Saturday, October 25, 2014

Umberto Eco about Nietzsche (& deconstruction)

Sarebbe la definizzione più giusta del pensiero nietzchiano, worth of Kauffmann, Deleuze e Klossowski insième:
"Certamente Nietzsche avverte l'esistenza di costrizioni naturali... Le costrizioni gli appaiono come 'forze terribili' che premono continuamente su di noi, contrapponendo alle verità 'scientifiche' altre verità di natura diversa; ma evidentemente rifiuta di riconoscerle concettualizzandole a loro volta, visto che è stato per sfuggire a esse che ci saremmo costruiti, quale difesa, l'armatura concettuale. Il cambiamento è possibile, ma non come ristrutturazione, bensì come rivoluzione poetica permanente..." Umberto Eco, Dall'Albero al Labirinto (Milano: Bompiani, 2007, p. 586).
***It is probably true, on the other hand, that Umberto Eco only flirted with truly deconstructionist and more "metaphysical" enterprises (no matter how much he understood them). In Opera aperta there is a tension between historicist and "structural" approaches, but he is much more inclined towards the former than towards the latter (he had to dissociate himself from the structuralism of Lévi-Strauss, and proved to be very wary about Mallarmé; see the IX edizione, Bompiani, 2013, p. VIII, 22, 47-49). The situation changed a little in later books, but it seems to me that Haroldo de Campos, for instance, was able to be much more explicit in his openness to Derrida's project.

Other interesting & most useful comments on Nietzsche: 

"... the most inimical critic of the saintly impulses whom I know is Nietzsche..."
Willian James (The Varieties of Religious Experience)
"Indeed, in the entire history of modern thought, only Marx and Nietzsche have so openly and provocatively repudiated almost the entire belief-system of the society around them, as Spinoza..."
Jonathan Israel (Radical Enlightenment) 
"... Nietzsche qui garde peut-être encore, au moment de parodier la littérature de Chateaubriand [Génie du christianisme], la naïveté de croire savoir ce que veut dire croire, faire croire ou faire crédit, en cette marche ou marchandise de l'infini."
Derrida (Donner la mort)
"C'est un perdu de français."
Hélène Cixous (Portrait de Jacques Derrida)

"Nietzsche never totally rejected historical criticism [but he did partially at least!], nor did he ever defend the unrestricted validity of 'suprahistorical' projects."
Jörg Salaquarda
"Comme un homme monté trop haut, pris de panique,
S'écria, transporté d'un orgueil satanique..."
Charles Baudelaire
"Literary Criticism is not book-keeping."
Beckett ('Dante... Bruno, Vico... Joyce')
"Tout  ce qu'on en sait, c'est que c'est une épreuve."
"Point de littérature qui ne demande, dès son premier mot, pardon."
Jacques Derrida (Donner la mort)

"I do not doubt that this great lover of masquerade was well aware of the Hamlet role he played in the tragic spectacle which was his life—I might almost say, in the tragedy he staged."
Thomas Mann (Nietzsche's Philosophy in the Light of Recent History/translation by Richard and Clara Winston)
"Das, was ich über Bizet sage, dürfen Sie nicht ernst nehmen; so wie ich bin,  kommt Bizet Tausend Mal für mich nicht in Betracht. Aber als ironische Antithese gegen Wagner wirkt es sehr stark."
Nietzsche (Brief an Carl Fuchs, December 27, 1988/ quoted by Thomas Mann)
"What does Nietzsche say about system? In one of his last writings, Twilight of the Idols, written in the fall of 1888 in Sils-Maria, the first section bears the title "Sayings and Arrows." Number 26 reads: "I distrust all system-makers and avoid them. The will to a system is a lack of uprightness."
Heidegger (study of Schelling's treatise on human freedom)

"The distinction between the god and his devotees is surpassed in the frenzy of the Dionysian rites. The inadequacy of the distinction between disciple and god is evident in Euripides’ Bacchae where Dionysus in fact appears in the disguise of his followers… So when towards the end of his life Nietzsche at times signs his letters ‘Dionysus,’ this is a confusion that is characteristic of devotees of Dionysus and of tragic theatre."
"In Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche says: ‘Every artist arrives at the ultimate pinnacle of his greatness only when he comes to see himself and his art beneath him — when he knows how to laugh at himself... The musical dissonance that Nietzsche says in The Birth of Tragedy will accompany the rebirth of tragedy has been heard in the songs of part IV. In the end, Zarathustra announce that his work is about to begin." 
Walter Brogan (Zarathustra: the tragic figure of the last philosopher)

