Neitzche once wrote “He who strays from tradition becomes a sacrifice to the extraordinary.” It might be said that this was a reflection of himself. Obviously a true romantic, his love for nature and humanity, even the sheer disgust he had for Christianity. All of his essays and writings represent his strong feelings about Romanticism. Frederich Neitzche was best known for his observations of humankind and their nature. It was commendable that he was passionate about his philosophical writings and his pre-Socratic thinking. Neitzche wrote about everything from life to death, and everything he wrote held a special importance to him.
As a young boy, Frederich suffered a lot more than an average child although he was brilliant. He had a very sad and lonely childhood, because of the hardships he experienced. Many of which inspired him to his later writings. At a tender age of seven, Neitzche’s father, a pastor, passed away. After being sick for several year with painful dizzy spells, he died. This event both traumatized and stimulated the young Neitzche. He became obsessed with death and its related theories; such as: suffering, disintegration of the brain, death, burial, and graves.
As he grew up Neitzche realized he had inherited his father’s ailment, he became physically weak though this did not deplete his strong will. But Frederich was drafted into the army, he was sent off to the war between Germany and France. While in war, he fell off his horse, and was discharged from the army because of injury. This was relieving.
Neitzche then began to lose control in his life. he began to drink, to go to parties and to go out all the time. But it became to intense for him and his illness could not stand it. After a few months of this he left his debauchery, renounced life, wandered into a corner and resumed his solitary seat he had held most of his life. Furthermore, he despised himself greatly. He went to the mountains and began to think about the events of the war. He asked questions like: what is the meaning of all this suffering? Where was the “eternal glory” of existence as preached by the prophets? He could find no answers and eventually came up with the theory “God is dead”, or Atheism.
After thinking and developing his philosophies he compiled it and wrote several essays, one of which is The Anti-Christ, based on his theories about the Catholic religion and God or the lack thereof. His mother had once said she saw, “All of Christ’s suffering,” in his eyes. Frederich felt to the contrary about religion and everything religious. Neitzche wrote “...It has been almost the terror of terrors and out of that terror the contrary type has been willed, cultivated and attained: the domestic animal, the herd animal, the sick brute-man--the Christian.” It is easily seen that Neitzche was extremely against the Christian religion. He felt it manipulated and changed people and made them believe that they represented the highest intellectual values as sinful, misleading, full of temptation, while Neitzche found them virtuous. In contrast, He felt nature was a very positive aspect in a man’s life.
Neitzche felt strongly about everything he said, but there was nothing he loved more then the beauty of nature. He spent time in the mountains because he found it serene and comforting. He wrote, “Out in nature. We like to be out in nature so much because it has no opinion about us.” (Human, All Too Human: Man alone with Himself 508). Nature was an escape, he found it so beautiful. It was a natural beauty unlike the common world around him. Since he was very lonely, it made him feel at peace.
What made Neitzche stand out from any other romantic is how he could see human as either completely corrupt or utterly admirable, and each one he knew was correct though it seems an oxymoron. Neitzche also found the common people as just as important if not more so than the upper classes of the world. He valued nobility of the mind above all. Neitzche said, “To a great degree nobility of the mind consists of good nature and a lack of distrust, and thus contains exactly that which acquisitive and successful people so like to treat with superiority and scorn.” In other words, people that acquire nobility of the mind are good natured and trusting people, which is exactly what people of a higher status look down upon. So it can be inferred that Neitzche felt that if you went against anything from the Catholic religion to what society felt acceptable, you would be prosecuted by a higher power while he would commend you for it.
Despite all the hardships Neitzche had to face in his life he was a brilliant man. It has been said he was insane. Maybe he was just ahead of his time? It can’t be said for sure but he had more problems than the average person and still came out of it triumphant. Critics have found his philosophies to still be valid to today’s world. It is true against the background of his mental illness and in no way does it detract from his real greatness.