Quote Gabriel Marcel And Martin Heidegger


and i sit here, wondering, to this day…if there wae a single thing i could have done to make you want differently. to make you want me to stay. to make you decide not to leave me. but i come to the conclusion….there was nothing i could have done. i couldnt change the way you thought of me. and what saddens me is, i never will. ever again. because who would want a girl like me?

The atheist relies not on an experience but on an idea, or pseudo idea, of God: if God existed, He would have such and such characteristics; but if he had such characteristics, He could not allow etc…His judgment of incompability, in fact, is based on a judgment of implications.

– Gabriel Marcel

For him, the key experiences and challenges of existence are individual: Alone we suffer, alone we die, and alone we must make meaning out of our fate. The highest value, then, is not goodness but authenticity; above all, authenticity in the face of death. To accept one’s actual condition of mortality and thrownness, not to flee from these difficult facts into consoling illusions and abstractions

By coining new, technical terms like “thrownness” (Geworfenheit), and by referring to the human being not as a person or even a “subject” but as Dasein—literally, in German, “being-there”

Humans alone among the animals are aware of death, since we alone are “temporal”, reaching back into the past and anticipating the future. Our temporality helps to explain how we alone have a certain distance or “elbow room” with respect to other beings, how we have freedom from our immediate surroundings, and how we alone become aware of our position as a being among the whole of beings, and can therefore engage in philosophy.

We are generally “inauthentic”, doing and believing what one does and believes. But sometimes we ascend to “authenticity”, choosing to do our own thing, a feat that is especially encouraged by an awareness of the inevitability of one’s own death.

18th of August, 1941

Dear Fritz, dear Liesel, dear Boys! […] It is not Russianism that will bring about the destruction of the earth but Americanism, not just the English but all of Europe has fallen prey to it as it represents modernity in its monstrosity.

know by my own experience how, from a stranger met by chance, there may come an irresistible appeal which overturns the habitual perspectives just as a gust of wind might tumble down the panels of a stage set – what had seemed near becomes infinitely remote and what had seemed distant seems to be close.

almost think that hope is for the soul what breathing is for the living organism. Where hope is lacking the soul dries up and withers…

What Happened Before History? Human Origins


The world we live in feels normal, ordinary. It feels like this is just how humans exist and always existed. But, it’s not. Never before have we humans lived in a world as sophisticated and engineered to our needs as today. Giving us the luxury to forget about ourselves and not worry about survival. Food, shelter, security – all of this is, more or less, taken for granted. But we’re a special few; for more than 99.99% of human history, life was completely different.

And there’s no such thing as just one human history. Our story begins 6 million years ago, when the tribe of hominini split and our relationship with the apes ended. 2.8 million years ago, the genus of homo, the first humans, emerged. We like to think about ourselves as the only humans, but this is far from the truth.

When we, homo sapiens sapiens, came into existence 200,000 years ago, there were at least six other human species around. Cousins of comparable intelligence and ability, which must have been incredibly scary, kind of like living with aliens.

Some of them were very successful. Homo erectus, for example, survived for 2 million years. Ten times longer than modern humans have existed. The last of the other humans disappeared around 10,000 years ago.

We don’t know what caused them to die out. Modern humans have at least a few percent of neanderthal and other human DNA, so there was some mixing, but certainly not enough to be a merger between species.

So we don’t know if our cousins went away because they lost the battle over resources, or because of a series of minor genocides. Either way, only we remain. Back to the beginnings of humanity. 2.8 million years ago, early humans used tools, but did not make a lot of progress for nearly 2 million years.

Until they learned to control fire. Fire meant cooking, which made food more nutritious, which contributed to the development of our brain. It also produced light and warmth, which made days longer and winters less gruesome. On top of that, it not only scared predators away, it could also be used for hunting.

A torched wood or grassland provided small animals, nuts and tubers that were pre-roasted. From 300,000 years ago, most of the different human species lived in small hunter-gatherer societies. They had fire, wood and stone tools, planned for the future, buried their dead, and had cultures of their own. But most importantly, they spoke to each other. Probably in a kind of proto-language, less complex than ours.

