Tuesday, July 15, 2014

When Friedrich Nietzsche Hugged a Horse

In a shop frequented by college students, I saw a card that showed angels and the philosopher. The caption read, "God says, Nietzsche is dead!" I was surprised to see such a digging motto displayed. For Nietzsche was the inventor of the statement "God is dead."

Rather than change the word, like Darwin and others of this era are accused of, I believe that he merely reflected a decaying structure. His ideas of so-called freedom from moral restraint are followed by many who have never heard of him or read his works.

After my second watching of a BBC video on his life, an event of his latter years touched me. For this man, who believed that the virtue of pity should be eliminated, saw a horse fall, perhaps slipping on ice. His response was to hug the fallen horse. Soon he descended into madness, perhaps from the syphillis he had contracted as a young man. He had sought the elimination of compassion, which he felt was a sign of weakness associated with Christianity.

Through the editing of his work by his sister, I believe Nietzsche is falsely associated with Hitler and Naziism. He despised such nationalism as of this movement. I have a photo of Hitler gazing rapturously at a bust of Nietzsche.

He died alone, his mind gone. In his last years he looked like Ben Turpin on steroids, not a superman of ruthless will. I prefer to think of him, moved by pity, hugging a fallen horse.

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