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Zarathustra and the relationship between body and soul.

Neitsczhe, Thus Spoke ZaraThustra

How does Zarathustra desribe the relationship between the body and the soul?

In the first part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, in the chapter titled "On the Despisers of the Body", Zarathustra says that the "soul is only a word for something about the body". So the human being for him is entirely body and nothing else. The soul could therefore be called "self" which lies beyond spirit and sense. When Zarathustra fell asleep, it was said that "his body was weary but his soul unmoved" (prologue #9). So in the "Despisers of the Body", he calls the soul or the self the ruler of the body which is the at he same time the body itself. "the self listens and seeks: it compares, overpowers, conquers, destroys. It controls and it is in control of the ego too...an unknown sage-whose name is self. In your body he dwells; he is your body." It is the body which is the "I". It does not say I, but it does I. The rest of the chapter shows how the self, which is the same as the body, controls everything the body does: it controls the ego, telling it what to feel, it creates respect and contempt.

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For Zarathustra, man is something to be overcome. He claims to be the first to ask how man should be overcome where others have been seeking how man should be preserved. Talking to men Zarathustra has this to say in his prologue: "You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape"(#3).

When Zarathustra comes to man, his first stop was in a town where he met a crowd gathered to watch a tight rope walker. Later Zarathustra said that "Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman--a rope over an abyss. A dangerous acroos, a dangerous on-the-way, a dangerous looking back, a dangerous shuddering and stopping." (#4). Before then he had announced the death of God and said that whereas the sin against God was the greatest sin, now that God is dead, the sin against the earth is the greatest sin. He therefore exalts man to "remain faithful to the earth and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldy hopes!". (#3). So, there is no life ...

Solution Summary

In the first part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, in the chapter titled "On the Despisers of the Body", Zarathustra says that the "soul is only a word for something about the body". So the human being for him is entirely body and nothing else. So in the "Despisers of the Body", he calls the soul or the self the ruler of the body which is the at he same time the body itself. "the self listens and seeks: it compares, overpowers, conquers, destroys. It controls and it is in control of the ego too...an unknown sage-whose name is self. In your body he dwells; he is your body." It is the body which is the "I". It does not say I, but it does I.

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