Eternal return

Eternal return (also known as eternal recurrence) is a theory that the universe and all existence and energy has been recurring, and will continue to recur, in a self-similar form an infinite number of times across infinite time or space. The theory is found in Indian philosophy and in ancient Egypt and was subsequently taken up by the Pythagoreans and Stoics. With the decline of antiquity and the spread of Christianity, the theory fell into disuse in the Western world, with the exception of Friedrich Nietzsche, who connected the thought to many of his other concepts, including amor fati. Eternal return relates to the philosophy of predeterminism in that people are predestined to continue repeating the same events over and over again.

Premise

The basic premise proceeds from the assumption that the probability of a world coming into existence exactly like our own is nonzero. If space and time are infinite, then it follows logically that our existence must recur an infinite number of times.[1]

In 1871 Louis Auguste Blanqui, assuming a Newtonian cosmology where time and space are infinite, claimed to have demonstrated eternal recurrence as a mathematical certainty.[2]

Classical antiquity

In ancient Egypt, the scarab (dung beetle) was viewed as a sign of eternal renewal and reemergence of life, a reminder of the life to come. (See also Atum and Ma'at.)

The Mayans and Aztecs also took a cyclical view of time.

In ancient Greece, the concept of eternal return was connected with Empedocles, Zeno of Citium, and most notably in Stoicism (see ekpyrosis, palingenesis).

Indian religions

The concept of cyclical patterns is prominent in Indian religions, such as Jainism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism among others. The important distinction is that events don't repeat endlessly but souls take birth until they attain salvation. The wheel of life represents an endless cycle of birth, life, and death from which one seeks liberation. In Tantric Buddhism, a wheel of time concept known as the Kalachakra expresses the idea of an endless cycle of existence and knowledge.

Friedrich Nietzsche

The concept of "eternal recurrence", the idea that with infinite time and a finite number of events, events will recur again and again infinitely, is central to the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche.[3] As Heidegger points out in his lectures on Nietzsche, Nietzsche's first mention of eternal recurrence, in aphorism 341 of The Gay Science (cited below), presents this concept as a hypothetical question rather than postulating it as a fact. According to Heidegger, it is the burden imposed by the question of eternal recurrence—whether or not such a thing could possibly be true—that is so significant in modern thought: "The way Nietzsche here patterns the first communication of the thought of the 'greatest burden' [of eternal recurrence] makes it clear that this 'thought of thoughts' is at the same time 'the most burdensome thought.' "[4]

The thought of eternal recurrence appears in a few of his works, in particular §285 and §341 of The Gay Science and then in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The most complete treatment of the subject appears in the work entitled Notes on the Eternal Recurrence, a work which was published in 2007 alongside Søren Kierkegaard's own version of eternal return, which he calls 'repetition'. Nietzsche sums up his thought most succinctly when he addresses the reader with: "Everything has returned. Sirius, and the spider, and thy thoughts at this moment, and this last thought of thine that all things will return". However, he also expresses his thought at greater length when he says to his reader:

"Whoever thou mayest be, beloved stranger, whom I meet here for the first time, avail thyself of this happy hour and of the stillness around us, and above us, and let me tell thee something of the thought which has suddenly risen before me like a star which would fain shed down its rays upon thee and every one, as befits the nature of light. - Fellow man! Your whole life, like a sandglass, will always be reversed and will ever run out again, - a long minute of time will elapse until all those conditions out of which you were evolved return in the wheel of the cosmic process. And then you will find every pain and every pleasure, every friend and every enemy, every hope and every error, every blade of grass and every ray of sunshine once more, and the whole fabric of things which make up your life. This ring in which you are but a grain will glitter afresh forever. And in every one of these cycles of human life there will be one hour where, for the first time one man, and then many, will perceive the mighty thought of the eternal recurrence of all things:- and for mankind this is always the hour of Noon".[5]

This thought is indeed also noted in a posthumous fragment.[6] The origin of this thought is dated by Nietzsche himself, via posthumous fragments, to August 1881, at Sils-Maria. In Ecce Homo (1888), he wrote that he thought of the eternal return as the "fundamental conception" of Thus Spoke Zarathustra.[7]

Am Stein der Ewigen Wiederkunft
Scene of Nietzsche's inspiration: "by a massive, pyramidally piled up block not far from Surlei".

