On the Aim of Reason

“Knowledge, for Reason, is but a passing stage. Once, through its effortful striving, it has reached knowledge of the world entire, Reason coagulates into a knowing that knows itself. Knowledge is the being of Reason, and having reached being, Reason can act no more. When nothing escapes its gaze, and every corner of the world is engulfed in light, Reason portends its imminent annihilation by inactivity, and saves itself by plunging back into the world of becoming. Knowledge hides from itself by turning into talent, and Reason loses itself in the charms of Art. But the fate of becoming is being. Of necessity, Art cannot endure, and turns back into knowledge, by recalling whence it came. Through this senseless process of recollection—a degradation from which there is no respite—the cycle repeats, and propels Reason back to the brink of its own extinction. In aiming at Reason’s annihilation, recollection is thus the everlasting nemesis of Reason. The aim of Reason is neither knowledge nor truth. The ultimate aim of Reason is forgetting.” (On the Eternal Recurrence of the Slightly Different)

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