It’s been over a decade now since Nietzsche got seriously introduced in my life, a period in which I read several of his books, my favorite remaining The Gay Science. Of all his thoughts, the one from which I benefited the most, the one which has affected me mostly and which has remained with me throughout is this one: the idea and hence the will of affirming life, of affirming the being you are now, at this moment, in this infinitely complex web of becoming. What would it take, then, to make such a leap of affirmation? It would require a human being to look into her past, and to behold the most difficult and painful events through which she has lived, and to accept them, embrace them, and even love them because they are part of the intricate makeup that constitutes her current self, because without them she would not be who she is at this moment. Nietzsche would say that she would have to will them again, want to live through them again and again out of an infinite love and affirmation for the person she has become. In fact the web of events that Nietzsche has in mind extends far beyond the person in question, the particular subjectivity, to encompass the world and its history; so the person now looks at the most painful and questionable events in history and existence and out of an infinite love of life wills them again because she wills its present and future, hers and life’s, because in her heart a powerful Yes! is resounding, a powerful emotion that acts like a loop through which everything that has ever lived wants to be again, is in love with itself. And to complete the circle Nietzsche then devised the idea of eternal recurrence. The person now stands at the crux of the moment and asks herself if, living this moment the way she is living it, she is ready to live it again and again for an infinite number of times in the exact same way. To will this moment once is then to will it for an eternal number of times, recurring through the fabric of existence, so, obviously, you would want to will it in the best way possible, or the way that is most in harmony with your strength and heart. Ultimately, you must say Yes! to living your life in the exact same way again and again for an infinite number of times; you affirm existence in your person, and through you existence entire is justified. All of this, however, must be contemplated truly and not just in abstraction, its truth must be felt taking hold of the whole heart. Nothing is more difficult. Yet the difficult is something we love, because we love life.
Like a tight bud I closed in upon myself, but that was only the outward appearance of it; in truth it was an inward motion, a closing in upon the self that is an opening up of an inward world, the inward world, the world of the soul; and the most precious thing this gave me? (and this I call poetry, the self-expressive, the inwardly reflexive) — the ability to withstand my solitude so I could deepen myself and give myself back to the world through my heart and from the depth of my soul.
Is the tree less surrendered to love for rising towards the sky and asserting itself, its own height and elevation? Is it less in unity and oneness for affirming itself, its own identity and uniqueness? For wanting to rise higher than its surroundings? For wanting to look down on its surroundings, and high towards the sky? Is it not a betrayal of its duty to its oneness if it refuses to assert its own difference, its own necessarily partial view of the sky towards which it rises? — Replace the tree with man and you will find much of modern spirituality vanishing with a whiff of bad breath, vanishing to reveal itself as a sewer, and one giving discharge to…
In all great artists the will exceeds the talent; the love propelling the creations is at the end greater than all the works of art.
Whatever men insisted women should be or are feminism insisted that women should be its opposite, or that the power relation should be inverted so as women gain the upper hand — this reactive stance as much as it is lauded and needed (we’ve been waiting for it for millennia) will not take us beyond the dynamics of the power relation, the dreadful either/or so entrenched in the breast of culture and the shaping of men and women. This reaction should, instead, grasp itself differently, channel its energy differently — rather than being a reaction it should affirm itself, it should be an affirmation and an affirmative act — women are women irrespective of men and the will and desires of men; woman is woman not as an act that is directed against men, but as an affirmative act of herself and her own being, her own life, aspirations, and embodiment in the world — a creative act and a first act. That is essential, since only this will suspend the opposition struggle of men and women and allow each to find itself entrenched in the other — the woman in man, and the man in woman, and their struggle together in the creation of a new culture that goes beyond the limitations of the old. This will truly be the blow that dismantles the gender dynamics that have governed culture since millennia, giving men and women the space needed to discover themselves and each other anew and in a new light. The relation no longer power-centered, its destructive edge will be replaced by a more supportive and mutually understanding spirit that refuses to slide back into the old modes of relating even when conflicts and tensions arise. What will it look like, this culture? What will its men and women be? — it and they are flourishing right under our eyes, they are coming and will come at a quicker pace in the coming decades. The love-flower that daring spirits dreamed a thousand years ago — we are the witnesses of its coming of age.
Though it often hides itself behind a veil of humanism, it is the mark of a tortured soul, this need to identify with every suffering and struggling cause. Through this identification it prolongs its own torture, finding new means to discharge its weariness; and where new causes cannot be found new causes must be invented, lashes of evil imagined here and there, imagined villains that must be vanquished. The suffering soul only betrays itself with the vehemency with which it wishes to expunge all suffering.