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Nietzsche in 60 Minuten

May 12, 2022
with women and wine And these two principles fight each other in every human being, even in classical tragedy. So it often happens that we plan and do something and at the last moment we do it differently for some reason. We know it would be reasonable now and what we are doing now is unreasonable and we do it anyway, so you have to imagine that the Apollonian always tries to shape the world first and then the Dionysian makes everything dance again. Example is 'Oedipus' by Sophocles, a very old tragedy. Oedipus always tries to do everything right and he comes to town and there is a despotic king and then he fights with him, kills him, falls in love with the queen who marries her and at some point he realizes that he is falling in love with his own mother has.
nietzsche in 60 minuten
He didn't even know it because he was abandoned as a child and then of course everything goes back to chaos. That's how you have to imagine it, and Nietzsche says, that's life. The Greeks realized what our life is really like. And we need 'amor fati', the love of fate and that means we never get out of suffering completely. But we have to accept these two principles, that's the way things are, but already in ancient times a big mistake was made. With Euripides, who is also a playwright, the Dionysian element suddenly disappears, it is suppressed, no longer considered, because in classical tragedy there is always a chorus, the chorus of lamentations.
nietzsche in 60 minuten

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They have always represented feelings and the Dionysian. And what was on stage was more Apollonian. And at the latest under Euripides the chorus was omitted, the Dionysian played less and less role. The rational man became stronger and stronger in antiquity and this went even further with Plato and his main character Socrates. Suddenly it was: That Dionysian is bad and evil. We have to face up. The idea of ​​justice, of truth, of beauty. And then suddenly, being human was completely redefined. "Happiness," says Nietzsche, "simply means that you have to imitate Socrates and create a daylight against dark desires, the daylight of reason.
nietzsche in 60 minuten
Every giving in to the instincts, to the unconscious, brings us down." . And then Nietzsche says that something happens, a mind-body separation. The physical, the Dionysian, our lust, our sensuality is bad. That leads down. The spirit, the reason, the intellect, which leads us upwards. And that was a fatefully bad development, because, as he says then: "The moralism of the Greek philosophers from Plato onwards is pathological." And then he becomes even sicker and more pathological with the rise of Christianity, because Christianity is now much more hostile to the body. I don't know which of them was raised Catholic.
nietzsche in 60 minuten
We are in Bavaria. I learned during puberty: you shouldn't think immodestly, which, of course, no pubescent person can do. And Nietzsche says that with Christianity it became quite fatal. Because in ancient times there were orphans and fools. And the wise developed the soul upwards and the fool simply followed his wishes. And there Plato says, that is the existence of a duck. You eat and excrete and enjoy it. But in Christianity, it has gotten worse. Because there is such bipolarity in Christianity, there is good and evil, and one can fall completely into evil and the devil without actually becoming God.
And the body, the corporeality, the temptation, that belongs to the future. And now he criticizes Christianity for four reasons. First: "I condemn Christianity, I raise against the Christian church the most terrible of all the accusations that an accuser has ever pronounced. It has rendered all value useless, all truth a lie." In his comments he also explains: The whole symbol, this God on the cross, that is, this Jesus, the one who suffers, has lost everything that is really important to us humans, namely courage, heroic struggles, standing up. That "putting his left hand on them", he says, that was a mistake, that was a mistake.
Second, he says that the piety that Christianity propagates, so to speak, is not good either. "Piety", he says, "is a waste of feelings, a parasite harmful to moral health, it cannot be a duty to increase the evils in the world. Because very often, he says, out of pity we give alms and give everything possible and thus prolong the suffering of people who would otherwise rebel, do something that would change society. But no, we all support and this compassion does not solve any problem. And compassion, he says, can also be a sign of It is contempt when someone feels sorry for you.
So pity is a very bad thing for him. In passing, he also says: "Beggars should be abolished, because you always feel bad when you walk past the beggar. Or you give him something." something, then you feel bad or you don't give anything, then you also feel bad. Well, too bad, that wasn't for him. Then the third big critique of Christianity, he says, he becomes a whole new person, now it's a shock. He says: "Perhaps up to now there has not been a more dangerous ideology, nor a greater nonsense in psychologis, than this will for good: the most repugnant type was raised, the unfree human being." , the brat, one taught that only as a brat he was on the right path of divinity." You know that humility is very important in Christianity and that one is constantly committed to doing good, because life is a test, a task.