If we had a time machine, how far would we be able to go back, steal a few babies and raise them today without anyone noticing that they’re a bit different? There is much debate. Anatomically, modern humans emerged 200,000 years ago, but probably 70,000 years is as far as we could travel back and still snatch a behaviourally modern human.

Before that, the babies would probably lack a few crucial gene mutations. Necessary to build a brain with modern language and abstract thinking abilities. At some point, around 50,000 years ago, there was an explosion in innovation. Tools and weapons became more sophisticated and culture became more complex, because at this point, humans had a multi-purpose brain, and a more advanced language to communicate information with each other effectively, and down to the last detail. This allowed much closer cooperation, and is what really makes us different from any other creature on Earth. Not our comparatively weak bodies and inferior senses, but the ability to cooperate flexibly in large groups, unlike, for example, rigid beehives or intimate, but tiny wolf packs.

As our brain evolved, we became able to do something, life had been unable to do up to this point. One – expand knowledge quickly. Two – preserve the knowledge gained over generations. Three – build on past knowledge, to gain even deeper insight.

This seems daft, but until then, information had to be passed on from generation to generation, mostly through genetics, which is not efficient. Still, for the next 40,000 years, human life remained more or less the same. There was little to build upon. Our ancestors were only one animal among many.

Building a skyscraper without knowing what a house is… is hard. But while it is easy to be arrogant in our attitude to our ancestors, this would be ignorant. Humans 50,000 years ago were survival specialists. They had a detailed mental map of their territory, their senses were fine-tuned to the environment, they knew and memorized a great amount of information about plants and animals.

They could make complicated tools that required years of careful training and very fine motor skills. Their bodies compared to our athletes today just because of their daily routines, and they lived a rich social life within their tribe. Survival required so many skills that the average brain volume of early modern humans might even have been bigger than it is today. As a group we know more today, but as individuals our ancestors were superior to us. But then around 12,000 years ago, in multiple locations, humans developed agriculture.

Everything changed very quickly. Before, survival as a hunter and forager required superb physical and mental abilities in all fields from everybody With the rise of the agricultural age, individuals could increasingly rely on the skills of others for survival. This meant that some of them could specialize. Maybe they worked on better tools, maybe they took time to breed more resistant crops or better livestock, Maybe they started inventing things. As farming got more and more efficient, what we call civilization began. Agriculture gave us a reliable and predictable food source, which allowed humans to hoard food on a large scale for the first time, which is much easier to do with grains than meat, the food stock required protection, which led to communities living together in tighter spaces first, early defense structures were built, the need for organization grew.

The more organized we got, the faster things became efficient. Villages became cities, cities became kingdoms, kingdoms became empires. Connections between humans exploded which led to opportunities to exchange knowledge. Progress became exponential. About 500 years ago the Scientific Revolution began Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy, Biology, and Chemistry transformed everything we thought we knew.

The Industrial Revolution followed soon after laying the foundation for the modern world As our overall efficiency grew exponentially, more people could spend their lifetime contributing to the progress of humanity revolutions kept happening. The invention of the computer, its evolution into a medium we all use on a daily basis, and the rise of the Internet shaped our world It’s hard to grasp how fast all of that happened It’s been about 125,000 generations since the emergence of the first human species.

About 7,500 generations since the physiologically modern humans saw the light of day 500 generations ago, what we call civilization began 20 generations ago, we learned how to do science. And the Internet became available to most people only one generation ago Today we live in the most prosperous age humanity has ever experienced. We have transformed this planet, from the composition of its atmosphere to large-scale changes in its landscape and also in terms of the other animals in existence.

We light up the night with artificial stars and put people in a metal box in the sky. Some have even walked on our moon. We put robots on other planets. We’ve looked deep into the past of the universe with mechanical eyes. Our knowledge and our way of acquiring and storing more of it has exploded.

