Rod Hemsell sulekha.com
Here we get a glimpse of the grave conclusion to which Heidegger was drawn by his analysis of Nietzsche's philosophy of eternal return of the same and will-to-power. In the last volume of his study, Heidegger writes: The Overman simply leaves the man of traditional values behind, overtakes him, and transfers the justification for all laws and the positing of all values to the empowering of power. An act or accomplishment is valid as such only to the extent that it serves to equip, nurture, and enhance will to power. (Nietzsche, Vol. IV, p. 6)
The catastrophe for the 20th Century, in Heidegger's interpretation, is that the metaphysics of the will-to-power led to the dangerously exclusive assumption of power and validity by 'calculative thinking' and 'technology,' which threaten humanity's potential for 'the thinking of Being,' which is its essence at its very roots. It is important for us to grasp the relevance of these philosophical insights, in the context of our study of the Divine Mother, and to reaffirm that the essence and being of man are indeed threatened today, as never before. And it is by those same powerful and dominant extensions of his being, in the form of communications and production technologies, by which he would establish a lasting and invulnerable world power, that he is likely to be undone. The tragic outcome of his illusion of the proximity of immortality, to be achieved through economic and military global dominance, will inevitably entail a magnitude of death and destruction, over time, from which it is unlikely that the human being will survive in its present form. The theme of 'world domination,' discussed at length by Heidegger in his study of Nietzsche, has come to the forefront of our concern again today, with constant daily references in the media to the games of nuclear-arms brinksmanship being played out between nations, to national economies being destroyed and governments collapsing under economic pressures brought on them by the controllers of world-economic power, and to the depletion and pollution of global water resources and food supplies, and destruction of the planet's ecology, as a result of a globally unsustainable human population growth, leading to famine, disease and revolt. All of these global crises are reported daily along with mundane news, advertising, and entertainment as though they were all equally dispensable bits of information to be deferred to another time.
But are these looming threats to human existence indications of the loss of its 'essence,' its Being? In fact, aren't they perfectly justifiable in terms of the nature of that Being itself, in the terms by which it has been understood by Nietzsche and Heidegger? In Being and Time, Heidegger has offered a detailed discussion of death as a necessary component of man's Being, as essential as its will-to-power and its tragic spirit: "As the end of Da-sein, death is the ownmost nonrelational, certain, and, as such, indefinite and not to be bypassed possibility of Da-sein. As the end of Da-sein, death is in the being of this being-toward-its-end. …The problem of the possible wholeness of the being which we ourselves actually are exists justifiably if care, as the fundamental constitution of Da-sein, 'is connected' with death as the most extreme possibility of this being." (Being and Time, p. 239)
It is man's essence to know Being, as the Being of man, through its proximity to man, and by this knowing man transcends himself. But Being is known through man's powerlessness. Its Immortality is known through his mortality. Its infinity is known through his finite awareness. It is his transitory reality that enables him to conceive of the Idea, of the Timeless in the infinite diversity of its beings in time. Is it not, then, perfectly consistent with this understanding of Being that in the very threat to its existence Mankind comes into the greatest possible fullness of Being? And might this not be the most logical and consistent end-of-man, in the hour of greatest threat, to realize in this paradox of Being and mortality that is his essence, the will to surpass himself, and to become the 'overman?'
The true solution, and the definitive transcendence, lies in the surpassing of man. And this solution is made possible by the manifestation of Being in a new form -- one with not only the consciousness of Being, but with the Power of Being. And the way to this overcoming has been described in detail, and its experience narrated by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, at the inevitable end of an epoch of the dominance of the mental, when the tragedy of man and his essence of mortality threatens to become the tragedy of the Earth. But it is now that the possibility of a true transcendence, and the realization of an absolute stillness and power, can reverse the very process of mortality.
And in this process of reversal, the destiny of the Earth may be held in a protective embrace, as the old and devalued forms crumble, and the new takes birth, emerging slowly into Being, as forms radiant with the delight and power of a divine Will-Force. This is the process proclaimed by Savitri, the creative Word and luminous Force that descends in the mortal to effect this transformation.