One thing I wanted to happen after the release of the book was a fair amount of discussion about the contents and topics I covered within the book. I didn't actually realize that it would be me that disagreed with me, but here we are. I kinda provided myself a loophole in the Author's note though- mentioning that I am not married to any of these beliefs and always being open to changing my view on a few things. When new information is presented, it would be foolish not to integrate it into your cognitive framework and understanding of the world. In an effort to not be ignorant, these blog posts will be calling me out on my own bullshit.
Anyway, let me start with an excerpt from the book "Beyond Good and Evil" by Fredrich Nietzsche. You guys know I love Fredrich, that psycho son of a gun. Please read this:
Ok, so what is he saying, what did I say in the book, and what happened in my life that made me realize that homie may be onto something? In the chapter titled "Greed", I discussed what greed might look like pragmatically and within the context of human behavior. Being raised as a Christian, I was always under the impression that it is our human responsibility to help someone in need wherever we can afford to do so- whether that be financially, emotionally, or spiritually. For the Lord says he who helps the least of men is helping me too. Something like that. I always believed this to be viscerally true considering the great feelings I got within myself of euphoria anytime I did some small or large feat of humanitarianism.
In the chapter about greed, I mentioned that if you see someone asking for money on the side of the road and you don't extend your hand, it is because you have a deep-rooted resentment that you had to work hard for your money and are triggered when perceiving that someone else is not. Although I do believe this is still true in some cases, after reading this excerpt, I realized that my analysis was not nearly nuanced enough.
Consider this my walk of shame back to the drawing board.
Nietzsche brings up an incredibly mind-numbing point about seduction. Seduction. I can't even believe he used that word. He's so right. It's the enticement of the feeling we'd get after we help others that often motivates human behavior to actually help others. What a novel thought. "The entire morality of self-renunciation... according to which the castration of art seductively tries to create a good conscience for itself" Mind = blown.
Let me tell you what happened to me shortly before reading this quote. This is not a virtue-signaling post, simply a practical understanding of what he meant by this notion. I almost always give whatever loose bills I have to someone asking for money on the street. It was so habitual, in fact, that I never even read the signs they're holding asking for money- the sign could say "will use your money to buy cigarettes" and I wouldn't even pay attention. I like to believe in the goodness of people so I don't particularly like to entertain that thought, even if it were true. Majority of the time, the recipients are incredibly thankful and say something along the lines of "God bless you" which is good enough for me.
However, one day I was leaving the mall and I saw a gentleman standing there and I did what I usually do. I like to pay attention to body language so stay with me here. I noticed that when I stuck my hand out of the car and he approached, he didn't even look me in the face, his eyes were glued to the cash rolled up in my hand almost the way a moth is drawn to a flame. I didn't think much of it, but I didn't get the usual sense of satisfaction that I usually get. I noticed that part.
Two days later I was doing some reading and came across this aphorism and everything just clicked to me. I'm not going to go too in-depth here, maybe in a podcast, however, I wanted to share this realization with you all. I believe I was coerced into this form of almsgiving in an effort to evoke the deep satisfaction of morality that every human being is constantly fighting for. Subconsciously, of course. It's not like he was a government plant placed there to see if I were actually going to heed to his pleas of monetary support. I am not that big of a conspiracy theorist.
Neitschzism is often connotated with nihilism so I definitely want to make sure that the original discussion I had in the book is not completely invalid. I still do believe in the words that were said in the book. However, I'd like to add this piece of conventional nuance in order to be fair in my analysis of greed and how it applies to human behavior and motivation. Perhaps I should have said that greed in and of itself is not only in monetary value or food but also the incessant need to be morally superior to your past self. That's a form of seduction and greed, too.
Let me know what you think of this little debate once you read the chapter. I'd love to hear your perspective.