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Monday, November 08, 2010

The Eternal Return

Are you living the kind of life that you would be willing to live over again and again? This is the question Frederic Nietzsche poses for us to ask ourselves. Certainly not everything about our lives has occurs as pleasant but when we look back do we see the purpose of everything that has happened and see that life had to be that way it was in order for us to become who we have become? Do we feel grateful for having lived the lives we got?

There are a number of insights in the challenge Nietzsche puts out for us. One is to realize that we are creating our lives and we are not victims. If we aren’t living the kind of life that is sufficiently rewarding and exciting that we would want to live it again it is up to us to address that.

We can rise to Nietzsche’s challenge either by finding the courage to change something in our lives or coming to understand that our life is perfect just the way it is because there is something valuable in every experience we have. Either way, our experience is that our life is worth living and even living over again.

But Nietzsche’s Eternal Return is not simply a philosophy to live by it is also an affirmation of the souls desire to have every experience that is possible to have. This explains all the joy and all the pain that being a human being affords. Thereby the soul will move “Beyond Good and Evil”, the tile of a book by Nietzsche, to return to an experience over and over until it has experienced it fully before it will move on to another experience.

Nietzsche invites us to embrace all that is available, every opportunity that is provided, expressing “the eternal Yes to all things”, to jump “Into every abyss…” This is how the soul strives for victory over limitation. This is how the universe is created. Without this striving the universe could not have been created. The soul seeks to make every possibility actual.

Nietzsche’s challenge to us then is to be ever willing to examine our lives and both embrace the experiences that our soul needs to become complete and  also to be willing to recognize when our soul needs to move on to experience something new.


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