Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche.


It’s Nietzsche time! Friedrich Nietzsche (pictured) didn’t have many love affairs in his life but he did have at least one: ‘amor fati’ (‘love of fate’).

'My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity . . . I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who makes things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth!' (Ecce Homo and The Gay Science)



Jokes aside, there is some great philosophy in amor fati. Nietzsche looked to it as a means to achieve self-unity—a rare achievement amongst humans. How does one reach it?

'Glance into the world just as though time were gone: and everything crooked will become straight to you.' (Kritische Studienausgabe)



We must covet eternal recurrence to overcome ‘ressentiment’. This is a state in which one assigns blame for their weaknesses on external causes and feels envy and inferiority with respect to others. But one can free themselves from this torture by accepting fate’s unity: be willing to live the same life through eternity.

So embrace your drives, Nietzsche implores; sublimate and harness them in a concerted way. A weak will lacks order; a strong will is coordinative.

'The multitude and disgregation of impulses and the lack of any systematic order among them results in a 'weak will'; their coordination under a single predominant impulse results in a 'strong' will: in the first case it is the oscillation and lack of gravity; in the latter, the precision and clarity of direct.' (Kritische Studienausgabe)



Ressentiment stifles us; we become weak. Conversely, to love fate—to fully wish life back eternally—is to affirm one’s life: to overcome, with valour, the struggle ressentiment bring.

'What if a demon were to creep after you one night, in your loneliest loneliness, and say, "This life which you live must be lived by you once again and innumerable times more; and every pain and joy and thought and sigh must come again to you, all in the same sequence. The eternal hourglass will again and again be turned and you with it, dust of the dust!" Would you throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse that demon? Or would you answer, "Never have I heard anything more divine"?' (The Gay Science)