Hiking with Nietzsche: Becoming Who You Are is a tale of two philosophical journeys—one made by John Kaag as an introspective young man of nineteen, the other … “My formula for greatness in a human being,” Nietzsche argued, “is amor fati [literally, “love of fate,” the embracing of one’s fate]: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. According to Nietzsche, one must experience suffering and pain if one is to achieve greatness. Speaking of the modern individual, Nietzsche wrote: “He has lost and destroyed his instinct, and can no longer trust the “divine animal” and let go the reins when his understanding falters and his way leads through deserts.” (Untimely Meditations II). Hiking with Nietzsche: Becoming Who You Are is a tale of two philosophical journeys—one made by John Kaag as an introspective young man of nineteen, the other seventeen years later, in radically different circumstances: he is now a husband and father, and his wife and small child are in tow. As Kaag hikes alone or with his family, but always with Nietzsche, he recognizes that even slipping can be instructive. For those who lack sufficient courage and are ungifted in psychological investigations, a voluntary descent into the inner foundations of one’s mind could engender temporary, or in rare cases, permanent, madness. His schedule was disciplined, consistent, but a lot of wandering and thinking. The poison which destroys the weaker nature strengthens the stronger — and he does not call it poison, either.”, Anaïs Nin, a diarist, essayist, novelist, and writer agrees. Our nature is sculpted not only by early personal life experiences and the traits and dispositions inherited from our ancestors, but also, according to Nietzsche, by historical forces. To create oneself does not mean to form oneself out of nothing. ‘Becoming Who One Is’ in Spinoza and Nietzsche 5 “person you are.” Yet, insofar as one increases one’s perfection or power, one is simply ensuring that one’s self cannot fall under the domination of external “The way of the Übermensch is filled with vitality, energy, risk-taking, and struggle. Still, she remains at the heart of Nietzsche ‘s thought, insofar as it symbolizes his conception of subjectivity. He once said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”. Nietzsche viewed himself as the first psychologist amongst the great philosophers, writing: “Who among the philosophers before me was in any way a psychologist? “There is a false saying: “How can someone who can’t save himself save others?” Supposing I have the key to your chains, why should your lock and my lock be the same?” (Nietzsche, KSA 10:4[4]). “Nietzsche also believed that hardship and joy operated in a kind of osmotic relationship — diminishing one would diminish the other,” writes Maria Popova of Brain Pickings. For those who lack sufficient courage and are ungifted in psychological investigations, a voluntary descent into the inner foundations of one’s mind could engender temporary, or in. Going through a crisis? Thus Spoke Zarathustra is one of his most influential works — he discusses the limitations of humans and our inability to overcome our weaknesses. Instead of advocating for the repression of the beast within, Nietzsche recommended we explore and become familiar with these potentially destructive vestiges of the ancient past. Before me there simply was no psychology” (, Given that Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Alfred Adler, three giants of 20. century psychology, were all heavily influenced by Nietzsche’s psychological insights, his grandiose self-assessment seems to have contained at least a kernel of truth. Nietzsche said that. Relying solely on his consciousness, his “weakest and most fallible organ”, he stumbles blindly through life, oblivious that in the recesses of his mind are archaic helpers, which, if he knew how to harness them, could assist him in the many situations in life where consciousness fails. Describing Goethe, Nietzsche wrote: “What he wanted was totality…he disciplined himself to wholeness, he created himself.” (Twilight of the Idols). In his essay On the Use and Abuse of History for Life, he quoted Goethe: “I hate everything that merely instructs me without augmenting or directly invigorating my activities.” (Goethe). The overman, according to Nietzsche is a powerful being who has overcome all his inner fears, weaknesses, and deficiencies, and thus one who has achieved greatness. Nietzsche & Becoming Who You Are – Sasha van Deurzen-Smith Friedrich Nietzsche was a fascinating, eccentric, and sometimes controversial philosopher in the Existential and Nihilist tradition. As he put it: “It is out of the deepest depth that the highest must come to its height.”, “Examine the lives of the best and more fruitful men and