HA! Look at this fucking NERD wanting me to discuss Nietzschean philosophy. I bet you’re a lot of fun at parties.
But in all seriousness. For those who aren’t in the Know, The Apollonian way represents the “lighter” aspects of human rationale in western culture. It’s harmony, Logic, self-improvement, temperance, art and discipline. Upward clearly defined progress of the type that is often lauded by individuals who would see themselves as son’s of the enlightenment.
The Dionysian Way is its contrast. Almost more closely aligned with Jung’s Shadow. It is our madness, our irrationality and idiotic passion. Chaos and revelry and uninhibited pleasure seeking. But it is also Instinct. Animal drive. Ecstacy and prophecy.
The majority of western rationalism that dominates how we operate would suggest that the Apollonian way is the best and only way to live. That we must disavow Dionysus’ drunken whispers in the back of our mind and only follow his clean-cut overachiever brother. This is present in a lot of enlightenment era philosophy. Its a bit of a snobbish way of looking at things and I find it to be the core of a lot of issues i have with Frankfurt Scholars. And if you go and look into these weirdos who could be seen as paragons of Apollonianism they often have massive uncontrolled dark urges that end up getting them in trouble because they try to hide it.
In a rare agreement with Nietzsche, I suggest that both are needed. Both must be embraced. Repressing and ignoring these darker aspects of ourselves essentially locks away half of our potential. Trying to shut emotion and illogic in a closet. And it ultimately always slips out, often in destructive and uncontrollable ways.
It is better in my opinion to let the valve of the Dionysian urge be free to vent at any time. To mingle the light with the dark and explore depths of shadow and Chiaroscuro within our own being. Through this method we can reach even greater heights than simply expecting that preppy, twink Apollo to carry us the whole way. In striving to be better, we must also explore what worse can bring us.
I believe that I’ve done a lot of Dionysian exploration with a lot of my Archetype ideals. The abyss itself is arguably a manifestation of the inchoate potential that can be found in the depths of madness.
But again, every shadow has its light source and each archetype has a more “lightened” manifestation.
Maybe i’ll do a How-to series on that one day.