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Thus Spoke Zarathustra - A Reader's Guide

Podcast by Alex Drake

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1 - Introduction

Based on the translation by Graham Parkes. An overview of the purpose of the podcast, a brief history of Nietzsche and Thus Spoke Zarathustra, some notes on the text, and a brief introduction to Alex Drake.

50mins

5 Feb 2016

Rank #1

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4 - Zarathustra's Prologue, Part 2

Based on the translation by Graham Parkes. Zarathustra meets his foil - how following Western/Christian thinking through to its end leads to the old holy man and his lifestyle. Alex discusses love of humanity, and the contrast between the old Western/Christian way of life, and that which Zarathustra & Nietzsche proclaim to bring to humanity.

29mins

1 Mar 2016

Rank #2

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15 - On Enjoying and Suffering the Passions

Based on the translation by Graham Parkes - Where do we find value in our lives? Nietzsche denies that we can legitimately get value - the things in our lives to care about, aim at, and develop ourselves around - from either religion or rationality. Instead, these must come from the Self - the sum totality of who we are, the biological impulses that are then guided and analyzed by the rational mind. We must search within ourselves for what defines us, what we consider important - we must understand how our virtues (idealized bodily impulses and desires) speak to us and develop, and how to orient our lives and actions around those to live a life filled with meaning.

50mins

5 Jan 2017

Rank #3

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14 - On Despisers of the Body, Part 2

Based on the translation by Graham Parkes - Part 2 of "On Despisers of the Body" goes into more depth around how the Platonic/Christian focus on reason, rationality, the spirit, and honesty led to the scientific mindset. The tendency to focus on spirit over the body has led to interesting positive and negative impacts on our lives and societies, including nihilism. Alex discusses how an overemphasis on rationality can be debilitating to humans, and expands upon Nietzsche's belief in the primacy of the body, and how our minds are simply tools of our body.

40mins

17 Sep 2016

Rank #4

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13 - On Despisers of the Body, Part 1

Based on the translation by Graham Parkes - Alex discusses the Nietzschean view of language and reason, and how when humans believe too much in language and the categories of reason, we tend to mummify the living, moving reality we're trying to describe. An overemphasis on reason and language can lead to belief in Platonic/Christian "worlds we cannot know", and also worlds that are static. Nietzsche wants to correct this, and return understanding and reason to being tools of the body, rather than ends in themselves.

40mins

6 Aug 2016

Rank #5

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12 - On Believers In A World Behind

Based on the translation by Graham Parkes - To understand Nietzsche, one must understand Plato and Christianity. To bring you up to speed on this, Alex explains the mystical religious experience, how this leads to a certain interpretation of the world, how this metaphysical worldview, in conjunction with how language and human thinking operate, created the ethical system, institutions, ideas, and customs that we have today. Nietzsche is severely critical of this several-millennia old way of seeing things, and in our path to better understand ourselves and the world, we must take the long trip from Plato and Christ's static Good reality to Nietzsche's dynamic, good & evil, and physiological interpretation of human reality.

1hr 48mins

16 Jul 2016

Rank #6

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11 - On The Professorial Chairs Of Virtue

Based on the translation by Graham Parkes. In this episode, Alex discusses the attitude of passionate engagement towards the things in our lives that we care about. If we take all the right steps and do all the right things, but with the wrong attitude, we will not grow, and we will not develop.

35mins

23 Jun 2016

Rank #7

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10 - On The Three Transformations

Based on the translation by Graham Parkes. In the first chapter of the actual book, Zarathustra describes the transformations that our minds will go through in the process of mastery - the camel, the lion, and the child. With the camel, our minds are well laden with heavy responsibilities, heavy thoughts, and humility towards things we need to learn. With the lion, we kill the notion of duty to these higher imperatives, and create freedom for ourselves to be creative individuals who build upon our own personal virtues. Finally, with the child, we play and are creative with our newfound mastery. An understanding of the evolution of our mindset and perspective is CRUCIAL for understanding TSZ, and for understanding where we are in our growth process.

46mins

2 Jun 2016

Rank #8

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9 - Zarathustra's Prologue, Parts 8 9 & 10

Based on the translation by Graham Parkes. Alex closes out the prologue with a discussion of who Nietzsche is attacking when he talks about the "Good and the Righteous" and "Believers of Right Belief" - the people in every society who are enforce and uphold "correct thinking" and "correct behaviours". Nietzsche also discusses the type of people who will be his best readers and companions, and who will enjoy the teachings of Nietzsche and Zarathustra.

44mins

10 May 2016

Rank #9

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8 - Zarathustra's Prologue, Parts 6 & 7

Based on the translation by Graham Parkes. Reclaiming Nietzsche from the Nazis - while often cited as the philosophical justification of Nazi ideology, Alex discusses this relationship in depth, and shows that Nietzsche wasn't a genocidal maniac.

32mins

24 Apr 2016

Rank #10