Amor Fati: Friedrich Nietzsche’s New Year’s Resolution

"For the New Year - I still live, I still think; I must still live, for I must still think"

“How much truth does a spirit endure, how much truth does it dare? More and more that became for me the real measure of value”
– Friedrich Nietzsche


 Portrait of Nietzsche by Edvard Munch, 1906


Days of change when 2022 becomes 2023 tend to be followed by resolutions to be better versions of ourselves. From Woody Guthrie’s list of New Resolutions (1943), Italo Calvino’s resolution to how to worry less (1950), Jonathan Swift’s list of must-dos (1699) and Marilyn Monroe dedication to “take care of my instrument – personally & bodily (exercise); try to enjoy myself when I can – I’ll be miserable enough as it is” (1955), we see a chance to break old habits.

In an entry from January of 1882 beneath the heading Sanctus Januarius in The Gay Science (1882), German philosopher and cultural critic Friedrich Nietzsche (October 15, 1844–August 25, 1900) writes:

For the New Year – I still live, I still think; I must still live, for I must still think. Sum, ergo cogito: cogito, ergo sum. To-day everyone takes the liberty of expressing his wish and his favorite thought: well, I also mean to tell what I have wished for myself today, and what thought first crossed my mind this year – a thought which ought to be the basis, the pledge and the sweetening of all my future life! I want more and more to perceive the necessary characters in things as the beautiful: – I shall thus be one of those who beautify things. Amor fati: let that henceforth be my love! I do not want to wage war with the ugly. I do not want to accuse, I do not want even to accuse the accusers. Looking aside, let that be my sole negation! And all in all, to sum up: I wish to be at any time hereafter only a yea-sayer!

Accept of your reality and live in the present.

Lead image: Portrait of Nietzsche by Edvard Munch, 1906

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