The Spirit Science
Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher and writer during the mid to late 1800′s. His work heavily influenced modern philosophy and he was praised as a successful intellectual during his times. His work is frequently misunderstood as being depressing. He was deeply concerned with the subjectivity of each person’s experience and the popularization of many forms of nihilism. Nietzsche delighted in being able to concisely create a statement that would force listeners to re evaluate long held traditions or mentalities. A little over a century after his death, his words can still force people to pause and think.
“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike, than those who think differently.”
No one should be taught to look up to people for the fact that they think the same as everyone else, especially youth. Before the young person has been taught any of the mental, spiritual, or moral compromises, they view the world in a beautifully unique way. These compromises are bound to occur even if the child is taught to resist them at any cost. No one can live in today’s society and not make any compromises. It’s bound to occur on some level or another. Youth should be encouraged to think as differently as they can for as long as they can. Through the differences in perspective and thought from person to person is where we can have a choice between great ideas.
“No one talks more passionately about his rights than he who in the depths of his soul doubts whether he has any.”
Think of all the protesters, politicians, and activists, almost every one in our country and others are constantly woried about our rights. It feels like in the more modern times, we have lost some of rights of privacy, security and the government’s transparency. With so many people clamoring to protect our rights, in a system meant to guarantee them, is an indication to me that people no longer have faith in the rights we have. If one chances a glance at the news, this lack of faith is fairly understandable.
“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
Simple truth. Music is a transcendent form of expression. It can cross time, language barriers, and war zones while people enjoy it. I think this is Nietzsche’s most clearly understood quotes. This could be rephrased to, ‘without joy, life would be a mistake’.
“A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.”
Faith can be good for the soul or fighting off fears but the sole act of faith never accomplishes anything. There must be intention, followed by action and observation. A crazed individual in the asylum has every faith that he is the Lord Commander of the Vatican’s army, but his faith isn’t enough to make it true. Nor is only our faith that he isn’t, enough to damn him. It is his actions as a lunatic, and no formal training that makes him what he is. Faith gives him an intangible sense of purpose but that is it.
“I counsel you, my friends: Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.”
An eye for an eye and the world goes blind. In these times of rehabilitation and corrective therapies returning thousands of criminals and crazed individuals back into society to be with their loved ones is a powerful lesson. Punishment is inherently moral and only really reinforces fear. People who are punished normally have a chip on their shoulder and only a clearer perspective on the system’s process, rather than genuinely empathetic understandings of how they hurt someone.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is a condition of the heart — not something that comes upon the earth or after death.”
The intangible nature of Heaven makes it so much more powerful than the destination some make it out to be. It is a gift to be enjoyed by anyone who can widen their heart enough to accept it. I threw this fairly simple quote in here to dispel the negative lighting Nietzsche has gotten over the years.
“A politician divides mankind into two classes: tools and enemies.”
The problem with politicians is they want to control and influence their nation. They tell us it’s for these reasons but how can we ever know? The ruthless aspect of the campaign trail make their character known a little better, but in the ascension to power they start to see the nation differently. ‘Tools and Enemies’ is a poor way for anyone in any position to view their fellow man.