"When Nietzsche... discovered Dostoievsky’s Notes from Undergournd, he instantly recognized a matchless psychologist..."
"In one of the best books yet written about Nietzsche, Jaspers tells us that the true alternative to merely nipping here and there in Nietzsche’s works and notes consists in nowhere being satisfied until we have 'also found the contradiction'... Nietzsche’s style makes impossible the systematic approach which is usually adopted in the study of other thinkers. The elusive quality of this style, which is so characteristic of Nietzsche’s way of thinking and writing, might be called monadologic to crystallize the tendency of each aphorism to be self-sufficient while yet throwing light on almost every other aphorism..." 
"The result is less a solution of the initial problem than a realization of its limitations: typically, the problem is not solved but ‘outgrown’. C. G. Jung has developed a strikingly similar notion on the basis of his psychoanalytical practice... the normal and healthy way of dealing with psychical problem is ‘overgrowing’ them (überwachsen)..."
"Heine, whom Nietzsche admired fervently..."
"The 'Dionysus' in the Dionysus versus Apollo of Nietzsche’s first book and the 'Dionysus versus the Crucified' in the last line of Nietzsche’s last book do not mean the same thing. The later Dionysus is the synthesis of the two forces represented by Dionysus and Apollo in the The Birth of Tragedy — and thus Goethe, certainly not an anti-Apollinian, can appear in one of Nietzsche’s last books as the perfect representative of what is now called Dionysian."
"... Rousseau serves Nietzsche as the representative of the dangers of the Dionysiac frenzy."
"... there is a sense in which Plato’s thought and Buonarotti’s sculptures are non plus ultra — and their full appreciation would, as it were, 'reveal all' ... so viewed, the history of Western philosophy is indeed — in Whitehead’s phrase — a series of footnotes to Plato..."
"None of Nietzsche’s reasons purports to refute the doctrine of the resurrection, nor does Nietzsche argue about that point at all."
"In his few references to Calvin, Nietzsche invariably refers to his fanatical 'cruelty,' which he infers less form the burning of Sevetus than from Calvin’s doctrines of predestination and eternal damnation..."
"Nietzsche does not condemn Geist and the passion for truth..."
Walter Kaufmann (his book on Nietzsche is insightful and very useful as a whole)