Several authors have pointed out other occurrences of this hypothesis in contemporary thought. Rudolf Steiner, who revised the first catalogue of Nietzsche's personal library in January 1896, pointed out that Nietzsche would have read something similar in Eugen Dühring's Courses on philosophy (1875), which Nietzsche readily criticized. Lou Andreas-Salomé pointed out that Nietzsche referred to ancient cyclical conceptions of time, in particular by the Pythagoreans, in the Untimely Meditations. Henri Lichtenberger and Charles Andler have pinpointed three works contemporary to Nietzsche which carried on the same hypothesis: J.G. Vogt, Die Kraft. Eine real-monistische Weltanschauung (1878), Auguste Blanqui, L'éternité par les astres (1872) and Gustave Le Bon, L'homme et les sociétés (1881). Walter Benjamin juxtaposes Blanqui and Nietzsche's discussion of eternal recurrence in his unfinished, monumental work The Arcades Project.[8] However, Gustave Le Bon is not quoted anywhere in Nietzsche's manuscripts; and Auguste Blanqui was named only in 1883. Vogt's work, on the other hand, was read by Nietzsche during this summer of 1881 in Sils-Maria.[9] Blanqui is mentioned by Albert Lange in his Geschichte des Materialismus (History of Materialism), a book closely read by Nietzsche.[10] The eternal recurrence is also mentioned in passing by the Devil in Part Four, Book XI, Chapter 9 of Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, which is another possible source that Nietzsche may have been drawing upon.

Walter Kaufmann suggests that Nietzsche may have encountered this idea in the works of Heinrich Heine, who once wrote:

[T]ime is infinite, but the things in time, the concrete bodies, are finite. They may indeed disperse into the smallest particles; but these particles, the atoms, have their determinate numbers, and the numbers of the configurations which, all of themselves, are formed out of them is also determinate. Now, however long a time may pass, according to the eternal laws governing the combinations of this eternal play of repetition, all configurations which have previously existed on this earth must yet meet, attract, repulse, kiss, and corrupt each other again...[11]

Nietzsche calls the idea "horrifying and paralyzing", referring to it as a burden of the "heaviest weight" ("das schwerste Gewicht")[12] imaginable. He professes that the wish for the eternal return of all events would mark the ultimate affirmation of life:

What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.' [The Gay Science, §341]

To comprehend eternal recurrence in his thought, and to not merely come to peace with it but to embrace it, requires amor fati, "love of fate":[13]

My formula for human greatness is amor fati: that one wants to have nothing different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely to bear the necessary, still less to conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness before the necessary—but to love it.[13]

In Carl Jung's seminar on Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Jung claims that the dwarf states the idea of the eternal return before Zarathustra finishes his argument of the eternal return when the dwarf says, "'Everything straight lies,' murmured the dwarf disdainfully. 'All truth is crooked, time itself is a circle.'" However, Zarathustra rebuffs the dwarf in the following paragraph, warning him against over-simplifications.[14]

Albert Camus

The philosopher and writer Albert Camus explores the notion of "eternal return" in his essay on "The Myth of Sisyphus", in which the repetitive nature of existence comes to represent life's absurdity, something the hero seeks to withstand through manifesting what Paul Tillich called "The Courage to Be". Though the task of rolling the stone repeatedly up the hill without end is inherently meaningless, the challenge faced by Sisyphus is to refrain from despair. Hence Camus famously concludes that, "one must imagine Sisyphus happy."

Opposing argument

Nietzsche scholar Walter Kaufmann has described an argument originally put forward by Georg Simmel, which rebuts the claim that a finite number of states must repeat within an infinite amount of time:

Even if there were exceedingly few things in a finite space in an infinite time, they would not have to repeat in the same configurations. Suppose there were three wheels of equal size, rotating on the same axis, one point marked on the circumference of each wheel, and these three points lined up in one straight line. If the second wheel rotated twice as fast as the first, and if the speed of the third wheel was 1/π of the speed of the first, the initial line-up would never recur.[15]

