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The heaviest burden: “What, if some day or night, a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life, as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh… 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 over again and again—and you with it, speck of dust!’ 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!’ If this thought were to gain possession of you, it would change you as you are, or perhaps crush you. The question in each and every thing, “do you want this once more and innumerable times more?” would lie upon your actions as the greatest weight. Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?”

(Friedrich Nietzsche - The Gay Science, s. 341)

Date: 2005-02-02 02:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've always loved this post. I'd link to it if I could; as it's locked, may I reproduce it in its entirety in my journal, with credit?

Date: 2005-02-02 02:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
you are more than welcome to!

Date: 2005-02-02 02:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Love that movie though. "Don't drive angry!"

Date: 2005-02-02 02:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
a random observation:
i don't know how anyone can not read philosophy and still get along in life.

Date: 2005-02-02 02:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Heh. That reminds me of another of Nietzsche's aphorism regarding a madman and a lantern... perhaps I should post that one, too.

Date: 2005-02-02 04:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
THat aphorisim has my endorsement.

Date: 2005-02-02 11:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
BTW, I'm reading Plato's Phaedo right now and I just got through the part where Socrates talks about the soul can only be happy thinking about philosophy and ridding itself of the material body.

Date: 2005-02-02 03:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love this passage, as I seem to love all of Nietzsche's (mature) writing that I've come across, but why Bill Murray? That is Bill Murray, isn't it?

Date: 2005-02-02 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
it's bill murray from "groundhog day," a movie in which he is forced to repeat the same day over and over and over again.

thanks for the nietzsche, burke. :)

Date: 2005-02-02 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
this is the greatest post in the world.


Date: 2005-02-02 11:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
thanks! Be sure to watch for it next Groundhog Day, too.

Date: 2005-02-03 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Should we try to make it a meme? Get lots of our friends to post it? Make Groundhog Day the Feast of the Eternal Recurrence?

Date: 2005-02-02 08:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, yeah. Well done! Personally, I couldn't relive this life...but Groundhog Day is perfection.
The DAY Groundhog Day defines what's wrong with this country, though.
Elementary school grinds to a halt for this lame, useless holiday! What suffers? Science, critical thinking...

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