And he says that a lot of times a jerk comes out in the end, and it doesn't just apply to Christianity. You know, regardless of whether it is in Islam, there is prayer and bowing to the ground or Christians who kneel, he says, a peculiar type of people comes out, it does not seem healthy to him. And the last thing he continues to criticize is the phrase: "If your eye bothers you, gouge it out. The Christian who follows that advice and thinks that he has killed his sensuality is wrong: he lives in a strange vampiric way far away and torments him in disgusting costumes." Well, he says that it doesn't work so easily, that we only live Apollonian and completely suppress the Dionysian, because, by the way, he anticipates something that Sigmund Freud later said, fundamentally, psychology as a whole, but also psychoanalysis in particular: Desires , our desires, our instincts and also the great desires in life that we suppress do not simply disappear, they burn and can even turn against us.
Many neurotic illnesses are attributed to the fact that people had to suppress many of their longings, lusts, and desires in life for too long. And he says that this is also the danger of this Christian ideology, as he calls it. However, he is annoyed by this great hatred of the body, because we already know, since he was 25 years old he has known that everyone is also Dionysian and that is why he says: "I am a body completely and nothing more." 'I am the body', with this he contradicts the hostility towards the body of the entire tradition, including that of philosophy.
They also say that we are above all rational beings, rational animals, and that the body is the servant of the spirit, which only does what the spirit decides. But it's not like that. Nietzsche, on the other hand, speaks of the great reason of the body because he says that it would also be a complete illusion to believe that our reason, our conscience, governs us. Because, by the way, today's scientists would confirm it, there has been life for an incredibly long time, scientifically we would have to say that life has existed for about three billion years, that is, three billion, hardly imaginable.
And also hominids, Nietzsche talks about semi-animals, they have always existed. But they were in the woods in hordes as hunters and gatherers. They weren't conscious either. And only at the end of the history of evolution did consciousness emerge. But we still have that legacy within us. And that's why it can't be removed. He then also says: "Once you were monkeys and even now man is cuter than any monkey." That's the tendency he has there. But how did it happen when we have lived for billions of years only instinctively, instinctively according to stimulus, reaction and lust, including the protozoa and all of evolution?
How did we have something like a conscience today? - And what is worse, a pang of conscience? And then he wrote this famous chapter in the 'Genealogy of Morals' about the rise of bad conscience. And he says that all the madness happened at the time when people left the forests and founded the first communities, villages, kraals and then also states. Because something bad happened within these communities and states. There were laws and rules. And now no one could hurt anyone anymore, but you had to suppress all the instincts you had before, anger, attention, aggression, flight. You know, in the woods, you could still hear every rustling sound, you could smell it, you knew now you had to run if you were threatened or attacked while hunting.
We were instinctively sure. He says we've lost all instincts. All development, all evolution is negative. The water used to take us when we were still in the water. Now our feet have to carry us. And that was also a very negative step, when awareness suddenly arose through the founding of the state. Because, he says, "Suddenly all his instincts were overridden and he hung up. I don't think there's ever been such a feeling of misery on earth." when suddenly the instincts were devalued. And you know that in reality it is so: the instincts are devalued, and not only devalued, they are taboo.
So if we have a fit of rage at work and we yell out loud because we're angry, then everyone would say: But you're aggressive. Sure, says Nietzsche, because the instinct is still there, but you can no longer live. These instincts have been hung up on and devalued. And now in the state, when we lived together in such large groups, it was a matter of something else: these people, that is to say they, "were now reduced to thinking, reasoning, calculating, combining causes and effects, these wretches, to their consciences, to its poorest and most derailed organ!" So suddenly we had to rely on our poorest organ, on our conscience, and we thought, we calculated, we calculated, as we spent years, we were completely instinctive throughout evolution.
Now we have this loss of instinct. At that moment, what happened? Then he says: "All the instincts that are not discharged outward turn inward. Now it's getting exciting. Now he says: Because we can't be aggressive anymore, we can't even go somewhere when we're hungry, take food." Small children still do it in the store. If you don't keep an eye on the shopping cart there, they will stretch out, take the chocolate, open it and eat. Of course, because they have instinctive confidence. Later, of course, they have to learn That everything doesn't work. And we know it. We turn all our instinct inward.
