Schopenhauerian and Kantian Formulas in The Birth of Tragedy

Just interested is the responses of those who have examined Nietzsche’s text The Birth of Tragedy to a degree. The Birth is a problematic text for those who see Nietzsche as a “naturalist”; largely due to its mysticism and Schopenhauerian and Kantian metaphysics.
One of the most confusing parts of the text is the way he (seemingly?) switches between the Dionysian (music, satyr chorus, folk song, the thing in-itself) and the Apollonian (images, illusions, principium individuationis, phenomenon) to overcome suffering. At times he will state that the glorification/contemplation of images/illusions can save us from the primordial pain and contradiction of the world (the Apollonian saves us from the Dionysian), then in another breath, he claims the joy of being at one with all men and nature allows us to overcome the sufferings of the principium individuationis (Dionysus saves us from Apollo). He does this on a few occasions throughout the text; switching between the two as saving powers. The only solution I can conjure thus far for this, is that the causes of pain come from both the world of appearances and the thing in-itself and manifests that pain in us differently. What is needed, then, is the contrary impulse to overcome that suffering.
One of the most confusing parts is section 7. He claims that the nausea of looking into the essence of things, that is, the horror and absurdity that all phenomena eternally destructs and that nothing we can do prevents this (a Dionysian insight), which then brings forth the need for a saving power. Yet, and here is the confusing part, his answer is that the art of the satyr chorus can save us, that is, a reverting to the Dionysian thing in-itself. So, in effect, he uses the thing in-itself to overcome the thing in-itself. Odd. Any help on this is appreciated.

I have read commentaries (Porter, Sallis) who claim Nietzsche had twisted free of Schopenhauerian and Kantian metaphysics by the time of The Birth, and that it is a text that has nothing but a ‘metaphysics of appearances’. It is true that Nietzsche had grave concerns with Schopenhauer’s metaphysics before the writing of The Birth, (see his essay On Schopenhauer), but it is clear to me that he does indeed use ‘Kantian and Schopenhaurian formulas’ in the text, and later confesses it also in 1886 in his ‘Attempt at a self-criticism’.

Considering there’s a number of Nietzcheans on the board I thought I may get some replies.

Readers of Nietzsche shouldn’t accept his ideas at face value, we should mine them to see how he came to his conclusions, thus giving us a better understanding of his philosophy.

Yeah, I don’t know Fent. It’s been a while since I read BT.

This is just a random guess: isn’t satyr the art of poking fun at the Appolonian illusion? So maybe N is saying that when the Dionysian life gets tough, just remember how rediculous (or painful?) the Appolonian one can be.

Hi Fent,

Nietzsche is just saying that the Dionysian thing-in-itself (and the feeling that accompanies it) can be replaced by the Apollonian thing-in-itself. No contradiction there. Do you know what a thing-in-itself is and which philosopher is famous for the seperation between what we see of a thing (phenomenon) and that thing-in-itself (noumenon) and the importance/influences of that thought on philosophy and the world?

I’ve studied this text very closely. Fent, give me a week or two and I’ll have a reply.

Hi Arjen,

I know it’s Kant, (I say that in the op), and that the ‘thing in-itself’ is what the world really is beyond all human cognition/appearances.
The Apollonian is not the thing in-itself, it is clearly stated by Nietzsche that he is placing it on par with phenomena/appearance as opposed to the Dionysian ‘thing in-itself’.
There is no contradiction in most parts of the text; however, I singled out section 7 where he claims a Dionysian insight (seeing that the world is an eternal game of destruction and creation with no teleology) which results in suffering can be overcome by the intoxication of the satyr chorus, another Dionysian experience.
I get the feeling Nietzsche is playing with this Kantian distinction by adding his own ideas. He claims to know what Kant doesn’t; that he knows the thing in-itself (it is music, intoxication, collapse of individuation), and that he chops and changes between the Apollonian and Dionysian to describe different states of mind.

It even becomes more confusing when Nietzsche later abandons the Kantian and Schopenhauerian formulas (from about Human, All too Human onwards), but maintains his belief in Dionysus. From my research so far, he can only ground it in a personal ‘perspective’, as ‘perspectives’, (as in multiple truths arising from the world of phenomena, not singular metaphysical truths arising from the thing in-itself) become an integral part of the later Nietzsche. Although Nietzsche is being brutally honest, he has no single authority to stand on; it merely becomes one interpretation amongst thousands of interpretations of the world.
Nietzsche is now the creative philosopher artist; attempting to create a new mode of life like many religious/moral/ethical codes have done before him.

