As the play of images on the surface of consciousness is translated into the sounds of words, concepts are formed by abstraction from individual images and are then used to construct a framework by means of which the dynamic manifold of experience can be controlled and made secure. This construction — which Nietzsche characterizes in magnificent imagery of pyramids, Roman columbaria, spiders’ webs, and bee hives — comes to stand on a foundation of “running water,” over the unstoppable flux of life. Experiential stability is achieved by virtue of ignoring the flow below:
Only by forgetting that primitive world of metaphor, only through the solidification and rigidification of a primordial mass of images streaming forth from the primal faculty of human phantasy in a fiery fluidity…and only through the human being’s forgetting himself as an artistically creating subject does he live with any peace, security and consistency.
This is the first full formulation of Nietzsche’s radical conception of the phantastic relation of the human self to the world, which will remain at the core of his mature thought. The world of everyday experience is a construct imposed by conceptualization upon an underlying flux of imagery.
With this in mind, it seems clear that Nietzsche is best understood as the John the Baptist of panta rheism then, wouldn’t you agree?
August 29, 2013 @ 3:45 pm
Seems like Spinoza was there, too.