Nietzsches Madman

The idea that was launched by Nietzsche’s madman in 1882 that God is dead [1] is clearly a paradox, since if he has died then he must have been alive at some point.

Of course this makes no sense as God is supposed to be eternal.


What the madman was referring to is the death of a shared belief.

Nineteenth century Europe had reached a point with science and philosophy where God simply wasn’t at the center of everything anymore, man was.

Man filled the void that was left behind.

Man turned to nature through science and in doing so killed God.


The difficulty that religion and mysticism has is that the focus is on eternity and this afterlife can be seen as a denial of life itself.

As life occurs now, in this moment, not in some imagined future paradise.


Nietzsche was also making a statement about intolerance and the lack of ambition to do anything other than to live in mediocrity and conformity.

To him this meant existing within a ‘slave mentality’ that is led by fear and superstition.

The only way out was for man to kill God, only then can man live.


The freed man becomes an ‘Übermensch’ (literally translated is ‘Overman’ but is often mistranslated as ‘Superman’).

Zarathustra is Nietzsche’s spokesman who encourages the Übermensch to overcome obstacles and fear with will and courage.

His ‘will to power’ refers to ‘fearlessness’ with true power being self-harmony, self-control and self-realization. [2]


While we are trained from birth to live in accordance to the ‘slave mentality’, many of us escape.

If we become creators we can give our world meaning according to our own rules.

Those who have reached the status of Übermensch, are those ready and willing to serve at the same time that they are ready and able to lead. [3]


By channeling will and controlling passion we can create something greater than ourselves.

Nietzsche’s madman was mirroring a new world.

Zarathustra speaks to those who find the courage to listen.

Only then is the creator truly unleashed, by his own will to rise above and express his own truth; free to depict his own world without fear.

My path from classical figurative sculpture to my present work, the Spirit Collection, is telling in many ways.

  1. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882), section 125.
  2. Michael Macrone, Eureka!, Cader company, Inc. 1994.
  3. Friedrich Nietzsche, “Zarathustra’s Prologue”, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883).

By Blake & Boky

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