Nietzsche’s idea of an overman and life from his point of view
Now it's obvious that there is a very great deal of similarity as between the concept of the Higher Evolution and the New Man on the one hand, and Nietzsche's conception of the Overman on the other. Not, of course, that the two are identical. As compared with the ideal, let us say, of Buddhahood, Nietzsche's overman is rather lacking in positive content, and this isn't surprising. After all, Nietzsche's conception of the overman is the product of thought, very brilliant thought, thought of a genius; but still thought, something intellectual, even though intellectual to the point of intuition, even though penetrating to the point of intuition, but still thought - not actual spiritual, not actual transcendental realisation. So for this reason, Nietzsche's conception of the overman is rather lacking in content, especially in positive content. But Nietzsche's main point is that the overman is not man as we know him, that the overman transcends man, goes far beyond man, goes beyond him as man himself transcends the ape. From this it is abundantly clear, starkly clear, we may say, that man is transitional. As we saw in Nietzsche's phrase, man is a rope stretched between the beast and the overman.
~ By Urgyen Sangharakshita.
© Centre Bouddhiste de l’Ile de France 2004.