By Jill Marsden
This e-book explores the resourceful probabilities for philosophy created via Nietzsche's sustained mirrored image at the phenomenon of ecstasy. From The delivery of Tragedy to his experimental "physiology of art," Nietzsche examines the cultured, erotic, and sacred dimensions of rapture, hinting at how an ecstatic philosophy is learned in his elusive doctrine of everlasting go back. Jill Marsden pursues the consequences of this legacy for modern Continental idea through analyses of such voyages in ecstasy as Kant, Schopenhauer, Schreber, and Bataille.
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Extra info for After Nietzsche: Notes Towards a Philosophy of Ecstasy
And where would we go then? Would we want to go beyond the sea? Where does this mighty craving draw us, this craving which is worth more to us than any pleasure? Why go just in this direction, where hitherto all the suns of humanity have gone down? Or, my brothers? Or? (D 575) 2 The Tempo of Becoming Oh, sea! Oh, evening! You are wicked mentors! You instruct human beings to cease being human! (Daybreak 423) There are certain philosophical ideas that can be accessed only through self-abandon. For Nietzsche, the insight of Heraclitus into the ‘eternal wavebeat and rhythm of things’ is the product of a raw and restive meditation that has come to ebb and ﬂow with this dark, inhuman pulse (PTAG 5).
This is the most basic tendency of life as will to power, which even in its elementary animal forms ‘seeks to incorporate into itself as much as possible, not just to compensate for loss – it is acquisitive’ (KSA 9/490–1/11). The restorative impulse is superseded by a thirst for expansion and conquest but it is an exorbitant desire, too great to be attributed to any perceived ‘goal’. In fact, Nietzsche asserts that one ‘cannot ascribe the most basic and primeval activities of protoplasm to a will to self-preservation, for it 18 After Nietzsche takes into itself absurdly more than would be required to preserve it; and above all, it does not thereby “preserve itself,” it falls apart’ (WP 651).
Philosophies which fail to experience the death of God as the death of theological values will never succeed in taking the will to negation to the limit – will never experience the ecstasy of abandon – because the limit is always thought as that which coexists with what has yet to cross it (TP 432). Ecstasy is no more in excess of stasis than the sea is in excess of the land. The ocean has no margins. For Bataille, the death of God is not an ontological problem but an orientational one, a voyage into the unknown which ‘is distinct from Nothingness by nothing which discourse can enunciate’ (IE 114).
After Nietzsche: Notes Towards a Philosophy of Ecstasy by Jill Marsden