I have some funny, subconscious triggers in my brain. When they are fired off some estranging thought streams emerge. Sometimes it’s fun to capture them. Here’s one after a question that resonated in my main neurological system as the neon flashes ‘borders’, ‘barriers’, ‘departments’ (when asking about my position in it).
I love to consider myself as 1 person, living 1 life. But we all know we have multiple personae, a split-personality feeling, a duality like the good vs. evil sort that Zarathustra introduced and that much later became the essence of christianity. Luckily my friend Nietzsche was able to demonstrate the futility of this world model in Jenseits von Gut und Böse. Rtft. I like to deduce from it that we are all evil, by our biological nature. ‘Good’ then is just a form of lesser evil. But Richard Dawkins managed to show that we can overcome this selfishness of our biological genes, by somewhat less selfish cultural memes. That does help when having to deal with 2 sons being diagnosed with a genetic deficiency, meaning that they will not be able to reproduce, thereby turning us, parents, into genetic islands in the realms of time. Nietzsche saved my life. But Zach saved it even more.
I came to appreciate Nietzsche around 1996, at the age of 26 and still struggling with the rudeness and harshness of life and people, trying to outgrow the uncommon youth I had survived. My future wife and I were running a book store at the time and a customer growled when seeing yet another new edition of Also Sprach Zarathustra. Although quite taciturn I had a sort of conversation with him after which I read Beyond Good And Evil, The Gay Science and Ecce Homo, and I was completely blown away.
I am not half (50%) the man I would like to be. But 90% of what I am is thanks to the loving grace and patience of my -now real- wife, 9% thanks to Nietzsche and 1% is still the old, emotional, naïve me.
Note: In 2000 Nietzsche’s complete oeuvre was re-published (in Dutch). Despite buying it all, since then I’ve only read The Birth of Greek Tragedy from his works, but I did read 5 or 6 biographical works.