Nietzsche the physicist

According to the inflation theory of the universe, there is an infinity of universes and a possible infinity of duplicates of ourselves. If such is the case, there is no divine foreknowledge or ultimate will but a universal rule of ‘random necessity’ making our individual destiny a contingent while necessary sequence of events. If there is any truth in this theory, Nietzsche’s embracing attitude to the most ‘infra-ordinary’ aspects of our daily life, proves the most appropriate way of being. ‘Amor Fati’ as the loving, full acceptance of one’s fate does not require any highly spiritual awareness but the simple realisation that life, as a purely biological phenomenon, is beyond any theological or ideological consideration.

Furthermore, if the universe, or shall we say, the multiverseS are a perennial phenomenon, without beginning nor end, Nietzsche’s image of the ‘eternal return’ of the same seems the only viable philosophy in an age of religious disbelief and on-going scientific discoveries pointing towards an ever-expanding universe. Nietzsche was, yet, another exception, regarding his relation to science as he claimed that ‘to become who we are’ and ‘give ourselves our own laws’, we had to fully understand the physical world around us and within us’. And to that end, ‘ we must become the best learners and discoverers of everything that is lawful and necessary in the world; we must become physicists in order to be able to be creators in this sense, while hitherto all valuations and ideals have been based on ignorance of physics or were constructed so as to contradict it. Therefore – long live physics.’ While his contemporaries were still under the influence of equilibrium and atemporality, Nietzsche celebrated the presence of energy from the most simple organisms to its highest manifestation in the ‘will to power’. This will to perpetuate itself is shared by all living systems, long before it was identified through the advent of nuclear physics.

Spinoza, for one, saw in this biological principle, the very essence of all existence and put it at the heart of his philosophy. The ‘conatus’ is this impulse or primal energy which enables any form of life to strive towards its continuity and hence, constitutes its very nature. Spinoza considered God as the very source of that desire or effort to persevere in one’s existence. Each being is, by definition, open to various states of mind or ‘affections’ which gradually define its unique character. Nietzsche went further than Spinoza insofar as he wanted to cure human ‘passions’ by turning them into a positive energy. There is, indeed no point in resisting the colossal power of a breaker. Yet, an experienced surfer knows how to harness that unstoppable energy and turn it to his own advantage. Let’s imagine Nietzsche as a top surfer, ripping through a rolling ‘tube’, being, for ever, at one with the almighty power of the universe.

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