On Obeying Yourself

As many an ordinary man, who carefully attempts to fashion his shape according to the greater, who are out of shape, hardly worthy of emulation. Remember why, as he picks out a sense of estrangement from the degenerate crowd. It is good to be upstanding, but bad when you don’t know that for yourself.

Nobility in Defiance

In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche attributes nobility to a kind of unwillingness, a lack of enthusiasm toward the cheapening of our duties by adapting them to those of the rabble. That is to say, the noble man refuses relinquishment of responsibility. This loftiness has imbued a resistance against disgrace and humiliation and a hidden disdain toward the indisposition of the mob. It suggests a cultured detachment and lack of concern toward the dormancy and blind conformity of the weak. As many an ordinary man, who carefully attempts to fashion his shape according to the greater, who are out of shape, hardly worthy of emulation. Remember why, as he picks out a sense of estrangement from the degenerate crowd. It is good to be upstanding, but bad when you don’t know that for yourself. Must you ask, whether that estrangement pushes away rectitude or restores harmony with a transcendent streak of goodness. A strength that rises above the crowd, that fuses his being with intention and chance, tying him to his topmost power. For any man to carry out duty, he must aspire to strenghten himself and make himself sturdy. Only when he can bear a heavy charge can he continue the course and unfold upwards, as it were – there is then no enduring hesitancy, no itch to abdicate responsibility, no besetting propensity to accept defeat.

“Freedom is the will to be responsible for ourselves.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

The weighty man – he does not look to share his duty, especially not with those who hinge on him. As his role entails and as he knows, single-handedness is called for and reclusiveness is many a time inescapable. Those who rest on him should not be handicapped by his incapacity to bear it. It is his responsibility to shoulder it without help, as his capacity and function demonstrates that he can, if he’s truly man, pacify any excess suffering while fathering peace among his loved ones – he contends with chaos for their security, that too is a manifestation of great fondness and masculine vehemence. That man is conscious, knowing of his necessities, of what his family entails to harbour unassailability, protection, love and guidance. An awareness that is neither too egotistic nor merciless – oriented toward his community, his chief concern is hinged on inheritance, blood and brotherhood. When man knows the impression of his excellence, his attention and positioning transcends. A sweeping and intelligent approach. The righteous man acknowledges the magnitude of his responsibility and by its desire feels disposed to exalt the already prosperous fruits of his labour, with the hope that it reproduces itself outside its usual confines. With a perceptible degree of triumph, one conscious man can prompt in other men a great yearning to respect and do good unto themselves – to master one’s lack of understanding in pursuit of illuminating man’s spirit, finding law and order in a world muddled in chaos.

An Age of Untidiness

This time in which we live is pervaded by an untidiness, an age of great hesitation and ignorance, where people are inconclusive; of themselves, of others, of their desires, of their affairs. They have a foggy vision and it’s hard for them to see anything. So, we need a great clarity and a civilized intelligence if we are to take aim and do things rightly. Excellence is short and undervalued and quality is muddled in dirty water; many are reckless and many are drifting through life unconsciously, without any real forethought or concern for themselves and others. Further, there ought to be a willingness, a determination, an ambition to make living an art, to reject the lures of mediocrity and pursue a long and unavoidably lonely road paved with a progression of collapses and frustrations – inevitably, the price we pay for being excellent is repeated defeat, isolation, deprivation, restlessness and unease – does it stop there? I don’t believe that most people thoroughly comprehend to what extent one must venture to achieve a towering grade of self-mastery, but that probably explains why the greater part never see what lies beyond the edge, as they rarely consider embarking on such a pursuit, and even if they do, how many follow through? and of those who may follow through, how many endure it till the end? That kind of pertinacity is hard to come by.

The Discipline of Suffering

I believe it takes a good measure of both madness and absurdity to stick the course, to preserve a degree of sanity and to sustain the cultivation of an expansive creative power and ability, one that bullishly reaches up high and ties itself to the boundless heavens. The question you may ask yourself is whether such a road is worth the hardship and privation, to which I will respond with this: is the alternative more or less worthwhile and significant? Great suffering is an indispensability for excellence. And if man were not built to endure great suffering, is he really man? we are tough, with a capacity to suffer because it’s not bad for us and secondly, because it’s a necessary precursor to wisdom, understanding and will to power. Was it not the brilliant Nietzsche who said, “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”

“The discipline of suffering, of great suffering—know ye not that it is only this discipline that has produced all the elevations of humanity hitherto? The tension of soul in misfortune which communicates to it its energy, its shuddering in view of rack and ruin, its inventiveness and bravery in undergoing, enduring, interpreting, and exploiting misfortune, and whatever depth, mystery, disguise, spirit, artifice, or greatness has been bestowed upon the soul—has it not been bestowed through suffering?”

Friedrich Nietzsche

As Nietzsche intimates in his intensity, is it not suffering that elevates the soul, that polishes our steel and straightens our spine? If it weren’t for our hardship, life wouldn’t be worth a king’s ransom, as it is precisely the afflictions and sorrows that give life depth, profundity, significance and stability. And it is thus the man who recognises this characteristic of life who is capable of laughing it off, as it were, and not take it personally, readily meeting it without a statement of dissatisfaction. This is not to say that he ought not to take life seriously, there are misfortunes that are precarious by nature – by their gravity, they shake up our soul and drive us down the bottom-most trenches of hell, where one can’t conceive of anything more miserable than the insufferable nightmare that scorches the spirit so generously and viciously, even when man has already been vanquished by torment.


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