The average high school student today knows more about the universe than a scholar a few centuries ago. Humans dominate this planet, even if our rule is very fragile. We are still not that different from our ancestors 70,000 years ago. But your lifestyle has existed for less than 0.001% of human history. From here on, there’s no saying what the future holds for us. We’re building a skyscraper, but we’re not sure if it’s standing on a solid foundation or if we’re building it on quicksand.

Let’s leave it with that for now. The next time you miss your train, your burger is not hot enough, or someone cuts in line. Remember how special this made-up human world is…

Maybe it’s not worth being upset about all those little things.



Human existence is scary and confusing.

A few hundred thousands years ago. We became conscious and found ourselves in a strange place It was filled with other beings. We could eat some Some could eat us.

There was liquid stuff we could drink. Things we could use to make more things. The daytime sky had a tiny yellow ball that warmed our skin

The night sky was filled with beautiful lights. This place was obviously made for us. Something was watching over us. We were home This made everything much less scary and confusing.

But the older we got, the more we learned about the world and ourselves. We learned that the twinkling lights are not shining beautifully for us, they just are. We learned that we are not at the centre of what we now call the universe. And that it is much much older than we thought. We learned that we are made of many little dead things which made up bigger things that are not dead for some reason. And that we’re just another temporary stage of the history going back over a billion years. We learned, in all, that we live in a moist speck of dust moving around a medium-sized star in a quiet region of one arm of an average galaxy which is part of a galaxy group that we will never leave. And this group is only one of thousands that together make up a galaxy supercluster. But even our supercluster is only one in thousands that make up what we call the observable universe.

The universe might be a million times bigger but we will never know we could throw words around like 200 billion galaxies or trillions of stars or bazillions of planets but all of these numbers mean nothing our brains can’t comprehend these concepts; the universe is too big there is too much of it but size is not the most troubling concept we have to deal with it’s time … or more precisely, the time we have.

If you’re lucky enough to live to 100, you have 5200 weeks at your disposal. if you’re 25 now, then you have 3900 weeks left. if you’re going to die at 70, then there are 2340 weeks left. A lot of time, but also … not really.

And then what? Your biological processes will break down and the dynamic pattern that is you will stop being dynamic. It will dissolve until there is no “you” left.

Some believe there is a part of us that we can’t see or measure but we have no way to find out so this life might be it, and we might end up dead forever. This is less scary than it sounds, though. If you don’t remember the 13.75 billion years that went by before you existed then the trillions and trillions and trillions of years that come after will pass in no time once you’re gone.

Close your eyes. Count to one. That’s how long forever feels.

And as far as we know, in the end the universe itself will die, and nothing will ever change again. Our videos induce existential dread in many people and the last few minutes probably haven’t helped.

If the universe ends in heat death. Every humiliation you suffer in your life will be forgotten Every mistake you made will not matter in the end. Every bad thing you did will be voided If our life is all we get to experience. Then it’s the only thing that matters If the universe has no principles.

The only principles wreathen to the ones we decide on If the universe has no purpose. Then we get to dictate what its purpose is Humans will most certainly cease to exist at some point But before we do. We get to explore ourselves and the world around us We get to experience feelings. We get to experience food, books, sunrises, and being with each other. The fact that we’re even able to think about these things Is already kind of incredible It’s easy to think of ourselves as separated from everything. But this is not true.

We are as much the universe as a neutron star. Or a black hole, or a nebula. Even better actually, we are its thinking and feeling part the sentry organs of the universe. We are truly free in a universe-sized playground. So we might as well aim to be happy and to build some kind of utopia in the stars It’s not as if we’ve found out everything there is to know.

We don’t know why the rules of the universe are as they are. How life came into existence. What life is. We have no idea what consciousness is. Or if we are alone in the universe. But we can try to find some answers. There are billions of stars to visit. Diseases to cure. People to help. Happy feelings to be experienced. And video games to finish. There is so much to do. So wrapping up, you’ve probably used up a good chunk of the time available to you If this is our one shot at life, there is no reason not to have fun.

