Amor Fati…

Amor Fati,
“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary—but love it.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Amor fati ….Love Your Fate which is in fact your life…
Amor fati is in the least an acceptance of fate, and at the most, a love of it. You will be met with life challenges that change your path…let them. If the event must occur,… ” amor fati “is the response.
” Amor fati”—a love of what happens. Because that’s your only option…”Amor Fati” prompts us to say: We will put our energies and emotions and exertions only where they will have real impact. This is that place. We will tell ourselves: This is what I’ve got to do or put up with? Well, I might as well be happy about it.
Nietzsche thought that not only should we accept all the horrors and chaos in life but we should love them. They are an integral part of our story. All the difficulties in life are intertwined with all the good and one cannot be without the other. The tragedies of fate and the missteps of being are one with the glories of grace and the wisdom of humanity. We need to take the good with the bad quite literally. Not only accept, but love the full picture of reality as it is.
This wasn’t to say that Nietzsche was advocating for a fatalistic approach to life.
He wasn’t suggesting we live completely passively as victims to fate. One of Nietzsche’s central concepts was ‘Wille zur Macht’, or the ‘Will to Power’ which is in direct contradiction to a helpless mentality. What he may have been advising instead, is that we have the wisdom to know when we need to fight and overcome, and when we need to accept and embrace the reality we find ourselves in. To be both drivers of change and gracious participants in fate.
“I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who makes 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: someday I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882, The Gay Science, 276

Author: mydoina

Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes. -Carl Gustav Jung-

10 thoughts on “Amor Fati…”

  1. He wasn’t suggesting we live completely passively as victims to fate. One of Nietzsche’s central concepts was ‘Wille zur Macht’, or the ‘Will to Power’ which is in direct contradiction to a helpless mentality. What he may have been advising instead, is that we have the wisdom to know when we need to fight and overcome, and when we need to accept and embrace the reality we find ourselves in. To be both drivers of change and gracious participants in fate.

    I dunno. I think Nietzsche’s approach to the apparent contradiction between free will and causal determinism was a bit more nuanced than merely dividing existence into what you can change and what you can’t. To me he teases it out in Beyond Good and Evil, where you can see the dualism between ‘actor’ and ‘acted upon’ breaking down. Mind you, given his reliance on catchy aphorisms it’s more than possible I’m projecting my own views onto his text. (IMHO effective aphorisms rely on a variation of the Barnum effect whereby an ambiguous generalisation can seem an uncanny articulation of your own deeply held beliefs).

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    1. Certainly Nietzsche’s philosophy is much more complex, unfortunately, he did not leave any systematic exposure of his philosophy and therefore remains a subject of intense academic dispute and interpretation. Due to Nietzsche’s evocative style and often outrageous claims, his philosophy generates strong reactions of love and passionate disgust. Nietzsche criticized the fundamental values of the ultra-rationalized society. The “will to power” is analyzed as the internal relationship of a conflict, as the intimate structure of becoming and not only as the development of a force. It is a concept that allows man to self-transcend not his elimination, to accept life, in what it entails, as an aspiration for power … Thus, contrary to the false interpretations of his philosophy, the Nietzchenian “Übermensch” is not a physical and intellectual self-powered man but represents a tendency in evolution expected by man … Thanks for stopping by … 🙂

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      1. I don’t think Nietzsche’s ‘Will (to Power)’ – which he saw as a fundamental driving force as per Schopenhauer – is the same as ‘free(dom of) will’ – the ability to act outside the complete constraint of cause and effect; which he essentially denied as error and folly. But he begins BG&E by also denying self as a separate agent or subject of action (as per the Buddha, via Schopenhauer again). There is action but no actor and no acted upon. There is Will but no Willer. His non-dualism renders the very question of ‘free will vs determinism’ moot.

        And yeah, Nietzsche polarises. I spent most of my life hating his stuff – mostly from a shallow moralistic perspective – then suddenly ‘got’ him and became a fan. Happened the same time I realised I have no morals and don’t know anything.

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  2. I liked Nietzsche when I was a uni student because he seemed to prefigure the postmoderns who deconstruct taken-for-granted truth claims. I don’t necessarily agree with all that N said but I do appreciate his willingness to ‘peel back the layers,’ as he saw them.

    For me, I try not just to *accept* nor necessarily *vanquish* the bad but to turn it around into a greater good. Things that I don’t like or which challenge me usually happen for a good reason — I believe that. It could be for my further purification, my development in new areas… whatever. The bad can be turned into a good if we choose to look at it that way.

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