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I’ve decided to go back and look at old articles on here, in this case ‘96. Biting through (IV)’, and judge how far I’ve changed—grown. So this is an article from 2020, at this project’s start—three years ago now.

It’s about Nietzsche and religion. It provides a slick obsidian summation of Nietzsche and religion—the overman is filled with joy behind the masks that rotate around him, so he’s a shamanic figure or like the magician. I don’t disagree with that summation, except now I’d say I think the way I understand Nietzsche has always been heavily filtered through Alan Watts, Buddhism, and Hinduism.

So I say, “It is a fairly typical path for a person who embraces Nietzsche to come full circle and move from strict atheism to belief in religion.” And I agree with that still—not that I personally ever embraced Nietzsche, though I’m influenced by him.

So I don’t disagree with what I said—really, that’s how I see the world and religion. There is the divine light behind the play of masks, the atman in union with brahman (their separation is illusory, really). What I’d say now is that I’m not sure that’s so much what Nietzsche meant—I think that is an interpretation that I layered on through what I understood about Hinduism and Alan Watts.

So there’s a suggestion that there’s an eternal light behind the play of masks—I don’t think Nietzsche would have agreed with that. He’d have said, “This is about this world only—call it your ‘ego’, but it’s not some divine light behind the play of masks. It’s not another realm.”

I suppose what I point to is the similarity between Nietzsche’s view and Hinduism—and that’s no surprise, because Nietzsche understands Hinduism and Buddhism through his own classical studies and through Schopenhauer. And I think these are more correct for Europeans, because they’re Indo-Aryan, because they make sense to us—make natural sense to me in a way Christianity doesn’t—because they’re not a Semitic overlay, as Christianity is.

Still, Nietzsche doesn’t think these are literally real—he is explicitly not a Buddhist, misunderstands Buddhism in my view (via Schopenhauer), and doesn’t think there’s “another world” at all.

I also say that Zarathustra, Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, who is not the historical Zarathustra, brings first the truth—the demolition of the bitter old Abrahamic faiths and their subterranean resentment—and then the lie (i.e. brings a new set of myths, because language is ambiguous, because we can’t live without myth—because we need something more than just Darwinian science, which Nietzsche was against). And that’s a fair summation with regards to Nietzsche, he’s not just an atheist like d’Holbach or Dawkins—he doesn’t think “there’s another realm” but he thinks there’s a mystery within nature that science, Darwinism in particular, can never penetrate.

I then go on to introduce Leo Strauss and some ideas from neoreaction—along with Elon Musk. The idea being that, per Gibbon’s magistrates, there is a practical need for religion, even in a state governed by Nietzsche’s overman—the overman must create a religion to preserve standards (here I mentioned the concept of the “IQ shredder”). Today, I would add that, really, the overman is not a ruler but a value-giver; he is like Zarathustra or Jesus, he is not a ruler but a creative man who “brings the rules” (as Nietzsche himself saw himself).

I also talk about how these overmen, in a Straussian vein, would be atheists but would use ellipsis and code to communicate their atheism in pious works so as not to disturb the masses.

I think where I’ve changed in this dimension—even though I mention “the magician” in the context of Nietzsche—is that I now think magic and religion are literal realities. Further, I actually read some Strauss after I had written this piece, a while after—and I wasn’t impressed. I just thought he was a typical dull academic, a Jewish academic who inverted everything, and that he confused the issue by talking about “esotericism” when he wasn’t esoteric in the magical-metaphysical sense. He just meant that people write in loose code or with euphemism under certain political regimes—which isn’t a startling insight, though.

What I’d say has really changed since I produced this article is that I take it as real. In this article, I’m writing very much as someone who says “religion, myths, the shaman” and so on are just things we need to support any society—our technological societies happen to have lost these things, will die without them, and here is why even if Nietzsche appears to be an atheist you will, as a Nietzschean, end up advocating for a religion, albeit for practical purposes (to make sure your workforce produce).

Today, I’d say that crisis derives from techno-science itself and it can’t be somehow corrected through the invention of a religion. And, further, I’d say I think Nietzsche was more atheistic than I make out in the article—and that, really, I over-layered what I knew about Hinduism, Buddhism, and Alan Watts onto Nietzsche in a way that wasn’t warranted by the text itself.

Overall, although the piece is sharp like cold marble, I don’t see much “me” in it—I see different ideas being patched together (although the overall exposition of Nietzsche is fair enough). As I say, the real difference is that today I’d say the problems I diagnose in the article’s latter half stem from techno-science itself—and that you can’t just “invent” a new religion in the guise of “Zarathustra the liar”, you can’t just invent a new mythology.

In part, I thought about figures like Hitler “the Hitler myth” when I composed this piece—today I’d say I don’t think the Hitler myth was just created by an artistic man whose artistry was such he achieved “shamanic” potential. I’d say that Hitlerism came from another dimension and was created by powers beyond man.


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