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Eternal Recurrence and the Effect of Forever on Spirit

by on June 10, 2018

The Gay Science

Eternal recurrence calls for a magnanimity of spirit. A great height and capacity to absorb all, be content with all and more, to embrace all that is life. All the decisions, events, outcomes, happenstance.

It follows from the placement of this section in the book and previous imploring to embrace all aspects of life. He is setting a high water mark, a threshold and test by which to judge if are reaching far enough, grand enough.

He needs it as an end-all to make life eternal-like. To have a standard against which to call for that great a height of spirit, that tremendous a capacity. In other traditions one could connect one’s actions to an Eternal Being. By being attached to the Being or the will of such a Being, even when executed by an everyday person, the actions, outcomes, decisions, life, take on an aspect of eternity. Of being ‘forever’ actions, ‘forever’ decisions, etc.

This is not to say the actions and decisions will be perfect. But that one should strive to expand the capacity of one’s spirit to encompass the whole of human existence.  The striving for capacity of spirit is further given credence in a system governed by an Eternal Being. Whether it be recurrence or otherwise, attachment to ‘eternal’ supports a call to a capacity of spirit that encompasses the ups, downs and all around of life.

Response to ‘The Wicked Monk”

“My soul is a tomb…
I wander in for all eternity(1)”
But only if you choose not to change.

For if our souls are indeed
connected to the Divine
They are indefinable, unfathomable
Full. An infinite well
of rediscovery, reinvention
Through the tales we tell
ourselves, each other
The thoughts we think.
We can recreate, re-form ourselves.
Our actions are our ink.

We have left Egypt.
We are no longer constrained.
We can ever reconstruct the meme
in our mind, in our brain.
We can follow the unknown
Into the desert
and embrace ourselves.

There is no quantity to soul.
There are no rules to soul.
There is only wandering, if we choose
It. If there is eternity, there is no tomb,
other than inaction.

(1)  From The Wicked Monk by Baudelaire, translated by Barbara Gibbs

Life with an Eternal Being can support other behaviors as well.

So, when does it support that capacity, entrusted to an individual and attainable by an individual? Perhaps when there is sufficient distance and clarity that the Eternal is unknowable. Just is. And when one’s conception of the Eternal is such that it allows for such a spirit.

Where does that come from, in an individual, to have that type of conception?

Do we need that type of conception to foster that level of capacity of spirit?

(Then again, would help to start by defining spirit.)

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