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‘He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real for imaginary’.

- Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche was a german philosopher, scholar, poet, cultural critic , philosopher born 1844-1910. His fundamental question is asking what is the proper quest for human subjectivity? His body of works cover a large scope ranging from philosophical polemics, cultural criticism, critique on Christianity, poetry, arts, literature, tragedy, value. For the topic discussed here is the role of pain suffering in human development to an Ubermensch or overman. His phrase most commonly echoed throughout modern culture used in pop songs unknowingly is ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ . Nietzsche wants us to see its the journey pain suffering is an inescapable condition of the human existence. We are on the way the unbearable present striving towards a worthy ideal that gives life meaning, purpose and is the antidote to ultimate despair of nihilism. An individual solely pursuing happiness will have a shallow, unfulfilled, one dimensional existence because joy does not come without suffering, the two come hand in hand. Upon reaching the top of the mountain one does not experience a deep level of fulfillment without the strain of the climb to get there. Nietzsche writes, ‘Examine the lives of the best and most fruitful people and peoples and ask yourselves whether a tree that is supposed to grow to a proud height can dispense with bad weather and storms; weather misfortune and external resistance, some kinds of hatred, jealousy, stubbornness, mistrust hardness, avarice and violence do not belong among the favorable conditions without which any great growth even of virtue is scarcely possible’.  Modern philosopher Alain De Botton adds ‘ We should not feel embarrassed by our difficulties, only by our failure to grow anything beautiful from them’. 

See our tribute to Nietzsche by viewing our Zarathustra Tee.

For further reading see ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ by Friedrich Nietzsche & ‘Consolations of Philosophy’, by Alain De Botton.


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