Tuesday, March 27, 2007
On the Eternal Return
On the Eternal Return: And hence, I say, the eternal return marks a fundamental feature in all forms of life! It is a process whereby man will ultimately return to the place from which he originated. This process is characterized by things endlessly repeating throughout time. The roots of such a concept can be traced back to the days of ancient Greece in which the Pythagoreans sought to examine the possibility of the universe as a finite entity. For the most part, the Pythagoreans believed that the universe contained a limited amount of matter. As a result, they concluded that it could not be expanding continuously. Today however, modern physicists like Stephen Hawking assert that the universe is constantly expanding. Aside from the scientific implications of eternal return, Friedrich Nietzsche brought an entirely literary perspective to the doctrine. On the whole, he claimed that time is merely a construct of the human intellect, and therefore, it should not be considered in all matters pertaining to life and death. Eternal return does not evoke the reincarnation of rational beings but rather makes note of the possibility that time will eventually return you to your starting point. When time is viewed in a linear fashion, it effectively shuts out the notion of the eternal. And yet, eternal return attempts to eliminate the distinction between the temporal and the eternal by teaching man that time is in fact cyclical.