Friedrich Nietzsche on the Conditions for the Flourishing of Human Culture

Meditationes Vitae Christianae

It is thought provoking that human beings, among all living beings, are the only creatures who have the sense of dissatisfaction with self. We often feel that we are not human enough: we fell short of our ideal of humanity and have not yet reached our fullest potential as human beings. Curiously, this sense of lack of humanity is perhaps what makes the progress of human culture possible. “Every human being tends to discover in himself a limitation – of his talents as well as of his moral will – that fills him with longing and melancholy; and just as he longs to rise up out of his feeling of sinfulness to what is holy, so as intellectual being he bears a profound yearning for the genius within himself. This is the root of all true culture”  (Nietzsche, 1995, p. 190). Urged by this sense of lack, we are driven…

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