Nietzsche on the Good Life Featured in the New Book What Better Place to Die

In the course of the means of writing the chapter Journey into the Self, in my newest e book What Higher Place to Die, I selected to deal with the query: “What’s the good life?” The method began with creating a listing of notable philosophers and theologians, one among which was the nice German thinker, Friedrich Nietzsche.

Nietzsche was born October 15, 1844 within the metropolis of Rocken in what’s now Germany. On the age of twenty-four he was given a place as a professor of philology on the College of Basel in Switzerland. From 1879 on, Nietzsche lived as an unbiased writer, holding no tutorial place. In 1889 he suffered a psychological breakdown on a avenue in Turin, Italy. From then on his well being, each bodily and psychological, steadily declined till in August of 1900 he died shortly after struggling a stroke.

A deceptively necessary tenet of Nietzsche’s philosophy is elucidated on this line from Thus Spake Zarathustra: “My brother, when thou hast a advantage, and it’s thine personal advantage, thou hast it in widespread with nobody.” In contrast to most philosophers who train some type of the great life, Nietzsche didn’t consider that the great life consists in kind of the identical factor for everybody. Every of us is radically totally different from one another, in advantage of getting lived fully totally different lives. He rejects moral theories that purport to be legitimate for everybody: “All these moralities are baroque in kind and devoid of sense as a result of they handle themselves to everybody, as a result of they generalize the place there will be no generalization.”

Nevertheless, Nietzsche did understand that we’re all people and that subsequently all of us have no less than one thing in widespread. A lot of his writing is dedicated to the event of a nuanced and novel understanding of the human. The next excerpt from Thus Spake Zarathustra serves as a great instance: “Lo! How every of thy virtues is covetous of the best place; it wanteth thy complete spirit to be its herald, it wanteth thy complete energy, in wrath, hatred, and love. Jealous is each advantage of the others, and a dreadful factor is jealousy.” For Nietzsche the human is a posh and typically contradictory animal, and he acknowledges the customarily turbulent interaction of ideas and feelings which works on within the human thoughts. Nietzsche sketches a typically sordid image of the human being, however on the identical time he states in Thus Spake Zarathustra that “man is one thing that hath to be surpassed.” For Nietzsche, the human begins together with his or her passions, ideas, and impulses because the given circumstances of human existence; nonetheless, as a human agent, one can and should transcend the historic boundaries of the human, creating new modes of life as one sees match.

Nietzsche tells us that one should first plumb the depths of the human; one should discover “the human psyche and its limits, the hitherto attained extent of human inside expertise, your entire historical past of the psyche so far plus its nonetheless unexhausted prospects.” As soon as one is accustomed to the taking part in discipline of the human thoughts one should then play, breaking and remaking the foundations of human life, creating new modes of being. Nietzsche doesn’t consider that there’s one, true “good life.” Relatively, he sends every of us off to seek out our personal: “‘This–is now my way–where is yours?’ Thus did I reply those that requested me ‘the way in which.’ For the way–it doth not exist!'”

What Higher Place to Die relies on my “close to demise” expertise on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire and the issues I discovered. In a sequence of keynote addresses and a re-enactment on The Discovery Channel, I shared the story of my rescue and these three admonitions which got here out of my expertise: Be ready to die, Have a plan to reside, and Do it now. After these “how-to” messages, the e book takes a broad view of life within the chapter Journey into the Self, specializing in oneself and the attainment of the great life.

Readers are inspired to hitch me within the writing of this e book both by e mail to or through the blog-to-book at

Source by Bernie Dahl, M.D.