The Madman parable is a way into the moment of potentiality, the moment when concepts of living differently, the possibility of building different worlds open up. Our traditional institutions, while providing us with scientific and technological riches, have lost their ability to provide meaning and direction for life. Rather than lament this, Nietzsche urges us to push through this moment in order to arrive at a life worthy of our human stature. Can we build an alternative way of living based on life-affirming values?
(Read selections on Apollo and Dionysus from Birth of Tragedy, pp. 119-22, and 129-40 — excerpts from Gay Science)