“The Gay Science”
“As an aesthetic phenomenon existence is still bearable for us, and art furnishes us with eyes and hands and above all the good conscience to be able to turn ourselves into such a phenomenon.” (GS, sec. 107) Nietzsche explores the idea that art is the key source to understanding our own conscious beliefs. It heightens the ability to observe the errors that lie within the “conscious” and discover the hero no less than the fool in our passion for knowledge. Nietzsche disdainfully observes the crowd that fervently believes that they are elevating their instinctive consciousness when placed, for example, in front of a play, but he labels them as pitiful and blind subjects to their own ridiculous condition. Using art, or other artfully structured illusions such as theatre, prevents humanity from truly facing their reality, and from raising their consciousness. As Nietzsche writes, in the case of an artist, they have the capability to live life through dreams. With these dreams, humanity can overcome the most difficult tasks without feeling “intoxicated” by the masses that are trapped within their own fixed fantasy.
In Nietzsche’s Gay Science, section 301, he discusses our failed recognition of our own creativity. We do not realize that we are the very “poets” who keep creating life. We define what an object is and give it value so it becomes part of the very system we built and live in. This system is seen by Nietzsche as an “illusion.” Since it is constructed through our own instinctive knowledge, which is based on errors, it is hard to consider (or name) it as a true “reality.” We do not know what is true or real, but we are always trying to uncover the mysteries behind it. Nietzsche finds this search to be a lost cause because of how we continually use our inventions of rules and laws to help find the unknown. He begins to look towards our methods of how we sort these rules into different sub-systems in order to...