Philosophy of Friedrich Neitzsche

Satyam Bansal
4 min readMar 13, 2023
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher, cultural critic, and poet who is known for his bold ideas about morality, religion, and human nature. Nietzsche believed that individuals could transcend their current existence and become “great” by living passionately, embracing their own individuality, and creating their own values.

Nietzsche’s most famous quotes and my commentaries on them

“It is not the strength, but the duration of great sentiments that makes great men”

According to Nietzsche, what separates great men from others is not their physical or mental strength, but their ability to sustain powerful emotions and beliefs over time. Nietzsche believed that it is not enough to simply feel strongly about something for a short period of time. Instead, greatness comes from the ability to maintain and build upon those feelings and beliefs over an extended period of time.

Nietzsche’s quote implies that great men are not born that way. Rather, greatness is something that is achieved through sustained effort and dedication. This idea aligns with Nietzsche’s broader philosophy of self-creation, which emphasizes the importance of individuals taking control of their own lives and creating their own meaning and purpose.

One example of the kind of sustained sentiment that Nietzsche believed leads to greatness is love. Nietzsche believed that true love is not a fleeting emotion, but rather a deep, abiding passion that endures even in the face of adversity. He believed that those who are able to sustain this kind of love over time are capable of achieving great things in life.

Another example of the kind of sentiment that Nietzsche believed leads to greatness is belief in oneself. Nietzsche believed that individuals who have a strong sense of self-worth and confidence are more likely to achieve greatness than those who doubt themselves. He believed that this kind of belief in oneself is not something that can be achieved overnight, but rather something that must be cultivated and nurtured over time.

Overall, Nietzsche’s quote, “It is not the strength, but the duration of great sentiments that makes great men,” speaks to his belief that greatness is something that is achieved through sustained effort and dedication. Nietzsche believed that individuals could transcend their current existence and become “great” by living passionately, embracing their own individuality, and creating their own values. For Nietzsche, greatness is not just about strength or power, but about the ability to sustain powerful emotions and beliefs over time.

“A man of genius is unbearable, unless he possess at least two things besides: gratitude and purity”

According to Nietzsche, a man of genius is someone who possesses extraordinary talent, creativity, and insight. While these qualities can make a person stand out and achieve great things, they can also make them difficult to be around. Nietzsche believed that geniuses often have a strong sense of superiority and are unwilling to compromise their beliefs or actions. This can lead to conflict with others and cause the genius to become unbearable.

To mitigate this problem, Nietzsche believed that geniuses must also possess gratitude and purity. Gratitude means being thankful for what one has, rather than constantly striving for more. Nietzsche believed that gratitude helps geniuses stay grounded and connected to the world around them, preventing them from becoming too self-centered or egotistical.

Purity, on the other hand, refers to the idea of living a virtuous life and avoiding immoral behavior. Nietzsche believed that geniuses who lack purity can become corrupt and use their talents for nefarious purposes. By maintaining a sense of moral purity, geniuses can ensure that their talents are used for good and not for evil.

Overall, Nietzsche’s quote, “A man of genius is unbearable, unless he possess at least two things besides: gratitude and purity,” speaks to his belief that genius alone is not enough to make someone truly admirable. While talent, creativity, and insight are important, Nietzsche believed that geniuses must also cultivate qualities like gratitude and purity to be truly admirable. By doing so, they can avoid becoming unbearable and instead use their talents for the greater good.

“The maturity of man — that means, to have reacquired the seriousness that one had as a child at play”

According to Nietzsche, children are often playful and carefree, approaching the world with a sense of wonder and curiosity. However, as they grow older and become more serious, they often lose this sense of playfulness and become overly focused on their responsibilities and duties. Nietzsche believed that this loss of playfulness can be detrimental to individuals, causing them to become overly rigid and inflexible.

To counteract this, Nietzsche believed that true maturity means reacquiring the seriousness that one had as a child at play. In other words, mature individuals should be able to approach the world with a sense of seriousness and purpose, while also maintaining a sense of playfulness and wonder. This balance allows individuals to take their responsibilities and duties seriously, while also remaining open to new experiences and possibilities.

For Nietzsche, the ability to reacquire the seriousness that one had as a child at play is a sign of true maturity. This means being able to approach life with a sense of purpose and direction, while also remaining open to new experiences and possibilities. Nietzsche believed that this balance is essential for individuals who want to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.

Overall, Nietzsche’s quote, “The maturity of man — that means, to have reacquired the seriousness that one had as a child at play,” speaks to his belief that true maturity involves a balance between playfulness and seriousness. By reacquiring the sense of playfulness and wonder that we had as children, we can approach the world with a sense of purpose and direction, while also remaining open to new experiences and possibilities. For Nietzsche, this balance is essential for individuals who want to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.

Thank you 🙏

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