This little booklet is a powerful triplet of essays first published by Sri Aurobindo in the monthly review Arya in 1915. In his splashing poetic prose, Sri Aurobindo first describes his Superman against the backdrop of the Nietzschean overman and public misconceptions. He then goes on to hammer out the relationships between all-will, free-will and fate. At the last, he commands you to grasp the delight of works with his lilting voice of authority. All together, this little booklet is like a powerful vitamin B shot for the soul.
Author: Sri Aurobindo
Print Length: 21 pages
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram
- The Superman
- All-Will and Free-Will
- The Delight of Works
Nietzsche first cast it, the mystic of Will-worship, the troubled, profound, half-luminous Hellenising Slav with his strange clarities, his violent half-ideas, his rare gleaming intuitions that came marked with the stamp of an absolute truth and sovereignty of light. But Nietzsche was an apostle who never entirely understood his own message. His prophetic style was like that of the Delphic oracles which spoke constantly the word of the Truth but turned it into untruth in the mind of the hearer. Not always indeed; for sometimes he rose beyond his personal temperament and individual mind, his European inheritance and environment, his revolt against the Christ-idea, his war against current moral values and spoke out the Word as he had heard it, the Truth as he had seen it, bare, luminous, impersonal and therefore flawless and imperishable. But for the most part this message that had come to his inner hearing vibrating out of a distant Infinite like a strain caught from the lyre of far-off Gods, did get, in his effort to appropriate and make it nearer to him, mixed up with a somewhat turbulent surge of collateral ideas that drowned much of the pure original note.
Especially, in his concept of the Superman he never cleared his mind of a preliminary confusion. For if a sort of human godhead is the goal to which the race must advance, the first difficulty is that we have to decide to which of two very different types of divinity the idea in us should owe allegiance. For the deity within may confront us either with the clear, joyous and radiant countenance of the God or the stern convulsed visage of the Titan. Nietzsche hymned the Olympian but presented him with the aspect of the Asura. His hostile preoccupation with the Christ-idea of the crucified God and its consequences was perhaps responsible for this distortion, as much as his subjection to the imperfect ideas of the Greeks. He presents to us sometimes a superman who fiercely and arrogantly repels the burden of simple sorrow and service, not one who arises victorious over mortality and suffering, his ascension vibrant with the triumph-song of a liberated humanity. To lose the link of Nature’s moral evolution is a capital fault in the apostle of supermanhood; for only out of the unavoidable line of the evolution can that emerge in the bosom of a humanity long tested, ripened and purified by the fire of egoistic and altruistic suffering.