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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 23 | volume IV | October-November, 2001



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 23October-November, 2001

Peter Greenaway and Nietzsche's Eternal Return

p. 1
Stephanie Semler

   The Greatest Weight. What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: “This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!”
       Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: “You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.”
       If this thought gained possession of you, it would change you as you are or perhaps crush you. The question in each and every thing, “Do you desire this once more and innumerable times more?” would lie upon your actions as the greatest weight.
       Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate confirmation and seal?

     Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

   The Greatest Weight is, for Nietzsche, the Eternal Recurrence. Here is the possibility that one's life will be lived again and again through the infinite corridors of time, and the prospect of the sentient being knowing that is the case. Nietzsche gives us this concept not as a metaphysical belief, but as a choice. The choice is to consider the prospect. If one chooses to do so, the weight rests with the future relivings. If all this is to happen again without the finest detail missing, would we not want it to be as profound as possible, would we not want every moment in our piece of the continuum to be as interesting And lived' as could be? We are taking into consideration, with this acceptance, all our other selves' that will be charged with the experience that we are now having. Indeed, it would seem to be the Greatest Weight, and what of the times that we experience pain,

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