Friedrich Nietzsche was not your typical intellectual in the last half of the 19th century. While much of Europe and America were excited about the future, Nietzsche wasn’t. He was considered out of step with the Western world with his pessimism. However, we are in the dilemma in the 21st century about which he wrote a century and a half ago.
As a counter to what he saw, he wrote about the will to power. Nietzsche got that drive for power from Arthur Schopenhauer. Nietzsche saw the will to power was an internal drive of the individual not a control over others. Additionally, the power is not static but rather ongoing and ever-changing.
Nietzsche did not want to look to the past for a sense of values but rather to seek a place that is in essence “beyond good and evil.” Essentially, he wants people to be honest about what drives them rather than dragging Christianity into the equation, which was a major part of the problem.
It is through this coming of age by negating traditional good or evil that we can move ahead. If humans follow Nietzsche’s ideas, they will be moved beyond their human instincts. In that way, humans will be able to go beyond our animal natures to Übermensch. He said, “Man is a rope, tied between beast and Übermensch—a rope over an abyss...
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end….”
What intrigues me is that what I grasp from Nietzsche, which is limited, explains the way I see my life. He wrote, “I tell you: one must still have chaos within oneself, to give birth to a dancing star.” I get the chaos issue. I use the word, hauntings. Hauntings are issues that I want to resolve. Until they are addressed, my mind spins in chaos. A friend of mine called it torment. Regardless of the noun being used, there is great benefit to whichever word that is used. However, the key to the benefit is my addressing the issue.
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