InÂ Nietzsche’s most popular book,Â Thus Spoke Zarathustra, he described what would become one of his most memorable theories â that of theÂ Ãbermensch. In English versions of the work of Nietzsche, “Ãbermensch” is translated as “Superman” or “Overman”. The term “Superman” has adopted many connotations as a result of the comic book hero in popular culture, so […]
(What follows is apparently an essay that popped out of my head. In it you will see me begin to talk about the article as it relates to my own journey to “overman-ness” but it got derailed by my reminiscing of my depression times, and then I of course had to philosophize about it. I’d apologize for the huge wall of text in your dashboards right now, but meh you can scroll and you’re on this site because you’re bored and looking to distract yourself so this won’t be a bother at all anyways.
ON ANOTHER NOTE: This is a cool article, I should read some Nietzsche.)
Shortcut according to the tried and true method I lived through? Fall into deep depression early on in your late teens/early twenties that almost ruins your life brought on by what you believe you must do and the inescapable fear of not being able to control anything, and not being able to predict what is going to happen next.
Then overcome that depression.
Ta-da! You’re at the Child. AKA why my mom said to me “I thought you outgrew this” AKA me as of may 2012, the month my therapist was like “yo our work is done here brah” and I was all “Yo I know, I’ve known for two weeks but I didn’t want to end stuff on uneven number of sessions, and this one makes it a neat number. Yay simple billing!”
Though I disagree in the “Thou Shalt” being the end all be all last boss of life, I think it comes down to a personal fear (or in my case, “Way one thinks”). Mine for example was the “What If” way of looking at the world and that bastard took me the better part of 4 months to even recognize as an issue.
I do agree with the solution being something like “I will” though. It’s when we finally overcome that fear by not only facing it but completely disregarding it (in a way) that one is free of it. That resolution of self assured-ness and what I can only describe in myself as “kickassittude.” that one becomes themselves. Going around the ditch does not solve the problem that there is a ditch in the road. Realizing that you don’t even need the road in the first place, that the ditch is immaterial, that is liberation. And then if you choose to you can fix that ditch for the rest of us.
Being like the camel got me super depressed. I suspect for everyone this will eventually happen. But at least you’re trying to be noble right? even though the very act makes you feel incredibly hypocritical and therefore feeds even more coal to the roaring fire that is your doubts and depression in the first place. SO yay! It’s totally easy to fall in depression that way! (I’m telling you, short cut!)
Becoming like the lion is what gets you to fight it. And to me that’s the hardest part of depression, or of becoming “the overman” or as I like to call it, of “going back to being ME.” The lion doesn’t find the answer, he takes on “the dragon” which apparently to Nietzche was “You MUST” but I believe it can vary from person to person. Mine was “What IF.” That gnawed me into depression, but it was also something that was essentially a part of me, it was my way of thinking and understanding the world. It’s also the reason why it took me so long to figure it out as the problem, even with professional help… Who would question their own way of reasoning? Who would think they should change it?
The day I figured it out, when the realization of the problem popped into my head, I just broke down and cried for the rest of my therapy session. Probably about 40 minutes. I could not think of a way to change it. Clearly I was to be miserable forever.
Then you learn to “fight” it, question this “Thou Shalt” or “What if” or whatever it is for you. Then the lion begins to take on the dragon, and man is that one hell of a struggle. If I wasn’t paying someone to explicitly walk me through my thinking I wouldn’t have even noticed there was an issue to begin with, but during the struggle therapy became instrumental. I learned that there is no end all be all way of thinking, or way of being. Then you make the choice right? What do you do? When the what if can’t be answered? You give in without purpose, you continue fighting, or you rise above it. You must decide to be.
My mother was my therapists’ litmus test as to how I was doing. Not what I said about her, and my therapist didn’t call her or anything like that. She just asked me what my mom had been saying to me every now and again. At the end of my therapy I remember telling my therapist that my mom was becoming increasingly frustrated with me. Something about me being like the little bastard I was when I was 5-7. And then we just laughed and laughed.
I was done.
How I somehow remained Catholic through this process I’ll leave up to you (It’s made me a better one, actually). I suspect the strong platonic and Grecian philosophical views ingrained in the religion from its infancy that I fancy has a lot to do with it. I’ve chosen to stick with it because to me it makes sense. I guess my stance towards religion changed from “I should be doing this because religion” to “Hey, this is what I want to do, and lookie here, I guess this religion is right in the most ways according to me.” haha that sounds incredibly egotistic (and is overly simplified) and I don’t care.
I wonder how Nietzche would feel about an “overman” that believes in God? Haha he probably would say that is no true overman, but I think I am. See, I have this audacity to believe that my will is God’s will. Delusional or not, that’s what I’ve arrived at, and I can’t think of anything to shake it. For if God created me and gave me this nature, this state of being, then is my will not the one deemed worthy by God? Is my will, free will that I craft myself not by default in line with what God had planned? How can I possibly do wrong.
It’s like, yes I’m not in control of anything, but that doesn’t matter, because no matter what happens I can deal with it. And if I can’t I can’t. That’s what ends me. That’s life. It’s not about surrendering power to the world (which I think is broken anyway) but instead learning to tackle it and making it your plaything. And just living.
It’s why I haven’t felt afraid in over a year.
And why my poor mother has been through various mini-heart attacks when I tell her my various ideas. (The last one? When I told her if I didn’t get a job as a teacher I was going to go off and just wander around and travel for a couple years. Haha did I get an earful but the act was as possible as my next step for me. I was sure of it all.)
Back when I was starting my therapy, about a quarter of the way into what would have been my total time, I felt like a failure. My therapist tried to console me, she said that at least I was going through it now instead of when I was 50-60 like the rest of her clients. That made me feel like more of a loser, but she was right. I got lucky. How I am now, going back to who I really am? It’s a great feeling guys.
It sounds a bit twisted seeing as how I arrived at myself, but I hope you guys all get a chance to feel this way too.