What if a demon were to creep after you one night, in your loneliest loneliness, and say, 'This life which you live must be lived by you once again and innumerable times more; and every pain and joy and thought and sigh must come again to you, all in the same sequence. The eternal hourglass will again and again be turned and you with it, dust of the dust!' Would you throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse that demon? Or would you answer, 'Never have I heard anything more divine'?
I am going to try to live by that sentiment. However hard it feels now, I want to live my life so that, if that hypothetical situation came true, I could answer the latter. I want to know that, if I had to live my life over and over again, that would be a good thing. I don't want to know that I would be bored by repeating my life, or - even worse - that I would choose death over it. I'm not trying to get rid of the rollercoaster of emotions, I just want to be able to know that, if I had to go through it all again, I would not regret the decisions that I would continue to make, always the same. I don't want to look at the prospect of the eternal repetition of life and feel guilt or regret or anger or sorrow because of how I have dealt - and will repeatedly deal - with something that has happened to me.
I think what Nietzsche is asking in this passage is, in a choice between how life is and how life could hypothetically be, would you choose the reality - where life ends in death - or would you choose the possibility - where life repeats itself endlessly, never changing?
I want to be able to say that I'd choose the possibility, that the prospect of my life continually repeating itself - the good and the bad - would be infinitely better than ceasing to exist altogether.
I have not reached that point yet, but I hope that one day I can honestly say I would choose life over death.
Edited by Laura, 15 May 2007 - 02:22 AM.