Sunday, 6 November 2016

Thus Spoke Zarathustra - Scholars and Thinkers


A couple of years back I had a minor altercation with my mother's partner, a retired but still active Cambridge professor, about the merits of Nietzsche's most personal work Thus Spoke Zarathustra

This difference we had - I thinking it to be his most important work and he Nietzsche's least successful and interesting - was based on our different sensibilities as a thinker who researches in my case and a researcher who thinks in his case.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra is Nietzsche's most spiritual and hard to read work and understanding it for me was an arduous task replete with psychological suffering. 

That said I have gained a huge amount in personal selfhood from confronting the work as diligently as I did and insights contained in it sometimes manifest in my consciousness years after reading and absorbing it. 

That being said, from a purely academic point of view, the work offers very little nourishment and will not appeal to rationally minded, unintuitive, uncreative types. 

This pinpoints a difference I believe that holds between thinkers - who are creative and therefore in-tuitive - and scholars who are professional workers of intellectual information with little in-tuition or creativity. 

It is this lack of creativity and intuition that makes so much academic literature dull, parasitical and ephemeral and that makes many scholars suspicious if not envious of independent thinkers.

The irony of course is that Thus Spoke Zarathustra warns thinkers against scholars whom he claims to be unfruitful and therefore in the enemy camp as regards 'creators'. 

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