The Didact’s Disdain

Sorry, my friend. To truly dance and laugh with the gods, you must overcome your own tainted heart.


Zarathustra is a master work, so perfect that it nearly rises above Nietzsche’s own failings.

The recovery of humanity’s deepest nature from the grips of absolutism—that is always a worthwhile endeavor, well-suited to myth and parable.

But he still could not manage condemnation without contempt. He could not quite escape his own disdain.

Perhaps that’s why he made his most central error, an empirical one: the individual, subterranean self of which he spoke does not and cannot exist.

For all his talk of keeping true to the earth, his concept of self, as solitary master and singular commander, still remained ethereal and other-worldly. So much so that Nietzsche himself hardly lived up to his own ideal.

How… platonic.

He understood identity to be paradoxical and myriad, but never made the final jump: The true self of humanity belongs to no one.

It is shared among us.

Realize that, and almost all of Zarathustra can be spared.


But his lonely, scornful eye could not bear the perceived insult of his own infirmity, his own inferiority, and thereby it fueled his incessant lust for a sense of power he never could hold.

For this reason, his disdain leaks out over the work, marring and splotching it with unfortunate digressions.

Of course, there’s also the blatant misogyny.

There’s no sparing that.

Sigh.

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