peoples, and ask yourselves whether a tree, if it is to grow proudly into the sky, can do without bad weather and storms: whether unkindness and opposition from without, whether some sort of hatred, envy, obstinacy, mistrust, severity, greed and violence do not belong to the favouring circumstances without which a great increase even in virtue is hardly possible. He was convinced that self-understanding was one way to achieve self-mastery and greatness. “The most general picture of our essence is an association of drives, with constant rivalry and particular alliances with each other.” (The Will to Power). The symbol of the Übermensch also alludes to Nietzsche’s notions of “self-mastery”, “self-cultivation”, “self-direction”, and “self-overcoming”. Biography - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche: German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet and philologist. The psyche of a small minority of individuals, in comparison with that of the overwhelming mass, is constituted by both greater depths and a higher degree of turmoil. For him, life is best affirmed by a striving for excellence. The tendency of the modern individual to feel he has been arbitrarily thrown and abandoned into an absurd world is the direct result of lacking what Nietzsche called a “historical sense” – of having no conscious connection to the past, and therefore failing to dig one’s roots through the strata of history. “[The] most shortsighted and pernicious way of thinking wants to make the great sources of energy, those wild torrents of the soul that often stream forth so dangerously and overwhelmingly, dry up altogether, instead of taking their power into service and economizing it.” (Nietzsche). Nietzsche developed the vision of a chaotic world in perpetual change and becoming. Academy of Ideas participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. He used almost the same routine to focus on writing, reading and understanding ideas. Individuals … In Beyond Good and Evil Nietzsche explained: “All psychology so far has got hung up on moral prejudices and fears: it has not dared to descend into the depths.” (Beyond Good and Evil). The traditions and “experiments” of past cultures continue to live on within us, influencing our life and experience from the deeper layers of our psyche. In 1888, a few months before the end of his most prolific, and final period of writing, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in Ecce Homo: “That a psychologist without equal speaks from my writings – this is perhaps the first insight gained by a good reader.” (Ecce Homo). Nietzsche believed that the fundamental task of philosophy was to teach us how to ‘ become who we are ’ — our highest potential. Extracted from Thus Spoke Zarathustra, which has the role of the new man announces to the populace, it underpins the idea that man, as it exists, is a working copy of itself, an … He proposed that such coordination can be attained via the agency of an “organizing idea”, or “ruling passion” – a dominant “master” drive that forms the “living centre” of the psyche, and co-opts all the other drives to act in subordination to its end. He did exceptionally well at school. The organizing idea, in other words, arranges the plethora of competing forces in one’s psyche in a manner that allows one to strive with single minded devotion towards a heroic goal which gives meaning to life. Given that the “the past of every form and way of life” continues to live on in us, Nietzsche proposed we need to engage in an active exploration of history, if we are to attain self-knowledge. He reminds us to focus on becoming who we are — to actively seek a life filled with personal meaning, to love adversity as much as ease and comfort, and to always say yes to the full life. In his book, Friedrich Nietzsche: A Biography, Curtis Cate wrote: “With a Spartan rigour which never ceased to amaze his landlord-grocer, Nietzsche would get up every morning when the faintly dawning sky was still grey, and….work uninterruptedly until eleven in the morning.”, “He then went for a brisk, two-hour walk through the nearby forest or along the edge of Lake Silvaplana (to the north-east) or of Lake Sils (to the south-west), stopping every now and then to jot down his latest thoughts in the notebook he always carried with him.”. Hiking with Nietzsche: Becoming Who You Are is a tale of two philosophical journeys--one made by John Kaag as an introspective young man of nineteen, the other seventeen years later, in radically different circumstances: he is now a husband and father, and his … He once observed, “What if pleasure and displeasure were so tied together that whoever wanted to have as much as possible of one must also have as much as possible of the other.”