Whoever followed the Greeks, like that most profound student of their culture in our time, Jacob Burckhardt in Basel, knew immediately that something had been achieved thereby; and Burckhardt added a special section on this phenomenon to his To see the counter example, one should look at the almost amusing poverty of instinct among the German philologists when they approach the Dionysian.
In the end, my mistrust of Plato goes deep: he represents such an aberration from all the basic Greek instincts, is so moralistic, so pseudo-Christian (he already takes the concept of "the good" as the highest concept) that I would prefer the harsh phrase "higher swindle" or, if it sounds better, "idealism" for the whole phenomenon of Plato.
To put it metaphorically: Napoleon was a piece of "return to nature," as I understand the phrase (for example, in rebus tacticis; even more, as military men know, in matters of strategy).
One of the best-known contemporary practitioners of the Arabic-language short story is the Syrian Zakaria Tamer, now in his eighties—many of his story collections have been translated into English and are available here. Going back another fifty years, there is the Lebanese literary and political rebel Khalil Gibran, with his formally innovative spiritual stories or prose poems, hugely popular in the American counter-culture of the sixties and an important influence on Alomar (Gibran himself being profoundly influenced by the earlier cosmopolitan Syrian prose poet Francis Marrash, who died in 1873). But the very short form has its roots in various Arabic literary traditions that go back to the Middle Ages and before, one important example being the mammoth story compilation One Thousand and One Nights (whose multi-cultural origins lie in the tenth century or arguably even earlier) and fable traditions like the Panchatantra, a third-century Indian set of linked animal tales imported into Arabic in the eighth century as the Kalila wa Dimna.
That is how far decadence has advanced in the value-instincts of our politicians, of our political parties: instinctively they prefer what disintegrates, what hastens the end.
In my mouth, this formula is changed into its opposite the first example of my "revaluation of all values." An admirable human being, a "happy one," instinctively must perform certain actions and avoid other actions; he carries these impulses in his body, and they determine his relations with the world and other human beings.
Every thing that concerns you concerns me & I should be most unhappy if I thought we did not belong to each other forever…"
All things considered it becomes distinctly possible to suggest that the Faith and Reason debate has long been conducted "at cross-purposes" with Faith upholding what it believes of as being Spiritual Truth, (whilst tending in many cases to regard scientific truth as being of importance but of ultimately lesser significance), and Reason upholding what it perceives of as being Scientific Truth (whilst often having little or no conception that Spiritual Truth could be of value or even exist).
To begin with dreams: a cause is slipped after the fact under a particular sensation (for example, the sensation following a far-off cannon shot) often a whole little novel is fabricated in which the dreamer appears as the protagonist who experiences the stimulus.
Thus one searches not just for any explanation to serve as a cause, but for a specific and preferred type of explanation: that which has most quickly and most frequently abolished the feeling of the strange, new, and hitherto unexperienced in the past our most habitual explanations.
Human beings are not the effect of some special purpose, or will, or end; nor are they a medium through which society can realize an "ideal of humanity" or an "ideal of happiness" or an "ideal of morality." It is absurd to wish to devolve one's essence on some end or other.
There it is said, for example, with particular reference to sexuality: "If thy eye offend thee, pluck it out." Fortunately, no Christian acts in accordance with this precept.
It is no different with the tamed man whom the priest has "improved." In the early Middle Ages, when the church was indeed, above all, a kennel, the most perfect specimens of the "blond beast" were hunted down everywhere; and the noble Teutons, for example, were "improved." But how did such an "improved" Teuton look after he had been drawn into a monastery?
The most magnificent example of this is furnished by Indian morality, sanctioned as religion in the form of "the law of Manu." Here the objective is to breed no less than four races within the same society: one priestly, one warlike, one for trade and agriculture, and finally a race of servants, the Sudras.