Aggression too. Aggression saved us for thousands of years because we defended territories, we conquered new things, because we joined the horde rather than against ourselves, because we have to repress it. And this energy, which is now directed inward, leads to self-punishment impulses. And that is the origin of bad conscience. Then he says: "The enmity, the cruelty, the desire for persecution." , by being attacked, by change, by destruction - all this directed against the owner of such instincts: That is the origin of the "bad conscience". The penalties, he says, do the rest, as long as we know, of course, that if we don't follow the rules of the state, we will be punished.
But ultimately bad conscience also feeds on our own energy, that we know we shouldn't do that now and we keep ourselves in check with our own energy. And the bottom line is: both consciousness and consciousness are very late evolutionary phenomena, which didn't exist at all and ultimately shouldn't play the decisive role in our lives either. Rather, what is decisive is, Nietzsche says, that we still have an enormous will - and we feel it in ourselves. We have desires, we have longings, we have needs, and it is not just about eating and drinking. He says that all the needs, wants and desires that we have result in our wanting.
Every human being has such a will. And now we are in the central chapter: The will to power. Then he says: "This world: a monster without beginning, without end, is the will to power - and nothing else! And you yourselves are also this will to power - and nothing else!" How can you affirm that this world, a monster of power, is the will to power? Is the world really the will to power? To this he says: Yes, the whole world is the will to power, and it is that: Each plant grows according to the sun, leans out, partially shades other plants, which then stretch out again and do the same.
But if there is a small tree and a big tree, the small one usually dies or the one that grows faster stays. Then there is also an unconditional will to live, to survive and to excel. Also in plants and even in chemistry. He says that when substances mix, you remember that from chemistry class, then it changes color, the substances react with each other. Either they mix or they repel each other. But in any case, says Nietzsche, the forces interact. Forces are at work in all of nature. That is why he says: all of nature is a monster of power.
The planets also have a nice phrase: The supposed laws of nature are nothing more than the balance of power. Well, the fact that the planets are attracted to each other and have these orbits, that calculates exactly how much attraction they have on each other, and that's how it evens out. It's also about strength and people anyway.It also has an interesting example of the first living things, by the way. At that time there were also microscopes and similar techniques. They were able to magnify it, optically. And then he says: The amoeba, the smallest animal, also has tiny hairs and floats around.
As soon as the amoeba finds something organic, she locks it up. And if she likes it, that gets integrated into the amoeba, so she eats it, so to speak. And we have had this appropriation in nature from the beginning. So, the will to power and also ourselves as human beings are nothing other than this will to power. And that is why he also says: "Everything that happens can be reduced to the intention to increase power." But that's how it works now, he says, that we always affect each other. Increasing our power can also mean hindering others in their own improvement.
But there is no way around it. That is why he says: "Life always lives at the expense of another life. Whoever does not understand this has not yet taken the first step towards honesty." He says we can't help it. For example, if he applies for a job as a department head and gets it, then x colleagues have applied, they won't get it, and then they'll be sad. So each success often comes at the expense of the failure of others. Or the Olympic champion, who then stands on the podium, with the crown, shining golden in the glory of victory, stands up there because at the same time he obscures and overshadows others who are not up there.
He says that we cannot live at all without affecting others. That is not possible. And then he also has more subtle examples that I find very exciting. For example, he says that if two love the same lovely woman and fall for her, or even three and one gets her, then two others will fall behind her. Or one of the most subtle examples of him, he was also a great psychologist: mothers. A stage of early childhood is something interesting for him, because he says that mothers who, let's say, love one child more than the other or the others, then they all had five or six, don't do it consciously.
They are fair. They give everyone the same amount. But they can't help it, one thing is somehow closer to them. And the worst thing, he says, is that the children sense it and that is why it is not their mother's fault for what she is doing. He says: finally you have to think beyond good and evil, which is the title of one of his books: Beyond good and evil. The mother who loves a child a little more unconsciously, it's not her fault, not really if she always tries to be fair and just. But the least loved child can feel abandoned and has a lot to do with it.
And that's why we can't help it: Life always lives at the expense of other life, that's how it is in nature. So it is with us. Also a nice phrase from him: "Insects do not bite out of malice, but because they also want to live." So he means mosquitoes. And it is correct. You always hear: Bssss! Actually, what are they supposed to do? Even if for us it is terror, which is malicious, but he can't help it. And that's why we often can't do anything else. And no one goes through life without causing trouble for others at some point.
