The Overman and the Arahant: Models of Human Perfection in Nietzsche and Buddhism
Two models of human perfection proposed by Nietzsche and the Buddha are investigated. Both the overman and the arahant need practice and individual effort as key to their realization, and they share roughly the same conception of the self as a construction. However, there are also a number of salient differences. Though realizing it to be constructed, the overman does proclaim himself through his assertion of the will to power. The realization of the true nature of the self does not lead the overman to seek the way to be released from sasara as does the arahant. On the contrary, he rejoices in the eternally recurring situation. The arahant, however, has totally relinquished any attachment to the self, constructed or otherwise. The arahant does not care about the Eternal Recurrence, as he only focuses on the present moment. Finally, they are both beyond good and evil, but in a substantively different way.