Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
My reading of Nietzsche is done.
He wrote, "God is dead,"
And meant what he said,
Into the pit he'll be thrown.
Well, after six grueling weeks, I have completed my reading of The Gay Science by Nietzsche. The following things linger in my mind after reading this book.
1. "In all religions, the religious man is the exception." Chew on that a while.
2. Nietzsche’s explication of love as a lust for possession, whether it be of property or person. How often do I "love" in this manner? When I first read his treatment of this topic, I was sullen as I reflected on my own selfishness. We could all use a bit of that, I think.
3. Nietzsche seems overly concerned with not being viewed as a jingoistic German, and instead wants to be seen as a European. I bet Freud would have fun with that. Perhaps he did?
4. Boy! Does Nietzsche ever despise Christianity?!
5. Nietzsche observed, wrongly, that Christianity is a religion of "Thou shalt not," whereas Buddhism is a religion that pushes people to do certain "good" things—he, therefore, views Buddhism as much greater than Christianity, but they’re both poppycock to him, so I’m not sure why he felt the need to make the distinction. Nietzsche views virtually all religions, especially pantheism, which he seems to have a fondness for, as superior to Christianity and its notion of sin. How often do I treat Christianity as a call to abstain from sin, rather than a religion whereby I am to positively go about my business of glorifying Christ?
6. Must German authors be so difficult to read? How can I be expected to revere the literature of a people who shun paragraphs? I've read four German authors that I can think of off the top of my head: Hitler's Mein Kampf, Kafka's The Trial and Metamorphisis, Nietzsche's The Gay Science, and Luther's The Bondage of the Will. They're all highly difficult (couldn't finish der Fuhrer, but mainly on account of editing (no good Aryan editors?) and because I didn't need to read the whole thing to get the point). Kafka's imagination makes up for the difficult syntax. Nietzsche was a beat-down at times. Luther---ever the exception. Though, perhaps I'm just a romantic in my view of Luther to be too critical of his writing.