"Un phénomène n'est pas une apparence ni même une apparition, mais un signe..."
"... selon Nietzsche, la plus haute question de la philosophie... 'que-est-ce que la justice?'"
"... on dit que le devenir affirme l'être, ou que l'être s'affirme dans le devenir... Revenir est l'être de ce qui devient. Revenir est l'être du devenir lui-même..."
"... s'il y a jamais eu un chaos des forces, c'est que le chaos était éternel et a reparu dans tous les cycles."
"Ce jeu d'images chaos-feu-constellation rassemble tous les éléments du mythe de Dionysos... Nietzsche rêve d'une machine à feu toute différente de la machine à vapeur."
"... un sens renvoie à l'élément différentiel d'où dérive sa signification, comme les valeurs renvoient à l'élément différentiel d'où dérive leur valeur... élément toujours présent, mais aussi toujours implicite et caché..."
"L'idée mallarméene du théâtre, les célèbres correspondances et équations entre 'drame', 'mystère', 'hymne', 'héros' témoignent d'une réflexion comparable en apparence à celle de l'Origine de la tragédie..." 
"... le sprit de vengeance est le principe dont notre psychologie dépende."
"tragique = joyeux"
"Nietzsche critique Darwin, parce que celui-ci interprète l'évolution, et même le hasard dans l'évolution, d'une manière toute réactive. Il admire Lamarck, parce que Lamarck a pressenti l'existence d'une force plastique vraiment active..."
"... la qualité est ce qu'il y a d'inégalisable dans la quantité..."
"... il y a une subjectivité de l'univers qui, précisément, n'est plus anthropomorphique mais cosmique."
"Le concept de synthèse est au centre du kantisme... On réclamait un principe qui ne fût pas seulement conditionnant par rapport aux objets, mais vraiment génétique et producteur [Maïmon]."
"L'action et la réaction ne sont pas dans un rapport de succession, mais de coexistence dans l'origine elle-même."
"Spinoza voulait qu'à toute quantité de force correspondît un pouvoir d'être affecté... la volonté de puissance est [pour Nietzsche] la forme affective primitive."
"... ce qui semble de toute façon appartenir à la science, et aussi à la philosophie, c'est le goût de substituer aux rapports réels de forces un rapport abstrait qui est censé les exprimer tous, comme une 'mesure.'"
"Une symptomatologie, puisqu'elle interprète les phénomènes, traitant comme des symptômes, dont il faut chercher le sens dans des forces qui les produisent. Une typologie, puisqu'elle interprète les forces elles-mêmes du point de vue de leur qualité, actif ou réactif. Une généalogie, puisqu'elle évalue l'origine des forces du point de vue de leur noblesse ou de leur bassesse..."
"Un type est précisément constitué par la qualité de la volonté de puissance, par la nuance de cette qualité et par le rapport de forces correspondant."
"On ne saurait trop insister sur le point suivant: combien les notions de lutte, de guerre, de rivalité ou même de comparaison sont étrangères à Nietzsche et à sa conception de la volonté de puissance."
"C'est le même monde qui est sensible et supra-sensible."
"Beaucoup de phénomènes ne peuvent s'interpréter que comme exprimant ce triomphe pesant des forces réactives. N'est-ce pas le cas du phénomène humain dans son ensemble?"
"La généalogie de la morale a voulu refaire la Critique de la raison pure. Paralogisme de l'âme, antinomie du monde, mystification de l'ideal..."
"Ce qu'on oppose à la raison, c'est la pensée elle-même."
"La bêtise... on connaît des pensées imbéciles, des discours imbéciles, qui sont faits tout entiers de vérités; mas ces vérités sont basses, sont celles d'une âme basse, lourde et de plomb."
"La philosophie ne sert pas à l'Etat ni à l'Eglise, qui ont d'autres soucis. Elle ne sert aucune puissance établie. La philosophie sert à attrister."
"Le philosophe forme des concepts qui ne sont ni éternels ni historiques, mais intempestifs et inactuels."
"La culture, selon Nietzsche, est essentiellement dressage et sélection."
"Ressentiment désigne un type où les forces réactives l'emportent sur les forces actives."
"Normal ici ne signifie pas fréquent, mais au contraire normatif e rare."
"Le tort de la psychologie fut de traiter l'oubli comme une détermination négative, de et pas en découvrir le caractère actif et positif."
"Le triomphe des forces réactives n'est pas un accident dans l'histoire, mais le principe et le sens de l'histoire universelle."
"Dionysos est un Dieu... Nietzsche ne cesse pas de dire qu'il y a des dieux actifs et affirmatifs, des religions actives et affirmatives. Toute sélection implique une religion... il faut reconnaître à quel point Christ manquait de ressentiment, de mauvaise conscience..."
"La volonté de puissance ne doit pas être interprétée psychologiquement..."
"... le nihilisme n'est pas un événement dans l'histoire, mais le moteur de l'histoire de l'homme..."
"'Dieu est mort' n'est pas une proposition spéculative, mais une proposition dramatique..."
"Minuit, qui ne se définit pas chez Nietzsche par un équilibre ou une réconciliation des contraires, mais par une conversion... C'est en passant par le dernier des hommes, mais en allant au-delà..."
"L'âne ne sait pas dire non; mais d'abord il ne sait pas dire o au nihilisme lui-même."
"... affirmer l'affirmation elle-même, voilà ce qui dépasse les forces de l'homme."
"Le couple divin, Dionysos-Ariane."
"Tout l'histoire de Zarathoustra tient das ses rapports avec le nihilisme, c'est-à-dire ave le démon. Le démon est l'esprit du négatif..."
Gilles Deleuze (Nietzsche et la philosophie; les livres de Deleuze sur Nietzsche sont perhaps les plus insightful)

