I’ve been reading a lot of Nietzsche lately – both his own writing as well as people writing about him. My books are filled with little post-it-notes with quotes like this:
But then it [the individual] discovers that it is itself something changing and has a changing taste. It discovers in its freedom the mystery that there is no individual, that in the smallest moment it is something other than in the next moment…the infinitely small moment is the higher reality and truth is a lighting flash out of eternal flux.
Mostly it’s been this notion of eternal recurrence that’s been staying with me. And yes, in full disclosure nearly all of this is for book research, which I’m not going to go into here other than to say I was struck today that my main character needs to be the Lighting Flash Out of Eternal Flux. And that this idea of eternal recurrence is a very central theme.
Basically Nietzsche said that this moment, right now, you reading these words, my typing them, my foot tapping as I do so has occurred in every possible time for all time. It will continue to occur. Everything in your life has already happened and it will continue to happen. (Those of you who are Battlestar Galactica or Matrix fans have already been weaned on these ideas. Only with cylons and cool stunts).
So that moment, this moment, the next moment, it’s all already happened. Your great family, your horrible job. They’re a constant. They will keep happening for all time. Unless you choose to change it. Granted if that notion doesn’t scare the bejesus out of you I don’t know what will. God created Man to create God.
Anyway, the point is this stuff is fascinating and I really could use way more free time to study it.
Also, bonus! I finally found a reason for YouTube. This guy does a bang up job of explaining Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence (British accent bonus!)
And Armand Assante is rocking it as Nietzsche (in When Nietzsch Wept). Guess who I’m gonna be for Halloween? I just need a big mustache.