And live as happy as possible. Bonus points if you make the lives of other people better. More bonus points if you help build a galactic human empire. Do the things that make you feel good. You get to decide whatever this means for you.



So, this happy pic of me was taken in 1999. I was a senior in college, and it was right after a dance practice. I was really, really happy. And I remember exactly where I was about a week and a half later. I was sitting in the back of my used minivan in a campus parking lot, when I decided I was going to commit suicide. I went from deciding to full-blown planning very quickly. And I came this close to the edge of the precipice. It’s the closest I’ve ever come. And the only reason I took my finger off the trigger was thanks to a few lucky coincidences. And after the fact, that’s what scared me the most: the element of chance.

So I became very methodical about testing different ways that I could manage my ups and downs, which has proven to be a good investment. Many normal people might have, say, six to 10 major depressive episodes in their lives. I have bipolar depression. It runs in my family. I’ve had 50-plus at this point, and I’ve learned a lot. I’ve had a lot of at-bats, many rounds in the ring with darkness, taking good notes. So I thought rather than get up and give any type of recipe for success or highlight reel, I would share my recipe for avoiding self-destruction, and certainly self-paralysis.

And the tool I’ve found which has proven to be the most reliable safety net for emotional free fall is actually the same tool that has helped me to make my best business decisions. But that is secondary. And it is … stoicism. That sounds boring.

So why would people of action focus so much on an ancient philosophy? This seems very academic. I would encourage you to think about stoicism a little bit differently, as an operating system for thriving in high-stress environments, for making better decisions. And it all started here, kind of, on a porch.

So around 300 BC in Athens, someone named Zeno of Citium taught many lectures walking around a painted porch, a “stoa.” That later became “stoicism.” And in the Greco-Roman world, people used stoicism as a comprehensive system for doing many, many things. But for our purposes, chief among them was training yourself to separate what you can control from what you cannot control, and then doing exercises to focus exclusively on the former. This decreases emotional reactivity, which can be a superpower.

Conversely, let’s say you’re a quarterback. You miss a pass. You get furious with yourself. That could cost you a game. If you’re a CEO, and you fly off the handle at a very valued employee because of a minor infraction, that could cost you the employee. If you’re a college student who, say, is in a downward spiral, and you feel helpless and hopeless, unabated, that could cost you your life. So the stakes are very, very high.

And there are many tools in the toolkit to get you there. I’m going to focus on one that completely changed my life in 2004. It found me then because of two things: a very close friend, young guy, my age, died of pancreatic cancer unexpectedly, and then my girlfriend, who I thought I was going to marry, walked out. She’d had enough, and she didn’t give me a Dear John letter, but she did give me this, a Dear John plaque.

 I’m not making this up. I’ve kept it. “Business hours are over at five o’clock.” She gave this to me to put on my desk for personal health, because at the time, I was working on my first real business. I had no idea what I was doing. I was working 14-plus hour days, seven days a week. I was using stimulants to get going. I was using depressants to wind down and go to sleep.

I felt completely trapped. I bought a book on simplicity to try to find answers. And I did find a quote that made a big difference in my life, which was, “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality,” by Seneca the Younger, who was a famous Stoic writer. That took me to his letters, which took me to the exercise, “premeditatio malorum,” which means the pre-meditation of evils. In simple terms, this is visualizing the worst-case scenarios, in detail, that you fear, preventing you from taking action, so that you can take action to overcome that paralysis. My problem was monkey mind — super loud, very incessant. Just thinking my way through problems doesn’t work. I needed to capture my thoughts on paper. So I created a written exercise that I called “fear-setting,” like goal-setting, for myself. It consists of three pages. Super simple.

The first page is right here. “What if I …?” This is whatever you fear, whatever is causing you anxiety, whatever you’re putting off. It could be asking someone out, ending a relationship, asking for a promotion, quitting a job, starting a company. It could be anything. For me, it was taking my first vacation in four years and stepping away from my business for a month to go to London, where I could stay in a friend’s room for free, to either remove myself as a bottleneck in the business or shut it down.