Thus a system could have an infinite number of distinct physical configurations that never recur. However the example presupposes the possibility of perfect continuity: for instance, if the universe proves to have a quantum foam nature, then the exact quantity of an irrational number cannot be expressed by any physical object.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Tegmark M., "Parallel universes". Sci. Am. 2003 May; 288(5):40–51.
  2. ^ Jean-Pierre Luminet (2008-03-28). "The Wraparound Universe". AK Peters, Ltd. ISBN 978-1-56881-309-7
  3. ^ http://myweb.lmu.edu/tshanahan/Nietzsche-Eternal_Recurrence.html
  4. ^ See Heidegger Nietzsche. Volume II: The Eternal Recurrence of the Same trans. David Farrell Krell. New York: Harper and Row, 1984. 25.
  5. ^ Notes on the Eternal Recurrence - Vol. 16 of Oscar Levy Edition of Nietzsche's Complete Works (in English)
  6. ^ 1881 (11 [143])
  7. ^ Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, "Why I Write Such Good Books", "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", §1
  8. ^ Walter Benjamin. The Arcades Project. Trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Cambridge: Belknap-Harvard, 2002. See chapter D, "Boredom Eternal Return," pp. 101-119.
  9. ^ "?". Archived from the original on November 16, 2006. and "revision of previous catalogues". on the École Normale Supérieure's website
  10. ^ Alfred Fouillée, "Note sur Nietzsche et Lange: le "retour éternel", in Revue philosophique de la France et de l'étranger. An. 34. Paris 1909. T. 67, S. 519-525 (in French)
  11. ^ Kaufmann, Walter. Nietzsche; Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist. 1959, page 376.
  12. ^ Kundera, Milan. The Unbearable Lightness of Being. 1999, page 5.
  13. ^ a b Dudley, Will. Hegel, Nietzsche, and Philosophy: Thinking Freedom. 2002, page 201.
  14. ^ Gildersleeve, M. (2015). The Gay Science and the Rosarium Philosophorum. Agathos, 6(2), 37.
  15. ^ Kaufmann, Walter. Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist. (Fourth Edition) Princeton University Press, 1974. p327

References

  • Louis-Auguste Blanqui, Eternity by the Stars, tr. with an intro by Frank Chouraqui (New York: Contra Mundum Press, 2013).
  • Paolo D'Iorio, "The Eternal Return: Genesis and Interpretation", in The Agonist, vol. III, issue I, spring 2011.
  • Hatab, Lawrence J. (2005). Nietzsche's Life Sentence: Coming to Terms with Eternal Recurrence. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-96758-9.
  • Lorenzen, Michael (2006). "The Ideal Academic Library as Envisioned through Nietzsche's Vision of the Eternal Return". MLA Forum 5, no. 1.
  • Lukacher, Ned (1998). Time-Fetishes: The Secret History of Eternal Recurrence. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-2253-6.
  • Magnus, Bernd (1978). Nietzsche's Existential Imperative. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34062-4.
  • Jung, Carl (1988). Nietzsche's Zarathustra: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1934 - 1939 (2 Volume Set). Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-09953-8.
  • Mircea Eliade (1954) Myth of the Eternal Return Bollingen Foundation Princeton University Press ISBN 978-0691-01777-8
ARIA Award for Best Adult Alternative Album

The ARIA Music Award for Best Adult Alternative Album is an award presented at the annual ARIA Music Awards. The ARIA Awards recognise "the many achievements of Aussie artists across all music genres", and have been given by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) since 1987.To be eligible for this award the album must be of an Adult Alternative genre by solo artists and groups; only album recordings are eligible; recordings must be directed toward Adult Alternative formats; the recording cannot be entered in any other genre category. Best Adult Alternative Album is judged by a specialist judging school of representatives experienced with the genre.Best Adult Alternative Album was first handed out in 1994. Up until 2001 it was called Best Alternative Release, which was awarded for an album or single release. From 2002-2009 the award was discontinued before being reinstated in 2010 under its current name. Again, from 2012-2015 the award was not presented until 2016 awards, the most recent ceremony.

You Am I and Regurgitator have won the most awards in this category with two each. You Am I have received the most nominations with five followed by Dirty Three, Regurgitator and Spiderbait with three and Magic Dirt, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Something for Kate with two. Martyn P. Casey, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis and Jim Sclavunos have earned three nominations each as members of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Grinderman. Since the award's inception only six solo acts have been nominated with one artist, Sarah Blasko, winning in 2016 for her album Eternal Return.

Darkest Hour (band)

Darkest Hour is an American heavy metal band from Washington, D.C., formed in 1995. Though failing to break early in their career, the band has received acclaim for their albums Undoing Ruin, Deliver Us, and The Eternal Return. Deliver Us debuted at number 110 on the Billboard album charts, with sales of 6,600, and their more recent effort The Eternal Return garnered them an even higher position in the Billboard album charts at number 104. Their latest album Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora charted at 42 on the Billboard 200, a peak for the band, and it marked a stylistic shift in the band's discography.

Eternal Return (Sarah Blasko album)

Eternal Return is the fifth studio album by ARIA award-winning Australian singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko. The album was released in Australia on 6 November 2015 through EMI, in the US on 6 November 2015 on Amazon and in the UK on February 5, 2016 through MVKA.

