Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, a German philosopher, was famous for his various works on science, contemporary culture, morality, religion, and philosophy. He was also a noted classical philologist of the nineteenth century. Nietzsche’s thoughts and ideas still hold a certain…
ality, and his declaration that ‘God was Dead’ (Theory of Perspectivism, developed by Immanuel Kant), resulted in a lot of controversies and speculations over his works. Amongst many of his well known works, the book “The Gay Science” first published in 1882 was considered by the author to be the closest to his heart or the most personal. This article will examine closely the Book IV, aphorism #301, of “The Gay Science” and find out the underlying meaning, and study Nietzsche’s views on the topic “Are Human Beings Fundamentally Witnesses to or Creators of Reality?”
The Gay Science was written during a very dark phase in the author’s life. Between 1876, when Untimely Meditations was published and 1882 when The Gay Science was published, Nietzsche had undergone terrible sickness and complete isolation, which gave him time for self introspection, and an overall development of his mental faculties, and a quest for the right path. Therefore it
was almost inevitable that the book The Gay Science would reflect these dark times and thoughts, exploring the profundity of human psychological thoughts. However, by the time it was published his mood had invariably changed for the better, so the book also gives the readers a feeling of being alive and vigorous yet light, and to some extent of joyous happiness. At the end of Book I Nietzsche himself comments "Pardon me, my friends, I have ventured to paint my happiness on the wall” (Nietzsche, 2001, 65).
Book IV, aphorism #301: The Book IV as a whole advocates on how to live well, and is a positive and heroic acceptance of life. It pays allegiance to the legend of Saint Januarius, and assumes the tone of a teacher giving advice.
Aphorism 301 is extremely important as it speaks of further augmentation of the ‘higher being’, a state of existence developed by Nietzsche in the earlier parts, where he describes this ‘higher being’ as someone who is courageous and takes pleasure in a hard fight, ...
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