/ Nietzsche

The thirst for the Dionysian

This post has been waiting in my edit box for quite a long time, so need to get it out!

Ok. Most of the current world thought places lot of emphasis on rational thinking and logic. Most successful people attribute their success to rational thinking. This kind of thinking is embodied by Greek god Apollo, who is considered the God of Knowledge, rational thinking and order.

Dionysus on the other hand is the god of irrationality and chaos, appealing to emotions and instincts

Nietzsche introduces the concept of Apollonian and Dionysian in his book the Birth of Tragedy. Apollonian is the rational part of man's nature which gives him individuality and rational thought. Dionysian on the other hand is the chaotic part of man's nature. Drunkenness and madness is Dionysian as it makes man forget his individual character and submerges into a greater whole. Any form of enthusiasm or ecstasy is Dionysian. Music is the most Dionysian of all arts as it makes you forget about your individuality and takes you into another realm.

According to Carl Jung, Dionysian represents the Unconscious and part of the lymbic brain which is beyond conscious thought. This part of the brain is considered much more primitive than the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for rational thinking.

This made me begin thinking if rationality is really that supreme a quality to strive for? Why is the current world narrative so much focussed on being rational? What are we losing by ignoring the Dionysian aspect of our nature? It makes us more individualistic rather than part of a whole.

I remember reading an account by Tony Hseih, founder of Zappos of how being part of rave music culture made him feel being part of a much bigger "thing". It was sort of a spiritual experience for him.

Does being too rational prevent us from such experiences? After all chaos was the origin of life.