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This paper offers a preliminary interpretation of Nietzsche’s doctrine of Eternal Recurrence, according to which the doctrine constitutes a parable that, speaking of what is permanent in life, praises and justifies all that is impermanent. What is permanent, what always recurs, is the will to power or to self-overcoming that is the fundamental engine of all life. The operating mechanism of such a will consists in prompting the living to undergo transformations or transitory deaths, after which this fundamental engine resurrects again and is once more activated. The individual human being, in his capacity as creator, is only a conscious and finite surrogate of this fundamental will. In confronting his abysmal thought of Eternal Recurrence, Zarathustra comes to the realization that the individual human being will never cease to be a mere transit that, while remaining in existence, will have to always return to the moment of his own self-overcoming. This means that the small man in each of us, the man that can be overcome, will always recur, and that even the greatest man we could become will still be too small and human all too human. Although this thought generates disgust with existence, it can also become a source of life-affirmation, when we learn to love our tragic destiny: that of never being able to realize the ideal of superhumanity that is recommended by the book, and, yet, that of eternally striving to realize it.

Creation – that is the great redemption from suffering, and life’s becoming light. But in order for the creator to be, suffering is needed and much transformation. Indeed, there must be much bitter dying in your life, you creators! In that way are you advocates and justifiers of all impermanence. To be the child who is newly born, the creator must also want to be the mother who gives birth and the pangs of the birth giver (KSA 4, 110-1). …

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