aristoi

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, self-mastery, growth, will, spirit, transcendence, passions, morality, aristoi, valuing, power, and self-delusion

The aristic thrust and conception of "contra natura" lie in our power finitely to extend our self-mastery, to GROW in will and spirit; but as Nietzsche repeatedly teaches in ZARATHUSTRA, such ends must be WILLABLE, achievable. There is nothing to be learned from the human-all-too-human impulse for self-deification or wholesale transcendence over the vicissitudes of life -- even though this aims at something contra natura, it is not truly concretely WILLABLE, it is just a fantasy of our imagination. We cannot BECOME a God. But we can learn to hold our deepest passions in check for the sake of a higher morality, if indeed we are aristoi. Willing and valuing must become an art, must be made consonant or coherent with the fabric of our natures. Mere megalomaniacal extravagance does not truly increase our charge of concentrated power; on the contrary it fires up our ambition with inflationary abstractions that give no traction or purchase to our actual wills. That way lies radical frustration and a metaphysics of depression: an inevitable life-pattern of self-delusion, as we suffer over and over from the necessity that "it would not be better if men got what they wanted," and yet will not permit ourselves ever to see or to learn anything from this self-deception and self-betrayal.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, wisdom, insight, aristoi, and ordinariness

Wisdom is the aristic craving for extraordinary insights, for incandescent revelations that have the power to burst through banausic and doulic ordinariness: wisdom is the lust to be transfigured, transvaluated.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, power, aristoi, society, enslavement, self-mastery, values, difficulty, and modernity

Just consider for a minute: look at the Many, the majoritarian cattle in every form of society who are governed by their own irrationalist beliefs and psychological needs and forces of social coordination with others (doxai). Taking control of the Many's always turbulent irrationalisms is child's play. They are the strata, the type most susceptible to enslavement not for accidental but for essential reasons. There is nothing whatsoever difficult in mastering or controlling them, and therefore it cannot be respected as any sort of value, especially not an aristic value. Values as ZARATHUSTRA argues are every people's ultimate concept of what is most difficult of all for them. What Nietzsche esteems, what in modern circumstances has come to seem "superhuman," is the aristic drive to accomplish what one judiciously recognizes as most difficult for oneself. "Power" is the natural reward or concomitant of those who struggle aristically to achieve the most contra-natural thing of all for human beings, self-mastery, the harnessing and knowing of the obscure forces that no one is in control of by birthright. There is no honor or valor in triumphing over defenseless and witless mentalities, regardless of the mass-numbers involved or the prodigious "power" (in the modern -- banausic -- sense) that results.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, character, personality, greatness, aristoi, challenge, will, and soul

Someone who has reduced his mind and life and soul and personality to meager or minor things -- someone marked by "mikropsychia" or in Latin "pusillanimitas" -- has a petty-souled outlook on life that no one but him ingrained in him. It is not great wealth or great power that makes a man "great," but "makropsychia" or "magnanimitas," great-souledness, a distinctively aristic virtue, a primal determination to rupture the finite and reductivist structures that habits and mechanical intellect tend to erect in our lives. The lust of most people to live in a trivialized and finitized or ordinarized world is patent; it is a way of achieving security, making oneself safe from threats, challenges, criticisms. And the lust of aristoi to live in a world of greatness, of monumental issues and questions that are made of the kind of bronze that will endure for ages to come, that is also patent: it is a way for capacious souls to furnish their minds with just the right scale or magnitude of challenges, of intellectual and moral instruments with the right heft for their wills to wield.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, sympathy, aristoi, shame, and characterology

The demand for sympathy is a major form of rhetorical ploy, freighted with massive ulterior motives: it is a way of shaming higher minds into not daring to characterize or recognize the actual nature of the most pathetic ("lowest," "basest" or "most ignoble") personalities among us; it is a way also of shaming aristoi about their very characterological imperative of being or becoming aristoi, of having the audacity to differ so profoundly from the ordinary self-expectations of humans in general. Sympathy for the most intellectually or rationally pathetic -- a kind of "blind shame" analogous to blind faith -- has become a premier weapon in the psychological class-warfare between one psyche-type and another.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

Syndicate content