Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Conversation on Morality with Nietzsche

Nick Corley (Section 6)

A Conversation on Morality with Nietzsche

            A brisk walk, with me, Nietzsche, on a cool spring day. As we walk down the path beside a green field, we begin to notice the small white flowers, Nietzsche opens his mouth and asks me. Do you see the white flowers that lie graciously in the grass? I immediately respond, yes of course, but what of them? Those flowers, I believe, represent an idea of mine. He paused, and took a deep breath and spoke. Those flowers symbolize the morals our society praises today. Though their stems are weak and the wind is strong, look how peacefully they flow. Look how plentiful they are, group from group, variation to variation, yet they share common ground. They have found a morality that best suits their survival. A peaceful morality, a solemn morality. They are so gentle in nature, but yet so fragile. He stopped for a moment and observed the wind influencing the grass to wave, similar to the ocean. I stuttered and asked, but why do you think that is, that the flowers developed this lifestyle? What are the benefits of being gentle? He looked towards me and said, I think to answer that question we must look behind us.

We both turned around and observed a dense woodland. There were trees living, but what stood out to me, was the deceased one right before us. Nietzsche said, look at that tree that no longer possesses its life. I looked at it for a while, in silence, and studied the vine that stretched all around it. The vine was covered in a coarse hard bark, opposite of the flower’s composition. Nietzsche broke my silence and said, that vine, you are observing, lives opposite to that of the flower. I responded in curiosity, but in what way? He spoke and said, that vine lives a forceful lifestyle. It grows quickly and suffocates the tree on which it lives, and exhibits its own dominance upon the tree. It exploits the tree for it’s height and it’s nutrients, however the tree has very little say in the matter. If you observe the woodland, you will see that there are more deceased vines than there are living. This is solely because of their lifestyle. They dominate the tree, however when it dies, they must die along with it. At this point, my curiosity began to peak. I asked Nietzsche, but why must they live this way? What is the importance of dominating others that coexist with you? Nietzsche laughed and said to me, you are focusing on the wrong idea my friend. It is not a matter of importance. What I am describing to you is the ability of morals to change within a society. At a time, it was most likely necessary, for the vines survival, to dominate those around it. This may have been back when trees canopied, and shaded all who lived beneath them. But what I want you to notice, is that we live in a different time. The weak and peaceful re-valued all the values. The weak took their opportunity to underhand the strong, and advanced because of it. We now live in an era that promotes weakness over strength.

1 comment:

  1. "A brisk walk,with me, Nietzsche" - you meant to insert an "and" instead of a comma here, right? Grammar matters.

    The tree/root/flower analogy is very interesting. THere are Nietzschean aphorisms that suggest the virtue of gentleness, when "superior" spirits deign to express it, and others that reject "domination" as the highest mark of human excellence. But too many of Nietzsche's readers have interpreted him to be praising the "will to power" and domination. The standard line among N's defenders is to blame his sister for fostering that misinterpretation. I think the verdict on his true intentions is still out.