And because that's the way it is, he says, because there we are, he says: "I judge the power of a will by the resistance, the pain, the torture it endures and the way to take advantage of it." He says that we all have obstacles in life. But we can use resistance as an opportunity to grow and take advantage of it. So our self-development, our will to power, goes against the resistance, always in life. But he only values ​​an individual according to whether the individual manages to overcome the things that are against him and make them want.
Now, of course, one can say, and Nietzsche was also heavily criticized for this, that there are no limits to what he says, of course! But if everyone then lives their will to power, at some point an enormous egoism will emerge. Everyone develops their will to power. What limits should it have if not even pity is a limit, if not even pity limits our egoism? Where is the limit of the will to power? Can you dominate others? Are you allowed to kill others due to development and your own higher goal? And there he says. Actually it can be.
How radical - a radical thought by Nietzsche. He says: It can be, it can be, it is possible for each one of us, "That something is a hundred times more important than the question of whether we are right or wrong and, consequently, if the others are right or wrong. In short, that we have an end for which no one hesitates to make human sacrifices". Therefore, it may actually be the case that in order to develop our highest goal and will to power, we are not allowed to consider ourselves or others and have to make the greatest sacrifices, including human sacrifices.
Of course, such quotes also brought Nietzsche closer to fascism. And you know, Mussolini too, he actually read Nietzsche and had huge monuments erected to Nietzsche. And because, of course, he knows no limits, in the first place. But, ladies and gentlemen, we're trying to look at it in a non-ideological way, without immediately pushing it in either direction. And so it may be that, if you are honest, sometimes you sacrifice yourself for a higher purpose. It doesn't matter if you feel good or bad about it, or how others feel. If necessary, we must make human sacrifices. Just think of the former German Chancellor, the former Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.
He got into a very difficult situation, one could say tragic. Because the Baader-Meinhof group was jailed, some of whom had been accused of murder on several occasions. Then the terrorists who were still outside hijacked a Lufthansa plane and Schleyer, the boss's president. And they made a negotiated offer that they would release everyone. Nothing happens to anyone, but Ulrike Meinhof, Baader and the rest of this group have to be released because of it. And Helmut Schmidt and his cabinet were faced with this difficult decision. And he said, no, we won't let them go, let them storm the Lufthansa plane.
And that is why Hanns Martin Schleyer was executed, so to speak, murdered by the terrorists. And that's crazy, Schmidt even sat next to Frau Schleyer at her funeral. That was a very, very difficult stage for him. But he said that he would make that sacrifice again. So, as you can see here, he has a higher goal, that is, we have a goal, for which one does not hesitate to make human sacrifices. He had that goal. His objective was the reason of state. He said it doesn't work. The rule of law must convict their perpetrators and bring them to justice.
When violence comes from outside, we can't throw away our legal system and say, okay, let's release them. Anyway, if they are murderers they might even kill again. So he says no, that's not possible. The overarching goal in this case is the rule of law. And our justice must be above this release and basically, well, what do you mean by "sacrificing again" Hanns Martin Schleyer? - He did not want to sacrifice him, of course, but he has this life deliberately shouted and said that he would do it again and incidentally he also wrote a note, a written document that he deposited saying that if he himself is kidnapped or Loki Schmidt, his wife, that they should not be redeemed.
He also deposited that. So he also made for himself the sacrifice that he now asked for. Or he would have been willing to make that sacrifice. So you see, you can also interpret it that way. Of course, Nietzsche not only extended his will to power to the individual, but said that it applies to great nations as well. Large peoples in history have also experienced his will to power, which is not bad for Nietzsche. He says, for example: "Those big greenhouses for the strong, for the strongest type of man", "the strongest type of man", here comes this "strong and weak", for this reason he is also criticized a lot. "Those great hothouses for strong men and for the strongest kind of man that ever lived, the aristocratic polities in the manner of Rome and Venice, understood freedom exactly in the sense in which I understand the word freedom: as something that one has and one that has not, that one wants, that one conquers." So he has in mind Rome, ancient Rome and Venice.
