Eternal return and amor fati

I read something about the concept of the eternal return as hypothesized by Friedrich Nietzsche. He once posed a question to the reader in his book The Gay Science:

“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’ … 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.”

He posed it as a test of willpower to the individual. If the individual was able to endure the thought of reliving his/her life infinitely, experiencing all mistakes and triumphs over and over again, without regret, misery, or bitterness, then the individual would be considered to be a true lover of life and master of the principle of amor fati, virtuous by the standards Nietzsche’s ideals by embracing and facing life with an affirmed self.

It should be noted however that amor fati is a fatalistic concept of accepting ones fate, and part of Nietzsche’s test was to see if the individual would accept a fatalistic universe with confidence rather than withdraw in terror. Honestly though, I think it’s more likely that eternal recurrence applies to the afterlife than the universe. I can’t say about the universe, but the afterlife may well be any experience you want it to be, but it would go on for eternity.

That would lead to the question I ask you: would you accept an afterlife where all experiences within it go on forever and repeat infinitely, or would you revolt at the idea? Before you answer and think on it you must remember that even if you choose no afterlife whatsoever, said choice amounts to oblivion, which itself goes on forever.

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4 responses to “Eternal return and amor fati

  1. I would live multiple lifetimes, but I would like each lifetime to be different, building on the experiences and learning of previous lifetimes. Like playing a video game over and over again, it can get boring after a while having the same repetitive experiences; there is no growth in living the same life with the same repetition. I like life as it is now, every moment a throw of random dice where anything can happen.

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