Nietzsche Wanted Two Things in Life:
Music and a Dancing God

I have mentioned previously about a former colleague of mine; we worked together for several years in Kingston, PA. The things that I liked about her back then are precisely the same things today. For example, she was and still is always up…meaning happy and ready to go. She and I parallel being up, but I am only up within my mind that is racing to move ahead. Another issue is that she is honest, which is another parallel between us. However, another major issue is that she is extremely intelligent. It isn’t so much a Mensa issue as much as she has a broad range of knowledge and can tie things together that are not necessarily seen by others as related. Again, that is one of my strongholds.

Several months ago, I contacted her after receiving a birthday card from her. In the past several months, my friend will send cards often containing one-liners, which she knows will pique my interest. I recently wrote an essay on a one-liner by Tolkien: “Not all those who wander are lost….”

She also knows that I taught art history and love the arts in general. In fact, she was well-aware that my favorite painting is The Fighting Téméraire.

However, her favorite painting is Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth. For awhile as we discussed her favorite painting on the phone, I thought that she meant Monet’s The Poppy Field Near Argenteuil. I had made a mistake. This is my friend in front of her favorite painting. She is able to discuss her favorite painting with the same enthusiasm as I do with my favorite.

However, when we reconnected after nearly four dozen years, we exchanged several gifts. Interestingly, we both gave each other cookies that we both made and books. My friend’s book was A Music Lover’s Diary. Interestingly, the diary contains dozens of one-liners about music. I guess that she assumed that they would keep me writing essays about what other famous people thought of music. She knows about me and .

My first essay from A Music Lover’s Diary is a one-liner by Friedrich Nietzsche, Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen better known in English as Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Nietzsche wrote this philosophical novel between 1883 and 1885, which dealt with the “death of God” and Übermensch.

Friedrich Nietzsche

The title Thus Spoke Zarathustra is the basis for my Thus Spoke Ginger index page about my Irish Setter, Ginger. However, I am moving off message. Thus Spoke Zarathustra has this one-liner: “Without music, life would be a mistake…I would only believe in a God who knew how to dance.”

It seems to me that Nietzsche is attempting to deal with two messages. The first belief is that without music life would be a waste of time. I concur, but I wonder what Nietzsche thought about Beethoven’s Pathétique. It describes life as I see it due to the coda in the middle section of that three part sonata. Nevertheless, Nietzsche and music seem like a disconnect.

The second aspect of the quote is that the disconnect between his notion of God being dead, but, if God knew how to dance, Nietzsche would buy into a deity. Here is Lord Shiva, a dancing deity.

A dancing deity, Shiva

Additionally, dancing is an oft repeated motif for Nietzsche. He said, “He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.” Still another quote, “I do not know what the spirit of a philosopher could more wish to be than a good dancer. For the dance is his ideal, also his fine art, finally also the only kind of piety he knows, his ‘divine service.’”