Why does Nietzsche remain so present in our discourse?
Initially we turn to his historical application, that will to power so disastrously imprinted on our minds. But is this the true depth of his thought—the primal scream? Yes, perhaps. Nevertheless, to learn so, to learn what gives this primal scream its resounding void, we must explore the space around it—that space whence it goes and that space hence it comes.
Nietzsche’s discourse is a historical discourse, a new science on the common nature of human subjects. It tells us a story of these human subjects, the genetic muddle whence they came and the mythological reawakening hence they go. Also Sprach Zarathustra is scripture for the modern human subject. But it is an elitist mythology, an aristocratic mythology.
For it demands that the human subject must be subject to itself. The will must arise in the subject and put the subject under duress, of the subjects own accord. It is the ultimate sacrifice to the will, but with that ultimate sacrifice comes ultimate power. Yet no longer is that power operated by a subject, a pawn within the system. The will of the system accords itself the pawn fully, with no struggle. This, of course, is Abraham.
But this is an ideal. And not only is this an ideal, this is an ideal that can’t be recognized. We possess apparatus able neither to signify this ideal nor to interpret it. We cannot recognize it in others; we cannot recognize it in our selves. Certainly, it takes faith to believe such an ideal exists at all.
It is on this path that Nietzsche takes us. We are to trust him, to take him by the hand, as we go on an adventurous experiment on the self, the most human of subjects. But this experiment is not scientific; it is not governed by a praxis of cold-hearted, objective determinism. Rather, it impels forward, to that unknown that lies beyond language.
We must ask Nietzsche, “What is the Übermensch?” If we cannot recognize him in ourselves or in others, how might we recognize him in scripture? Or is that the point? There is no implication here that the end is nihilism—that because we can’t know what the ideal is, we shouldn’t seek it.
Nay, the point is precisely found in the self-establishment of a myth, a myth in which an ideal takes root. Yet we still don’t know of what to make this myth or into what to form it—problems that resolve themselves in the self-sacrificing subject, allowing the will to take its course. And so, in sacrifice, the primal scream of death, the primal scream of birth, the primal scream of being realized.