Thank you for a thoughful question.

In philosophy there often arises the need to speak of things that have no names, of things that dissolve and disappear if assigned names, and of the utterly unnamable things. Various means-and-crafts have been devised to still accomplish something in this difficult terrain. One such “technique” is to talk about your subject using borrowed themes from another subject - a certain kind of allegory or indirect speak overlay.“The Birth of Tragedy” is just such a book. Look everywhere in it: the author is conducting an orchestra consisting of concepts and themes well familiar to the classically educated mind, but in the final accounting, the actual seed and content of the book has more to do with the exposition of a pre-existing and pre-decided and pre-experienced way of thinking known to and understood by Nietzsche, than with any of the vestigial beauties and monstrosities of classicism that had been directly named in the book.

While, for example, the same essential experience could have another exposition as a story of a shepherdess and the tempting, diabolical wolf, few would spend their energy on considering such questions as “what is the passport number of this woman of whom this story tells” and “what type of wolf was this we are told about, because what if it of a type previously unknown to science, it could be a great discovery”. Unfortunately, due to our less-close relationship with the classical themes than with “shepherdesses” and “wolves”, it can so happen that their seeming vividness distracts us from comprehending the allegory, and in its stead, we attempt to comprehend “the Nietzschean system” consisting of Dionysus vs Apollo, with satyr choruses and other decor, juggling them and mulling over their suggested interrelations as though we had any idea whatsoever what any of these things are.

On the subject of the Nietzschean system, I refer you to the small study by Sauwelios available in the “Essays” section of the forum. Here, let’s simply state without proof that there is no such system, because for our author it is a question of personal integrity. To allow such a system would mean to become a contemptible airbag, dogmatizer, etc.

At this juncture, returning to the concept of indirect speak, conceptual overlay, allows us to see with clarity THAT:

  1. We are dealing with a depiction of something (A), crafted out of something else (B).
  2. Certain contradictions arise between parts of B, in the course of the presentation.
  3. These contradictions may well be necessary to complete the depiction of A by means of B, or, they may indicate our lack of understanding in what is going on overall.

Let’s not also omit another possibility for many passages, just as important: that we are working with the effusions of an intoxicated personage, coming into his power and drunk with it, he spares us nothing and does not fear being misunderstood, because he knows well enough the objective reality of what he speaks and experiences contempt for our comical and lowly ignorance of it.

Attempts to find a Nietzschean recipe against suffering, or at least some justification for it in “The Birth of Tragedy” are doomed to fruitless dissipation. There is never an author, believing in Dionysius in his heart here; there is instead a conductor and his orchestra of, he presumes, themes and concepts shared among the educated men.

I recommend the following questions for your consideration:

  • Have I ever heard Greek choral singing? What is the overriding significance of choral singing in world traditions in general?
  • Have I experienced anything akin to what is described in the book, while exposed to the unfolding of mythological drama in theatre or on the silver screen?
  • What do I expect to gain for myself from Nietzsche’s methods and where did he himself get his insights from? At what prices?


Thanks you for your informative and thought provoking reply, WL.

My interest in this topic isn’t for personal purposes, rather, for scholarly ones.
I would argue that there is some kind of “system” in The Birth; the text is an incitement to revolution for the Wagnerian cause. It isn’t a “system” as in an attempt to find a new metaphysics encompassing the whole, rather, it is the construction of metaphysics for the “German spirit” to overthrow a Socratic culture that has bitten its own tail. Nietzsche does indeed maintain that the Dionysian is something “real”, even though he couches it in Kantian and Schopenhauerian metaphysics. The recipie against suffering in the text is a serious attempt to overcome the pessimism that he believed to be embedded in Germany at the time. The existential anxiety of experiencing the “nothing” described in section 7 was taken up by a few writers afterward. I believe Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus is based almost entirely on how to deal with this problem.
The section I mentioned in the OP (section 7) is a contradiction that either, Nietzsche wasn’t aware he was making, or, he reuses the notion of the thing in-itself for his own purposes (as you hint at above). If a thing in-itself can overcome a thing in itself, he is radically reinterpreting the term and what it stands for. The later is what I think Nietzsche is doing.