. Become who you are! In this video we will shed light on what it means to “become who you are” and in the process explore some of Nietzsche’s fascinating psychological insights. One of Lit Hub's 15 Books You Should Read in September and one of Outside 's Best Books of Fall A revelatory Alpine journey in the spirit of the great Romantic thinker … In the Gay Science, Nietzsche echoed this idea: “What does your conscience say? “This process of becoming, as Nietzsche encourages his readers to think, is not geared towards a final destination or goal. But it is not only the cultures of past millennia which continue to live on within us. Science-based answers and insights for productivity, wealth, health and happiness Take a look, The Role of Science in Enlightenment Universalism, Being vs. In contrast to other philosophers who have posited the human mind to be above all something unitary, Nietzsche radically proclaimed it to be a multiplicity, an aggregation of intertwined psychological entities. A revelatory Alpine journey in the spirit of the great Romantic thinker Friedrich Nietzsche Hiking with Nietzsche: Becoming Who You Are is a tale of two philosophical journeys — one made by John Kaag as an introspective young man of nineteen, the other seventeen years later, in radically different circumstances: he is now a husband and father, and his wife and small child are in tow. For in the deeper layers of our psyche exist prehistorical drives and impulses. He spent the majority of his adult life battling illness while writing alone in Switzerland. Nietzsche: A Philosophy of Superman. Nietzsche presented Goethe as the exemplary individual who was able to impose form on his inner chaos. Hiking With Nietzsche by John Kaag review – becoming who you are. It is a thing dark and veiled; and if the hare has seven skins, the human can slough off seventy times seven and still not be able to say, ‘Now that is what you really are, that is no longer outer shell.’” (Untimely Meditations III). A revelatory Alpine journey in the spirit of the great Romantic thinker Friedrich Nietzsche. But Nietzsche claimed that all those before him were blinded in their psychological ventures by an unquestioned acceptance of not only the socially prevailing beliefs and moral standards, but more significantly, by a fear of exploring the depths within themselves. “I have discovered for myself that ancient humanity and animality, indeed the entire primal age and past of all sentient being continues in me to create, to love, to hate, to infer.” (The Gay Science). News, author interviews, critics' picks and more. Kaag says, “Nietzsche’s point may be that the process of self-discovery requires an undoing of the self-knowledge that you assume you already have. Subscribe to our Newsletter. For Nietzsche, both the pains and pleasures of life is what gives human existence meaning because the struggles build resilience, challenge us to do better and help us transition into our best selves. A fear of descending into the depths of one’s psyche is not unfounded, which is why it is “something that not everyone may undertake”. Nietzsche summarized the importance of the organizing idea in giving form to one’s psyche in the following unpublished note: “It is a myth to believe that we will find our authentic self after we have left behind or forgotten one thing or another…To make ourselves, to shape a form from various elements – that is the task! – ‘You shall become the person you are’.” (The Gay Science) Whenever a cardinal problem is at stake, there speaks an unchangeable “this is I.” (Beyond Good and Evil). Each of us, according to Nietzsche, has a deep and abiding nature which places definite set limits on who and what we can become. Get a FREE membership video! The following is a transcript of this video. Countless philosophers have attempted to understand the human mind, discern its tendencies, biases, potentials, nature, and origin. Hiking With Nietzsche NPR coverage of Hiking With Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are by John Kaag. His wisdom about “saying yes to life” is timeless. Nietzsche believed that the fundamental task of philosophy was to teach us how to ‘become who we are’ — our highest potential. Nietzsche compels us to find the courage to live life to the fullest. “At the bottom of us, really “deep down,” there is, of course, something unteachable, some granite of spiritual fatum [personal fate or destiny], of predetermined decision and answer to predetermined selected questions. Just as a raging river can be harnessed for its energy, so too the uncivilized layers of the psyche, if channeled and handled properly, can vitalize life. But in Kaag's opinion, he is too often "pooh-poohed as juvenile" — as are his exhortations to "become who you are." One merely has to remain on