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One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche

  August 7, 2008

The Beautiful and the Ugly


It is energizing to be with well constituted people who are beautiful inside and out: rich in spirit, kind from strength, fearless from experience, creative from easily provoked inspiration, reasoned and reasonable from practical understanding. Who would not desire an entire world of such people? And so one crafts their days around the beautiful because what is ugly cannot help and does not belong to us.

Directionless societies with spurious wealth bloviate about the purpose of life being happiness and the pursuit of fun, a never ending, never satisfied quest that usually brings only disappointment because what is sought cannot be won directly. The linguistics of seeking fun are backwards and naive: happiness and joy cannot be found by chasing meaningless distractions, but are a natural result of doing what is meaningful and has purpose. A person is happy when aligned with what is necessary for their lives. People who strive to do what is "fun" cannot win any lasting satisfaction or happiness because they only pursue escapes to hide from life and therefore are never aligned with what is necessary for their nourishment.

Of the few things that you can truly own in the world, the most important is your temporary vessel that will soon be expired. You can use it for anything you want, making whatever future you can imagine within its capacity. It is doomed to perish in short order, therefore do not fear the inevitable but instead strive to sensibly accomplish what is possible in the limited time that remains, knowing that the certain end is drawing nearer every day but that great potential still exists and should be exercised rather than living idly as though one was already dead. You will soon lose this one chance to be what you are; therefore exert yourself for this brief blink of an eye while you still can, and reveal yourself to the world as you truly are in this celebration of an unusual circumstance that will never be again.

In your interactions with the world, you can shape things for better, for worse, or withdraw and passively allow the world to remain drifting the direction others are shaping it. Your self will pass, but the instinct for beauty and what you have shown others and birthed into the world will recur in the next generation and onward provided that external disruption does not prevail.

Those who love life will choose to expend themselves in their effort to beautify the world. Your efforts are replenished: any soreness and tiredness are temporary, but the result of efforts outlast any temporary discomfort and provide the inspiration of ascension. The discomfort soon becomes invisible because the activity is what matters and the negligible cost to the temporary self is not worth the vulgarity of bitter complaining.

Once conceived, most tasks are nearly effortless because they are just physical implementations of already completed mental blueprint, and so the action is easily accomplished as the simple execution of a finished plan. The psychological reward of these victories is important: by your hand, one more thing around you has been made more beautiful.

Nothing is beautiful, only man: on this piece of naivete rests all aesthetics, it is the first truth of aesthetics. Let us immediately add its second: nothing is ugly but degenerate man - the domain of aesthetic judgment is therewith defined. - Reckoned physiologically, everything ugly weakens and afflicts man. It recalls decay, danger, impotence; he actually suffers a loss of energy in its presence. The effect of the ugly can be measured with a dynamometer. Whenever man feels in any way depressed, he senses the proximity of something 'ugly'. His feeling of power, his will to power, his courage, his pride - they decline with the ugly, they increase with the beautiful....In the one case as in the other we draw a conclusion: its premises have been accumulated in the instincts in tremendous abundance. The ugly is understood as a sign and symptom of degeneration: that which recalls degeneration, however remotely, produces in us the judgment 'ugly'. Every token of exhaustion, of heaviness, of age, or weariness, every kind of unfreedom, whether convulsive or paralytic, above all the smell, color and shape of dissolution, of decomposition, though it be attenuated to the point of being no more than a symbol - all this calls forth the same reaction, the value judgment 'ugly'. A feeling of hatred them springs up; what is man then hating? But the answer admits of no doubt: the decline of his type. He hates then that out of the profoundest instinct of his species; there is horror, foresight, profundity, far-seeing vision in this hatred - it is the profoundest hatred there is. It is for its sake that art is profound...
[FWN, Götzen-Dämmerung]


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