Some say to be a man is to be strong, brave, and fearless, have an undaunted resolve, and a decisive stance on all thing. While this may be a good example to strive for even these attributes pale in comparison to the Übermensch. While the Übermensch may be a term coined and heralded by Friedrich Nietzsche, it is in concept something far beyond him. From his writings, it is obvious, at least to me, that he recognized this. Without delving into an exposition of the definition or deeper meaning behind the term Übermensch I will, in my own words, summarize the term thusly: “An Übermensch is the true man. A man that thrives to overcome himself and mankind itself.” Always striving to be better. Always striving to be stronger. Be smarter. Seek Wisdom and Knowledge, both of contemporary sciences, as well as the metaphysical and that of the arcane occult. Seek within oneself and that beyond oneself. Test and challenge oneself. People say “be the best you can be”. This is an inadequate statement as you will never be the best. There will always be someone better. Even if you were to become the “best” in a certain area you should still view yourself as inadequate of the man you could be. The “best” isn’t good enough. Strive to be the Übermensch, the hammer sending blows of never-ending pressure to harden you to be the perfect Vajra (Diamond) of constant impurity in need of improvement. The divine within your blood. Revere the Gods but seek to be like them in the same way as they have put forth the example, be it good or bad, so that we may learn.
The Übermensch isn’t one of selfishness and solidarity. Zarathustra (from Nietzsche) came down from his Mountain where he was one with the God (The Sun, Sol Invictus, the Trinity). He came down to bring his message to the people. However, mankind, satisfied with its comfort, stagnation, and degeneracy rejected him. They are focused on being the Last Man. Always consuming what they are fed, and doing what they are told. Sheep. So Zarathustra changes his goal and preaches to those who are willing and able. Who “follow me because they want to follow themselves – and who want to go where I want to go” (Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra). Where he wants to go is upwards towards the divine, towards ever growing greatness. The hope there would be that these men would not only take up the mantle but would possibly continue the work. And hopefully, reach the rest of mankind, or create a new future as the Last man dies off in its own stagnation.
In the same way, Odin chooses the slain for Valhalla. Yes, it is known that Freya has the first pick, but in many ways, Odin and Frey work together as one, much like the duality of male and female within a Godhead. Therefore only those who are the best, who choose glory and to overcome themselves and the obstacles before they are chosen. While it is commonly said these are those slain in battle, the concept that they are those who have lived like Odin, constantly seeking wisdom, strength, knowledge, and methods to maintain the balance (keeping Ragnarok at bay) has been floating around. As Odin sought such self-improvements, sacrificing himself to himself, constantly seeking to gain more wisdom Though Odin warns us about seeking the amount of Wisdom that he has obtained.
A measure of wisdom | each man shall have,
But never too much let him know;
For the wise man’s heart | is seldom happy,
If wisdom too great he has won.
This is why the path of Odin isn’t for everyone. Only those who are ready and willing should join him. If quick happiness and contentment are what one seeks, then being the Last Man is what they should strive for.
The actual Zarathustra is, of course, the prophet from the Indo-Iranian religion Zoroastrianism founded during and possibly before the Persian Empire. While I am not a monotheist by any means. There are connections that Zarathustra has with other Indo-European faiths. In particularly Mithraism. The depiction of Zarathustra used by Nietzsche and attributed to him by many artworks is often now considered to be that of Mithras as he is accompanied by the eagle and the snake. It is interesting to note that Mithraism was a widespread cult in the Roman Empire that had made its way nearly throughout Europe. This cult was a male-centered cult, with initiates who were made up primarily of soldiers. The ideals of constant self-improvement are something that should be familiar to one who faces life and death often. It is said that the image of Mithras slaying the bull is that of the turning of time as it is often accompanied by the 12 zodiacs and the zodiac of that era was that of Taurus the bull (this has parallels in other faiths). However, the slaying of the bull is also considered to be the creation of the universe. As the bull in Indo-European faiths is often associated with the cosmic bull such as is represented by the Germanic Auðumbla which the Great progenitor Ymir feeds from before he is slain by the trinity of Odin, Villi, and Ve to create the world. In Zoroastrianism, the term “geush urva” means “the spirit of the cow” and is interpreted as the soul of the earth. Though Ahura Mazda tells Zarathustra to protect the cow. Slaying the cow is more of a metaphoric concept of the creation of the world. Life ends in death and from death comes life. This is to denote the cycle. The Rig Veda also mentions the sacredness of the Cattle. As the middle east was undoubtedly influenced by that of Persian and Indo-European religions the God Ba’al (Worshiped in Canaanite and Babylonian regions), whose is the title for Lord (Who is closely related to Yahweh in many ways and was worshiped on and off by the Hebrews), and the great Kujata (who holds up the world) in Arabic mythology are represented as Cattle.
Note Zoroastrianism is a monotheist, but I choose to see it more in a Monist way. Ahura Mazda is the Zoroastrian God. Ahura is an Avestan word for Lord. The word is related to the Sanskrit word Asura. Also related is the Old Norse word áss is known in popularly in the plural as Aesir (the Gods).
In other words, the idea of the cosmic beginning and creating life from death with a focus constant self-improvement is what the Gods mean for our lives.
Mithras is related to Mitra (Vedic) and Mithra (Avestan). The Vedic deity is known as the eye of or light of the morning sun. In Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Zarathustra refers to the Sun (God) as “thou tranquil eye”. The word Maitreya related to the stem word Mitra. Maitreya is the Buddha who is to come and bring enlightenment to a new era. The concept of the sun returning to bring a new dawn is not only one based on observation of daily life, but one to inspire man. Not for escapism as Christian and modern “western” Buddhism holds dear. This savior isn’t to come and take away all of your strife and problems. Instead, he is the divine within you that you should strive to be. The coming or returning savior is one that is within you. The Übermensch. This is what it means to be like the Gods. This is what God(‘s) have planned for us.
The Vedic Mitra is the deity of Truth and Order. Order is brought from Chaos. Life from Death. The world from slaying the bull. Our future from the strides and ultimate sacrifices of our progenitors. The sun rises, and the sun sets. The seasons pass. Maintaining the balance.
All of these mentioned deities were inspired by the Solar religions of the Indo-Europeans. Sol Invictus was deemed by the Roman emperor to be the embodiment of these Gods and the official cult of the Roman Empire. The Unconquered Sun. Worshiped by soldiers. Mithras was worshipped in a Mystery cult in order for this to be understood among those ready to follow. Much like those who worship Odin must understand the challenges ahead of them as his path is a to seek the answers to mysteries.
In order to understand these mysteries, conquer the Last Man within, we must Slay the Bull and use its divine resources to create a new in ourselves.
I advocate a return to Mithraism in cult form. For men to strive to be better men. Stronger men. Wiser men. Well educated men. Men who challenge each other as they challenge themselves. In hopes for a better world, they put themselves through trails and challenge the world around them. Who look to Sol Invictus was the path to glory. Who embrace the Gods, (Aesir, Vanir, Devas, Asura, Ahura, Greco-Roman Deities etc) as those Gods of European men, of the Ancient Indo-European /Aryanian peoples. Of the original Danube and Mesopotamian peoples. Are all within us. They are many. And they are One. We are many but we are individuals. Let us challenge ourselves as men to become the Übermensch.
May you always be improving yourself and inspiring those around you.
Hammer and Vajra!
— Zach Gill
Illustration of Odin is by Lorenz Frølich 1895
Illustration of Zarathustra: Photo is extracted from “Persia by a Persian: being personal experiences, manners, customs, habits, religious and social life in Persia”. Author: Isaac Adams. Published by: E. Stock, 1906. – NY Public Library