"Nietzsche, sujet à des variations valétudinaires... des degrés de hausses et de chutes d'intensité."
"Il peut sembler absurde de donner les textes successifs de Nietzsche comme autant de 'céphalalgies' inversées en paroles..."
"... en réalité, c'est seulement la totale déréliction qui m'a permis de découvrir mes propres sources de salut..." [lettre à Malwida von Meysenbug, 14 janvier 1880]
"Qui observerait secrètement la manière dont je sais réunir les soins que j'apporte à ma guérison avec les conditions favorables à mes grandes tâches, ne laisserait pas de me louer" [letre à sa mère, Sils-Maria, mi-juillet 1881]
"Cette concurrence dissolvante des forces somatiques et spirituelles, Nietzsche l'éprouve longuement e la surveille passionnément."
"... il aspire à une décentralisation (donc à une ubiquité)..."
"... le fil conducteur du corpos... il cherche à tenir ce fil d'Ariane dans le labyrinthe que les impusions décrivent selon les alternances de ses états valétudinaires."
"... la mémoire se détache enfin du moi cérébral..."
"Le Soi enfin n'est dans le corps, qu'une extrémité prolongée du Chaos... Le Selbst, pour Nietzsche, est donc à double sens: d'une part, c'est, moralement parlant, la Selbstsucht (l'avidité de soi que l'on traduit par erreur comme 'égoïsme'), d'autre part, c'est la force, inconsciente à la conscience cérébrale, qui obéit à une raison cachée."
"Nietzsche soupçonne par-delà l'intellect (cérébral) un intellect infiniment plus vaste que celui que se confond avec notre conscience... 'le processus digestif c'est le jeu synthétique de plusieurs intellects!... Je croirais plutôt qu'il existe des êtres éternellement organiques.'"
"Supprimer le monde vrai c'était aussi supprimer le monde des apparences — et avec ceux-ci derechef supprimer les notions de conscience et d'inconscience — le dehors et le dedans."
"... l'acte de penser correspond à une passivité..."
"Nietzsche retient le terme d'affect — cela pour rendre leur autonomie aux forces qui, subordonnées à l'unité fallacieuse du suppôt, la modifient et la rendent mouvante et fragile."
"Nietzsche veut établir une cohésion nouvelle par-delà le suppôt entre le 'corps' — et le Chaos."
"'je me sustenterai moi-même au sein d'un calme inébranlable!'" [lettre à Gast, Sils-Maria, 14 Août 1881]
"... la révélation de l'Éternel Retour apporte comme nécessité les réalisations successives de toutes les identités possibles..."
"... je désactualise mon mois actuel à me vouloir dans tous les autres moi dot la série doit être parcourue pour que, suivant le mouvement circulaire, je redevienne ce que je suis à l'instante  où je découvre la loi de l'Éternel Retour... Rien étant ici le Cercle une fois pour toutes... il n'est pas possible que ceci ne m'ait pas déjà été révélé d'innombrables fois sous d'autres formes peut-être: mais je l'ai oublié... des mouvants abîmes..."
"Les hautes tonalités nietzschéennes ont trouvé leur expression immédiate dans la forme aphoristique... les Stimmungen s'épanoissent jusqu'en des physionomies fabuleuses... l'univers n'étant qu'un perpétuel se fuir soi-même... Dionysus, affabulation de l'être..."
"Rien n'existe en dehors de impulsions essentiellement génératrices de phantasmes."
"Ramener l'intention humaine à l'intensité des forces, génératrices de phantasmes, telle est la fonction du simulacre."
"... ce fut une erreur jusqu'à présent de traiter l'espèce humaine comme suppôt unique de l'existence."
"Nietzsche ressent que la sélection darwiniste conspire avec la grégarité en présentant les êtres médiocres comme des êtres forts... Il faut donc que le fond insignifiant de l'existence prévale sur le progrès 'raisonnable'..."
"L'Éternel Retour... constitue l'événement qui abolit l'histoire: le royaume est déjà parmi vous..."
"... l'industrialisme n'est ni le triomphe des  cas singuliers, ni le triomphe des médiocres, mais simplement une nouvelle forme totalement a-morale de la grégarité."
"Au lendemain de cette nuit, le petit Joseph est pris soudain de malaises et de crampes, et meurt en peu d'heures."
"Mon père mort me fait entendre la musique."
"A-t-il Nietzsche senti une telle complexité de l'existence que sa notion de décadence lui semblait par elle-même appauvrissante?"
"... est-ce que l'on ne devrait pas croire en Dieu, non pas parce qu'il n'est pas vrai, mais parce qu'il est faux?" [phrase de Nietzsche traduit par Klossowski qui rappelle le malin génie de Descartes, valorisé aussi par Derrida]
"Et que de dieux sont encore possibles! Je ne douterais point  de l'existence de toutes sortes de dieux..."
"Le cas fortuit n'est ici l'expression d'autre chose que d'une justice."
"Tout artiste autentique a la conscience de produire dans ce qui est le faux, soit, le simulacre. Wagner cependant prétend être un réformateur, un philosophe régénérateur..."
"La masque cache l'absence d'une physionomie déterminée — recouvre la relation avec l'imprévisible et l'insondable Chaos."
"Toutefois il me semble que, au gré de toute la loyauté de votre esprit, vous avez quelque peu flatté le type du criminel... Vous jugerez de l'état de notre intelligence au fait que l'on a voulu m'interner à l'asile à cause de ma tragédie..." [Strindberg a Nietzsche, fin novembre 1888]
"Comme il n'y a plus aucun hasard dans ma vie, vous n'êtes, par conséquent, non plus un hasard."  [Nietzsche à August Strindberg, Turin, le 7 décembre 1888]
"Non plus César, mais le Crucifié..."
"Par Nietzsche s'exprime une double théophanie. Toutefois la tension même qu'elle exige ne semble jamais exclure la conscience de l'énormité qui consiste à se donner soudain tantôt pour Dionysos, tantôt pour le Crucifié... il semble que Nietzsche n'ait jamais été plus lucide que durant ces dernières journées de Turin..."
"L'extraordinaire richesse de 'sens' qui joue de façon chatoyante dans la dernière lettre à Burckhardt...  l' envers de la mort de Dieu: du royaume  du Ciel..."
"... l'un des tout derniers fragments, en partie mutilé, déclare que ses alliés naturels sont les officiers et les banquiers juifs..."
"Il faut croire que depuis toujours cette coïncidence du phantasme et du signe existait."
"Nietzsche assimile à la volonté de puissance... les formes cohérentes du classicisme..."
Pierre Klossowski (Nietzsche et le cercle vicieux; this work is perhaps even more insightful than Deleuze's; Klossowski was present in the famous Colloque de Rayaumont sur Nietzsche, he is acknowledged as a main influence over Deleuze and Foucault)

