What is Life?
For Nietzsche, it’s that which overcomes itself.
It eats itself and births itself,
getting more powerful with each iteration.
Man came from ape,
but what comes after man?
Nietzsche would say that it’s the Overman.
The Overman is the next evolution of Life,
and it’ll be more powerful than anything we’ve ever seen.
None of us can be the Overman,
but we can be the catalyst for it.
We can become the fruit
that carries the seeds of a sweeter future,
the fertile soil from which the grandest tree grows,
and the clouds out of which the lightning comes.
But, before we can give birth to the Overman,
we must first become free spirits
—we must become fertile soil.
In this video,
I want to go over the three stages
that the spirit must go through to become free.
When the spirit comes into being,
it’s confronted by the great, golden dragon.
The dragon is beauty and terror,
awe and fear,
protector and destroyer.
It’s decorated with thousands of glittering scales,
and on every scale, all of the things that you must do are written.
The dragon says that “the value of all things, and all things of value,
巨龙说 “万物的价值 以及有价值的万物
have already been written on my scales.”
The spirit is filled with awe and respect for the dragon,
but in realizing the greatness of the dragon,
it realizes its own inadequacies.
The spirit wishes to serve the dragon
and learn everything that it must do,
so that it may take part in its greatness.
The first transformation takes place,
and the spirit becomes a camel.
The camel is a preserver:
it studies, absorbs, and upholds the values of the dragon.
它研究 吸收 维护着巨龙的价值
It maintains order in the realm by bearing the burdens of others.
It takes pride in its ability to bear burdens, and it should.
In many ways, this is an act of heroism.
The camel bears the burden of others and,
in doing so, lightens their load.
the camel realizes that not all things should be preserved,
and some burdens are too much to bear.
It realizes that it’s become a slave to the will and values of another.
The camel is merely a tool.
The dragon which once allowed life to survive and thrive
is now the thing that holds it back.
The camel yearns for freedom,
and so the spirit must transform again.
The camel, a beast of burden,
becomes the lion.
The lion is a destroyer.
It confronts the dragon,
and for every “you shall”, it says “no”.
To every “you must not”, it says “I will!”
The lion stands against tradition and the status quo.
It starts to see certain traditions as unworthy of being preserved.
Instead of serving the dragon, the lion battles it for freedom.
In this moment,
the spirit must learn to destroy the thing that it once respected the most.
This is difficult
because overcoming the dragon
means that the lion also has to overcome a part of itself.
But, this isn’t the end.
Like the camel, the lion is a reaction.
The spirit is still tied to and dependent on the dragon.
But, this battle for freedom,
the courage to say no,
opens up a new space of possibility:
if destruction is possible, so is creation.
If we can fall, then we can rise.
A third transformation must take place:
the lion must become the child.
The child is a creator.
Creation is redemption.
All of the mistakes of the past,
including our own,
can be redeemed if something better can be made from them.
The child must learn to forget the past
and not hold resentment to those who came before.
Those who came before did, after all, fertilize the soil out of which they grew.
Every form of life, preying on each other and giving birth to one another,
led to the birth of you.
Can you redeem all of their pain and suffering?
Can your life be used to create something that benefits all of Life?
The child is a new beginning.
It lives by its own values and its own will.
It has the potential to redeem the past
and give birth to a brighter future.
The camel, the lion and the child:
骆驼 狮子 孩子
these are the three stages that the spirit must traverse to become free,
but most people never even become a camel.
The story of the three stages
is the story of self-overcoming;
it’s the story of the one who can become tradition
before overcoming it.
The one who can overcome themselves
becomes more powerful,
and through creation,
they can make all of Life more powerful.
They can redeem our sufferings.
Who among you can become
the overflowing cup from which others can drink,
the ocean that can’t be contaminated by a dirty river,
and the sun around which the planets revolve.
Like the sun,
can you shine unconditionally for all around you
—unconscious of the good you do.
Those of you who can, Nietzsche would say
are the storm cloud
out of which the Overman will thunder.