the lookout for such a master drive, and not hinder its growth and activity. Just as the past continues to live on in modern cultures, embodied in myths, traditions, and institutions, so too our psyche has been shaped and sculpted by past ages. – ‘You shall become the person you are’.” (, “All psychology so far has got hung up on moral prejudices and fears: it has not dared to descend into the depths.” (, “How can the human being know itself? He was an early riser and spent a lot of his time alone at the peak of his career — mostly by choice. The task of a sculptor! Nietzsche had a profound belief in the possibilities of human beings. To Nietzsche, humanity is a bridge, a transitional species. To respond to this question, we’ll conclude with an eery passage from Nietzsche’s unpublished notes, in which he seems to foreshadow the fate which would befall him later in life. “Direct self observation is not nearly sufficient for us to know ourselves: we need history, for the past flows on within us in a hundred waves.”(Human All Too Human). Named a Best Book of 2018 by NPR. The modern individual has all but lost touch with these ancient instincts. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read Hiking with Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are. The phrase “Become what thou art” is part of the nietzschean Vulgate. Nietzsche’ life was riddled with adversity — he didn’t even live long enough to bear witness to his own success. Conceptualizing the human psyche “as social structure of the drives and affects” – as a sort of city, in which numerous conflicting sub-personalities simultaneously live – the task Nietzsche set for himself, and his readers, was to harmonize the “abundance of contrary drives and impulses”, and provide coordination to the plethora of competing forces within. Existence: how they differ and why it matters, The Legendary Physicist Approach to Life — The Many-Worlds Interpretation, The Essential Truth Bombs from Stoic Philosophers. One of Lit Hub's 15 Books You Should Read in September and one of Outside's Best Books of Fall. In these uncivilized layers reside what Zarathustra called “the beast within” – potentially destructive inclinations which can overtake and possess the human being, such as the drive to aggression and unbridled sexual lust. His writing touched on … Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it … but love it.”. Every human being, no matter how civilized and developed on the surface, is still an animal and archaic man within the depths of his being. Friedrich Nietzsche Become who you are. --Heller McAlpin, NPR.org Named a Best Book of 2018 by NPR. Nietzsche wants us to “say yes to life.” Rather than hide from it embrace adversities head-on and keep moving. And his whole point is to through the process is the inevitable transformation to become your best self. He thought everyone should strive to become a master of themselves and constantly extend and grow. rare cases, permanent, madness. We’re a bridge between apes and superman. Hiking with Nietzsche : Becoming Who You Are € 11.57 Hiking with Nietzsche is a tale of two philosophical journeys in the Swiss Alps: one made by John Kaag as an introspective teenager, the other seventeen years later in radically different circumstances – as a husband and father with his wife and small child in tow. “You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.”. And that people are doomed to stumble around without any real direction in life. In 1889, Nietzsche suffered a mental breakdown, until his death 11 years later. The Übermensch represents the drive to strive and live for something beyond oneself while simultaneously remaining true and grounded in earthly life (no other-worldly longings in Nietzsche’s world),: writes Brett and Kate McKay of The Art of Manliness. Before me there simply was no psychology” (Ecce Homo). Become a member and gain access to exclusive member videos. A revelatory Alpine journey in the spirit of the great Romantic thinker Friedrich Nietzsche Hiking with Nietzsche: Becoming Who You Are is a tale of two philosophical journeys―one made by John Kaag as an introspective young man of nineteen, the other seventeen years later, in radically different circumstances: he is now a husband and father, and his wife and small child are in tow. But despite his piercing observations, there are critics who claim his insights into the nature of the human mind are irrelevant because of the fact that at the young age of 44 he fell victim to a mental illness which remained with him until the end of his relatively short life. Heraclitus, the Presocratic Greek philosopher whose aphorisms exerted a heavy influence on the development of Nietzsche’s ideas, captured the complex quality of the psyche: “If you went in search of