In the first column, “Define,” you’re writing down all of the worst things you can imagine happening if you take that step. You want 10 to 20. I won’t go through all of them, but I’ll give you two examples. One was, I’ll go to London, it’ll be rainy, I’ll get depressed, the whole thing will be a huge waste of time. Number two, I’ll miss a letter from the IRS, and I’ll get audited or raided or shut down or some such.

And then you go to the “Prevent” column. In that column, you write down the answer to: What could I do to prevent each of these bullets from happening, or, at the very least, decrease the likelihood even a little bit? So for getting depressed in London, I could take a portable blue light with me and use it for 15 minutes in the morning. I knew that helped stave off depressive episodes. For the IRS bit, I could change the mailing address on file with the IRS so the paperwork would go to my accountant instead of to my UPS address. Easy-peasy.

Then we go to “Repair.” So if the worst-case scenarios happen, what could you do to repair the damage even a little bit, or who could you ask for help? So in the first case, London, well, I could fork over some money, fly to Spain, get some sun — undo the damage, if I got into a funk. In the case of missing a letter from the IRS, I could call a friend who is a lawyer or ask, say, a professor of law what they would recommend, who I should talk to, how had people handled this in the past. So one question to keep in mind as you’re doing this first page is: Has anyone else in the history of time less intelligent or less driven figured this out? Chances are, the answer is “Yes.”

The second page is simple: What might be the benefits of an attempt or a partial success? You can see we’re playing up the fears and really taking a conservative look at the upside. So if you attempted whatever you’re considering, might you build confidence, develop skills, emotionally, financially, otherwise? What might be the benefits of, say, a base hit? Spend 10 to 15 minutes on this.

Page three. This might be the most important, so don’t skip it: “The Cost of Inaction.” Humans are very good at considering what might go wrong if we try something new, say, ask for a raise. What we don’t often consider is the atrocious cost of the status quo — not changing anything. So you should ask yourself, if I avoid this action or decision and actions and decisions like it, what might my life look like in, say, six months, 12 months, three years? Any further out, it starts to seem intangible. And really get detailed — again, emotionally, financially, physically, whatever.

And when I did this, it painted a terrifying picture. I was self-medicating, my business was going to implode at any moment at all times, if I didn’t step away. My relationships were fraying or failing. And I realized that inaction was no longer an option for me.

Those are the three pages. That’s it. That’s fear-setting. And after this, I realized that on a scale of one to 10, one being minimal impact, 10 being maximal impact, if I took the trip, I was risking a one to three of temporary and reversible pain for an eight to 10 of positive, life-changing impact that could be a semi-permanent. So I took the trip. None of the disasters came to pass. There were some hiccups, sure. I was able to extricate myself from the business. I ended up extending that trip for a year and a half around the world, and that became the basis for my first book, that leads me here today.

And I can trace all of my biggest wins and all of my biggest disasters averted back to doing fear-setting at least once a quarter. It’s not a panacea. You’ll find that some of your fears are very well-founded.

But you shouldn’t conclude that without first putting them under a microscope. And it doesn’t make all the hard times, the hard choices, easy, but it can make a lot of them easier.

I’d like to close with a profile of one of my favorite modern-day Stoics. This is Jerzy Gregorek. He is a four-time world champion in Olympic weightlifting, political refugee, published poet, 62 years old. He can still kick my ass and probably most asses in this room. He’s an impressive guy.

I spent a lot of time on his stoa, his porch, asking life and training advice. He was part of the Solidarity in Poland, which was a nonviolent movement for social change that was violently suppressed by the government. He lost his career as a firefighter. Then his mentor, a priest, was kidnapped, tortured, killed and thrown into a river. He was then threatened. He and his wife had to flee Poland, bounce from country to country until they landed in the US with next to nothing, sleeping on floors.

He now lives in Woodside, California, in a very nice place, and of the 10,000-plus people I’ve met in my life, I would put him in the top 10, in terms of success and happiness. And there’s a punchline coming, so pay attention. I sent him a text a few weeks ago, asking him: Had he ever read any Stoic philosophy? And he replied with two pages of text. This is very unlike him. He is a terse dude.

