Sooo…about the music we might hear if we listen to these Nietzschean cues. How may the possibilities appear if we entertain the play between ‘can’ and ‘may’?
It might be said the possibilities are endless, although such a posture retains a whisper of the human, all-too-human hope for certainty. That is, there are possibilities which remain yet to be discovered, a teleology of becoming toward ‘being,’ a final purpose ‘of it all.’ All the articles of faith in ‘things,’ in ’causes,’ Progress, and perhaps even Truth, remain intact which have both spawned and perpetuated the illusion of separation and the latter’s ‘real world’ impacts we perceive symptomatically as ecocide, social fragmentation, personal/self-alienation. We shape the world with our hands according to how we sense our ‘worldiness.’
Nearly every discourse is girded, and thus funneled, by way of these articles of faith: subject/object; cause/effect; mine/yours; matter/energy; and so on. With these assumptions grounding our living relations, and yet slowly killing those very same relations by way of conceptually placing a sense of solidity to that which may be better likened to watery whorls and undulating music, we witness our fleeting lives as hardly more than an interminable allergic reaction toward that we arbitrarily consider ‘not I,’ more fashionably stated as ‘the other.’
But, what if we play with Nietzsche, to the Dionysian tune of ‘can’ and ‘may’? Indeed, here we may say ‘Ecco!’ as Nietzsche’s musical philology appears in content-form (‘content’ and ‘form’ no more separate than ‘lightning’ and ‘flash’)*. While the relation between ‘can’ and ‘may’ may be described as one of tension , this is due more to our word usage and the lie/illusion of separation. It might be better to image (a manner of appearing) ‘can’ and ‘may’ as this tension, as tones, vibrating different tunes. In and as this world, this singular becoming, there can be no separations, only variations; overlapping-s, harmonies, as well as notes of discord, but the ‘textures’ of tones nonetheless.**
When I use ‘can’ in a Nietzschean sense I’m simply pointing toward localized capabilities (‘able to,’ to be able’) within a dynamic, ever shape-shifting, Heraclitean strand, yet inseparable from and always an expression of this strand. ‘May’ indicates the non-localized capabilities, the conditions enveloping every instance we shape as ‘local.’ Here the age-old belief in the duality, the divide, between ‘general’ and ‘particular’ may show itself as an arbitrary piece of theological residue which still haunts our discourse. That which we like to believe are ‘things,’ ‘objects,’ ‘beings’ situated ‘out there’ to our ‘in’ or ‘over here’ are perhaps better spoken of as localized capabilities appearing to us, sensed through ‘us.’***
Every capability is as ephemeral as they are unintelligible/uncertain. This includes, of course, ‘ourselves.’ We can name each instance or event, number them, make them more usable for us, but there’s no nut to be cracked, no unalterable essence to be found. The ongoing search for such, even by way of those persons proclaiming their atheistic secularism, can be considered little if any more than the lingering paradigm of a soul-in-search-of-it’s-God; the hallmark of ‘The Axial Age,’ that morbid, world renouncing piece of theatrics: ‘My Life is a Journey Home’
Each ‘capable instant’ remains only to the extent of its capability. This sounds circular and indeed may only be so described. To ‘be capable’ is instantaneous, now, present; an instant is a plenum of ‘itself’ and cannot any be otherwise. And yet, the belief that each ‘I’ changes ‘the world’ without changing ‘our Self’ remains a persistent lie; the very basis of ’cause’ as a prior action to each ‘effect’ is at work. ‘Git ‘er done!’ We’ve fooled ourselves into believing our language (in this case, that based in PIE), our naming, our sentence structure, is synonymous with the real.****
The inseparability of ‘can-may’ could be described as one author puts forth as ‘dynamic non-dualism.’ We recognize we’re telling a helpful fib even when we use two words, ‘can’ and ‘may,’ to indicate the ‘eternal recurrence’ (Ewige Wiederkunft) of each ‘capable instant.’ Each is ‘always arriving’ (‘…y llega siempre‘ of Paz? Spanish can be so lovely). Every ‘can’ is conditioned by, that is within, the ‘may’ allowing for ‘its’ very appearance; likewise, ‘may’ is altered simultaneously…and vice versa. Any contradiction found herein is solely based in the employment of logic toward that which logic arises within. Logical systems and their ‘laws’ are forever ‘behind the times,’ ‘after the fact.’ The dynamic non-dual ‘universe’ can never be amenable to our systems, particularly binary systems, which always refute themselves…they remain forever a circular argument. (I’ll touch on this another time.)
Long ago, Heraclitus, for one, attempted to describe this undulating music: ‘the way up and the way down is the same,’ ‘you cannot step in the same river twice,’ etc. It’s just that people hate uncertainty, despise the non-logical openness and flow of ‘the universe,’ frown upon the fuzziness of ‘boundaries,’ all of which are naught but our moral values we parade around as synonymous with ‘reality.’ The dominant tendency, particularly in the so-called ‘West,’ has been to block and/or channel the flow of the river; to see two divergent paths, one ‘up,’ one ‘down,’; to divide ‘the lightning’ from ‘the flash,’ ’cause’ from ‘effect’ and ‘I’ from ‘not-I.’
* See WP 531 for reference. In quoting or indicating Nietzsche’s corpus I will use the standard form of academic citation.
** All italicized words in this paragraph are etymologically rooted together.
*** Many times when I use the word ‘sense’ I am speaking in a broad…sense…in that in no way am I separating ‘sensuousness’, ‘the senses’ from ‘meaning’ (i.e. ‘In what sense…?’). Every body senses!
**** That many white supremists believe they are better and doing other than ‘the Semites’ is laughable at best when viewed from this vantage. Who cares if ‘Adam’ names or some Nordic precursor?