Litkicks Message Board Archive

beatnik nietzsche

Posted to What Are You Reading?

Been fascinated by Nietzsche for years. Finally feel like I'm getting a handle on him. Still struggle at times though. Just wanted to share this passage from The Gay Science

"To live - that means for us to continually to transform everything we are into light and fire; also everything that encounters us, we can do absolutely nothing other. And as for sickness: would we not almost be tempted to ask whether we can in any way do without it? Only great pain is, as the teacher of great suspicion, the ultimate liberator of the spirit. [...] It is only great pain, that slow protracted pain which takes its time and in which we are as it were burned with green wood, that compels us philosophers to descend into our ultimate depths and to put from us all trust, all that is good-hearted, palliated, gentle, average, wherein perhaps our humanity previously reposed. I doubt whether such pain 'improves'-; but I do know it deepens us [...]".

At those times when the world seems too much we'd do well to focus on the experience of the moment and to accept it for experiences sake. That first bit about transforming everything we are into light and fire reminds me of Kerouac's "fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars".
Nietzsche and Kerouac, two of the mad ones for sure.