I would rather bite my tongue than say I agree with Nietzsche, but I may see his point…We experience life as a thing in itself, in fact the thing, as individuals, and the life force as will; and we also suffer the will of humanity, in fact of all life in nature and disease… We can run from the social experience of life which correctly sees will as social, and common to all; and you can run to the social experience of life when the curse of modern humanity, of lonliness becomes too oppressive, or our very lives are threatened… Criminals alone can step fully out of society, and few can so fully belong to society that they freely give up their lives for it…Most of us find ourselves between those two poles…If all our lives become is a dodge back and forth to avoid pain then pain is assured… We have to do better than change the nature of our pain… If we really are human, and heroic as humanity has always been, then we seek to understand the whole of life, and then admit that pain comes with life, and face it as age, and death, as inevitable, and envy those who can face reality without fear…

You seem to interpret the Dionysian here as the original, terrible and barbaric state where against the Apollonian image is risen. But the Dionysian only occurs after the Apollonian has been constructed - Dionysus then tears the certainty and safety of Apollo apart. This destruction is a kind of joy that is not found in the original terrible state of nature, where there are no such constructs to destroy.

I believe this is answered by the above. The Dionysian is not the original terribleness, of which man can only be a victim, but a deliberate one, which can only exist after man has first acquired a (sense of) control over nature. So what happens is that man becomes himself this terribleness, and thereby overcomes his suffering of it. In order to do that he has to fist ‘become a self’, via the principum individuationis, otherwise he cannot actively wield this power. I think at least that this is what he means.

Thanks for your input, Jakob.

Of what is the original impulse - the Dionysian or Apollonian - I will have to disagree with you. The Dionysian is the “ground” of the world; the Apollonian the “second mirroring effect”. Nietzsche’s analysis of this begins with the Homeric era. In section 2 Homer is a representation of the Apollonain impulse, and the Dionysian was always present but hidden. It wasn’t until the introduction of “Dionysian music and festivals” that the Greek noticed what lay beneath his Homeric consciousness. The Homeric (Apollonian) consciousness is a “naive illusion”. The wisdom of Silenus (“the best of all is … not to be born …the second best for you is - to die soon”), the fate of Oedipus, and the curse of Atridate which drove Orestus to matricide, was overcome by the Olympian world of art by a veiling or withdrawal. Therefore, the Dionysian was always present, but naively covered over. The acknowledgement by the Greeks of an underlying Dionysian impulse was made by the poetry Archilochus. Archilochus’ poetry uses the word and tone to try to imitate the underlying Dionysian current of music, rather than the Homeric artists who used langauge to imitate image and phenomena. Remember, music is a copy of the Dionysian primordial unity of contradiction and pain, the Apollonian is always a “second mirroring effect” (section 5).

In relation to my opening question. Nietzsche will use both as saving power - Apollo saves us from Dionysian and vice-versa. It depends on the context of the situation as will what will become the saving power. Yet the seeming contradiction I outlined that appears in section 7 I believe I interpreted wrongly. Dionysian knowledge of the nausea experienced by Hamlet can only be understood when re-entering back into the principium of individuationis. And again, the Dionysian satyr chorus becomes a saving power of knowing this knowledge. So it isn’t the thing in-itself saving us from the thing in-itself, it is thing in-itself saving us from knowledge of the thing in-itself that can only be fathomed whilst in the principium of individuationis.

So; can a construct be made equating comedy with the Dionysian, and tragedy with the Apollonian??? And, can we equate society and the unity of society with the Dionysian, and the individual, and the expression of individualism with the Apollonian???

I think it may be vice-versa. But, I haven’t examined in detail that particular sentence you are paraphrasing from section 7.

Yes, we could make a generalization along those lines. The more the Dionysian impulse dominates the more the likelyhood of any societal unity occuring; the more the Apollonian dominates the more ‘individualism’ that comes forth. But we must bear in mind that Apollonianism is more equated with ‘form’, ‘science’, and ‘illusion’, than with ‘individualism’.

Then Dionysius would definetly be of comedy…He is the God of wine; is he not???

I don’t think I ever saw this thread.

From an email I sent:

The key to my understanding [of Nietzsche’s early metaphysics] has been a posthumously published fragment of an advanced form of The Birth of Tragedy, my translation of which you can find here:

The fundamental concept of Nietzsche’s early metaphysics is the “Primordial One”, “Primal Unity”, or “original Oneness” (das Ur-Eine), which is a kind of God, with a capital G:

[list][size=95]Indeed, the whole book knows only an artistic meaning and crypto-meaning behind all events—a “God,” if you please, but certainly only an entirely reckless and amoral Artist-God who wants to experience, whether he is building or destroying, in the good and in the bad, his own joy and glory—one who, creating worlds, frees himself from the distress of fullness and overfullness and from the affliction of the contradictions compressed in his soul. The world—at every moment the attained salvation [Erlösung] of God, as the eternally changing, eternally new vision of the most deeply afflicted, discordant, and contradictory being who can find salvation only in appearance[…]
[Attempt at a Self-Criticism, section 5.][/size]