it, you would not find the boundaries of the soul [psyche], though you traveled every road – so deep is its measure [logos].” (Heraclitus), “How can the human being know itself? The key of the process is the ongoing engagement, the re-examination and re-challenging of one’s beliefs, rather than a system of achieving a certain state of being,” writes Kat Sark of Suites Culturelles. It is a thing dark and veiled; and if the hare has seven skins, the human can slough off seventy times seven and still not be able to say, ‘Now that is what you really are, that is no longer outer shell.’” (, Most individuals, fearing the complex depths within, remain at the superficial and surface layer of their psyche, “industriously mindful of their common comedy and not at all of themselves.” (, “I undertook something that not everyone may undertake: I descended into the depths, I bored into the foundations.”(, A fear of descending into the depths of one’s psyche is not unfounded, which is why it is “something that not everyone may undertake”. “[T]he organizing “idea” that is destined to rule keeps growing deep down — it begins to command; slowly it leads us back from side roads and wrong roads; it prepares single qualities and fitnesses that will one day prove to be indispensable as means toward a whole — one by one, it trains all subservient capacities before giving any hint of the dominant task, “goal,” “aim,” or “meaning.”” (Ecce Homo). His body of work touched a wide range of topics, including morality, religion, reason, human suffering, power, consciousness, and the meaning of existence. Nietzsche’s psychological investigations were not conducted for the sake of disinterested theoretical speculation; as in his eyes, knowledge should always be sought first and foremost for the purpose of energizing life. To ensure they are not torn asunder by the contradictions, conflicts, and abysses within, such individuals are driven inward to explore and impose order on their psyche – fashioning and sculpting themselves into a “harmonious totality”. Writing of the dangers which confront the “adventurer and circumnavigator of that inner world called ‘human being’”, Nietzsche wrote: “He enters a labyrinth, and multiplies a thousandfold the dangers that life in itself brings with it –  of which not the least is that nobody can see how and where he loses his way, becomes solitary, and is torn to pieces by some cave-minotaur of conscience.”(Beyond Good and Evil). Man is something that shall be overcome. A revelatory Alpine journey in the spirit of the great Romantic thinker Friedrich Nietzsche Hiking with Nietzsche: Becoming Who You Are is a tale of two philosophical journeys—one made by John Kaag as an introspective young man of nineteen, the other seventeen years later, in radically different circumstances: he is now a husband and father, and his wife and small child are in tow. Becoming is the process or state of change and coming about in time and space. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that Heraclitus "will remain eternally right with his assertion that being is an empty fiction". What have you done to overcome him?”. Becoming a free spirit, Nietzsche insists, requires learning “to read the riddle of that great liberation” — a liberation the fruition of which he captures in a passage nothing short of transcendent: You had to become master over yourself, master of your own good qualities. 206 reviews. The organizing idea is not found through an act of will, but, possessing a type of intelligence of its own, reveals itself throughout the course of one’s life. https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/podcast-480-hiking-with-nietzsche She also says, “great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.”. Hiking with Nietzsche: Becoming Who You Are is a tale of two philosophical journeys—one made by John Kaag as an introspective young man of nineteen, the other seventeen years later, in radically different circumstances: he is now a husband and father, and his wife and small child are in tow. Hiking With Nietzsche On Becoming Who You Are (Book) : Kaag, John J. : A stimulating book about combating despair and complacency with searching reflection. He encourages us to elevate ourselves to our full potential. In the book, Nietzsche argues that life is a transition. But it is not only destructive drives and impulses which reside in the prehistoric layers of our psyche; there also exists what Nietzsche called the “divine animal” – ancient instincts, “regulating, unconscious and infallible drives” (On the Genealogy of Morality), which enabled our ancestors to survive and even flourish in harsh and uncertain environments prior to the emergence of the modern form of consciousness. 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