Implications of loving the fate: An interpretation of Nietzsche

A philosopher who never got his due reverence, recognition and was abnegated, outcasted for his ideas, a man of forward-looking approach- a knowledge giant none other than Friedrich Nietzsche, a man whose sufferings and Wobegon plight turned him into a philosopher in late 19 century. In his book, “The Gay Science” he highlights a strange concept of “amor fati” wherein he contends:

“I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor Fati: Let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-Sayer.” What is about amor fati that helps us in our course of life, world and handling oneself in the times we really feel drained, estranged and broken beyond repair? Let us find out.

Amor Fati is “love for one’s own fate” in Nietzsche’s mind; this needs to be condensed further to grasp its exact meaning. Let us understand this through a real-life example. Supposedly, the person you love the most, in a tragic accident, unfortunately dies and simultaneously, you indulge in a physical fight with your friends, you get the pressure of achieving constant high scores in college education from your family, you are getting no work done and facing rejections from everywhere, it seems like the whole world is trying to engulf you in sadness and the waves of despondency are trying to engulf you from all the sides, leaving you with no escape from life but only suffering which is seeming like never-ending course of pain because life in not a bed of roses.

In other instance, let us consider we flunked in an examination, or be it any competition in which were not able to win and we constantly think, make speculations and overgeneralize about the failure, feeling and counting only the negative experiences and magnifying them in a manner that we tend to believe that even our future is doomed to have thorns and we will probably end up in a hole of even more negative perspective and malice thoughts will keep haunting us in a race, casting a dark shadow on our present and future as if something even more dangerous is waiting for us behind the closed vault waiting for us to be fed, engulfed and chewed belligerently until we die painfully.
If you take a minute, magnified and critical view of this problem at hand, you will be able realize that these are figment of imagination, hallucinations at best that have grappled our intellect to believe that we are good for nothing or that we let ourselves down constantly in competitions by not be able to adequately showcase our competency and win the match.

It is our overthinking and overgeneralizations that have taken charge of our intellect and bodily mechanism that have made us prone to depressive thought process that make us feel alienated and weight down on ourselves and in turn of such events, we end up exerting ourselves with negative, discouraging thoughts which are a wide array of repressive, constant self-doubting and significantly affecting our own self-concept in ways that could be developmentally inappropriate and could harbinger our growth as a mentally sound human being in future time to come.

With great sorrow, we only sow more seeds of painful recurring mental images that drag us in our present and fill our mind about the prospect of having a changed and better future- they haunt us to the very core. We may not want to feel this feeling, the famous saying of “how to unlove someone you once loved immensely”- it reminds me of these and many other significant syllables which, time and again, we humans have found ourselves saying in order to avoid to face the problems or situations which are beyond our anticipatory consequence-styled ideal phase.

Amor Fati is precisely coming to the rescue of the humanity, it is an attitude of not wanting to change the charge, intensity of the situation, let it may come as it may, we will acknowledge and accept the situation as our normal fate and we will not want to face or project this situation in a changed manner that is motivated our emotions or any other subjective feeling whatsoever.

My formula for human greatness is amor fati: that you do not want anything to be different, not forwards, not backwards, not for all eternity. Not just to tolerate necessity, still less to conceal it – all idealism is hypocrisy towards necessity –, but to love it…What my innermost nature tells me is that everything necessary, seen from above and in the sense of a great economy, is also useful in itself, – it should not just be tolerated, it should be loved…Amor fati: that is my innermost nature (NW, epilogue, 1).

A situation, where we no longer have any longing for “good outcomes” or that this situation could have turned out to be something else as to what I have expected it to look like, we have no regret, no remorse and no repenting upon the course of the events and the nature in which those happenings have unfolded in front of us. We do not overthink, overgeneralize and simply turn a blind eye towards the past and its troublesome occurring- we no longer hold them, making a strong grip as they are the ultimate life agents moving our mind and soul towards thought and actions in present and future. Epictetus, a stoic philosopher once contended the same: “Do not seek for things to happen the way you want them to; rather, wish that what happens happen the way it happens: then you will be happy.”

We can conclude that, our ultimate objective is not that we do not merely have feel okay with what happened, but rather we have to believe in this fact that whatever happened, happened because it was meant to happen that way- it destined to be like this-and-this only, we not have to be happy with the occurring but we have to love and make most of the given situation in whichever way possible- we do not have to run away and keep wandering thoughts aimlessly on the situations, but to rather fall in love with them as to use them for your own development, advantage and benefit. So whenever a gruesome ailment of darkness reigns over, Amor Fati is the only remedial response to them.

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Chaitanya Sharma
B.A Philosophy (Hons.) from Hansraj College, University of Delhi


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