December 02, 2010

Just say yes

I wouldn't recommend carrying a copy of Nietzsche whilst deer hunting to everyone, but it works for me. The deer weren't in the neighborhood at the time anyway so the book was good company.

Nietzsche is sometimes called a nihilist, but that is far from the truth. His main quarrel with many kinds of religion and philosophical idealism was that they were nihilistic to his way of thinking in that they sought for some other reality beyond the one we live in.

One theme of his that shows up again and again is the challenge to say "yes" to life in spite of all its nastiness, or, to put it another way, to try to live in such a way that we can and want to say yes to the whole package. Here's how he expresses it in terms of a New Year's resolution:

I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati [love of fate]: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole, some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.

DENIED. A move to extend emergency unemployment insurance failed in the Senate. But the banks are doing fine.

HIGHLIGHTING HISTORY. A new map and poster highlight black history in West Virginia and the many ways events here have shaped the nation.

THE MEANING OF LIFE. Some people do just fine without worrying about it.

ANIMAL EXTINCTIONS are bad for your health.




Barry said...

That's the most inviting introduction to Nietzsche I've ever read. You've intrigued me! May have to have a look.

El Cabrero said...

Enjoy! Nietzsche is like a cafeteria. Just take what you like and leave the rest.