Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

> Scholars still debate what Nietzsche had in mind. A physically stronger being? [..] A kind of cyborg?

Nevermind scholar, what person who actually read Nietzsche seriously considers either of those? I would really like to see a source for this other than pop culture. Even "spiritual aristocrat" is weird, "spiritual athlete" would make more sense to me (even though it still wouldn't really say anything).

Consider the opposite of the Übermensch, the "last man": http://thelastmanonearth.blogspot.com/2009/03/nietzsche-and-...

Or this:

> Anyone who doesn't want to belong to the masses need only cease to go easy on themselves; let them follow their conscience, which cries out to them "Be yourself! You are none of those things that you now do, think, and desire." Every young soul hears this call night and day and trembles, for when it thinks of its true liberation, it has an inkling of the measure of happiness for which it is destined from eternity. As long as it is shackled by the chains of opinion and fear, nothing can help it attain this happiness. And how bleak and senseless this life can become without this liberation!

-- Friedrich Nietzsche

I don't know what the Übermensch is, I always read Nietzsche like a poetry collection anyway, rather than a coherent model, and I haven't read Nietzsche in ages -- but I am pretty sure being one's own person (which of course is different for everybody) is part of it.

The most consistent interpretation IMO is 'person who engages in self-mastery to overcome obstacles'.

I think that interpretation also jives with why he was so critical of pity and humanism: because he genuinely believed that some suffering is needed because overcoming obstacles through exertion of the will is the only way for humanity to live a satisfying existence.

That's my $0.02 anyway...

The concept of self-mastery suggests that the outcome of the ancient dictum 'Temet nosce' (know thyself) is part of a (once well-known?) psychological process, of a liberation from ignorance.

I see an echo of that in Jung's 'individuation'. I see other echoes in Gurdjieff & Ouspensky's writings, in the efforts of the (non-materialist) alchemists, in Maslow's 'self-actualization', in Bucke's 'cosmic consciousness', etc ... and that's just in the West.

Huxley displays a somewhat more universal (but abstracted) outline of this constellation of efforts in his 1946 The Perennial Philosophy.

Long ago I waded (not very deeply) into N., but as I recall, he explored a lot more than this one idea. Maybe he's become most identified with it because its other numerous threads are too esoteric ... or concealed.

NB: One Jung take on Nietzsche (1936): https://www.philosopher.eu/others-writings/essay-on-wotan-w-...

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact