Envy and admiration: Some important remarks about higher forms of life

1. Now more clearly than before, it occurs to me that all higher forms of life will require renunciation. At the moment of severance, the renunciant points to the lower, gives it a name, and frees himself from its hold. As Hadot shows in his work on ancient philosophy, the ancient philosopher must sever himself from ‘everyday consciousness’; Sloterdijk, in his work on Nietzsche for whom living extraordinarily and daringly was the ‘arrow’ of life, points to ‘ordinary life’; social entrepreneurs will point to greedy capitalism; the Romantic artist of plenitude to the bourgeoisie; the warrior to the hedonist governed by his appetites; etc. In sum, the lower serves its purpose if it can, at the outset, be that from which I sever myself.

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