubious. I think that 'passage' into the world is what a lot of us who study Jung juxtaposed against another philosopher--whether it be Spinoza, Schelling or Deleuze- are after. Unrelated but I should also note that a 'whole that is never reached' is a very Deleuzian idea as well (The Virtual Idea is never finished). 

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Thank god I am Jung and not a Jungian. --CG Jung

In truth, there was only one Christian and he died on the cross. --Nietzsche

If it requires a uniform, it's a worthless endeavor. --George Carlin

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On 9/15/2017 at 4:58 PM, rhlangan said:

Reading Nietzsche directly, I saw that 'God is dead' and 'Apollo vs Dionysus' was barely scratching the surface, and Nietzsche's philosophy was less about demolition than it was construction and honesty in motive

i havent read Nietzsche for some time but alwaysthought he was all about nihilism and the destruction of the established order?  

We need to teach children how to think rather than what to think. – Margaret Mead

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On 9/17/2017 at 2:12 PM, NotWithoutMyOntic said:

i havent read Nietzsche for some time but alwaysthought he was all about nihilism and the destruction of the established order?  

He certainly is, but in some ways (at least in my reading of Nietzsche, which is heavily influenced by Kaufmann and Deleuze) all that is serving a deeper agenda. Nietzsche's motive does not seem to me to necessarily be about upheaval--in fact, in many cases he would probably hold revolution in contempt. To be sure, in his own time he seems to have deplored the direction of German and European culture, and in many ways he's lamenting humankind's ill-preparation for modernity... When he says "God is dead, and we have killed him," I have always viewed that as him saying: Are you prepared for the consequences of the death of religion? Of the death of an ideal master? Or will we just settle for mediocrity and safety, why he was skeptical not only of socialism, but in some ways democracy too? 

For Nietzsche, a lot of anger people hold towards power structures potentially comes out of reactionary force--i.e., a constant occupation to being acted upon by something 'greater' than us. The inability to let go of these 'traces' of reactionary forces is why Nietzsche says the faculty of forgetting is very important, and highly underrated in the constitution of a healthy individual! The bitter individual never forgets. 

This leads down the path of ressentiment. The resentful person accuses the active force that has afflicted them of a wrong doing, and creates a fiction in which that active force could have chosen to do otherwise. So for instance, Nietzsche uses the example of the lamb and the eagle. The lamb accuses the eagle of choosing to hunt (as if it could choose otherwise), and this also lets the lamb assume a moral highground by pointing it chooses not to hunt (as if it could choose otherwise). This fictional process eventually is turned inward (Bad Conscience and Infinite Guilt), and this is also basically the road on a 'Will to Nothing', or nihilism. Not what Nietzsche endorses. 

Please note that this talk of lamb and eagle, master and slave, obviously beckons the idea that only the powerful in a pejorative sense can succeed-which is obviously what can make Nietzsche appealing to the wrong crowds. But both Deleuze and Nietzsche insist that the desire to rule over others always comes from a place of reactive force. I sometimes wonder if this is a little too optimistic, and it's interesting elsewhere that Nietzsche accuses Spinoza--who has an awfully similar system in his philosophy--of being too naive about the difference between active and passive affects (which is tantamount to Nietzsche's active and reactive forces). 

Which brings us to active forces. Active forces come from within, and are based on 'what a thing can do'. The eagle hunts. The lamb grazes. But such capacities aren't always known or defined, which is why experimentation is important to Nietzsche and Deleuze (and Spinoza too, really). This is, in Deleuze's philosophy, akin to partitioning the actual from the virtual (and thus forgetting the true genesis of things in our world). 

To live from the position of active force is the affirmative Will to Power. And Nietzsche is asking us to always evaluate from forces that truly appropriate something, to evaluate whether it comes from an active or reactive place. The 'transvaluation of values'. That, I think, is the real objective of Nietzsche's project. But again, I'm coming from a very Deleuze-influenced reading of Nietzsche, others may differ.

