What Nietzsche can offer
Nietzsche's optimistic philosophy inspires people to take action and pursue their goals. The challenges and suffering encountered during life can lead to personal growth. People crave meaning, even if that meaning is nothingness.
Rejecting the common
The common mindset
Breaking free from the common mindset often brings fulfillment, as the opinions of the masses have little value for your unique path. The common mindset frequently promotes weak values that hinder your personal growth and meaningful pursuits.
By actively avoiding shallow pursuits and striving for greater goals, individuals can discover purpose and fulfillment. The insignificance of one person's work may become apparent, but denying that life has any meaning leads to nihilism.
Nietzsche's Gay Science contains an interesting thought experiment.
What if some day or night a demon were to steal into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live and have lived it you will have to live once again and innumerable times again.' ...
– Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science
This challenge, known as the eternal return, invites you to take life as a whole package and embrace all of it without regrets. It means reliving the pains and pleasures of life. Actively dwelling on past regrets serves no purpose.
Attempting to fit in, and seeking stability can imply that you are not being true to yourself. Taking risks becomes essential to stand out, despite the suffering involved. Taking action requires great effort, but do not wait! The right time to pursue your goals will not suddenly appear. Start taking steps towards them now.
Nietzsche fearlessly questioned everything, including his own ideas, in pursuit of a deeper understanding. This enabled him to gain new insights and evolve his perspectives throughout his works. He changed philosophy forever.
The beauty of inequality
Each of us possesses unique and inherently unequal qualities. Believing in equality means believing in an absolute. Focusing on your own growth can result in better long-term achievements. Assisting others can contribute to meaningful personal growth, but consider how it will enhance your own development. Not all forms of assistance offer personal benefits.
Pitfalls of equality
Striving for absolute equality promotes values held by the masses, who prioritize minimizing suffering and avoiding risks. This can result in a life that feels meaningless, mundane, and unfulfilling. Overcoming obstacles and embracing the suffering in life are crucial for the pursuit of meaningful goals. It is impossible to get rid of all suffering. Trying to do so leads to a different form of suffering, as it eliminates any further obstacles to overcome.
Don't be a flyswatter
... it is not your job to be a flyswatter.
– Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Not having an opinion on a matter is acceptable, even if others insist that you are taking a side by doing that. There are more important topics to focus on if you have a goal to work towards. Local arguments are timely and hold little significance in the long run. It is not your responsibility to convince everyone; instead, allow others to maintain their own perspectives.
Is Nietzsche worth reading?
Reading Nietzsche requires a significant investment of time. However, I personally find it valuable. "The Nietzsche Podcast" serves as an excellent secondary source, providing accurate insights in a more time-efficient manner. I would recommend exploring it first, as it allows you to allocate more time to pursue your own goals.
Nietzsche's ideas retain their value, irrespective of whether you agree with them. He actively encourages critical examination of his thoughts, and his ideas underwent substantial evolution over time. His influence extends to a diverse array of thinkers. It is not necessary to agree with Nietzsche; each individual extracts different meanings from his works.
Nietzsche's optimism and relentless pursuit of goals deserve admiration, particularly when considering his lifelong illness. Despite his own health challenges, he advocated for physical strength and well-being. While not all of his ideas are flawless, he emphasizes the importance of creating your own beliefs and encourages you to avoid blindly following his teachings.
Contradictions exist within Nietzsche's works, yet they should not be perceived as negative. Instead, they encourage people to seek their own goals and beliefs, rather than blindly adopting a singular perspective.
Nietzsche wrote for the few. His work is still being investigated. Many aspects of his philosophy offer multiple interpretations. Part of this encourages you to seek your own meanings.
Often people stick with conventional beliefs. Followers and leaders both have a place in society. There will always be an hierarchy. If you want to explore this hierarchical concept further, you may consider reading about his concept of the Sipo Matador. Remember that it is not your job to be a flyswatter.
Nietzsche disliked metaphysics and systemizing. Philosophies based on concepts out of reality can be seen as metaphysical. Paradoxically, Nietzsche himself developed certain ideas that can be considered metaphysical. Nevertheless, he emphasized the importance of seeking one's own path.
It doesn't have to be problematic if one doesn't make it so. Nietzsche's ideas are empowering, helping individuals stay focused on their goals. Nietzsche greatly valued joy and power. In my opinion, metaphysics and religion can be beneficial if they lead to positive outcomes. However, being closer to reality offers advantages as it aligns better with the world. Nietzsche encourages us to live in the present, rather than waiting on an afterlife or an utopia.
... But Heraclitus will always be right in this, that being is an empty fiction. The 'apparent' world is the only one: the 'real' world has only been lyingly added...
– Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
Nietzsche does not believe in a "real" world. He only sees interpretations and not truths. The Münchhausen trilemma remains unsolved, which makes it possible to disprove any truth. Even mathematics is based on assumptions.
Rejecting Nietzsche's ideas would challenge us to find alternative systems, in a way, that still resonates with his concepts. As human beings, we need something to give us purpose and drive, even if that something is nothingness. Philosophy itself is not all that different from religion.
Nietzsche labeled himself a decadent. He didn't hold certain values he endorsed. However, he claimed to write for future generations, making it difficult to criticize his lifestyle. Perhaps writing helped him overcome depression. Nonetheless, his lifestyle does not directly influence the importance of his ideas.
Nietzsche's views on women can be difficult to understand. The Nietzsche Podcast episode "Beyond Good and Evil #12" covers those well. Nevertheless, I find it more productive to focus on ideas rather than on people. Complete agreement with someone else is impossible, and it is crucial to acknowledge the societal changes that have occurred since Nietzsche's time. There are undoubtedly ideas with which I disagree.
There is a misconception that Nietzsche lacked concern for others, but this is a misunderstanding. He did display care for specific individuals, albeit for his own reasons. Initially, he admired Wagner, but he later distanced himself from Wagner due to Wagner's antisemitism.