They were communities that used their freedom and their self-development to conquer, preserve and win what still they didn't. That's why Mussolini found Nietzsche so great, because he also wanted to revive ancient Rome and its ancient splendor. But we'll see in a moment that Nietzsche wasn't really interested in that. He also celebrates Venice. And if you keep reading, he says, the Northern Italian cities have also developed the will to power to a great extent. And I'll show you why right now. By the way, it says: In the Renaissance, at that time, when Venice and later Florence and those cities in northern Italy had this crazy power, humanity took a huge step forward.
He even affirms that the Europeans of today or: "The Europeans of today fall below the Europeans of the Renaissance in terms of their values." Well, they did a great thing in the Renaissance. And he was concerned not with the fact that Venice and her merchant fleet powerfully controlled the entire Mediterranean region, nor that the Borgias ruled there, but essentially with the fact that a huge act of human self-liberation took place in the Renaissance. Science flourished for the first time. Doctors were allowed to dissect corpses. And for the first time, one has also freed oneself from millennial medieval thought.
You know, artists, for example Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo, were also scientists. They had a completely free and enlightened way of thinking. And for the first time perspective was also painted. The entire Middle Ages were only two-dimensional. You could see the halos there, but it had no depth. That's when it started, the perspective came. Then all the sciences flourished. This inspired Nietzsche. Or Brunelleschi, who is building this huge dome. In the Renaissance people were liberated. And the artists, by the way, signed their works themselves. Suddenly, beautiful naked bodies were painted. It was much more Dionysian, he says, the Renaissance.
Because nudity was completely prohibited in the Middle Ages. And then of course, how to say it, they did something exciting. Renaissance artists were just like, yeah, we paint old things like that, Botticelli's Venus, and of course such an ancient goddess, Venus, has to be naked. And he just liked this awakening. There he writes, for example: "The Italian", this is not a mistake, it used to be written like this, "the Italian Renaissance contained the liberation of thought, contempt for authority, the victory of culture over the arrogance of origin, enthusiasm for science, unleash the individual, fervor for veracity".
So for Nietzsche "will to power" doesn't necessarily mean great conquests, it's more about intellectual development, artistic development. And that brings us to our opening question and our last big chapter. How do you do that? How can we develop? Now, what is this Overman that he recommends? "The gods are dead, now we want superman to live." But who or what is this superman? And maybe we can also become superhumans here in the room? Let's see that now. Finally. "The superman", says Nietzsche, "the superman is close to my heart, he is my first and only thing and not the human being: neither the next, nor the poorest, nor the most suffering, nor the best".
And it is interesting that he says that the overman is important to me and not the human being. And this superman is simply not next. That is clear, and not the poorest, nor the most suffered, that is what we already know about Nietzsche, his, how to say it, negative assessment of Christian heroes, that is, the hero on the cross, Jesus on the cross is the one who suffers the most or the poorest. How should I say? The superman of religions is the ascetic, like Buddha, who withdraws, or simply like Jesus, or even the Franciscans and numerous mendicant orders, who only had a rope around their stomachs and wore tunics.
There was this ideal of negation of all property, of everything that was named, on the one hand. And he refused. That's not superman. The superman is not the ascetic. You know that Nietzsche had a lot in common with Schopenhauer, and Schopenhauer says that you have to be as ascetic as possible. Nietzsche says: no, no, the superman is not the one who suffers, nor the poorest, nor the closest, and -now it gets exciting- not the best either. Why not the best? One would think, based on what we know of Nietzsche so far, that the overman is the strongest to develop, ergo also the best, and that is not what is meant.
That is actually what it is about. It's not about him being an incredibly successful capitalist in business or a politician or Alexander the Great conquering a great empire. He is not concerned with the fact that the best is superman. He says: "The higher nature of the great man lies in incommunicability", it is interesting, in incommunicability, not in any effect, if he also shook the globe." So the higher nature of the great man lies on the way to the superman not in the fact that he has a great impact and shakes the whole world, but in his incommunicability.
What does he mean by someone who is incommunicable? And why should it be a quality that he himself cannot make himself understood? But does it pretty well looks good.He says that ultimately it's about finding our own inner higher idea, that is, our innermost creative potential,digress now. And of course they have to be like that, creative people, you have to say it again. You have to trust what you have recognized as the innermost, the highest. But Nietzsche actually advises us on our way to reconsider our Dionysian principle, our intuition, and secondly, which I actually find quite beautiful, this image, this thought that maybe we should try to go back to being a child playing .
And so I would like to close with a quote from him: "One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." Thank you so much.

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