My favorite passages of On the Genealogy of Morality (as translated by Carol Diethe):

"The day we can say, with conviction: 'Forwards! Even our old morality would make a comedy!' we shall have discovered a new twist and possible outcome for the Dionysian drama of the 'fate of the soul'—: and hell make good use of it, we can bet, he, the grand old eternal writer of the comedy of our existence!"
"... man first became an interesting animal on the foundation of this essentially dangerous form of human existence, the priest..."
"... actual 'love of your enemies' is also possible here and here alone—assuming it is possible at all on earth. How much respect a noble man has for his enemies!—and a respect of that sort is a bridge to love..."
"... in losing our fear of man we have also lost our love for him..."
"... Beyond Good and Evil… does not mean 'Beyond Good and Bad'..."
"... perhaps there is nothing more terrible and strange in man’s prehistory than his technique of mnemonics..."
"Perhaps pain—I say this to comfort the squeamish—did not hurt as much then as it does now..."
"What actually arouses indignation over suffering is not the suffering itself, but the senselessness of suffering..."
"It is not impossible to imagine society so conscious of its power that it could allow itself the noblest luxury available to it,—that of letting its malefactors go unpunished…"
"If the just and judging eye, gazing with a lofty, clear objectivity both penetrating and merciful, is not dimmed even in the face of personal injury, of scorn and suspicion, well, that is a piece of perfection..."
"... and the whole history of a 'thing,' an organ, a tradition can to this extent be a continuous chain of signs..."
"... the prospect of an animal soul turning against itself, taking a part against itself, was something so new, profound, unheard-of, puzzling..."
"... foolishness, not sin! [was calamitous to the Greeks, in their strongest, bravest period]..."
"There is not, necessarily, an antithesis between chastity and sensuality; every good marriage, every real affair of the heart transcends this antithesis..."
"... Stendhal, no less a sensualist than Schopenhauer but with a more happily adjusted personality..."
"Schopenhauer needed enemies to stay cheerful... he loved wrathful, bilious, black-green words..."
"A spirit, however, which is sure of itself, speaks softly..."
"Hubris today characterizes our whole attitude towards nature, our rape of nature with the help of machines and the completely unscrupulous inventiveness of technicians and engineers; hubris characterizes our attitude to God, or rather to some alleged spider of purpose and ethics lurking behind the great spider’s web of causality—we could echo what Charles the Bold said in his battle with Ludwig XI: ‘je combats l’universelle araignée’—; hubris characterizes our attitude towards ourselves,—for we experiment on ourselves in a way we would never allow on animals, we merrily vivisect our souls out of curiosity: that is how much we care about the ‘salvation’ of the soul... [***this is a criticism of modernity, not its apology]"
"... the more affects we are able to put into words about a thing, the more eyes, various eyes we are able to use for the same thing..."
"What is to be feared and can work more calamitously than any other calamity is not great fear of, but great nausea at man; similarly, great compassion for man..."
"If someone 'cannot cope' with an experience, this sort of indigestion is as much physiological as any other—with such a point of view we can, between ourselves, still be the severest opponents of all materialism..."
"It is only suffering itself, the discomfort of the sufferer, that he combats, not its cause, not the actual state of being ill,—this must constitute our most fundamental objection to priestly medication..."
"... the strong are as naturally inclined to strive to be apart as the weak are to strive to be together..."
