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Omnidesire as the Ending of Desire: Zarathustra, Mahāyāna Buddhism, Tiantai

Omnidesire as the Ending of Desire: Zarathustra, Mahāyāna Buddhism, Tiantai Nietzsche’s <i>Thus Spoke Zarathustra</i> is a work that bears comparison to Mahāyāna Buddhist literature in more ways than one. Nietzsche was turning against the Schopenhauerian doctrine of the denial of the will, which he read as symptomatic of a larger nihilistic trend swallowing up almost all existing spiritual culture, while the Mahāyāna was turning against the world-denying implications of the doctrine of Nirvana as the ending of desire and samsara that was so central to early Buddhism. In this article, I explore one move made in both of these cases: the move from total negation to total affirmation seen as a convergence of these two apparently opposed extremes. Of central interest here is the “identity of indiscernibles” that applies structurally to these two opposite extremes, “willing nothing” and “willing everything,” with the latter effected only through “willing one thing intensely,” at once excluding and including all other things, and its liberative potential. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Nietzsche Studies Penn State University Press

Omnidesire as the Ending of Desire: Zarathustra, Mahāyāna Buddhism, Tiantai

The Journal of Nietzsche Studies , Volume 46 (1) – Apr 2, 2015

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © The Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1538-4594

Abstract

Nietzsche’s <i>Thus Spoke Zarathustra</i> is a work that bears comparison to Mahāyāna Buddhist literature in more ways than one. Nietzsche was turning against the Schopenhauerian doctrine of the denial of the will, which he read as symptomatic of a larger nihilistic trend swallowing up almost all existing spiritual culture, while the Mahāyāna was turning against the world-denying implications of the doctrine of Nirvana as the ending of desire and samsara that was so central to early Buddhism. In this article, I explore one move made in both of these cases: the move from total negation to total affirmation seen as a convergence of these two apparently opposed extremes. Of central interest here is the “identity of indiscernibles” that applies structurally to these two opposite extremes, “willing nothing” and “willing everything,” with the latter effected only through “willing one thing intensely,” at once excluding and including all other things, and its liberative potential.

Journal

The Journal of Nietzsche StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Apr 2, 2015

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