Friedrich Nietzsche

In some remote corner of the universe, poured out and glittering among innumerable solar systems, there once was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge.

Friedrich Nietzsche was born 15 October 1844 – 25 August 56 years later. Nietzsche grew up in the town of Röcken near Leipzig. His father died in 1849 of brain aneurism. In 1854, he began to attend Domgymnasium in Naumburg. Because his father was a pastor Nietzsche received a scholarship to study at the internationally recognized monastery school - Schulpforta. He studied there from 1858 to 1864 and befriended many great thinkers.

He was an excellent student and besides becoming proficient in Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Italian, and French. He also found time to compose poems and music. In 1864, Nietzsche began studying theology and philology at the University of Bonn in the hope of becoming a minister, but shortly after “lost his faith.” He says: “If you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire...

In 1869, when 24 years old, Friedrich Nietzsche became the youngest professor in the 400-year history of the University of Basel to hold its prestigious chair of classical philology. To this day, Nietzsche is still among the youngest of the tenured Classics professors. He wanted to free philosophy from rigid rational concepts and returned it to personal reflections and aphorisms of Hellenistic era. “My concept of the philosopher,” he says, is worlds removed from any concept that would include even a Kant, not to speak of academic “ruminants” and other professors of philosophy...” It is a maxim in Nietzsche’s philosophy that suffering, mistrust, self-loathing, and rejection of all comforting superstitions are the staples of a defensible conception of life. Suffering must become almost a goal. The lived life must be defeated once we recognize that our lives have been inauthentic, our natures corrupt and corrupting. We will suffer, knowing there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but our suffering confers a certain kind of dignity that makes us worthy of ourselves.

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