Since the time I was a child I had a difficult time with other people. It’s not that I was a cruel individual, it’s that I found it challenging to find qualities that I admired in those around me. Unlike the other children, I didn’t enjoy spending time with friends. In fact, my mother had to pay me to play with them. It was the only way she could find to pull me away from the book I was reading or the video game I was entranced by. This created an interesting pattern in my behavior. Because liking my friends wasn’t necessary in the relationship, the only thing that really mattered to me in a friend was the reward tied in to doing so. Throughout the rest of my life I continued to make friends with people I didn’t like. I was polite to these people. I tried to encourage them in the pursuit of their higher ideals, tried to push them to succeed- to rise up from the trappings of the mediocrity they seemed so pleasantly inclined to embrace. But it was always to no avail. Eventually I began to believe friendship to be completely worthless altogether.
I’ll never forget the first day I encountered Nietzsche. I was taking an existential philosophy class at Brigham Young University from an incredible professor that had a profound influence on me. He introduced the class to a selected reading from Thus Spoke Zarathustra. This selection shook the foundations of my very existence like a violent earthquake. My entire psyche crumbled before it like decrepit stone walls under siege by an invisible and unknown army. I went home that night and read the entire book. The next day I returned to class with the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas morning. I couldn’t wait to enquire what other books I needed to read. My professor, shocked and intrigued by the fact I read the entirety of “Zarathustra” in one night, recommended I read The Anti-Christ. In the opening passage of this book, I found the words I had been searching for my entire life:
“THIS BOOK BELONGS TO THE VERY FEW. MAYBE NOT ONE OF THEM is yet alive; unless he be of those who understand my Zarathustra. How can I confound myself with those who today already find a hearing? Only the day after tomorrow belongs to me. Some are born posthumously.
I am only too well aware of the conditions under which a man understands me, and then necessarily understands. He must be intellectually upright to the point of hardness, in order even to endure my seriousness and my passion. He must be used to living on mountaintops, and to feeling the wretched gabble of politics and national egotism beneath him. He must have become indifferent; he must never inquire whether truth is profitable or whether it may prove fatal… Possessing from strength a predilection for questions for which no one has enough courage nowadays; the courage for the forbidden; his predestination must be the labyrinth. The experience of seven solitudes. New ears for new music. New eyes for the most remote things. A new conscience for truths which hitherto have remained dumb. And the will to economy on a large scale: to husband his strength and his enthusiasm… He must honor himself… Very well then! Such men alone are my readers, my proper readers, my preordained readers: of what account are the rest? The rest are simply- humanity. One must be superior to humanity in power, in loftiness of soul, in contempt.
Never had I felt so understood, inspired, transcendent, and lifted upon wings of eagles to soar amidst the snow-capped peaks of highest desolation! His words spoke so deeply to how I felt, but had never acknowledged, what I thought, but had never voiced, what I desired but had never dared… to will. I devoured Nietzsche’s complete works. I read every word the man ever formed in ink and blood time and again. I drank with greed at this fountain of wisdom, hidden in shadow beneath the cypresses. The more I traveled and the more I observed human nature, the more this work confirmed to me its truth: Man is a bridge to something greater- nothing more, nothing less.
I now dared to imagine new virtues engraved into stone tablets- new ideals- a new direction! New strivings for the new man!
I. Musical in Essence
II. Eloquent in Speech
III. Commanding in Energy
IV. Totality in Transparency
V. Expanding in Consciousness
VI. Deliberate in Action
VII. All as Means
VIII. Exact in Praise
IX. Immune to Flattery
X. Insignificant in Scale
XI. Vast in Depth
XII. Vibrant in Emotion
XIII. Devoid of Meaning
XIV. Beyond Words & Time
XV. Lethal in Defense
XVI. Sharpened by Fear
XVII. Mastery through Spirit
XX. Screams only “Freedom”
XXI. Yields no Quarter
No longer would I allow myself to be subservient to antiquated dogmas or authoritative stigmas. I would expose every symbol, open every secret doorway, uncover every veil, and conceive every mystery. And in the full manifestation of raw egotism, I devoted myself to such pursuits. If no one before me, I would become the Übermensch… or at least give birth to it. My megalomania led me to the very edge of insanity and then pushed me over the cliff.
There came a day in my life, having become so drunk on my self-inflated delusion of “spiritual” power, I cursed the heavens, God Himself, and desecrated a piece of land that had once held sacred value to me. The next day, standing on the precipice of fortune and glory, the ocean took from me all I conceived I was. Sucked beneath the power and force of a vicious tidal wave, I watched my alleged “Empire” disappear. I was nothing… and God was ALL.
The next few years of my life could be represented by the Tarot key: the Hanged Man. God had turned my life upside down and bound me to a cross of my own design. Power and ambition were now impossible to realize. My dreams were dashed as a mirror against a mountain. There was no possibility for the attainment of fame or prestige. I didn’t even know if I would survive. But it was here I finally saw the “upside of the upside-downness” and I turned myself inward. And what I discovered could never be replaced by any amount of worldly recognition.
One night I dreamed of a golden fire that filled my heart. A woman of ethereal white emerged from the fire and gathered the blood spilled from my heart into a sacred rose. She moved back into the ether and I then conceived my true form- the formless golden fire of my heart.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that we are all part of this fire- each one of us a manifestation of its beauty and its strength. I once again could see the beauty in those around me. I could see the power in each individual’s spirit. This is still how I endeavor to see each individual that I meet. I realized that my inner fire and spirit was, in actual truth, divine. But so was the spirit of all around me. N.O.X. consumed the Archidox as Archidox to paradox. I was now beyond concept, being the infinite nothing in similitude to the infinite ALL. I AM naught. I AM all.
But it is now I come into the alchemists lair, faced with the mixing of two opposing substances to create inherent phenomena. For how to conceive of man, who in his infinite expression, is simultaneously as crude and vile as the ape before the Übermensch? I still cannot admire the cowardice which afflicts our culture. I cannot admire hypocrisy, sloth, apathy, vanity or ignorance. How could one possibly be inspired by these traits? The most common expression of the men I meet is not of living from the infinite heart of divine fire, but in identification to the putrid ideals of materialism, nationalism, infantile superstitions, and vain misrepresentations of a personal ego. Can we not raise our sights to something more? Can these realizations of the divine self also embrace open manifestation in this physical world?
I still believe in the Übermensch. I still believe we are capable of building a society unlike any that has previously existed. But if we think that’s where we are now, we are greatly deceiving ourselves. We do not compare to Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Babylon, Persia or even the Southern Song Dynasty of China. Our aesthetics do not come close their sophistication. Do you realize how vastly under-educated we are compared to even a hundred and fifty years ago? What a classical education in those times meant?
We need higher expectations of ourselves. We need a massive re-evaluation of values. In this, Nietzsche was not wrong. If you’re a reflection of the divine, then it’s time to fucking prove it. If you’re the artist of the generation, then put your money where your mouth. If you’re the future President of the United States and the hope of our nation, then let’s see our country start to look like the Garden of the Gods rather than the wasteland of a zombie apocalypse.