Thursday, December 20, 2012

The ZigZag Café - December 20

We will be convening here at the ZigZag café, Suisse, on Thursdays for conversation and dialogue. I invite you to stop by every Thursday for the question of the day. Your thoughts and participation are most welcome. Pull up a stool, avec un café, un thé, ou un chocolat chaud, et un croissant, and join in here on Thursday at the ZZ café.

For today:

Do you wrestle with any control issues in your life, and if you have attempted to change, what has that looked like?


Sisyphos said...

Nietzsche wrote "You have to be your judge and your avenger." It impressed me and I am trying to rise over my self and control my self yet there is still a long way to go.

Greg said...

Thanks. Nietzsche wrote some important and some wayward thoughts. It's hard to tell which are which, but I guess that will have to depend on a wider context than Nietzsche or oneself alone. That said, there's something to this quote.

QuestionHeir said...

Sisyphos, would you be willing to explain what you understand "judge" and "avenger" to mean in Nietzche's context?

Sisyphos said...

QuestionHeir, I don't know the wider context of the quote. I believe that it is important to understand quotes always in context and not do any verse-picking or quote-picking but quotes out of context have their place for some personal inspiration. So, to answer you question, I do not know, what exactly he meant. If we went on with this discussion, I would start to balance it out. Back then I just threw a mental strand into the discussion which was on my mind.
Now, maybe I can say what I meant when borrowing the quote from Nieztsche: I believe that we have to build a core of self-hood, if you may allow this metaphor, in order to protect ourselves from the outside world and in order to be able to relate to the outside world as creative agents. When I talk about a core of self-hood I am thinking about Marcus Aurelius' image of a rock inmidst of a stormy sea. One important facet in creating this core of selfhood is having principles-in order to submit to them one must control oneself and sometimes judge oneself. That can mean little things in life, such as facing the consequences of one's actions and daring to face them. In this case the self must force the self to accept the pain of the consequences. The avenger is a bit more extreme, I admit and one has to be careful with oneself and not become a tyrant over oneself. As I am writing to months later I would judge my former self as having been a bit too strict with himself. I am not saying that being a judge of oneself is the only facet of a healthy self. There is also the contrary facet: letting go, daring and playful.

Sisyphos said...

"I believe that it is important to understand quotes always in context and not do any verse-picking or quote-picking but quotes out of context have their place for some personal inspiration."
Apparently that is a contradiction. I try it like this: in order to bring across the message of the author, it is vital to look at the context of the quote - historical, personal, intertextual and intratextual. Yet, words can also be interpreted apart of much knowledge of the author or the context. In fact, that is the beginning of every understanding. If one does that, one has to make clear how much one understands already so that one's own interpretation of the author is not confused with the intended meaning of the author. I wonder, though, what Nietzsche would have thought about such a clean-cut seperation between the meaning of the author and the subjective impression one has. This thought, again, is inspired by another out-of context-quote I remember from Nietzsche, something like: Everything is interpretation. Anyway, I hope I made my original comment clearer and gave some more imput into the discussion.