"... everyone who feels himself to be a ‘good person’ today is completely incapable of approaching any thing except in a dishonestly mendacious way... Or to ask more pertinently: which of them could bear a true biography!... A few hints: Lord Byron wrote some extremely personal things about himself, but Thomas Moore was 'too good' for this: he burnt his friend's papers. The same is said to have happened with Dr Gwinner, Schopenhauer's executor: for Schopenhauer had written a few things about himself as well and perhaps against himself too..."
"Goethe claimed there were only thirty-six tragic situations [Conversations with Eckermann, 14 February, 1830]: from this we gather, if we did not know already, that Goethe was not an ascetic priest..."
"... the specifically Germanic influence: I mean the alcoholic-poisoning of Europe..."
"... every respect for the Old Testament! I find in it great men... the incomparable naivety of the strong heart..."
"Luther’s resistance to the mediating saints in the Church... was, no doubt, basically the resistance of a lout irritated by the Church’s good etiquette..."
"... these people who trumpet reality are bad musicians, it is easy enough to hear that their voices do not come from the depths..."
"... the scientific conscience today is an abyss..."
"Has a European or a Christian free-thinker ever strayed into this proposition and the labyrinth of its consequences? Does he know the Minotaur of this cave from experience?"
"Our faith in science is still based on a metaphysical faith..."
"... here is a gap in every philosophy... truth was not allowed to be a problem..." 
"I also dislike the latest speculators in idealism, the anti-Semites, who nowadays roll their Christian-Aryan-Philistine eyes and try to stir up the bovine elements in the population..."

See also:
- défi du non-circoncis;
- List des figures du chaos primordial;
- Structuralism, Poststructuralism;
- Sur les premiers chapitres d’Esthétique et théorie du roman;
Pier Paolo Pasolini & Deconstruction;
Favorite quotes from Detlev Claussen's Theodor W. Adorno;
And also:
- Concretos &/ou Brazilian Inteligentsia;
- Eduardo Viveiros de Castro: Brazilian Perspectivism?
- Poème du retour (Leminski/Nietzsche);
- Augusto Meyer & Machado de Assis;
- Caxias do Sul and Galopolis (Northeast of Rio Grande do Sul, region of Italian immigration);
- Bellocchio &/or Eye of (Dreadful) Beauty;
- Federico Fellini's Satyricon (Italy, 1969);
- Kinds & Phantasmagoria circa 1900;
- Foucault Statement in Context;

From The Book of Thoth (Aleister Crowley):

- 8/Adjustement [Libra, Venus/Saturno, adjustment ("the daughter, redeemed by her marriage with the Son, is thereby set up on the throne of the mother"), "the feminine complement of the Fool," "the secret course of judgment whereby all current experience is absorbed, transmuted, and ultimately passed on, by virtue of the operation of the Sword, to further manifestation," "at the corner of the card, are indicated balanced spheres of light and darkness, and constantly equilibrated rays from these spheres form a curtain, the interplay of all those forces which she sums up and adjudicates," "equilibrium stands apart from any individual prejudices... Nature is scrupulously just, it is impossible to drop a pin without exciting a corresponding reaction in every star," "she is the ultimate illusion which is manifestation; she is the dance, many-coloured, many-wiled, of Life itself, constantly whirling, the phantom show" (***wasn't Nietzsche a Libran? Yes! He was born 15 October; in what matters A/Z himself, the regents of solar sign and ascendent are in Libra, and almost everything is in the VII house, see here), karma (Eastern philosophy), "Saturn represents above all the element of time... all action and reaction take place in time" (phenomena are compensated by time)];

