The Eternal Path

What is the Eternal Return Idea?

Gentlemen, you must excuse me for being over-philosophical; it’s the result of years underground! Allow me to indulge my fance – Dostoevsky

Although I am starting with a quote from Dostoevsky, the main subject here is Nietzche, his ideas, and us. Once you have started grasping the complicated ideas of Nietzche, it’s like entering into a rabbit hole without exit, changing dramatically the way you see the world and yourself. So one of his ideas “The Eternal Return” – he said that he thought about this idea while walking in the swiss alps at Sils Maria, exactly near a rock – which was later named “Nietzche Rock” and I personally went there to visit it.  While Nietzche was walking, the following words started to cross his mind:

What if some day or night a demon were to steal into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live and have lived it you will have to live once again and innumerable times again, and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unspeakably small or great in your life must return to you, all in the same succession and sequence—even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!’


A long time ago, I have asked myself while walking “How should I live my life? Why am I here on this Earth?” I am here walking on this earth, and I don’t know what the future will bring me, isn’t there any book or some guide to let me know what to do or where to go?  Maybe I am in some kind of a simulation or some kind of experiment, is there a possibility that I have left a hint for myself so that I could navigate this life? but where is that hint? where is that guideline? why have I forgotten everything and started from scratch, or was this exactly the case that I intended to live.. to be able to return to the same conclusions by myself, or is there something else I am missing?


To be honest, The idea is really complex and has many faces and sides. Lots of other philosophers were struck by this idea, and there are different interpretations of it, so it would be also wise for you, to try to interpret this idea by yourself alone.

I would say as a start, this idea is cruel and hard to accept. We all have suffered and still suffering as suffering is a life condition – but Nietzche suggests that we should accept this suffering and pain eternally. That is, we should love everything that happened to us so far, to love it that much, that we would like it to be repeated infinite times exactly the same all over again.
Why would we want to accept that? 

The question in each and everything, ‘Do you want this again and innumerable times again?’ would lie on your actions as the heaviest weight! Or how well disposed of would you have to become to yourself and to life to long for nothing more fervently than for this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?

His main claim is that this is exactly the only path that you should take to be who you really are. 


Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.’


I don’t know if I am going to return alive again, to this exact moment, and write the same post again, but I think I understand his logic of thinking. This idea loads a heavy burden, to act and live in a way, that you want to be repeated infinite times again, It is a very serious and responsible suggestion. Especially since I have undergone a bad unfortunate past, and it wasn’t very beautiful most of my life so far – My body has accumulated enough pain, that I don’t know where to go with it. Racism, poverty, sickness, violence, torture, guilt, shame, insults, isolation, rejections, and much more.
What if this is true? The possibility itself is heavy to swallow.

This idea makes sense, in that it cancels out the metaphysical world. I mean, if one is to believe in the afterlife or Heaven and Hell, then you are also canceling the current life, saying that it is only a test or something temporary that you are going to pass – and it’s not really the important thing of this existence. What’s important is after, your paycheck with God, or whatever there is after death.
But we don’t really know either, and we only know that we live here and now. Even if there was a heaven or an afterlife, imagine ourselves going there right now, I would ask you the same questions all over again: ” Who are you? ” “How should you  live your life?”
I guess we would then be different humans, different from the humans on this earth. But who do we want to be? 
We want to be who we are on this planet Earth, from birth to death. And how to be that? 

‘Now I die and vanish,’ you would say, ‘and in an instant, I am nothing. Souls are as mortal as bodies. But the knot of causes in which I am entangled recurs,— it will create me again! I myself belong to the causes of eternal recurrence. I come again, with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle, with this serpent — not to a new life or a better life or a similar life:— I eternally come again to this identical and selfsame life, in the greatest and even in the smallest, so that I again teach the eternal recurrence of all things.’My doctrine says: the task is to live in such a way that you must wish to live again—you will anyway!



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