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The Madness of Nietzsche
November 1, 2009, 4:40 am
Filed under: poignant strokes | Tags: , ,

“It is the chaos in your soul that gives birth to a dancing star.”

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher, a philologist with a devout hausfrau for a father, and a staunch disbeliever in Christianity who wrote startlingly brave and anti-establishment works using contradictory metaphors and aphorisms to thrust his philosophies into the unthinking minds of the society. “It is the chaos in your soul that gives birth to a dancing star” is a clear depiction of the madness of Nietzsche.

Chaos. It is a beautiful word. In my mind, this unassumingly powerful word spawns images of a lethal biochemical experiment gone dangerously wrong; the darkest of demons devouring the dreams of demigods; intellectual debates amongst emaciated and unwanted old men on the “evil of goodness and the goodness of evil”; love in the time of the Armenian genocide; the war between gods and goddesses. Chaos – the conflict between the wrong that feels right and the right that feels wrong.

It is the chaos in your soul that gives birth to a dancing star but it is the strangling of freedom that gives birth to the chaos in your soul. Freedom is a sweet thing but absolute freedom is the sweetest, the most unadulterated thing of them all. When absolute freedom is tugged at the leash, then the first sparks of the blazing conflagration of chaos is ignited but when freedom – just freedom with all its many tubes plugged onto the body as if it is on life support (and indeed, what is a life without freedom?) – is strangled, then chaos is unleashed.

History is strewn with men and women who have had their right to freedom – the freedom to practice, preach or profess any religion; the freedom of speech and expression; the freedom to be whoever they wished to be – chained to an iron ball. While that precious prerogative of mankind struggled to free itself of its chains, slowly but determinedly, the hemlock of hatred and the venom of vengeance filled their veins until their bodies could take the overwhelming passion of poison no more. Thus, chaos ripped apart the body of its breeder and manifested itself in the dancing stars – the artistically and intellectually non-conformist works of the breeder which earned him or her bread and bagel.

Nietzsche is one such neurotic genius who gave birth to a “dancing star” – Thus Spake Zarathustra. “God is dead.” The finality of those words, in an era where the zeitgeist was Christian fundamentalism, sent a shudder throughout the religious circles for they felt that it annihilated their very existence. What Nietzsche meant by this was that the world needed to stop taking religion as the reason behind and the answer to everything. Their angst further augmented, religious fanatics condemned Nietzsche to hell for his brilliant philosophies on existentialism and postmodernism, all of which were alien to their opium-clouded minds, for in that era, religion was the opiate of the masses. At this curse, I can only imagine an unshaven and haggard Nietzsche bellowing with laughter for to him, there was no such thing as hell. He also dared to say that there is only one true Christian in this world but unfortunately, he died on the cross a long, long time ago. Piteous, indeed.

What led this progressive-thinking philosopher to write about what he did was the chaos in his soul. Living in a tightly-bound Christian society and being brought up by pious female relatives, Nietzsche was thirsty for differences in opinion; for the freedom to not conform to everyone’s way of thinking; for the right to think like an individual and not what political diktats coerce you into thinking. He was aware that these simple joys would not be granted to him easily so he went against the whole godforsaken (pun intended) system which resulted in brilliant philosophical masterpieces. Today, Friedrich Nietzsche is a hero for many free-thinking individuals throughout the world who feed the chaos in their souls with his philosophies, thus, giving birth to a constellation of dancing stars embedded in the night skies of non-conformity.

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chaos of colours

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