In a posthumously published note, he says much the same:

[size=95]Becoming, experienced and explained from the inside, would be the continuous creation [Schaffen] [on the part] of an unsatisfied one, an awfully rich one [Überreichen], an infinitely tense and pressed one, of a God, who overcomes the torment of Being only through constant transformation and change [beständiges Verwandeln und Wechseln]:—appearance as his temporary, at-every-moment-attained redemption [Erlösung]; the world as the succession of divine visions and redemptions in appearance.[/size]

I don’t know the source of the latter quote; I found it in a compilation I have of some of his notes from the '80s, called Umwertung aller Werte. But it throws light on the matter in the following way:

Nietzsche’s early God has Being [Sein] in the Parmenidean sense. In order to overcome the torment this Being causes him, he must imagine a world of Becoming; this is the universe as we know it. In Thus Spake Zarathustra, Nietzsche refers to this idea:

[size=95]Once on a time, Zarathustra also cast his fancy beyond man, like all backworldsmen. The work of a suffering and tortured God, did the world then seem to me.
The dream—and diction—of a God, did the world then seem to me; coloured vapours before the eyes of a divinely dissatisfied one.
Good and evil, and joy and woe, and I and thou—coloured vapours did they seem to me before creative eyes. The creator wished to look away from himself,—thereupon he created the world.
Intoxicating joy is it for the sufferer to look away from his suffering and forget himself. Intoxicating joy and self-forgetting, did the world once seem to me.
This world, the eternally imperfect, an eternal contradiction’s image and imperfect image—an intoxicating joy to its imperfect creator:—thus did the world once seem to me.
[Of the Backworldsmen.][/size]

This suggests Nietzsche abandoned this idea before writing TSZ, though we should beware of drawing premature conclusions, of course. In any case, the bottom line is that even in his early works, Nietzsche isn’t concerned with the redemption of the Primordial One at all: thus in chapter 4 of The Birth of Tragedy, he says that

[size=95]Apollo appears to us once again as the apotheosis of the principium individuationis, in which [principium] the eternal goal of the original Oneness, namely its redemption through illusion, accomplishes itself.[/size]

The goal of the Primordial One already accomplishes itself in the secondary illusion which is the vision of the Apollinian genius. It does not need the Dionysian genius, let alone tragedy. This is because the conjointly Apollinian-Dionysian artwork is, for the Primordial One, already achieved in the principium individuationis, that is, in the illusion of Being (in the Parmenidean sense) that arises from (human) Nature (Becoming):

[size=95]For that single eye of the world, before which the empirical-real world together with its reverberation in the dream pours itself out, that Dionysian-Apollinian union is consequently an eternal and unchangeable, yea single form of enjoyment: [for that eye] there is no Dionysian appearance [Schein] without an Apollinian reverberation [Widerschein]. For our shortsighted, almost blind eyes, that phenomenon falls apart into purely individual, partly Apollinian partly Dionysian enjoyments, and only in the work of art that is the tragedy do we hear that highest twin art which, in its union of the Apollinian and the Dionysian, is the image [Abbild] of that primordial enjoyment of the eye of the world. Even as the genius is the apex of the pyramid of appearance for this eye, so we may regard the tragic artwork as the apex of the pyramid of art that our eyes can reach.
[Fragment of an advanced form of The Birth of Tragedy.][/size]

This explains why tragedy is essential for the true redemption of human beings. Although the Primordial One is distracted from Its torment (the torment of Being) by Its vision that is the World or Nature, It is only wholly redeemed with the inclusion of the vision that arises within that vision, the illusion of Being (in the Parmenidean sense) that arises within Becoming; Becoming itself, however, is only distracted by that illusion. Of course we could defer this infinitely, arguing that Becoming in turn is wholly redeemed when an illusion of Becoming arises within its illusion of Being, but this is an infinite regress. We must move in the opposite direction, where the regress is not infinite; to the contrary, we need only take one step back. The Being of the Primordial One is true Being. It is this from which redemption is to be achieved. In order to take part in true redemption, therefore, we have to put ourselves in the place of the Primordial One. This is achieved, not by the Apollinian artist, but by the Dionysian artist (cf. BT 5). But even the Dionysian artist cannot achieve true redemption, but at best the distraction provided by the vision of Becoming that is the World. The tragic or dramatic artist, who is both an Apollinian and a Dionysian artist, is the only man who can achieve true redemption. Nietzsche emphasises this achievement:

[size=95]Enchantment is the precondition of all dramatic art. In this enchantment the Dionysian reveler sees himself as satyr, and as satyr, in turn, he sees the god—that is, in his transformation he sees a new vision, which is the Apollinian completion of his state. And by the same token this new vision completes the dramatic act.
[BT 8.][/size][/list:u]

Note that I have here regarded the Primordial One (Being) as transcendent to the world (Becoming); but It is immanent.

