Wednesday, December 05, 2007

V. Afterword

Fraser’s theory of time shows us just to what extent TSZ is about time. And we can now see that the eternal return is the experience of time one has as one descends and ascends through the umwelts of time – a fractaline experience of time – leading Nietzsche to see the world as fractal, a world of strange attractors (will to power), dissipative structures, and butterfly effects nearly a century before chaos theory gave (other) words and images to what Nietzsche was trying-to-say in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. This, the eternal return, the fractal nature of the world, where things like good and evil and truth and goals are seen to be strange attractors that cannot be reached (and also cannot be reconciled with one another, but must remain in continual conflict), but which must be affirmed for our world to exist (the result of which is tragic morals, since the bad must be affirmed with the good for the good to exist at all), but which make us try-to-say them, is also the image of the creator creating – new art, new metaphors, new ideas, new goals and values (the children of deep eternity) – forced to create by the pull of the strange attractor, the thing, the nothing, the creator – and Nietzsche among them – saw in the abyss, the place where one descends, not to empty oneself, as Zarathustra mistakenly believes one can at the beginning of TSZ, but to get oneself filled. We have suggested, through feeding what we learned about the eternal return’s tragic understanding of time back into our scientific understandings of time, possible explanations for the nature of strange attractors and how quantum entities can give rise to a world of solid-state physics.

We can also now see that TSZ is a work about what a person must go through, what one must undergo, in order to become a creator of new values. That is the eternal return – the image of the creator creating (procreating, recreating). One has to recognize the tragic, fractal dimensions of the world to create in this way. It is important to clarify what one means by creator here, too. One is not talking about a mere craftsman, someone who has technical ability to paint or to write a story. This is the Apollonian (perhaps the Socratic) element of art – techne is important, but hardly enough. This is the technical, the scholarly, the scientific (as technicians) aspect of art and of our experience of the world. It is the part that can be taught, the part Universities are for, since the University can only give skills (the Socratic) – it cannot give insight. TSZ is about that part of existence which cannot be taught, but which can only be experienced in order to be known. It is about the Apollonian and the Dionysian. The Dionysian especially is precisely that aspect of art and the experience of the world which cannot be taught, because it cannot be said. It is the unteachable and the unsayable. It can only be shown, and poorly. It can only be tried-to-be-said or tried-to-be-shown, but cannot be said or shown (physis loves to hide), for if it could be said or shown, the creators would just say or show it with clarity and finally find relief and contentment (as would the world). But they cannot find contentment, for “the hidden attunement [harmonie] is better than the obvious one” (Heraclitus, K LXXX) – and they are among the most noetic of us all. It is the element present in the great artists and creators, the thing that makes Picasso a great artist, and the hordes of high school art students lost to history.

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