The Eternal Return: Time and Timelessness In P. D. Ouspensky’s Strange Life of Ivan Osokin and Mircea Eliade’s “The Secret of Dr. Honigberger”

  • Bruce Ross
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 119)


This paper examines the issue of ordinary consciousness and heightened consciousness addressed most famously in Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra in which Zarathustra of heightened consciousness announces that “the time is coming when man will no longer give birth to a star.” Nietzsche’s “small man” of ordinary consciousness repeats the deadening of consciousness to the mystery of a star as “eternal return.” Two works of speculative fiction, Ouspensky’s Strange Life of Ivan Osokin and Eliade’s “The Secret of Dr. Honigberger” address Nietzsche’s dilemma (Osokin alludes to it) in terms of Eastern conceptions of fate and time. Thus repetition is a product of metaphysical and phenomenological stasis and “change” is an adjustment to the metaphysical and phenomenological nature of reality as such, what Nietzsche regarded as amor fati. Nietzsche’s breakthrough realization was expressed as being “six thousand feet beyond men and time.” The overall implication of these issues sets an opening of consciousness against a currently dominant objectifying of consciousness.


Eternal return Time Timelessness P. O. Ouspensky Mircea Eliade 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HampdenUSA

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