Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Nietzsche on morality of "the herd"

When going through challenging times, I tend to read whatever helps to clear my confused mind and heart. Usually, some psychology or self-help book. But this time, just because it was lying around for future reading, I threw myself into Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.

It is perhaps odd that I would choose to struggle through such complicated thoughts when my mind is in a state of chaos. But a perverse will that ignores soothing meditation, and craves knowledge pushed past any protest. I charged through the book like a desperate person hacking away at dense jungle vegetation. With the blind faith of finding light. And a few rays of clarity did peek through.

In spite of the arrogance with which Nietzsche tears apart other philosophers, I do admire his deep insight.

The chapter On the Natural History of Morals did not offer solutions to my confusion, but strengthened my own beliefs. Here's Nietzsche's observation on the moral perspective of the community in the 19th century, that I find very pertinent, "... everything that raises the individual above the herd and makes his neighbour quail is henceforth called evil; the fair, modest, obedient, self-effacing disposition, the mean and average in desires acquires moral names and honours."

As an artist, I tend to stay away from the repressive morality of what Nietzsche describes disparagingly as "the herd". I often sadly see reason used as a manipulative tool to conform to moral standards that tend to kill the creative soul. Societal guidelines are of course conducive to peace and order, but we're all individuals and find fulfillment and happiness in different ways.

In the end, it is more important to be true to ourselves while respecting the morality of others without having to conform to them. And I'm glad I'm not living during Nietzsche's era. Things have really loosened up since then...

Spring is here and the trees are showing their sexy lingerie, as my friend Judy loves to describe the lacy pattern of budding leaves. It is time to leave behind the "winter of our discontent" and embrace the new hopes of spring ...

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Thanks

Thanks to all who came to the show opening of Canadian Women Revealed yesterday. It was so wonderful to reconnect with friends I haven't seen in a while, to see familiar faces as well as new ones. Your support is so heart-warming. Thanks Tony, Kieran, and Liz for being such wonderful hosts and for serving the delicious appetizers.

To all those who took part in the contest, good luck. For those who haven't had a chance to drop by De Sotos, the exhibition runs until May 30th. Contest closes on last day and results will be announced by June 4th. I will be there every Thursday evening from 6 pm as well as Sunday morning from 11 am to 2 pm. Looking forward to seeing you there ...