Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Carothers, Mary Ann

Author's Keywords

Nietzsche; Spirituality; Jung; Language; Limbic system; Power


Spirituality; Spirituality in art; Nietzsche; Friedrich Wilhelm; 1844-1900


This thesis explores the history of human spirituality and its present ambiguous place in our modern secular world. Accompanying the written thesis is documentation of my creative work by the same title. First I will describe spirituality as a fundamental aspect of the human animal as promoted by R. Joseph. I will follow human spirituality through the culture of organized religion and summon Nietzsche's The Gay Science to discuss shame, sexuality, and religion, moving on to The Birth of Tragedy to discuss the problem of spirituality in modernity. Next I will discuss power through the language of morality. An analysis of the golden rule will break down the language of love, self, and other. I will address morality as a method of manipulating power, and the delusions of idealism. I will discuss science as mythology that parades as detached logic. Concluding, I will suggest the importance of mythology to human spirituality and where modern people search for it in society. Finally, I will express my intentions with my installation, The Adytum. I will describe the ways in which art and entertainment spaces are a modern sanctuary for spiritual introspection. I will discuss the roles of artists as they pertain to Nietzsche's three cultures and how Western culture enforces the role of artists as social change catalysts. I suggest how Westerners are encouraged to regard art and myth at a lower value with relation to science and the idealistic arrogance that occurs when society favors objective scientific understanding at the cost of losing all value in subjective experiential understanding. Ultimately I suggest the need for balancing our methods of understanding to maintain human spirituality.