Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
“One man runs to his neighbor because he is looking for himself, and another because he wants to lose himself. Your bad love of yourselves makes solitude a prison to you.”
We all feel the malignant sting of self-realization. Because it’s not always as constructive and rewarding as it’s thought out to be. Anything that involves the Self and its “figuring out” burns like a deep wound. No matter how you treat it, lovingly or frightfully, it does fester and get under your skin.
Nietzsche calls this chaos ‘Amor Fati’ – to harness the love of oneself, one’s fate, to accept the Self as it suffers because it’s meant to just for that purpose. So that everything that happens to you – happiness or suffering – is part of a larger, albeit nameless and unutterable, force.
This force is an assimilation of every thought and act that occupies the bowels of your heart. And it is one’s heart that drives a person to overcome itself. It’s a dangerous going-across – walking on a rope fastened between a banal existence of jealousy, hatred, and stubbornness and a virtuous one of self-trust, solitude, and the will to power.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a blend of nihilistic and moral aphorisms. It contains much wisdom in the way it re-defines the meaning of meaning itself. There is no beauty or necessity in believing that denying the self is synonymous with overcoming the self. The former being a religious blessing while the latter is Neitzsche’s only objective. He writes that there is no soul or spirit in praising the universe. Nor is there any redemption in denying its existence. The universe is “neither perfect nor beautiful nor noble” and it does not possess the “desire to become any of these.” Least of all for the sake of humankind.
Beyond the “God is Dead” philosophy, he wants you to create your own meaning for life and self-affirmation. His words renounce everything humankind prophesizes to be. The generosity of which is contagiously unburdening. His aphorisms are poetic, timeless, and reflective. Every page echoes the staggering complexity of human nature. It also reiterates his famous philosophical assertion that “for unless life is given a meaning it has none.”