Amor fati

This is a response to a comment of Joseph Walsh (here). Try to tell a child who was burned alive by her parents in Carthage that the whole universe is not a mistake. Obviously from her point of view it is a mistake. Only theists try to solve the problem of Evil by claiming that…

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The teacher of freedom

“After the next European war, people will understand me.” Such is the prophetic utterance that shines conspicuously forth from among Nietzsche’s last writings. In very truth, the real significance, the historical necessity of this seer is made plain to us only in relation to the tensed, unstable, and dangerous condition of our world at the…

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Dance over the abyss

If you look into an abyss, the abyss, likewise, looks into you. This self-addressed pæan of intoxicated happiness is, I know, regarded by modern physicians as a morbid euphoria, as the last pleasure in a decaying brain, as the stigma of that megalomania which is characteristic of the early stage of paralytic dementia. But Nietzsche…

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The seventh solitude

A great man is pushed and hustled and martyrized until he withdraws into solitude.   Nietzsche lived in many different towns; he travelled into countless realms of the mind; frequently he endeavoured to escape from solitude by crossing a frontier into a foreign land; but always his journeyings brought him back to solitude, heartsore, weary,…

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Flight into music

For many years music remained a private amusement to which Nietzsche delivered himself up in a spirit of irresponsible pleasure, with the pure delight of an amateur, a pastime altogether outside his main “mission” in life. Music flooded his being only after the philological crust had been removed, only when his erudite objectivity of outlook…

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Discovery of the south

Since my object is to portray Nietzsche’s life, not as a biography but as a tragedy of the spirit, as a work of dramatic art, for me his true work began when the artist in the man was released and became conscious of enfranchisement. So long as Nietzsche remained in his professional chrysalis he was…

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Transformation in search of the true self

A snake which cannot slough its skin is doomed to perish. So likewise, a mind which is prevented from changing its opinion ceases to be a mind. Goethe’s life expanded around a fixed point, just as year by year a circle invisible to the outer world is added to the trunk of a tree. Patiently,…

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Passion for sincerity

Early in his career Nietzsche had planned to write a work entitled Passio nuovo, or the Passion for Sincerity. The book was never written; but, what was perhaps better, it was lived in Nietzsche’s own person. For throughout the philosopher’s years of growth and change, a fanatical passion for truthfulness remained as the primitive and…

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The Don Juan of the intellectual world

What is of genuine importance is eternal vitality, not eternal life Knowledge was Kant’s daily and nightly companion; she lived with him and bedded with him for forty years on the same spiritual couch; he procreated with her a family of German philosophical systems whose descendants still live with us in every middle-class circle. His…

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