The Destruction of Humanity



“We all prefer the destruction of humanity to the destruction of knowledge.”

From Stefan Zweig biography of Nietzsche.

This seems to me to be quite a remarkable insight. There is a tendency to hang on to what we think that we know to the point that there is immense insecurity if this is challenged. Ironically there is a good chance that if there does exist any truth in what we think that we know it is probably quite relative in that respect. Things are always changing, and there are always circumstances and experiences that seem not to fall into our general belief or conceptual understanding. Einstein helped us to understand that our perceptions and  assumptions are relative. An example being that the path of light that seems to be very straight from a flashlight to an object curves and bends as it works its way through the universe.

We seem not to be able or willing to change  our thinking that inevitably contributes to  the destruction of humanity and for that matter most other inhabitants of this planet. We cant seem to let go of our thinking that contributes to the degradation of the environment and inevitably ourselves.

It can be said that humankind has been the master species in terms of survival on this earth and maybe it is this thinking that has contributed to the increased incidence of survival for humans  on the planet that needs to change in some way if we are to preserve ourselves. Life may go on without us.

Eternal Vitality Rather than Eternal Life

“There is in the struggle for existence, no increase of security, no protection against emotional turbulence. There is no security and never any satisfaction and contentment with what one has. How can you be thrown into this marvelous incertitude and multiplicity of existence without questioning it, without trembling with the desire and passion that is the result of such questioning.”


In Stefan Zweigs account of Nietzsche, written in 1925′ the best that I have encountered, he suggests that for Nietzsche it is eternal vitality that counts, not eternal life. This sense of uncertainly seems to contradict what is valued in modern times. He is also implying that there is no security in a set system of thinking or in fixed thoughts. Things are constantly changing with multiple factors affecting them. But there is something in our conditioning that searches for fixed understanding. This fixed understanding may not exist. This thinking has helped mankinds struggle for survival although it may now be a way that must be transcended if we are to survive. A step forward may be the recognition of the limitation of this thinking.

Article about Stefan Zweig,s Fascination with Nietzsche