 

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Thank god I am Jung and not a Jungian. --CG Jung

In truth, there was only one Christian and he died on the cross. --Nietzsche

If it requires a uniform, it's a worthless endeavor. --George Carlin

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On 9/18/2017 at 5:48 PM, rhlangan said:

Nietzsche says the faculty of forgetting is very important, and highly underrated in the constitution of a healthy individual! The bitter individual never forgets. 

I have more I want to say about this response, but right now I'm sitting in Saskatoon International Airport, which is anything but an intellectually stimulating environment. O.o

For now, just a personal remark: I used to be against forgetting anything that happened in my life - even if it was painful, at times I would insist on making myself remember, repeat (but perhaps not work through, to use Freud's rubric) painful events in the belief that it would some how benefit me in the future (the perfer et obdura, dolor hic tibi proderit olim approach).  But as one gets older, one (in one's wisdom, I would agree with Nietzsche) I have less and less issues with forgetting the painful and traumatic experiences in my life.  Maybe that's where meditation is on to something - forgetting the tribulations of consciousness in the name of connecting with a rejuvenating life force (which I wonder wasn't at the heart of The Birth of Tragedy).

On 9/18/2017 at 5:48 PM, rhlangan said:

he resentful person accuses the active force that has afflicted them of a wrong doing, and creates a fiction in which that active force could have chosen to do otherwise. So for instance, Nietzsche uses the example of the lamb and the eagle. The lamb accuses the eagle of choosing to hunt (as if it could choose otherwise), and this also lets the lamb assume a moral highground by pointing it chooses not to hunt (as if it could choose otherwise). This fictional process eventually is turned inward (Bad Conscience and Infinite Guilt), and this is also basically the road on a 'Will to Nothing', or nihilism. Not what Nietzsche endorses

Source please?  :book2:

When a book and a head collide and a hollow sound is heard, must it always have come from the book? -- Lichtenberg

 

 

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17 hours ago, Gord Barentsen said:

 

Source please?  :book2:

The 'typology' of ressentimment is covered mainly in Genealogy of Morals, with the stuff on ressentiment IIRC in 10-12 of the first essay. But a lot of it is baked into Beyond Good & Evil as well, and naturally Deleuze's Nietzsche & Philosophy is a good compass to work with (for me). 

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Thank god I am Jung and not a Jungian. --CG Jung

In truth, there was only one Christian and he died on the cross. --Nietzsche

If it requires a uniform, it's a worthless endeavor. --George Carlin

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On 9/21/2017 at 12:07 PM, rhlangan said:

The 'typology' of ressentimment is covered mainly in Genealogy of Morals, with the stuff on ressentiment IIRC in 10-12 of the first essay. But a lot of it is baked into Beyond Good & Evil as well, and naturally Deleuze's Nietzsche & Philosophy is a good compass to work with (for me). 

Thanks for this @rhlangan.  I haven't read all of Nietzsche and Philosophy, but there is a particularly pithy quote I remember which frames Nietzsche as a thinker of forces, intensities, and potencies.

We will never find the sense of something (of a human, a biological or even a physical phenomenon) if we do not know the force which appropriates the thing, which exploits it, which takes possession of it or is expressed in it. [. . .] All force is appropriation, domination, exploitation of a quantity of reality. Even perception, in its divers aspects, is the expression of forces which appropriate nature. That is to say that nature itself has a history. The history of a thing, in general, is the succession of forces which take possession of it and the coexistence of the forces which struggle for possession. The same object, the same phenomenon, changes sense depending on the force which appropriates it. History is the variation of senses. [. . .] Sense is therefore a complex notion; there is always a plurality of senses, a constellation, a complex of successions but also of coexistences.[1]

There's obviously a lot to be said here about sense as well, which i think would be a topic unto itself!

Footnotes

  1. ^ Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, 1962, trans. Hugh Tomlinson (New York: Columbia UP, 1983), 4-5; my italics.
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When a book and a head collide and a hollow sound is heard, must it always have come from the book? -- Lichtenberg

 

 

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