Eternal Return (Windhand album)

Eternal Return is the fourth studio album by doom metal band Windhand. It was released on 5 October 2018 by Relapse Records. The album was produced by Jack Endino and is the band's first without founding guitarist Asechiah Bogdan.

Eternal return (Eliade)

The "eternal return" is an idea for interpreting religious behavior proposed by the historian Mircea Eliade; it is a belief expressed through behavior (sometimes implicitly, but often explicitly) that one is able to become contemporary with or return to the "mythical age"—the time when the events described in one's myths occurred. It should be distinguished from the philosophical concept of eternal return.

Eternity

Eternity in common parlance is an infinitely long period of time. In classical philosophy, however, eternity is defined as what exists outside time while sempiternity is the concept that corresponds to the colloquial definition of eternity.

Eternity is an important concept in many religions, where the god or gods are said to endure eternally. Some, such as Aristotle, would say the same about the natural cosmos in regard to both past and future eternal duration, and like the eternal Platonic forms, immutability was considered essential.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (, German: [ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈniːtʃə] (listen) or [- ˈniːtsʃə]; 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, philologist, and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on modern intellectual history. He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy. He became the youngest ever to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869 at the age of 24. Nietzsche resigned in 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life; he completed much of his core writing in the following decade. In 1889 at age 44, he suffered a collapse and afterward, a complete loss of his mental faculties. He lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897 and then with his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. Nietzsche died in 1900.Nietzsche's body of work touched a wide range of topics, including art, philology, history, religion, tragedy, culture, and science. His writing spans philosophical polemics, poetry, cultural criticism, and fiction while displaying a fondness for aphorism and irony. His early inspiration was drawn from figures such as Arthur Schopenhauer, Richard Wagner, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Prominent elements of his philosophy include his radical critique of truth in favor of perspectivism; his genealogical critique of religion and Christian morality and his related theory of master–slave morality; his aesthetic affirmation of existence in response to the "death of God" and the profound crisis of nihilism; his notion of the Apollonian and Dionysian; and his characterization of the human subject as the expression of competing wills, collectively understood as the will to power. He also developed influential concepts such as the Übermensch and the doctrine of eternal return. In his later work, he became increasingly preoccupied with the creative powers of the individual to overcome social, cultural and moral contexts in pursuit of new values and aesthetic health.After his death, his sister Elisabeth became the curator and editor of Nietzsche's manuscripts, reworking his unpublished writings to fit her own German nationalist ideology while often contradicting or obfuscating Nietzsche's stated opinions, which were explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism. Through her published editions, Nietzsche's work became associated with fascism and Nazism; 20th century scholars contested this interpretation of his work and corrected editions of his writings were soon made available. Nietzsche's thought enjoyed renewed popularity in the 1960s and his ideas have since had a profound impact on 20th and early-21st century thinkers across philosophy—especially in schools of continental philosophy such as existentialism, postmodernism and post-structuralism—as well as art, literature, psychology, politics and popular culture.

If She Knew What She Wants

"If She Knew What She Wants" is a song by Jules Shear released on his 1985 album The Eternal Return. The song was recorded a year later by The Bangles for their 1986 album Different Light.

L'Éternel retour

L'Éternel retour (English: The Eternal Return) is a French drama romance film from 1943, directed by Jean Delannoy, written by Jean Cocteau, starring Madeleine Sologne and Jean Marais. In United Kingdom, the film was also known under the alternative title Love Eternal.

Meow Wolf

Meow Wolf is an Arts and Entertainment company based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States. The organization was founded in 2008.

Mircea Eliade

Mircea Eliade (Romanian: [ˈmirt͡ʃe̯a eliˈade]; March 9 [O.S. February 24] 1907 – April 22, 1986) was a Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, and professor at the University of Chicago. He was a leading interpreter of religious experience, who established paradigms in religious studies that persist to this day. His theory that hierophanies form the basis of religion, splitting the human experience of reality into sacred and profane space and time, has proved influential. One of his most influential contributions to religious studies was his theory of Eternal Return, which holds that myths and rituals do not simply commemorate hierophanies, but, at least to the minds of the religious, actually participate in them.His literary works belong to the fantastic and autobiographical genres. The best known are the novels Maitreyi ("La Nuit Bengali" or "Bengal Nights"), Noaptea de Sânziene ("The Forbidden Forest"), Isabel și apele diavolului ("Isabel and the Devil's Waters") and Romanul Adolescentului Miop ("Novel of the Nearsighted Adolescent"), the novellas Domnișoara Christina ("Miss Christina") and Tinerețe fără tinerețe ("Youth Without Youth"), and the short stories Secretul doctorului Honigberger ("The Secret of Dr. Honigberger") and La Țigănci ("With the Gypsy Girls").

