Saturday, December 31, 2011

Number Twenty-Nine

Die Hintergedanken, mit denen du das Böse in dir aufnimmst, sind nicht die deinen, sondern die des Bösen. Das Tier entwindet dem Herrn die Peitsche und peitscht sich selbst, um Herr zu werden, und weiß nicht, daß das nur eine Phantasie ist, erzeugt durch einen neuen Knoten im Peitschenriemen des Herrn.

The ulterior motives with which you absorb and assimilate Evil are not your own but those of Evil. >> The animal wrests the whip from its master and whips itself in order to become master, not knowing that this is only a fantasy produced by a new knot in the master's whiplash. [Kaiser/Wilkins]

The reservations with which you take Evil into yourself are not yours, but those of Evil. >> The animal twists the whip out of its master's grip and whips itself to become its own master -- not knowing that this is only a fantasy, produced by a new knot in the master's whiplash. [Hofmann]

Commentary

The section after the >> arrows is cancelled.

The first section, which I think tends to be overshadowed by the second: If you reject evil there is no need for argument about it. If you argue or struggle, you are already playing the game, bargaining, temporizing, parsing out your entitlements. The impulsive act is innocent, if not harmless, like the leopards entering the sanctuary. To reason about the wickedness of a possible act requires you to begin planning it.

The second section is like a rerendering of the slave rebellion as Nietzsche described it, although here it is the master who prevails. The point is that the slave doesn't overcome the master by force, because, in so doing, the slave becomes the master and the master the slave. Instead, the slave paralyzes the master with guilt and disgust, so the master doesn't act even though he can.

Linking these two sections together seems to require us to think of Evil as the master position, and that scourging ourselves is only another way to serve Evil, because we scourge ourselves in order to become our own Evil.

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