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Patrick Bertlein Reviews Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness And Eternity at Heathen Harvest

Over at Heathen Harvest, long-time reader and commenter Patrick Bertlein writes a somewhat Left-leaning critique of Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness And Eternity. From the review:

Much of this is about positivity, and in this Stevens’ nihilism is more uplifting than anything, but first you have to be able to see how you have created a false reality and move beyond that. This is not nearly as dark as one would suppose the subject matter is, and Nihilism shows more similarities with someone like Brené Brown than, say, a black metal kid brooding about the misery of his existence. All of this makes it quite confusing, for beyond the wacky ideas and parables, he often makes quite a lot of sense. Brett Stevens is a man of contradictions, revealing an interest in conservation while advocating for corporations, expressing ideas that many would find shocking and simultaneously seeming to say some of these things are in others’ best interests—and perhaps they are.

…Returning to how he defines nihilism and what was supposed to be the overarching theme of this work—philosophy—he reveals an empowering ideology that gives the readers an opportunity to analyze themselves and redefine how they perceive reality. To use his own word, nihilism is a “gateway” to lead to something better for the individual. Fatalism is dismissed as a false nihilism, passivity that only leads to an excuse to sit around doing nothing and wasting your irrelevant life away. The exact definition of nihilism he gives is a “lack of inherent value,” and if anything, nihilism is a spiritual path, not one obsolete of spirituality in any form. Much of this may surprise the layperson, whose views of the subject are of giving up on life and the complete antithesis to anything metaphysical. In fact, he sees things as quite the opposite, and strongly believes in subjects such as the karmic cycle.

This is an insightful view at the core of the philosophy: nihilism is a form of traditionalism, and a method of escaping the mental ghetto created because human mental impulses are stronger signals than perception of the world, especially in the distant future or multiple moves ahead. Our tendency to respond to strong signals, like danger or reproduction, leads us to become addicted to ourselves because of this disparity in broadcast strength.

Bertlein writes an insightful view, with a good joke above (hint: Brett Stevens was a black metal kid back in the day) and only a few glitches (Nietzschean not Spencerian, shock tactics adopted from Burroughs, anti-diversity not against other groups, and Darwinian not social Darwinian) in understanding, bringing to light what makes this book a useful tome for the average semi-awakened reader on the top right fifth of the Bell Curve.

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