Brain Food #515

Amor Fati

Thoughts of the day

Nietzsche, a philosopher frequently associated with nihilism, often wrote of reasons to exist exactly through accepting that life is inherently meaningless.

He famously wrote of amor fati, literally meaning ‘love of one’s fate’. Instead of attempting to forget, or change, the past, amor fati suggests we should simply accept it.

There is a certain type of comfort to be found in accepting that the events of our lives, both positive and negative, were a natural, inseparable part of it, and who we are today.

Though it is part of human nature to ruminate on what could have been, according to Nietzsche, there is nothing we would have done differently, given the information we had available to us at the time. Amor fati does not necessarily imply fatalism, the notion of accepting that we have a predetermined fate and that our actions do not matter. It is the realisation that our past could not have been any different, freeing us up from regret so we can look - and act - towards the future.

“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it… but love it.”

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