Wry Amusing Observations by Nietzsche
The dark piercing humor of Nietzsche: observing people and the future of mankind.
Nietzsche in 1875
Since when are philosophers funny?
OK, who among us has ever thought of Nietzsche as, well, funny? Not many I expect. He was a German philosopher who often contradicted himself and got in trouble by critiquing culture. After his zealously religious Lutheran pastor father died insane, Friedrich Nietzsche soared to new heights as a famous rebel against Christianity.
That must have been one psychologically confusing atmosphere growing up as a child with a double dose: heavy religion AND insanity. It’s a true feat of courage and personal discipline the man never ended up a serial killer. This combination of early upbringing is usually a disaster. Zealously strict religion tends to produce aberrant and destructive behavior.
Labyrinth of Love
Labyrinth of Love and Life
As someone who grew up badly abused, it is easy for me to know what motivated Nietzsche, understanding the road he took to balance and purge himself of others’ insanity. I just came to different conclusions and finished the process. Most people, like him, get stuck and don’t find the exit sign in the testing zone life labyrinth. On a soul level, I often wonder if those who are meant to be the deep thinkers in life choose families that will either break them or make them.
Nietzsche’s emotional and spiritual flailing about is a fine example of the throes of spiritual and personal development. In all that seriousness, most people don’t realize how frequently incredible and funny life observations occur along the way! That, dear friends, is why you keep a journal!
Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) as a pastor’s kid says it all. Even his two grandfathers were pious pastors. I know all about pastor’s kids; I went to a school almost exclusively populated by them. When my father accepted an overseas intelligence assignment in Taiwan, my little sister and I ended up in an American Protestant missionary boarding school where they harangued us 24/7 to bend to their will. We got a taste of Nietzsche’s oppressive psychological life.
That religious school operated like a paranoid cult using brainwashing techniques, social isolation and physical lock-down to break the spirit. My little sister succumbed as a young child has few psychological defenses. As for me, it turned out my personality was immune to their torture. Years later I found a military document online that talked about those who are resistant to torture. It was interesting to read a study by people who had never met me that described my experience and how I solved the problem by psychologically breaking down the torturers. The local Taoists taught me their mirroring technique and I just took it to a new level.
It’s amazing I actually love, like and interact with God as a result. However, I was successful in separating God from the destructive fools who claimed to represent Him. I could easily have ended up on Nietzsche’s destructive path to inner nowhere but not for the Chinese local spiritual adepts, some Buddhist, and, another highly revered Taoist elusive mystic. They talked about God too. It was from a completely different perspective, complementing what I really knew about the true Christianity. That experience was an exercise in the freedom of joy and discovery, not ego rules and manipulation.
Piano as Archetype of Life's Song
Nietzsche's Core Life Study and Philosophy
For his time period, Nietzsche was a provocative thinker. He pushed and pushed back the limits of severely hobbled imaginations. Let’s say it plain; the man was often odiously offensive to all around him, yet many times justified. It might have helped his cause to learn some diplomacy, though there are those times when plain spoken is all that remains available. He did find solace as a musician, learning the piano at an early age, composing as he grew older. The other part of his irritability was he suffered from migraine headaches.
I suspect his physical ailments and emotional pain contributed to his grumpiness that, in turn, colored his writings. Nietzsche really believed that European man was standing on the precipice of a critical turning point. He was concerned that mankind was in the early stages of beginning to develop past the old cultural views of God, namely Judeo-Christian views. Nietzsche believed mankind would fall into an abyss of despair from no longer being able to find meaning in a meaningless world. In short, his emotional and physical pain colored his world view to the point he thought everyone would experience the same.
How do you filter what you see in your world?
Nietzsche's Thoughts on Mankind
Nietzsche’s better work often discussed the idea of mankind with “a will to power” – the need to dominate and master his world. He observed that among all the animals on earth only mankind could actually turn this “will to power” back upon himself for self-mastery and self-overcoming as he called it. He said this was the ideal man, a superman, “will achieve a fierce joy in mastering his own existence, ordering his passions, and giving style to his character.” Strangely, Nietzsche came full circle for that is the basic concept straight out of The Book of Proverbs.
“The sublimation of passion and of life's circumstances that the ideal man achieves in his self-overcoming will release in him a flood of creative energy. The lives of such men will be the justification of reality; their preferences will constitute the standard of value.”
Forgiveness and Big Egos: Kiss and make up!
Future generations interpret writers - for what will you be known?
In his own way, Nietzsche came full circle from what he learned as a child, achieving much of his spiritual development from another angle. He just forgot or never succeeded in purging the rage from having been wronged by abusive people, transforming it into forgiveness. Forgiveness is the spiritual gate that releases previously caged creative energy so a person can realize and enjoy their full potential.
Why do I write about this tortured man? Because no matter how bad life can get it is the mark of both a person of high intelligence and caged creativity that can see the humor in the weirdness of life. Along his path through life, with all the strange twists and turns, peeking through that mental torment were astute and humorous observations. Nietzsche will be remembered for a lot of things, some good, and some bad. Why not stop for a moment and just enjoy his wry observations about mankind and society?
Nietzsche's Dark Humor
Quotes by Nietzsche
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.
Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called 'Ego'.
Not by wrath does one kill, but by laughter.
Insanity in individuals is something rare -- but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.
Is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's blunders?
The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy.
In Heaven all the interesting people are missing.
Love is a state in which a man sees things most decidedly as they are not.
Laughter is the BEST Medicine!
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I'm a Social Issues Poet (SIP). Pay a visit to my poetry, news, humor and political blog: The Social Poets. Posting is every day.
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