realms. The question of life is thus at the same time the question of

Nietzsche’s Platonism, whether to be read as a simple Umdrehung (inversion) or as subtle Herausdrehung (twisting-free).19 It is a question, in short, of whether Nietzsche is capable of thinking life beyond metaphysics, the question that will decide whether we can attribute a new understanding of the body, a “new sensuousness,” to Nietzsche (GA 6.1: 213–24/N1: 211–20).

Zarathustra, attended by animals of his own and preaching loyalty to the earth, is a central site for the posing of this question. Zarathustra teaches the Übermensch and this figure proffers a negation of the essence of humanity as it has been understood hitherto, i.e., as animal rationale.20 But according to Heidegger, the Übermensch “negates it nihilistically,” which is to say metaphysically (GA 6.2: 264/N3: 217), and this in two ways: 1) The negation in question is simply directed at the traditional human privilege of rationality and the ascetic virtue system of which it is part. The life-denying, rational, ethical, Christian subject, the “sublime miscarriage,”21 is to be replaced by the life-affirming Übermensch, the former’s sterile reasoning replaced by a reckoning, calculating, and evaluating in the service of life. 2) The nihilistic negation is not a transformation of the opposition animal/rational, but merely the collapse of it. The negation does not do away with thought, but “takes it back into the service of animality (animalitas)” (GA 6.2: 264/N3: 218, tm).

With this, animality, too, is changed and no longer the “mere sensuality [Sinnlichkeit]” (GA 6.2: 264/N3: 218) opposed to reason, but rather what Heidegger will term “body” (Leib): “The name body identifies the distinctive unity in the constructs of domination in all drives, urges, and passions that will life itself” (GA 6.2: 264/N3: 218).22 The Übermensch occupies this body, rejecting anything outside of itself other than will to power (the empowering for overpowering), and (in an insidious return of the worldless cogito) attempting to decide its own essence purely from out of itself alone (see GA 6.2: 272/N3: 226; GA 6.2: 235/N3: 191). As Heidegger explains, “the Übermensch lives because the new humanity wills the being of beings as will to power. It wills such being because it is itself willed by that being, i.e., as humanity unconditionally left to itself” (GA 6.2: 273/N3: 227, tm).23 In this light, when Zarathustra rises and asks, “verily, do I still live?,”24 Heidegger can sharpen this question to “does my will correspond to the will which, as will to power, pervades the whole of beings?” (GA 7: 104/N2: 214, tm).

The Übermensch is stitched into the fabric of reality as will to power expands and preserves its power technologically. Technology shelters everything in the security of the standing reserve (Bestand), while constantly expanding its scope across the earth. The Übermensch as correspondent

19 See John Sallis, “Nietzsche’s Platonism,” for a thematic survey of Nietzsche’s complex relation to Plato and Platonism, and “Twisting Free—Being to an Extent Sensible” (Echoes, 76–96) for a critical account of Heidegger’s reading of that relationship.

20 In the view of Reiner Schürmann, humanity prior to the metaphysical reversal must be overcome because that humanity “is the type that underestimates”; see Being and Acting, 200. This underestimation prevents a total willing, and finds its most traditional source in the underestimation of the body in the history of philosophy: “It is the underestimation of the body that has inhibited the consummation of the will into will to power, an underestimation that reverses the overestimation of the soul or the spirit over the body. [. . .] the overman appears when the double control over the self (will) and over the world (its stabilization in the eternal return) abolishes the preëminence of representational reason over body” (Schürmann, Being and Acting, 200–1).

21 Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse, §62, KGW 6.2: 81/Beyond Good and Evil, 75.

22 Also, “‘Body’ is the name for that figure of the will to power in which the latter is immediately accessible, because constantly persevering, to the human as the ‘subject’ so distinguished” (GA 6.2: 270/N3: 223, tm).

22 Also, “‘Body’ is the name for that figure of the will to power in which the latter is immediately accessible, because constantly persevering, to the human as the ‘subject’ so distinguished” (GA 6.2: 270/N3: 223, tm).

24 Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathustra, Vorrede §10, KGW 6.1: 21/Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 25.

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