“I do believe that man is a rope between animal and superman. But the superman I’m thinking of isn’t Nietzsche’s. The real superhuman, man or woman, is the person who’s rid himself of all prejudices, neuroses, and psychoses, who realizes his full potential as a human being, who acts naturally on the basis of gentleness, compassion, and love, who thinks for himself and refuses to follow the herd. That’s the genuine dyed-in-the-wool superman.”
– Philip José Farmer (January 26, 1918 – February 25, 2009)
I learnt from Wikipedia that Philip José Farmer was an American author who wrote mainly science fiction novels, and he was influenced by Mark Twain and Carl Jung. I note that his view of a real superhuman is a man or woman who has overcome all prejudices, neuroses and psychoses, who realises one’s full potential as a human being, who is gentle, compassionate and loving, and thinks for oneself and does not have a herd mentality. That, to me, would describe someone who is a well adjusted and self respecting person, an independent and possibly postmodern thinker with a heart of compassion, in the likes of enlightened people such as Jesus, Buddha, Martin Luther King Jr, John Lennon and so on. I think anyone can realise their potential to be such a superhuman so long as they rediscover their true identity and are willing to let go of the expectations and conditionings of the society, organised religions, propaganda and so on.
His quote reminds me of similar quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson, such as:
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson