Människans hybris

I essän ”On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense” granskar Friedrich Nietzsche sanningsbegreppet närmare (vissa menar att han här förebådar postmodernismen). Det jag fastnade för var dock inledningen, i vilken han pekar på tendensen hos människan att se sig, och sin kunskap, som märkvärdig i det stora hela:

Once upon a time, in some out of the way corner of that universe which is dispersed into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever beasts invented knowing. That was the most arrogant and mendacious minute of ”world history,” but nevertheless, it was only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths, the star cooled and congealed, and the clever beasts had to die. One might invent such a fable, and yet he still would not have adequately illustrated how miserable, how shadowy and transient, how aimless and arbitrary the human intellect looks within nature. There were eternities during which it did not exist. And when it is all over with the human intellect, nothing will have happened. For this intellect has no additional mission which would lead it beyond human life. Rather, it is human, and only its possessor and begetter takes it so solemnly-as though the world’s axis turned within it. But if we could communicate with the gnat, we would learn that he likewise flies through the air with the same solemnity, that he feels the flying center of the universe within himself.

Precis som Nietzsche liknar vårt sätt att upphöja vår egen viktighet vid ett knotts motsvarande sätt har jag, intressant nog, många gånger tänkt på den mänskliga existensen som snarlik en guldfisks. Vi finns en liten tid inom givna parametrar och spolas sedan ned i toaletten, så att säga. Om hundra år är det sedan ingen som minns en längre. Och i det långa perspektivet upphör medvetet liv överhuvudtaget att existera (vilket måhända inte är att beklaga).