Inescapable, endless, interpretations

Inescapable, endless, interpretationsThat we interpret the world does not entail that we must interpret it in one fashion rather than or over against another, even if it means that we must continue interpreting, in some fashion or other.  At least Nietzsche realized that his position was wide open to the attack of being his own, or a single, interpretation among many, his interpretation of the world as will to power and nothing besides, his interpretation that all life, all living, is interpreting and being interpreted, instead of holding that the flux and ocean of interpretations was reality itself, the ding an sich or the–paradoxically–uninterpreted essence of things.  The flux, the stream, is as much interpretation as the static and the coherent, the well-formed and the ordered.  Will to power, or the most thoroughgoing hermeneutic standpoint yet, is a leveling of all appearances to appearances of appearances, it is the leveling of all things to a common or shared field, what Deleuze so provocatively and as if hitting the fist in the eye, dubbed the field of immanence.  We cannot escape interpretation and the wheel of interpretations, that much is certain; this does not mean, however, that we may not be quite episodic, quite haphazard, even chaotic, in our interpretations, in how we come to meet the world and share with all the things of the world, all interpreting and interpreted things, an encounter that makes a jumble out of everything, and is the last thing from linear or teleological or being in any manner constructed with an end in view.  We might never escape interpretation, but life may nevertheless turn up quite the mess, and this does not mean that we have gone astray in our duty, our responsibility, to interpret the world and make it all of a piece.  Chaos, the necessity of chaos, has as much worth, even when it is the height of worthlessness or of the inestimable, even when it juts out from the order of our lives, as it were, and surprises us not so much with possibility but with impossibility, the impossibility of grasping, the impossibility of moving on and giving shape, as much worth or even more than the most well-planned and well-ordered, manageable living space or system of values.  Because they are both alike appearances, and only that, appearances that collide into or turn round and round about one another.  Or sometimes they turn aside from one another and, as Heraclitus warned, turn each into a world of its own.  But far be it from us to say that such weakness, such failure in dealing with the world, with the endless interpretations of the world and the flux of these, is strength, or is anything close to strength!


  1. I liked Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra but i realize that the sacred immensity is very much alive (much more than we humans are).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Richard Q says:

      Thank you, Tom. There is a way in which Nietzsche’s Zarathustra says the same. Zarathustra the godless, perhaps, but Zarathustra the mundane? I am quite less sure.


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