Blessing Existence

Nietzsche wrote that “Anything that constraints man to love less than uncondionally has severed the roots of his strenght: he will wither away, that is to say become dishonest.”

“Anything” could be “History”, or our biography, our lives. What is loved less or more is existence. But the key here is the word “constraint”, for the statement retains all it’s relevance if were to reformulate it as: “Anything that constraints man to love more than condionally has severed the roots of his strenght: he will wither away, that is to say become dishonest.”.

Nietzsche continues by saying that history can only endure if it be transformed into art, but that in our age it would be called “false”.

Man, nor any other organism cursed with dicernment and judgment, loves unconditionally. That condition is mythological, as expressed in the story of Adam and Eve. I guess for Nietzsche too there was a fall. But isn’t this an accusation against the species of man as we find it that belies the highest concepts of Nietzsche’s philosophy? More honesty is found is describing man as loving but conditionally. The mendacity we see in the record of history came thru because man was constrained to abandon his judgment, his conditions, and was constrained for the sake of gaining Heaven, in the case of the Church (and for other falsehoods, such as Nationalism and Communism promised) to love his neighbor, to love his existence as it was unconditionally. He was forced to abandoned the right to complain and to bless existence as it was.

The key word in the end is constrained and not what man is in himself. Whenever man feels constrained his strenght is limited and in order to retain a semblance of it, man resorts to mendacity.

Dear Omar,

Can you intuitively understand why anything less than unconditional love severs the roots of Man?


The point is that mankind’s “love”, “dear” WL, is always conditional. It is of man to love conditionally and of God, gods and saints to love unconditionally.

What about the example set by, say, Job? Who is accused by the Satan of not loving unconditionally, and who through his ordeal shows that he does?

Job did demand a “consultation” with God, showing that he was uncomfortable, to say the least, with his ordeal, with his existence as it was and demanded to know the conditions that made it so. So, no, Job did not bless existence, did not love it unconditionally.

I would see that love, from conditional to unconditional falls on a continuum. It isn’t, we aren’t, either-or. Love-hate is part of us. While it may be accurate to say that human love is conditional in most cases, it does not follow that unconditional love is an impossibilty.

Hmm. Be careful. Job does call God to account as you say, but God doesn’t answer this request until after Job has lost everything and stayed true to God. In other words, if Job called God to account, and God provided this account, and then upon this Job said “alright God, I will undergo this ordeal for you”, then you would be right in saying Job’s love is conditional. But this is not the order of events! The fact is that Job shows his unconditional love and then God “answers” Job.

But maybe my comment misses the spirit of your post, for Job surely does not “bless existence” or “love it unconditionally”. After all, in his first monologue he curses the day he was born!

A possibility? Perhaps. Certainly I do not know the hearts of every human being that ever lived. But the exception only proves the rule, and I say that the normal human being loves conditionally and that the case for an instance of unconditional love is so great, that it is found only in the realm of legend. That said, unconditional love is highly dependent on how we see, how we interpret a person’s actions. Altrusim can alsways be interpreted as unconscious selfishness.

I think people are largely missing Omar’s point about Nietzsche’s point.

The point was stressed on the value of constrained.
And I have to agree with Nietzsche and Omar here: if you are forced, or reduced to, your provision of love; then it isn’t really love at all; it’s a lie obligated by the constraint.
Conditional or not.

We’re used to this expression well enough: if you love something, set it free.
We’re also used to this in religion in the sense of discussing forced belief and obligated guilty faith.

Hello Stumps,
I was not in agreement with Nietzsche. But looking over your post made me look at my OP to see if I had overlooked points where I could agree with Niezsche about this point. So here is my second opinion:

Nietzsche wrote that “Anything that constraints man to love less than uncondionally has severed the roots of his strenght: he will wither away, that is to say become dishonest.”

I say that man loves only conditionally and only constrained to love unconditionally. But here is another way in which he could have meant it:

Affirmation/Love of existence could have represented for Nietzsche the source of our strenght as a species. Of course eventually any specimen finds constraints to his or her will to power, something within existence that defies our flourishing. When we remember this, perhaps as a phobia, or as a precaution, we could be said, if I read Nietzsche correctly, we constrained/conditioned because we have been severed from our strenght. To become dishonest, could mean that we anticipate reality, existence. We imagine and live life as if the imagined consequence was the necessary consequence, even if we cannot honestly verify this to be the case.

