Friday, October 5, 2018

Rest In Power

It's a benediction, one I hear of late, among a subset of bright eyed bolshy church droogs for whom faith and the polis are conjoined.

It is invoked over the mortal remains and memory of the passed, as a blessing politic for those who have struggled for power in this life.  I understand it, and the earnest intent that drives it.

But I hear it through another filter, in the voice of an old, mad friend.  When the benediction is offered, I hear his words:
And do you know what “the world” is to me? 
Shall I show it to you in my mirror? 
This world: a monster of energy, without beginning, without end; a firm, iron magnitude of force that does not grow bigger or smaller, that does not expend itself but only transforms itself; as a whole, of unalterable size, a household without expenses or losses, but likewise without increase or income; enclosed by “nothingness” as by a boundary; not something blurry or wasted, not something endlessly extended, but set in a definite space as a definite force, and not a space that might be “empty” here or there, but rather as force throughout, as a play of forces and waves of forces, at the same time one and many, increasing here and at the same time decreasing there; a sea of forces flowing and rushing together, eternally changing, eternally flooding back, with tremendous years of recurrence, with an ebb and a flood of its forms; 
out of the simplest forms striving toward the most complex, 
out of the stillest, most rigid, coldest forms striving toward the hottest, 
most turbulent, most self-contradictory, 
and then again returning home to the simple out of this abundance, out of the play of contradictions back to the joy of concord, still affirming itself in this uniformity of its courses and its years, blessing itself as that which must return eternally, as a becoming that knows no satiety, no disgust, no weariness: 
this, my Dionysian world of the eternally self- creating, the eternally self-destroying, this mystery world of the twofold voluptuous delight, my “beyond good and evil,” without goal, unless the joy of the circle is itself a goal; without will, unless a ring feels good will toward itself— do you want a name for this world? 
A solution for all of its riddles? 
A light for you, too, you best-concealed, strongest, most intrepid, most midnightly men? 
This world is the will to power—and nothing besides! 
And you yourselves are also this will to power—and nothing besides!”   
― Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

Rest in Power is not a blessing.