In fact, brilliant as my email may have been, it is only now that I see there is no mention of Becoming in that passage from Umwertung aller Werte.

True Being, the Being of the Primordial One, from which It seeks to be redeemed, is Becoming… In this way contradiction [Widerspruch] is of the essence of it—“contradiction” in exactly the same sense as in “the law of (non-)contradiction”. For in Becoming, A does not equal A, or at least A does not not equal not-A: as Heraclitus says, the rivers we step into are the same and not the same; it is we and it is not we who step into them. But the Primordial One seeks redemption from this Being, this Becoming, in the illusion of A: it wishfully thinks of the absolutely untrammeled, i.e., only relatively trammeled flux as absolutely trammeled. For this reason, that which seems to be in the Parmenidean sense appears to be destroyed all the time. Paradoxically, Parmenidean ‘beings’ seem to be destroyed all the time.

The Primordial One “overcomes the torment of Being only through constant transformation and change”: that is, It overcomes the torment of Becoming only by constantly mistaking relative integrity for absolute integrity, the untrammeled flux for the disintegration of non-fluxious ‘things’—for the division and fission of ‘in-dividuals’.

The redemption from Becoming is in the illusion of individuation; the redemption from individuation is in the insight in the oneness of all seeming ‘individuals’ (both living and lifeless ‘things’).

Cf. this old post of mine (and the rest of my posts in that thread, for that matter): (but note that I was not yet entirely consistent in that thread in regard to the capitalisation of gerunds (e.g., “Being” and “Becoming”). I now tend to follow Mr. Krell, the translator of Heidegger’s Nietzsche into English, in capitalising “being” only when it is a gerund, i.e., when it refers to the Being of being(s) instead of to being(s) itself/themselves. In fact, I tend to capitalise all gerunds if I think my meaning may otherwise not be clear).

[size=95]Becoming, experienced and explained from the inside, would be the continuous creation [Schaffen] [on the part] of an unsatisfied one, an awfully rich one [Überreichen], an infinitely tense and pressed one, of a God, who overcomes the torment of Being only through constant transformation and change [beständiges Verwandeln und Wechseln]:—appearance as his temporary, at-every-moment-attained redemption [Erlösung]; the world as the succession of divine visions and redemptions in appearance.[/size]


Hmm… The thing is, this passage presents one of the only two problems I still have understanding Nietzsche’s early metaphysics. The other is this:

[size=95]Mankind, with all of Nature as its to be presupposed womb [Mutterschooß], may in this broadest sense be characterised as the continuous birth of the genius: seen from that monstrous omnipresent perspective of the Primordial One, the genius is attained at every moment, the whole pyramid of appearance is perfect up to its apex. We, in the narrowness of our view and within the perception-mechanism [Vorstellungsmechanismus] of time, space, and causality, have to take a back seat when we recognise the genius as one among many and after many human beings; yea, we may be glad when we have recognized him at all, which can at bottom only happen by coincidence and has in many cases certainly never happened.

If mankind may be characterised as the continuous birth of the genius, how can the genius be attained at every moment from the perspective of the Primordial One? Mankind has not always existed and will not always exist. But Nietzsche implies that the Primordial One’s “monstrous omnipresent perspective” is outside “the perception-mechanism of time, space, and causality”. But if it is, It must see Becoming as a being, in the Parmenidean sense: it must see the entire block of time (cf. “block time”), or, if time is indeed circular, the entire ring of recurrence, at once. But then It is a being—again in the Parmenidean sense—beholding a being. But this is again regarding the Primordial One as transcendent to the world. It must be seen as immanent. In fact, the two beings are one and the same! The Primordial One is the world as a whole—not just as a spatial whole, but, so Nietzsche implies here, also as a temporal whole.

