What is truth?

Nietzsche and Myth


“Philosophical Biography”

Rudiger Safranski

Truth, Elemental Nature and the Will to Faith Through Myth.

“Myths and mythologizing are means of conferring visual significance on otherwise meaningless phenomena. The indifference of the world provokes the myth making potential of our consciousness.

We resist the notion of a world in which we cannot feel sure that we are somehow “intended.”

A person who understands would like to be understood in turn, not only by other people, but by a cosmos abundant with meaning.

Although people are themselves a part of nature, their consciousness creates a sense of distance that impels them to expect that nature must offer some counterpoint to their own consciousness …..

Myths are an attempt to engage in dialogue with nature.

Events in nature are vital for mythical consciousness.

Nature expresses something, even if only an elemental will is manifest, as it was for Schopenhauerian Nietzsche.

Only a horizon encircled with myth can mark off a cultural movement as a discrete unit.

What conditions are required for myths to develop this degree of power? Surely they can do so only if they are considered to have truth value. If an epoch has thought beyond the realm of myth, and knowledge is amassed that is no longer compatible with myths, a breach has occurred, which fundamentally alters a society’s relationship to myths. Their “truth” value dwindles and is perhaps replaced by aesthetic value.”

(CMQ Note: This is the “crisis” of Christianity and religion in general in contemporary modernity. But the “solution” is personal. It is to realize that we are a part of nature. Nature has “given” wo-mankind consciousness, or more important self-consciousness. This “will to consciousness” is in effect “a will to faith” and those societies that incorporate this faith successfully will develop and prosper. Those that do not will dis-integrate and perish. That is the “law” of history for history has shown us that societies are “built” on religion and faith and any country or empire that rejects this fundamental social reality is doomed to oblivion).

© Christopher M. Quigley



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