And not only was he familiar with stoicism, but he pointed out, for all of his most 13
important decisions, his inflection points, when he stood up for his principles and ethics, how he had used stoicism and something akin to fear-setting, which blew my mind.

And he closed with two things. Number one: he couldn’t imagine any life more beautiful than that of a Stoic. And the last was his mantra, which he applies to everything, and you can apply to everything:

“Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.”

The hard choices — what we most fear doing, asking, saying — these are very often exactly what we most need to do. And the biggest challenges and problems we face will never be solved with comfortable conversations, whether it’s in your own head or with other people.

So I encourage you to ask yourselves: Where in your lives right now might defining your fears be more important than defining your goals? Keeping in mind all the while, the words of Seneca: “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.”

Thank you very much.



Nietzsche memiliki pandangan kehidupan bahwa hidup ini tragis, berbahaya, dan mengerikan. Ia dengan tegas menerima kehidupan ini. Nietzsche terkenal dengan semboyannya dalam bahasa Jerman yang berbunyi Ja-sagen, yaitu mengatakan ya. Arti dari mengatakan ya ini adalah mengafirmasi kehidupan. Dalam bukunya yang berjudul The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche menjelaskan bahwa orang-orang Yunani kuno sudah memahami bahwa hidup ini berbahaya dan menyulitkan. Nietzsche berkata dalam bukunya yang berjudul Ecce Homo, The Birth of Tragedy “Saying Yes to life even in its strangest and hardest problems.”.

Berkata Ya pada kehidupan bahkan dalam masalah-masalah yang paling aneh dan keras. Mereka tidak menyerah lari atau menegasi kehidupan ini, justru sebaliknya mereka menantang dan mengafirmasi terhadap kehidupan ini.

Nietzsche menyarankan manusia untuk selalu hidup secara Amor-fati, artinya dalam bahasa Yunani adalah mencintai takdir. Manusia tidak boleh untuk mengutuk dan menjauhi tragedi. Tragedi harus kita lawan dengan keteguhan hati, sebab dengan cara seperti inilah hidup menjadi lebih berguna. Pandangan hidup yang seperti ini terlihat dalam nilai-nilai estetika mereka. Menurut Nietzsche, dari estetika Yunani kuno itu dapat dibedakan adanya dua macam mentalitas, yaitu mentalitas Dionysian dan Apollonian.

Dionysios adalah dewa anggur dan kemabukan. Bagi Nietzsche, ia menjadi lambang pengakuan terhadap kehidupan sekarang dan di sini (diesseitigkeit) yang selalu mengalir. Dionysios adalah simbol kejantanan, keberanian, gairah, nafsu, dan pendobrakan dari segala batas serta kekangan.

Simbol-simbol tersebut diwujudkan dengan pesta riuh-rendah yang setiap tahun diadakan untuk menghormati Dionysios. Dalam ritual pemujaan dewa ini para pemujanya mabuk, tetapi dalam kemabukan itu justru menyatukan mereka dengan kehidupan yang estetis. Dalam ecstasy itu, individuasi dan perbedaan-perbedaan menjadi kabur. Mentalitas Dionysian adalah mentalitas kebudayaan Yunani kuno yang cenderung melampaui segala aturan atau norma dan bebas mengikuti dorongan-dorongan hidup tanpa kenal batas.

Apollo adalah dewa matahari dan ilmu kesusastraan. Bagi Nietzsche, Apollo menjadi lambang pencerahan, keugaharian, individuasi, kontemplasi intelektual, dan pengendalian diri. Mentalitas Apollonian adalah mentalitas kebudayaan Yunani kuno yang berpegang pada keseimbangan, ketertiban, kedamaian, harmoni, kecintaan pada bentuk-bentuk, dan keselarasan diri.