Early in his life, Eliade was a journalist and essayist, a disciple of Romanian far-right philosopher and journalist Nae Ionescu, and a member of the literary society Criterion. In the 1940s, he served as cultural attaché to the United Kingdom and Portugal. Several times during the late 1930s, Eliade publicly expressed his support for the Iron Guard, a fascist and antisemitic political organization. His political involvement at the time, as well as his other far right connections, were frequently criticised after World War II.

Noted for his vast erudition, Eliade had fluent command of five languages (Romanian, French, German, Italian, and English) and a reading knowledge of three others (Hebrew, Persian, and Sanskrit). He was elected a posthumous member of the Romanian Academy.

Nietzsche and Philosophy

Nietzsche and Philosophy (French: Nietzsche et la philosophie) is a 1962 book about Friedrich Nietzsche by the philosopher Gilles Deleuze, in which the author treats Nietzsche as a systematically coherent philosopher, discussing concepts such as the will to power and the eternal return. Nietzsche and Philosophy is a celebrated and influential work. Its publication has been seen as a significant turning-point in French philosophy, which had previously given little consideration to Nietzsche as a serious philosopher.

Sarah Blasko

Sarah Blasko (born Sarah Elizabeth Blaskow, 23 September 1976) is an Australian singer-songwriter, musician and producer. From April 2002 Blasko developed her solo career after fronting Sydney-based band, Acquiesce, between the mid-1990s and 2001. She had performed under her then married name, Sarah Semmens, and, after leaving Acquiesce, as Sorija in a briefly existing duo of that name. As a solo artist Blasko has released six studio albums, The Overture & the Underscore (11 October 2004), What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Have (21 October 2006) – which peaked at No. 7 on the ARIA Albums Chart, As Day Follows Night (10 July 2009) – which reached No. 5, I Awake (26 October 2012) – which made No. 9, Eternal Return (6 November 2015), and Depth of Field (23 February 2018).

At the ARIA Music Awards of 2007, Blasko won Best Pop Release for her second album. Her third album won the Best Female Artist in 2009 and her fourth album was nominated for the same category in 2013. In October 2010 As Day Follows Night was listed at No. 19 in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums; the authors noted that it "turned on emotional subtlety and instrumental clarity. It sounded like little else in 2009, or most any other year".

Temporality

In philosophy, temporality is traditionally the linear progression of past, present, and future. However, some modern-century philosophers have interpreted temporality in ways other than this linear manner. Examples would be McTaggart's The Unreality of Time, Husserl's analysis of internal time consciousness, Martin Heidegger's Being and Time (1927), George Herbert Mead's Philosophy of the Present (1932), and Jacques Derrida's criticisms of Husserl's analysis, as well as Nietzsche's eternal return of the same, though this latter pertains more to historicity, to which temporality gives rise.

In social sciences, temporality is also studied with respect to human's perception of time and the social organization of time. The perception of time undergoes significant change in the three hundred years between the Middle Ages and Modernity.

Terrestrials (album)

Terrestrials is a collaborative studio album by American drone metal band Sunn O))) and Norwegian experimental music group Ulver. Produced by Stephen O'Malley and Kristoffer Rygg, it was released on February 3, 2014, via Southern Lord Records. It has been described as "three live improvisation pieces".On December 10, 2013, a sample from the closing track, "Eternal Return", was released for streaming. It was also streamed on Pitchfork Advance on the day it was released until February 10, 2014.

The Eternal Return (Darkest Hour album)

The Eternal Return is the sixth studio album by American melodic death metal band Darkest Hour released on June 23, 2009 through Victory Records. The album was produced by Brian McTernan (Senses Fail, Thrice, From Autumn To Ashes) who had previously produced Darkest Hour's debut album The Mark of the Judas in 2000. The album fulfilled the band's contract with Victory, making it their last release through the label.

The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas

The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas (Greek: Η αιώνια επιστροφή του Αντώνη Παρασκευά, translit. I aionia epistrofi tou Antoni Paraskeua) is a 2013 Greek drama film written and directed by Elina Psikou. It was screened in the City to City section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Windhand

Windhand is an American doom metal band formed in Richmond, Virginia in 2008. Currently signed to Relapse Records, Windhand released their most recent album, Eternal Return, in October 2018.

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