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#1
Old 08-12-2003, 10:11 PM
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What does "when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." mean?

I get the first, "Don't become a monster", part of the quote, but what does the second part mean?
#2
Old 08-12-2003, 10:22 PM
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It means that James Cameron makes sentient movies.
#3
Old 08-12-2003, 11:10 PM
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Be careful of what you hate lest you become it.

There's another one about touching pitch that I can not recall ...

Aquainting yourself with evil can bring evil into you.
#4
Old 08-12-2003, 11:17 PM
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Actually, I don't know that 'evil' is the right word; maybe just 'the unknown' would work as well.
#5
Old 08-12-2003, 11:32 PM
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Nietzsche is talking about the tendency to "fight fire with fire"...He's saying that when you fight against something, you run the risk of becoming the thing you're fighting against, and that's how causes get subverted.
#6
Old 08-12-2003, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CalMeacham
It means that James Cameron makes sentient movies.
They're alive! They're alive!
#7
Old 08-13-2003, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Captain Amazing
Nietzsche is talking about the tendency to "fight fire with fire"...He's saying that when you fight against something, you run the risk of becoming the thing you're fighting against, and that's how causes get subverted.
It sort of makes me wonder why he didn't say that then. And I also wonder if our government leaders and members of Congress, for the time being, have ever considered this.
#8
Old 08-13-2003, 01:14 AM
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Nietsche liked hyperbolic language. He was a Romantic or near kin to a Romantic. The idea was to evoke an image that would be more powerful and meaning-laden than a straight-up statement.
#9
Old 08-13-2003, 02:09 AM
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Are we sure that Nietche wasn't saying "abbess"? "When you look long into the abbess, the abbess also looks into you." To me, it sounds like one of those recovering Catholic phenomena.
#10
Old 08-13-2003, 02:09 AM
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That reminds me of something John Cheever once wrote:
Quote:
So he stands in the forest, asked to choose between the boundless light and a darkness whose only charm is mystery.

But what he overlooks is the fact that lightness and darkness have their own opinions.
#11
Old 08-13-2003, 03:26 AM
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It is not just fighting monsters.

When we concentrate on a value system, or a particular set of human behaviors, we tend to make our focus more and more narrow, in order to understand the specific thing we seek to understand. But human behavior is broad, varied, and complex. So, if I seek to understand the minds of murderers, I must look at the lives of murderers, and their opinions.

They are humans, and I too am human. What motivates them is also a mutilator to me, on at least some level. The more closely I study murder, as a behavior of humans, the more I can see the same human characteristics in myself, and in you, and in all other people. Eventually, I empathize with murderers.

So, I become more able to feel, and identify with the aberration of murder than with the more common, and more adaptive behaviors of "normal" people, because I have engaged in the aberrant behavior of murder vicariously to such an extent that it has become more normal to me than the virtue of the more common man. I distrust his virtue, because I cannot understand it.

I have studied evil, but I have not studied virtue.

I have looked into the abyss, and in the end, I peer out of it myself.

Tris
#12
Old 08-13-2003, 08:39 AM
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Triskadecamus, my compliments on some excellent thought and writing. Chillingly well told!
#13
Old 08-13-2003, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
I get the first, "Don't become a monster", part of the quote, but what does the second part mean?
Ya have that a bit backwards - the Big N was saying

"Don't get too close to monsters, or you risk becoming one yourself."

Its the second part that completes it and warns against becoming a monster.
#14
Old 08-13-2003, 10:08 AM
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Did you mean to write "mutilator", 13?
#15
Old 08-14-2003, 03:17 AM
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No.

But, I hesitate to "correct it now.

Tris

Just sittin' staring out of the abyss.
#16
Old 08-14-2003, 08:56 AM
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I guess Tris meant 'motivator'.
#17
Old 08-14-2003, 10:08 AM
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...Now, thaat's creepy !
#18
Old 08-14-2003, 11:22 AM
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Oh, that's not Nietzsche, it's Yakov Smirnof: "In United States, you look into abyss—In Soviet Union, abyss looks into you!"
#19
Old 08-14-2003, 11:34 AM
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Pogo: "We have met the enemy and he is us."
#20
Old 08-14-2003, 11:57 AM
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In My Back Pages Dylan wrote
Quote:
In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I'd become my enemy
In the instant that I preach
He is basically saying the same thing. He was so against hate that he ended up hating the haters, in that he became what he was against.
#21
Old 08-14-2003, 01:01 PM
KGS KGS is offline
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I stared into an abscess once. It grew eyes and stared back. Kinda freaky. I decided to call my dentist at that point.
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