History and Fiction in Buddhism: 

"For the purposes of articulating their visions of spiritual liberation, historical accuracy was not necessarily important; Honen, Shinran, Dogen, and others are well known for their creative 'misreadings' of sacred texts... Of course, much of the literature of the Mahayana including the sutras is built not on historical literal truths but on the idea of discerning the highest truth of emptiness beyond the artificiality of fixed ideas... highest spiritual truth takes priority over conventional historical truth... Myoe invokes transcendent, cosmic deities expressing the highest truth as the very source of immanent, earthly lineages" Mark Unno, Shingon Refractions, Myoe and the Mantra of Light (Wisdom Publications, 2004);
"In China, Tantric Buddhism was first introduced by the Indian monk Vajrabodhi (671-741), who translated key  sutras, introduced methods of practice, and won the favor of many Chinese from the emperor down... When we turn to the case of India, however, the Tantric lineage quickly becomes more obscure. Vajrabodhi's master was Nagabodhi, who in turns was tutored by Nagarjurna. Now, Vajrabodhi lived during the seventh and eight centuries, and Nagarjuna approximately during the second. This would mean that Nagabodhi would have to have lived at least five hundred years. To make matters even more complicated, the Tantric Nagarjuna, scholars now believe, differed from Nagarjuna the Madhyamika dialectician, the first Mahayana exponent of emptiness. The Tantric Nagarjuna's master was an even more mythical figure, Vajrasattva, who purportedly heard Mahavairocana expound the dharma..." Mark Unno, Shingon Refractions, Myoe and the Mantra of Light (Wisdom Publications, 2004);

History and Fiction in Daoism: 

"Literary Chinese is notable, however, for its lack of punctuation: it has no commas and full stops, no paragraph markings, no fixed parts of speech, and, of course, no capital letters. Deciding where one sentence ends and the next begins, for instance, might seem like a challenge (and it sometimes is), but usually  text in literary Chinese are clear, as particular characters often act as grammatical markers, doing the work of punctuation and spacing in western texts. One of the problems with the Wang Bi edition [the verison of Daodejing handed down to us] is that its use of such particles is rather limited" Benjamin **Penny magnanimous introduction to Edmund Ryden's translation of the Daodejing (Oxford Univ. Press, 2008);
"There is evidence in the various texts that have survived not only of the kind of aphoristic style that might lend itself to  memorization, but also of rhyme. That is, the Daodejing might best be understood as originally existing in oral form, passed between master and student without ever being written down... It will be clear, then, that the question of when the Daodejing was written my  not be answerable" Benjamin **Penny magnanimous introduction to Edmund Ryden's translation of the Daodejing (Oxford Univ. Press, 2008);
"As Sima himself notes: 'Some say that Dan was Laozi. Others say he was not. Our generation does not know the truth of the matter... In the second century CE the pivotal text The  Scripture on the Transformatios of Laozi proclaimed that Laozi is, himself, 'the root of the Way' and existed before the cosmos came into being. He is the great creator god who became present in the world successively in the form of various sages of antiquity... Buddha was no other than one of Laozi's transformations..."  Benjamin **Penny magnanimous introduction to Edmund Ryden's translation of the Daodejing (Oxford Univ. Press, 2008); 
"Some commentaries have become so famous in their own right that other scholars from pre-modern times have written commentaries on them, know as sub-commentaries" Benjamin **Penny magnanimous introduction to Edmund Ryden's translation of the Daodejing (Oxford Univ. Press, 2008);
"... several translations into Latin were apparently made by Jesuits in China during the eighteenth century, one which was presented to the Royal Society in 1788... After 1957, the Daodejing acquired new audiences as one of the required texts of the hippy counter-culture... A part from those people who simply  discussed the Daodejing in terms of their own philosophy, like Madame Blavatsky, the founder  of Theosophy, and the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, later known as Osho, a prime example of a translation [approaching the text from the author's already well-established spiritual or religious positions] is one by  Aleister Crowley" Benjamin **Penny magnanimous introduction to Edmund Ryden's translation of the Daodejing (Oxford Univ. Press, 2008); 

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