“Man is the sick animal”. That was Nietzsche’s general definition of “man”, and as a definition it is probably more truthful than the usual self-flattering or idealised definitions — homo sapiens, homo oeconomicus, homo faber, “the rational animal”, “the moral animal”, “the political animal”, and so on. “Man is the sick animal” is also notable for being quite consistent with the first premise of most religious traditions, whether “original sin” or the First Noble Truth of Buddhism that life is dukkha — malaise, disease, difficulty, suffering, unsatisfactoriness, the imperfect and unwell.
“Man is the sick animal” is fully the equivalent of the First Noble Truth of Buddhism, as it is the first principle also of Nietzsche’s philosophy.
I received a scan of a couple of pages of commentary on Jean Gebser and integral consciousness recently. It is scanned from a book by P.J. Saher called Eastern Wisdom and Western Thought, Comparative Study In The Modern Philosophy Of Religion (1969). I thought I would repost it here as it makes some interesting points, even if Mr. Saher’s points really require a broader (or deeper) contextualisation in order to be properly understood. Nonetheless, for those interested in Gebser and his philosophy of integral consciousness, this is a nice, compact presentation. I hope it’s legible. My own commentary to follow,