"Garlic is no one's bitch: Thaumázein contra Power" From the forthcoming book "Beyond Sweet and Sour: Garlic"



Although Friedrich Nietzsche was a man of many judgments and criticisms, it is hard to pin point what he defines as knowledge.  Perhaps it was because he was alive at a time when knowledge was on its way to simply becoming another object to be possessed—and this made him skeptical of making any clear statements in regards to exactly what it was he possessed that allowed him to make such judgments and criticisms in the first place.  To objectify his own unique yet universal machine of discovery[1] might have made it fragile – opened it up to the very criticisms he’d levied against all the other philosophers of his day.  But there is a passage in Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks[2] which sheds light on something Nietzsche experiences as fundamental to any knowledge or logic:

Greek philosophy seems to begin with a preposterous fancy, with the proposition (of Thales) that water is the origin and mother-womb of all things. Is it really necessary to stop there and become serious? Yes, and for three reasons: firstly, because the proposition does enunciate something about the origin of things; secondly, because it does so without figure and fable; thirdly and lastly, because it contained, although only in the chrysalis state, the idea: everything is one. ... That which drove him (Thales) to this generalization was a metaphysical dogma, which had its origin in a mystic intuition and which together with the ever renewed endeavors to express it better, we find in all philosophies - the proposition: everything is one!”

Hence an awareness maintained in some universal context and dynamic...a certain morsel, however small, of knowledge, on the part of Nietzsche, can be acknowledged: It is a morsel of wisdom which leads one to conclude he had something he acknowledged as given to and in every discourse. A something that is everything as it is of a relation of Difference—a relation ‘between’ and ‘as’ one and everything.   Garlic has recognized this everything is one as the infinitely finite or the one and the many. And, in a Tale of Ragout, it is just such a condition (of everything is one) which opens up any and all possibility and probabilities. Nonetheless, Nietzsche’s problem, a problem which continues to permeate all sciences, philosophies and religions to this day, was to understand how this germinating seed of Difference relation, as it is the only all-in-the-same-moment-knowable-subject-and-object-axiom, leads to anything Identifiable…namely, in the current traditions of philosophy, science and religion, an “I” or an “object-in-and-of-itself” or "how is it possible for a Nietzsche to even recognize this axiom without himself being lost to everything of said one."

We can infer from the following paragraph,

 “”To renounce belief in one's ego, to deny one's own "reality" -- what a triumph! not merely over the senses, over appearance, but a much higher kind of triumph, a violation and cruelty against reason -- a voluptuous pleasure that reaches its height when the ascetic self-contempt and self-mockery of reason declares: "there is a realm of truth and being, but reason is excluded from it!"
But precisely because we seek knowledge, let us not be ungrateful to such resolute reversals of accustomed perspectives and valuations with which the spirit has, with apparent mischievousness and futility, raged against itself for so long: to see differently in this way for once, to want to see differently, is no small discipline and preparation for its future "objectivity" -- the latter understood not as "contemplation without interest" (which is a nonsensical absurdity), but as the ability to control one's Pro and Con and to dispose of them, so that one knows how to employ a variety of perspectives and affective interpretations in the service of knowledge.
Henceforth, my dear philosophers, let us be on guard against the dangerous old conceptual fiction that posited a "pure, will-less, painless, timeless knowing subject"; let us guard against the snares of such contradictory concepts as "pure reason," absolute spirituality," "knowledge in itself": these always demand that we should think of an eye that is completely unthinkable, an eye turned in no particular direction, in which the active and interpreting forces, through which alone seeing becomes seeing something, are supposed to be lacking; these always demand of the eye an absurdity and a nonsense. There is only a perspective seeing, only a perspective "knowing"; and the more affects we allow to speak about one thing, the more eyes, different eyes, we can use to observe one thing, the more complete will our "concept" of this thing, our "objectivity," be. But to eliminate the will altogether, to suspend each and every affect, supposing we were capable of this -- what would that mean but to castrate the intellect?” (The Genealogy of Morals, s III.12)

that Nietzsche wholeheartedly rejected thaumázein as the form, desire, object or essence of will—a will he saw only as a force to power. Sure, Garlic, in as far as it embraces thaumázein as the only form, desire, object or essence generating the discourse, castrates the intellect, but, fortunately, the fruit borne of this sacrifice is a life indebted to existence:  a life that celebrates its origins.  In other words, Garlic is not one man’s bitch. Life as something serving one person’s interests is something Nietzsche, the Übermensch, believed was his destiny, because Nietzsche believed his mighty intellectual insights granted and entitled him dominance over existence and life—especially when he hollered “everything is one!”  Such a notion is very limited to his condition…it is, at best, cute and tragic all at once, and therefore nicely representative of the notion that thaumázein is the fuel feeding the and every story.

Garlic is the flavor beyond sweet and sour. It is the moment we, as individuals, are allowed to rejoice in our one and many--our everything is one--nature of Identity grounding in Difference.

So when Nietzsche writes in Beyond Good and Evil (152.) “Where the tree of knowledge stands, there is always Paradise: thus speak the oldest and the youngest serpents,” he doesn’t understand that his “serpent” is a metaphor for that which has no thaumázein as its form, desire, object or essence to seeing. Nietzsche doesn’t understand that Paradise is always on hand and, no matter how loudly he might holler, life and existence are always here for everyone and everything. Nietzsche thus sees himself as the “serpent”: He believes that he has engulfed the emptiness and has risen, like a Phoenix from the ashes—from out of the nothingness—so that he can, as he sees it as his birthright, rule supreme over Philosophy.  Little does he know that he’s just another jester in a kingdom of fools. 

Thus Spoke Garlic




[1] “The true distortion of consciousness being that we, as ones, believe that we can imagine a representational value to nothing as though it were not a some-thing. This is what Aristotle means with “we can even say of non-being that it is non-being.” Bk., IV. Gamma, Being and ‘Ousia’, ii; pg. 77, Aristotle (Wheelwright), 1951, Odysee Press Inc.)  We are convinced that there cannot be Life without a radicalized sense of self or Individuality as the source for and to All of Existence—as self-created or as in-itself-objectively-real:  The objects as they are ideas or mental images are and become our or one’s ‘creation’.  We posit, like demi-gods, Life into existence—or so the garlic-free story goes.  In the context of Dr. Delgado and that of our own believed Identities, this illusive relationship of self-control is revealed knowingly5 as self-knowledge delivered in devices of understanding:  The unique yet universal self-knowledge machine of discovery. I think therefore I am! (From Kant via Leibniz, Hume, and Descartes)”  Mereology: Origins of Garlic Cures and the Art of Telling  a Tale of Ragout, page 41

[2] Friedrich Nietzsche, Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks, Regnery Gateway.





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