Now, if this was meant by Nietzsche as a description of the way things are and how they necessarily must be, then I would definetly agree. But he uses the future tense, not the past tense, and he is indefinite in using “Anything”. For me, existence, life as we know it is characterized by scarcity and identity leading to competition. Being limited (that our desires do not always come to fruition)is painfully familiar to man. These limits and constraints to our unchecked power, or feeling of power to reach our every desire creates an impossible choice. It is not as Nietzsche describes: "he will wither away, that is to say become dishonest ", but either he withers away or become dishonest. To wither away is to become depressed, sad, melancholic, even suicidal. Such states reflect the decrease of our vitality, our withering away like a tree going into winter. On the other hand, man can and does become dishonest, in various degrees, to the extent of creating another level of existence to the depreciation of the one that has checked his power.

Now, for me, all this has to happen. But for Nietzsche, I don’t think it does. For him, this is a slander of reality. It is a reprehensible action by slavish types of men. The aristo type is unprejudiced towards reality, existence. He does not hold remorse towards existence but is strong to the point that he absorbs into himself all that is questionable and limiting about existence. Only this man is honest, only this man is just, meaning unbiased, and yet this man is the most improvable, though not impossible, man for Nietzsche.

So I guess in the end, even from a second perspective, I still find doubful elements in his conception. But it is interesting that Nietzsche’s approach to the problem of existence, the moral purpose of his philosophy to redeem existence, is not biased by a will for truth, in fact not troubled at all by the means, but only concerned about the end. So I wonder if this is not Nietzsche’s dishonesty, his withering away as he can no longer love existence unconditionally as it truly is but as he can artistically re-present it?

What do you think?

I still agree with both of you.
To Nietzsche, it was a withering.
To you; it’s a consequent of reality.

Either way, the formula stands that if you constrain then whatever you endeavor or naturally do will become less than what you purely ambition for due naturally to the consequent of the constraint.

It is important to intuit why any less than unconditional love leads to withering dishonesty, and comparatively unimportant to look for various possible logical meanings of words arranged on a page. If working in this direction, and reflecting, a person will find that which the words are referring to, and the whole area arround it is hurt, suffused with the chronically moist aftermath of a profound, unexpressed and ungrieved trauma (until now “blissfully” unconscious). I am inviting you to introspect yourself as such an amputee, and in doing so to understand at once exactly what is being said.

Withering dishonesty establishes the present conditions and constraints, and in this sense the most educated man by its standard is simultaneously the most stunted imbecile by “Nietszche”'s. The explorer does not look at automated conceptual frameworks of morality and ethics, the explorer of this mystery turns his attention toward the unconditional truth-experiencing of early childhood.

Other things to consider: love of Mother or Father (as it is manifest in childhood), love of sunshine-induced trances (as it is manifest in childhood), love of truth (as it is manifest in childhood).


Of course it is important to intuit, but not just about this subject, but on all subjects in which a clear demonstration from reason is unavailable. That is how Gos “exist”, as an intuition. Let the children come, for to them belongs this kingdom of unconditional love. Children and other wild beasts…

Omar, would you say that unconditional is the ideal; yet not the reality?

No. Dicernment, judgment is a human psychological property. We judge and therfore we establish conditions. We are biased by our pleasure and displeasure. Ideals we create for the most part display this natural bias of the dicerning animal. Our ideals return us to a naturally imposed homeostasis.

So unconditional is that which reality (conditional) is judged against?
Did I read that right?

No. If anything, the other way around. The point here is that we are the proponents of conditions by the very gifts of our species, and I would even say all species. Everything under the Sun is conditional. “Conditional” here means that an effect, be it the air we breathe or the love we may feel, sometimes is found, present, here and there, but at other times or places. This means that there are a set of conditions that must be met for the effect to come about. of course someone can say that cause and effect are human fantasies, and that is OK, but these are the way by which human beings, other animals and even plants, go about the business of existence. Thus, there is no unconditional love for a mind capable of judgement, of setting causes for effects, for seeing right and wrong.