Mentalitas ini terlihat dalam tata cara berlaku di antara dewa-dewi Olympus, seni arsitektural, dan seni pahat patung-patung Yunani. Dalam kebudayaan Yunani kuno, mentalitas Apollonian ini berfungsi mengendalikan mentalitas Dionysian. Tragedi Yunani diterangkannya sebagai semacam sintesa antara musik dan tarian Dionysian dengan bentuk Apollonian.

Di setiap diri manusia selalu terdapat unsur Apollonian dan Dionysian. Unsur-unsur yang berkaitan dengan Apollo (kekuatan nalar, keteraturan, dan kelembutan) dan Dionysios (intuisi, naluri, kehendak, dan nafsu) pasti terdapat dalam diri setiap manusia. Kombinasi dari kedua unsur ini yang melahirkan tragedi. Nietzsche menyadari bahwa kehidupan manusia selalu diwarnai dengan tragedi tapi selalu ada usaha-usaha untuk mengatasi tragedi itu dalam kehidupan.

Menurut Nietzsche, sikap mental Dionysian ini telah menyelamatkan kebudayaan Yunani kuno dari pesimisme hidup. Sikap Dionysian yang ‘mengiyakan’ hidup ini apa adanya merupakan sikap penuh vitalitas dan gairah untuk tidak menolak apa-pun yang diberikan hidup ini, baik itu menyenangkan maupun menyakitkan. Sikap seperti ini menuntut keberanian untuk hidup tanpa berpaling sedikit-pun darinya. Mentalitas Dionysian inilah yang dimiliki oleh para jenius dalam kebudayaan Yunani.

Pandangan Nietzsche yang mengafirmasi kehidupan ini diperkuat oleh pandangan kaum ‘Penegasan Kehidupan’. Manusia harus melakukan sebuah sikap penegasan kehidupan, yaitu sebuah refleksi diri bahwa keutamaan yang terbaik bagi setiap manusia adalah menerima dan menghadapi kehidupan ini sepenuhnya dan apa adanya.

Manusia seharusnya berpendirian bahwa segala usaha mempertanyakan keberadaan manusia itu salah dan merupakan ilusi belaka, melainkan ia harus menerima kenyataan hidup ini secara utuh dan tanpa menggolong-golongkan – baik itu realita yang menyenangkan maupun menyusahkan.

Pada hakikatnya, apa yang terpampang di dalam kehidupan inilah satu-satunya makna hidup. Orang-orang yang tidak dapat menerima kehidupan ini sebagaimana adanya akan membangun dunia-dunia bayangan, tempat mereka mencari naungan secara khayal. Contoh orang-orang yang seperti ini misalnya: seorang biarawan yang mengecam dunia dengan mengutamakan surga, seorang idealis yang merendahkan materi tapi mengatasnamakan roh, dan seorang moralis yang melarang kegembiraan dengan menjalankan kewajiban keras.

Nietzsche memiliki pandangan sinis tersendiri terhadap orang-orang yang seperti ini. Di dalam bukunya yang berjudul Why I Am a Destiny ia berkata “The concept of the ‘beyond’, the ‘true world’ invented in order to devaluate the only world there is – in no order to retain no goal, no reason, no task for our earthly reality!”.

Konsep tentang ‘yang melampaui’, ‘dunia sejati’ diciptakan untuk mengurangi nilai dari dunia yang nyata – agar tidak menyisakan tujuan, tiada alasan, tiada tugas pada realitas duniawi kita!

Sikap pandangan penegasan kehidupan ini sangat mengecam segala bentuk penyisihan yang berkembang dengan mengatasnamakan nalar. Peradaban yang mendasarkan diri pada nilai-nilai ideal dipandangnya sebagai semangat yang dijiwai oleh suatu nihilism1 mendalam. Peradaban semacam itu menghasilkan masyarakat-masyarakat yang memaksa anggota-anggotanya untuk tunduk kepada suatu sistem yang semakin tidak manusiawi dan menekan segala kehendak untuk mengungkapkan diri secara non-conformist.

