Repost: eternal recurrence as an exercise in overcoming

Paradox of the psyche: at sea

A shaman is one whose life has been ‘shipwrecked’.  The victim cast to sea, only to sink to the depths and find hidden treasure.  Who would believe in this treasure, or that the meaning of the shipwreck could have turned out to be something positive? It is this paradox that we are dealing with, for instance in terms of the productive power of Zimbabwean author, Dambudzo Marechera, who was a contemporary shaman, by necessity, and not by conscious choice.


There results a self that is somewhat of a tragedian, which laments the original sense of self and its feelings of security aboard a boat with definite direction and an already furnished life-purpose, but beside that self  is another “self” that has somehow triumphed, not despite of – but because of – the chaos. This is the doubling of the self that we constantly meet within Marechera’s work. The fact that the ‘tragedy’ of one’s life produced unexpected benefits is harder to express in direct, everyday language, since it goes against the grain of rational expectations. This knowledge pertains to the ‘shamanic” aspect of the self, which gives the subject access to a level of reality generally denied by those who would be uncomfortable with being “wrecked” out of their wounds — and who does not have wounds, from one’s familial upbringing or from work and schooling and so on?


N.B.  Nietzsche  experienced traumatic awakenings when his father died suddenly, an event depicted by the image of the howling dog in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.  Why does Nietzsche make this image central to his sense of “eternal recurrence” and self-overcoming?  How does one say, “Yes,” to one’s life’s traumas?  

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