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Imagine reliving this life exactly how it has passed and exactly how it will, with all its ups and downs, fortunes and tragedies, pleasures, and pains over and over for eternity. Would we change it? The philosophy of Amor Fati answers this question.

Amor fati, a Latin phrase that is translated as “loving one’s fate”, is an attitude of seeing every happening in one’s life as beautiful and necessary including sufferings and loss. Amor fati is the will or desire to live one’s life unchanged and happily. The concept rests its roots in the soil of philosophy,” Eternal Recurrence”. 

Inspired by Stoicism, Nietzsche uses this contemplation as a workshop and discovers his most ambitious concepts. Nietzsche has described the will to power in terms of eternal and world-encompassing creativity and destructiveness. Like the temporal structure of Heraclitus’ child at play, arranging toys in fanciful constructions that merely seems like everything great, before tearing down that structure and building it again with a new mishap. Living in this manner, according to Nietzsche, to affirm this kind of cosmology and eternity, is to “live dangerously” and to “love fate” (amor fati).

The term love in the phrase, “Loving one’s life” is a key nuance to his usage. It is a sentiment or a declaration against the will and tendency to regret and against assuming that one could have retained more control over the pros and cons of their reality, that one would have done differently, to have known any better, to have found that an existence void of negatives would have ultimately netted more positive. And instead, to love and embrace all of life exactly how it is, with all the blessings and the sufferings, the success and the failure, the satisfaction and the pain. 

Nietzsche writes, 

“My formula for human greatness is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not in the future, not in the past, not for all eternity. Not only to endure what is necessary, still less to conceal it- all idealism is falseness in the face of necessity- but to love it”

Although Nietzsche has given us a temporal model of existence that seemingly deprives us of the freedom to adopt the unique ways, yet we should not fail to catch sight of the qualitative differences. Every contingent fact in each cycle of recurrence is determined by the logic of eternity that means each recurrence is quantitatively the same. If we understood ourselves to be bound by fate and thus having no freedom from the eternal logic of things, could we love that fate, embracing the type of freedom for becoming that person we are? Nietzsche explains this with the concept of Amor fati: “I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth!”

Amor fati is the willingness to accept at last the way things have gone and will go, to love a life that tries in almost every moment to make you hate it, and to still stare back at it and say, yes, I love it! 

By Zamil Zahid

Executive Publications NMC


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