Peradaban seperti itu dengan semakin licik memberangus para penyimpang, yakni orang-orang yang tidak mengikuti kaidah-kaidah peradaban tersebut. Ideologi-ideologi yang berkuasa adalah penguatan sistem penindasan dengan menyatakan bahwa percobaanpercobaan untuk mematahkan cara hidup yang dipaksakan itu hanyalah usahausaha yang bertentangan dengan akal. Ilmu-ilmu tentang manusia baik disadari atau tidak telah dicemari oleh ideologi yang seperti ini – sebab dengan dalih mempelajari tentang manusia, ilmu-ilmu itu sebenarnya berusaha untuk memanipulasikan manusia dengan mengendalikan perilakunya secara sepenuhnya.

Pandangan penegasan kehidupan ini berusaha menghancurkan tata kenalaran yang menyekap bahasa, keinginan, kreatifitas; dan berusaha mengembangkan suatu gaya keberadaan yang menerima hidup ini sebagaimana adanya. Pendirian ini ingin menegaskan kembali nilai segala bentuk ungkapan spontan kehidupan. Paham penegasan kehidupan bertendensi menjalani segala pengalaman, tanpa mengesampingkan satu-pun darinya.

Übermensch adalah simbol manusia yang tidak hanya memiliki kekuatan secara fisik dan intelligence, tapi juga merupakan manusia yang telah melewati kerasnya ujian kehidupan sosial. Ia adalah sesosok manusia yang terbaik yang diciptakan oleh kondisi masyarakat yang bergejolak. Ia adalah segelintir manusia yang memiliki keutamaan bahwa hidup hanyalah untuk memperbesar kekuasaan. Ia adalah sebuah contoh bagi seorang pemimpin sejati.

Berkenaan dengan prinsip individualisme yang dijadikan keutamaan oleh Nietzsche, ia menjelaskan tentang perlunya pengembangan terhadap manusia. Pertama, manusia harus mampu untuk bertahan hidup atau survive dari alam. Alam memiliki hukumnya sendiri, yaitu “siapa yang kuat, maka dialah yang berkuasa; siapa yang lemah, maka dia akan binasa”. Manusia, sebagai makhluk hidup, tidak bisa menghindar dari hukum alam.

Kehidupan setiap makhluk hidup hanya seputar menjadi pemangsa atau mangsa. Kehidupan yang seperti ini sama halnya dengan bangsa-bangsa yang besar di dalam sejarah peradaban dunia, di mana mereka melakukan penaklukkan manusia yang lainnya dengan penuh keberanian dan kekuatan.

Manusia yang satu berperang dan menaklukkan manusia yang lainnya dengan kemurnian naluri dan kehendak untuk berkuasa. Ini adalah kodrat alami setiap makhluk hidup. Kebudayaan dan kemasyarakatan merupakan bentuk lanjutan dari hukum alam. Manusia harus selalu memiliki keberanian dan kekuatan untuk menaklukkan kebudayaan dan sosial-politik kemasyarakatan yang ada di lingkungannya. Ini adalah pengejawantahan kehidupan aristokrasi, yaitu kehidupan yang keras karena adanya keinginan dari individu untuk melawan dan menaklukkan society di mana ia berada, bahwa ia mengakui bahwa dialah being yang harus memiliki kekuasaan.

Selanjutnya, Nietzsche menegaskan bahwa dengan adanya kemandirian dalam menghadapi kehidupan yang asing, manusia akan membanggakan dirinya sendiri sebagai suatu being yang telah mampu untuk menaklukkan kerasnya kehidupan alam serta sosial kemasyarakatan. Ini adalah dasar untuk terciptanya sebuah being yang paling digdaya, yaitu Übermensch. Übermensch secara esensial adalah seorang individu yang telah melewati kerasnya hidup dan memberontak terhadap kebudayaan yang usang dan rigid. Übermensch tidak melihat kehidupan sebagai suatu pandangan yang ke belakang tetapi ia melihat jauh ke masa depan. Übermensch memiliki segala nilai moral yang terbaik, sebab tragedi sebagai seni dalam kehidupan telah melahirkan mahakaryanya yang terindah.