Forest Shadows - Memorabilia I
Morality, time, gods
“Le stile c’est I’homme meme.” (The style may be the man.)
Today, in an age that seeks return to the aesthetic, to a living style, one must move quickly. One can no longer make due with crossed clubs and laurel wreaths, only tools and weapons which exceed movement have a place.
The style must be one with the will, this is a foremost necessity. What is normally meant by the will is completely ruled out. Volo sum, nihil vili a me alienum puto. I am a will, I consider nothing that is a will foreign to me. An old law, which Tantalus came to know more intimately than anyone. To see the death of the will in each moment, to unhinge oneself from the great door – this is the grandest style.
No longer is the cento, the creation of man's passages in the world, enough for him – he demands the greatest number of beautiful citations. Man is reproduced, one by one, style besides style – and here too he must set himself apart. A cruel race must have a style; a species must have a will, and one to bear all of its wounds.
In the face of his destruction the oldest species wants to remember its youth, every technical creation must return to its birth. The finality of the will forms the morality of habits. In this is the true time of the world, before and after history, erasing everything in between – casting it into the void. What is your will in the face of me,.of absolute striving? Nothing but a sacrifice to style.
One will sense, and be overwhelmed by, Nietzsche’s true style. To utter the word is a declaration of war, a falling into death. ‘A spirit that finds no repose.’ Another will not sense it at all, and be repulsed by the very suggestion – here we are stunned by the rolling thunder of titanic man. We drown beneath a chorus, or perhaps something worse. ‘I see this group, dignities of black.’ Morality resides no longer in the realm of ideas, nor even senses. This is the valour of the moral will.
There remains, despite the destruction of morality and will, always a style. The decadent and the ascetic have a style. The Russian nihilists have a style, a moralism, a duty – whether of violence or their own destruction. The anarchists and absolutists have a style, even as their ultimate aim is to eliminate it. The atomic age has a style, devastating even as a limited horizon – perhaps in this resides the ultimate conclusion of style, the depletion of the elements. Style has its own morality, and can only be ruinous for gigantic man. Style elevated to principle, eternal force in the face of the doomed one.
Velle est posse, consequentia, esse.
Applied force, the battering ram of the soul. 'I conduct my campaign on active service.'
The ‘duty of amoralism’ is, in a sense, patience, a resting point before the finality of nihilism. Sacrifice is a style, its freedom and absolutely new form. “May your mind not succumb to the error that it is from elsewhere.” To refuse it is to become lost, to engage in another form of the moral interim. In technical terms it is metamoralism, the moralist form imprinting itself upon the moral will – – morality waiting for its final principle. It is impossible for the great man, the absolute man, to find calm in this age; a moralism, an asceticism of the senses is sweeter than death. Because the age is impossible for him, he must refuse not only morals but the metamoralism which would resolve the crisis of morals. And, beyond this, the concept of time - in which the earth is behind us - also denies amoralism; one of the mounting contradictions which results in physiological madness.
A detonation of perspectives, a storing up of every armament that was to everyone else only the shit of history. This is the will for the most beautiful man in a dying age – his corpse is not enough, he must first forge his great armour of history, and exchange it with every man on earth – — again and again returning to his creations and exchanges. This he wields unto men their fates. Here he wills the style of a new earth. Categorically, a style acts against the smallest increments of time, in metamorphosis – this distinguishes the eternal return.
“A god can make unsullied light
spring from dark night
and in black-clouded darkness
hide the pure gleam
Tempus mortuum. Being as the monotonous passing of seconds onto the sign of the same – incremental time becomes amassing time. Succubuit uterque gladio. The eternal return cannot know the high and low tides of life, the time of the earth, the undiminished. It is neither being nor becoming, but an amassing force of dead time, of a striving which can never begin, and so must become total. It is safer to choose the middle course, between time, for one must not endure the fall from prosperity. Luther and Nietzsche are equals in this regard, they are united in the modern judgement – they answer rather than question. The question of time will always unite them, and divide them from the ancients.
Oh, the slippery fickleness of the will must not be a consequence. Let it only turn to the fields of tomorrow – – and tomorrow again.
The Christian knows his abandonment from the Church. His exile from the world was always known, deeply revealed. Fitting songs for him never fear fortune.
In history, the birth of a new light, the world takes on new shapes, if only against what was previously hidden. The new sense of time is not the end of the gods, but a new visibility and reflection for man. The gods steal from the titans their own dominion of the elements. Prometheus brings fire, Zeus the bare earth, stones stripped of light. This order gives the elements their world as reconstitution, an absolute. We see the conflict already in the Presocratics – only elements have power, no longer the gods. The gods so willingly wage a final war to deprive the earth of mortals, leaving nothing but the will. The elements fall into strife, and the world-sphere expands – ‘Out of these they compose forms similar to all things.’
For the Christians this will become law hidden within the forces of light – chiaroscuro. The great man appears to us as a prisoner within the old sense of element and light, one of Michelangelo‘s incomplete works. He rises so long after the others, and this is his aesthetic sense of power – especially for those still drunk upon dream, those cast down into Tartarus.
The clock had stopped ticking, and then another so long-awaited appeared. Time, the dubious and unpredictable tribunal.
Here we begin to see the lifeless landscape of the great man. In the interim period, before one becomes a warrior or criminal, one lives almost as a slave. This is less a philosophical state of becoming than it is a reversal of the state of natural man, the man born of instincts. The brilliant lustre of a world cleared of plagues is gone. Sickness pervades, and is given force by the most healthy. The curse of man becomes autochthonous – no man, not even the species can bear it. In this, the new martial style. In his training a man’s natural style is removed and he is given the style of the state. Great-man theory tells us that one can imprint his own style upon that of the state. Yet, history shows the opposite – man is always proving his judgement, if not reacting to it, as with Paris before Aphrodite. Now judgement is to free sickness, to exhume the armies buried in the lifeless earth.
Poverty, the highest revolution, the monstrous fortune of the will.
The military genius experiences the same training as the faceless man, the doomed. What he imprints upon judgement is fate and subtlety. In other words, he is behind in time, only ever answering the oldest questions of gods. This is where he imprints his style upon time. Here, violence is created. A philology of every war to refine and condense its law, until powderless warfare exceeds the atomic bomb in destructiveness. Obliteration as the final gift. The olympians will be dug up, have their organs placed in bleached chambers and whatever remains of the churches – the oldest eyes will peer into their souls to grasp the law of the ultimate will.
Let us extend this. One must ask, “In the morality of a god’s death how many times must he experience it?” That man has a second death must speak to us of a god’s return to mortality. Every moment towers above us in absolute violence and humility. The subtlety is not at all limited, it is no mediation between freedom and the fatal.
The greatest men, the ultimate men, always resist judgement – pure martial style. They may be strong warriors but they also prove to be great problems within the overall order. Pathos and the need for its return to pathos – nothing and never anything else – overwhelms all judgement. Here we see the absolute conflict of being and style: one is everything or nothing. The man of pure style threatens entire nations, his own more than any other – Alcibiades, the great father who devoured the stones of time, and cast away its swaddling clothes. The fatalism of the fated world.