One solution I had for “the continuous birth of the genius” is this:

[list][size=95][M]etaphysics, religion, morality, science—all of them only products of his [man’s] will to art, to lie [noun], to flight from “truth,” to negation of “truth.” This ability itself, thanks to which he violates reality by means of lies, this artistic ability par excellence—he has it in common with everything that is. He himself is after all a piece of reality, truth, nature: how should he not also be a piece of genius in lying! […] The will to appearance, to illusion, to delusion, to Becoming and Changing (to objectified delusion) here [in The Birth of Tragedy] counts as deeper, more original, more “metaphysical” than the will to truth, to reality, to Being [I have no idea why Kaufmann has “mere appearance” here instead of “Being”]:—the last is itself merely a form of the will to illusion.
[The Will to Power, section 853.][/size]

Contrary to common knowledge [regarding his philosophy], Nietzsche regards Becoming and Changing here as “objectified delusion”, not as the true character of the world. The world, i.e., time itself, the progression of time, the universal process, is a delusion of the Primordial One. And this world is the will to power, that is, the will to lie (noun): the will to the lie of “Being”, in the Parmenidean sense. So the Primordial One has Being, in the Parmenidean sense; He/She/It hallucinates the world of Becoming, the world as will to power; and this world in turn generates images of Parmenidean Being, illusions and hallucinations of staticity or changelessness within the flux of Becoming. And because “everything that is” shares this artistic ability with man, there is no Dionysian appearance (Becoming) without an Apollinian reverberation (Being) for the eye of the Primordial One.


P.S.: The post I actually meant is this:

P.P.S: See also this one: An excerpt:

[L]iving in appearance is the goal of the original Oneness (AKA the Primordial One). The goal of the individual, however, is to become “wholly identified with the original Oneness, its pain and contradiction” (BT 5), then to produce “a replica of that Oneness as music, if music may legitimately be seen as a repetition of the world”, which replica “becomes visible to him again, as in a dream similitude, through the Apollinian dream influence”.

[list][size=95]Enchantment is the precondition of all dramatic art. In this enchantment the Dionysian reveler sees himself as satyr [i.e., as part of the chorus of satyrs, which is the original Oneness], and as satyr, in turn, he sees the god—that is, in his transformation he sees a new vision, which is the Apollinian completion of his state. And by the same token this new vision completes the dramatic act.
[BT 8.][/size]

The goal of the individual, then, is to become “not only reconciled to his fellow but actually at one with him—as though the veil of Maya had been torn apart and there remained only shreds floating before the vision of mystical Oneness.” (BT 1.) For in that state (or rather ec-stasy) he may partake in the complete redemption of the original Oneness, Its supreme joy, which consists in being absorbed in the contemplation of the individual’s Apollinian vision[.][/list:u]

A different approach:

On the one hand we have overfullness and Being; on the other, lack and Becoming/destruction. Overfullness impels toward Becoming/destruction; lack impels toward Being. Thus Zarathustra describes “[t]he soul in Being, which plungeth into Becoming” (Of Old and New Tables, 19). Zarathustra is Nietzsche’s soul; Zarathustra’s soul is Nietzsche. Zarathustra expends himself, giving everything to his soul: see The Night-Song and Of the Great Longing, which Lampert in his Nietzsche’s Teaching shows to correspond to one another. Zarathustra is the mature Nietzsche’s god, with a lower-case ‘g’, who corresponds with the early Nietzsche’s God, with a capital ‘g’—the Primordial One, the cosmic Dionysus. Thus Nietzsche calls Zarathustra “a Dionysus” in Ecce Homo, where he discusses TSZ in general and The Night-Song in particular. He says there that the solution to such a Dionysian overfullness would be Ariadne. Zarathustra’s Ariadne is mankind in general and Nietzsche in particular. Thus Nietzsche’s early poem “To the Unknown God”, in which Nietzsche calls to his unknown god, corresponds closely with his later poem “Ariadne’s Lament”, in which the caller is Ariadne, and the called, Dionysus.—

But back to Nietzsche’s early metaphysics. The Primordial One has Being, and Its redemption from that overfullness lies in Becoming, in destruction, in the individuation of Its shards. Yes, the destruction to which Its overfullness impels the Primordial One is self-destructionimaginary, of course, as It has Being and therefore cannot be destroyed. Its redemption lies in Its suspension of the disbelief in Its shattering into shards. And Its individual imaginary shards actually believe in their individuality, and thereby in the inevitable eventual destruction of all individual ‘beings’, including themselves. The torment this destruction causes them impels them toward beautiful ‘dreams’ of Being. For them, Being is the redemption from need.