Nietzsche on the Life Lived Most Intensely

Lucy Ferry cogently on Nietzsche:

In short, in this [Nietzschean] morality of grandeur, it is intensity that has primacy; the will to power carries the day against all other considerations: “There is nothing to life that has value except the degree of power!” This does not mean that there is no such thing as value. Quite the contrary. We also need to comprehend, as is clear in Nietzsche’s critique of the Socratic cure and of romanticism, that genuine intensity has nothing in common with unleashed passions or the emancipation of bodies; it resides in the harmonious and classical integration of the vital forces; in the serenity, the calm, but also the lightness that oppose Mozart and Schubert to Schumann and Wagner. Like one skilled in the martial arts, the man of the grand style moves in elegance, at a thousand leagues from anything that seems laborious. He does not perspire, and if he moves mountains, it is serenely, without apparent effort. (What is the Good Life?, p. 93)

Nietzsche urges us first to recruit our active forces, making them more and more intense. But this recruitment is not possible for those who are full of reactive forces, only able to oppose Life. They are the nasty refusers, and they surround us, have burrowed into us, have largely become us. What is our soft culture but the continual refusal to do anything but go against the very fiber and grain of Life?

Continue reading “Nietzsche on the Life Lived Most Intensely”

Cheerfulness, tightrope walking, and an amorous rendezvous

To draw the character of the cheerfully ready person more vividly, I return to Nietzsche’s description of the tightrope walker and the ‘worthy gentleman.’ In one aphorism, Nietzsche distinguishes between non-tightrope walking and tightrope walking situations: ‘To get into only those situations in which illusory virtues are of no use, but in which, like the tightrope-walker on his rope, one either falls or stands–or gets off…’

Continue reading “Cheerfulness, tightrope walking, and an amorous rendezvous”