Eternal Recurrence: keine Weltanschauung!

Correa&Correa (
Tue, 24 Jun 1997 13:57:17 -0500

The following was prompted by some of the interventions of Raggo and

Raggo wrote

>It doesn't justify life because it's an empty, profitless repetition. (...)
>It doesn't salvage anything for the next cycle but its own
>escessiveness, its lack of profit or return. It doesn't open any "other"
>possibility, any difference whatsoever which makes it strangely
>inconceivable, as what defies the finite repetitions required by language
>by projecting an infinity or eternity that doesn't enclose any identity
>but its vast and empty being.
>There is a
>radical impotence involved with ER that shakes our grasp upon the
>"honest, old ego", that makes such a thought unbearable and useless for a
>moralizing metaphysics, that makes it unreal, unsatisfying but for all
>that selective.

That life has no inherent meaning does not imply that Nietzsche's
evolving concepts of the cycle of eternal recurrence cannot open
differences in becoming, nor that being is empty for want of identity,
as Mr. Raggo seems to suggest ("empty repetition", "lack of return",
"doesn't open any other possibility", "empty being", "radical
impotence", "coldness and hardness of the ER as an abyss", all
definitions in the negative, by the negative...).

The concept of the cycle of the eternal recurrence we have put into
evidence in this forum in a previous post is idiosyncratic, but not to
Deleuze (as Mr. Rhodes pretends), rather, to Nietzsche. It directly
presents the positivity of being as the being of becoming (becoming
other). With the odd exception, this list in general assumes that by
the ER, Nietzsche only meant an endless repetition of the same and, at
that, the same reactions and their complexes. But this was merely
Nietzsche's point of departure for much deeper insights into the matter
of power, time and the will to life. Zarathustra only takes one to the
point of negation of all existing values, the values of reactive life
and the negation of reactive life itself, preparing solely the way for
double affirmation and the creation of new values. But the realization
of the pointlessness of the epiphenomena of reactive life (life reduced
to survival) does not imply that life itself is empty repetition, nor
that phenomena cannot be willed differently.

To will is to select forces and create values: that is the power of
active life. The rule of repetition, when thrown in with the attendant
horrors of the emptiness of survival and the irreversibility of time, is
a caution that should be urging each one to live by inventing the
moments of one's existence and by creating or embodying one's own
meanings. But the task is overhuman. At the limit, that rule itself is
what permits selecting out of existence and thus out of repetition the
basest or most malignant reactions. And this is the deeper meaning of
Nietzsche's thought on the eternal recurrence of affects: repetition of
the other. Most definitely - life need not be in vain! The point is
not that life needs justification, which it does not, but that it is
reactive life which is in vain, not life itself. Life is a test, an
experimentation that enables selection. Similarly, only for those who
pursue knowledge for knowledge's sake is all knowledge in vain. As much
as there is a life-denying morality, there surely is a life-affirming
ethos (Callihan is correct in viewing this as a matter of "natural
morality" that "selects for, rather than against, life", following
Nietzsche; but Callihan errs when he ignores that savage and nomadic
societies invented precisely the mores of a "natural morality", and
hence that this cannot be viewed as an aberration; that, is the optical
illusion of a Christian world. The aberration is precisely life-denying

"What in general is the purpose of morality_ if life, nature, and
history are 'non-moral'?"(GS, 344)

It follows that an actual grasp of the ER, as concept and percept,
stands for a radical displacement of one's assemblage focus, and can
serve as source of a radically new power in life. If Rhodes dislikes
Deleuze, it is solely because Deleuze - along with Klossowski, Bataille
and a handful of others- has had the courage to affirm the tremendous
positivity, originality and idiosyncrasy of Nietzsche's thought
regarding life, time, knowledge and power, the very same positivity so
easily ignored by his fans (those who use or used Nietzsche as a
catechism after the orgasm...) and his detractors alike, with their dim
and gloomy views. It is this positivity which most threatens the world
views of established values, not criticism of the latter. And it is the
same positivity which meets with the silence of Nietzsche's self-styled
enemies - as it has happened often enough, even in this forum.

The ER is not a vision of the world. It is either the world and its
life, or it is nothing. As for Nietzsche's philosophy, or thought,
specifically with respect to the ER, no one can claim it is other than
an open system of thought.

Lambda C in precessionary fall

PS - Let the fools cackle-
Of course, once gone into the intellectualoid interpretation of the ER
as an(other) ideology, it does not take long until some heideggerian
cryptic-o-marxistic chicken paints Nietzsche with "hen-sconsced
renaissance" while flattering himself with the most inadequate notion
that Nietzsche is "tricky and obscure" like the image of
his understanding, as when "the world was made a picture"...

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