Saturday, May 02, 2009
Chesterton v. Nietzsche
I have never exactly excelled at linear thinking. Instead my thought process feels like several intersecting squiggly lines, all tangled together but occasionally coming together in some unity. As a result I am rarely just reading one book, but three or four- floating between volumes with little to no distinguishable pattern. A benefit of this is that on occasions I will find that two authors seem to be interacting either with each other or similar ideas.
Take for instance this quote from Nietzsche in Thus Spake Zarathustra
"The work of a suffering and tortured God did the world then seem to me... This world, the eternally imperfect, an eternal contradiction's image and imperfect creator: thus did the world once seem to me... Ah, ye brethern, that God whom I created was human work and human madness, like all the Gods!" (27)
Chesterton shows where this line of thinking inevitably leads:
"those seekers after the Superman who are always looking for him in the looking-glass, those writers who talk about impressing their personalities instead of creating life for the world, all these people have really only an inch between them and this awful emptiness... The stars will be only dots in the blackness of his own brain; his mother's face will be only a sketch from his own insane pencil on the walls of his cell. But over his cell shall be written, with dreadful truth, "He believes in himself." (31)