Our human destiny is summarized as three ascending sounds from C to G to C.
This musical note is the well-known opening (Sunrise) of Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss. Perhaps we all know it from Stanley Kubrick’s timeless masterpiece film (1968), 2001: A Space Odyssey (based on the same novel by Arthur C. Clarke).
Strauss composed it, inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s masterpiece, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (or Thus Spake Zarathustra). It could also be the sound of human evolution.
Personally, however, I prefer to call it the sound of human destiny. Using a word, evolution sounds secular. What Nietzsche concerned, through the mouth of Zarathustra, was more for the consequence of secular age. Destiny could be overarching such secular concept of evolution.
What is our destiny?
Seeing the story of Kubrick’s film, at the moment when apes learned how to use tools (more for weapons), their consciousness emerged, which is for a note C. We humans, homo sapiens (pains, pleasures, and struggles) are for G. And eventually, what we call Starchild implies an octave higher C. It is followed by the notes of both C and G alternative twelve repetitions.
It sounds epic, dramatic, and unforgettable.
What is the implication of the second C sound? It would be similar to apes, and yet, one octave higher. We can imagine the shape of spiral ascending.
If it is our destiny, what Zarathustra said?
When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart: “Could it be possible! This old saint in the forest hath not yet heard of it, that GOD IS DEAD!Thus Spake Zarathustra
It is one of the most well-known phrases by Nietzsche. And atheists love it. Is Nietzsche himself an atheist? Yes and no.
What he pointed out was more for the inevitability of atheism; moreover, that of nihilism and narcissism. During his days, people were beginning to experience the dawn of the Enlightenment. The scientific, reductionistic, and rationalistic mindsets were about to kill all the beliefs and values based on the Christian authorities. People faced both great emancipation and significant loss.
God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?The Joyful Wisdom by Nietzsche
Suddenly we became free and yet lonely.
How can we live our life of suffering as such a free, lonely man? That was Nietzsche’s question, and our destiny he predicted.
Through the mouth of Zarathustra, Nietzsche proposed the concept of super or over human (or Übermensch) who can courageously face our destined lonely freedom; who can overcome our destructive nihilism and narcissism; and who can live amid eternal return or reoccurrence.
Martin Heidegger understood this inevitability and even predicted it as the death of metaphysics, ground stories, ground theories, and philosophies per se. Indeed, we’ve faced them in the postmodern paradigm and beyond.
Can we see this fate from the enigmatic face of Starchild? Or, does he know it by himself? It sounds so anxious as twelve repetitions of C, G, C, G, C, G, C, G, C, G, C, and G.