HISTORY OF IDEAS: Friedrich Nietzsche-Hardship-Zarathustra-Triumph of the Will (BBC)


HISTORY OF IDEAS: Friedrich Nietzsche-Hardship-Zarathustra-Triumph of the Will (BBC)
by Darius Kadivar

Alain de Botton makes Philosophy easy to understand. Here he speaks about German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche probably one of the most admired yet misunderstood philosophers in his time. Particularly Misread by Adolf Hitler who distorted much of the German Philosopher's ideas as a tool for Nazi Supremacist Propaganda. It should also be noted that Nietzsche's Views on Zarathustra - the Persian Prophet (and Founder of one of the First Monotheist Religions) had nothing to do with the historical and religious figure depicted but rather a personal outlook. A central irony of the philisophical novel Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None is that Nietzsche mimics the style of the Bible in order to present ideas which fundamentally oppose Christian and Jewish morality and tradition.

Philosophy - A Guide To Happiness: Nietzsche on Hardship:

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Nietzsche - 'Last Days' Footage - 1899:

Whether these clips are authentic has been debated, but, they a remarkable look at Nietzsche's 'last days' in Weimar in the summer of 1899 (the photo stills by Hans Olde are common) ... Nietzsche died on August 25, 1900 from pneumonia, eleven years after his well-chronicled mental breakdown in Turin...


Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (15 October 184425 August 1900) was a German philosopher, whose critiques of contemporary culture, religion, and philosophy centered on a basic question regarding the foundation of values and morality. He wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, using a distinctive style and displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism.

Nietzsche's influence remains substantial within and beyond philosophy, notably in existentialism and postmodernism. His style and radical questioning of the value and objectivity of truth have resulted in much commentary and interpretation, mostly in the continental tradition. His key ideas include the death of God, perspectivism, the Übermensch, the eternal recurrence, and the will to power.

Nietzsche began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy. At the age of 24 he was appointed to the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel (the youngest individual to have held this position), but resigned in 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life. In 1889 he went insane, living out his remaining years in the care of his mother and sister until his death in 1900.

More Here

Jesse Owens Vs Hitler:

Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will - Intro to the Controversial Documentary:

A Brilliant Parody by Stand Up comic Ricky Gervais on How Hitler misread Nietzsche's ideas:

Another More "Sober" Version by Ricky Gervais which I found even more funny:

2001 A Space Odyssey Opening - Thus Spoke Zarathustra - Strauss:

Historian Robert Winston takes a look at the origines of the first and most ancient monotheist religion-Zoroastrianism:

Elvis Presley - Also Sprach Zarathustra & See See Rider - Aloha Hawaii,1973 (The  Long Black Out is Intentional):

Scene from Movie: When Nietzsche Wept (2007) directed by Pinchas Perry starring Armand Assante ( As Nietzsche ) and Jamie Elman ( Freud) :

Related Satire:

SATIRE: The Olagh has Landed ;0)

Less Funny:

HOLOCAUST A MYTH: Michelle Renouf on Iranian SAHAR TV

Ahmadinejad's demands for Holocaust investigation juxtaposed with denial of an election probe

Mehdi Karroubi Targets Ahmadinejad's Holocaust Denial

Recommended Readings:

Iranian Diaspora Intelligentsia Unite Against Islamic Republic's Holocaust Revisionism By DK

Banalization of history By DK

Esther's Children: A Portrait of Iranian Jews by Houman Sarshar

Signed, sealed & delivered by Fereydoun Hoveyda. (The former diplomat participated in the drafting and voting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Xerxes: A Screenplay by Ren A. Hakim in an Interview with DK 

He is Awake: Close Up on Cyrus KAR by Darius KADIVAR

We are Awake by Cyrus KADIVAR 

Recommended Watching:

HITLER ON THE COUCH: A Psychological Profile of Adolf Hitler (BBC Documentary)

Related Blogs:

THE STORY OF GOD: Robert Winston explains Zoroastrianism


HISTORY OF IDEAS: Jean Paul Sartre on Freedom and Existentialism (BBC)

HISTORY OF IDEAS: Seneca on Anger - A Guide To Happiness with Alain de Botton (BBC)

HISTORY OF IDEAS: Montaigne's Guide To Happiness,Wisdom and Self-Esteem (BBC Documentary)

HISTORY OF IDEAS:Socrates on Self-Confidence and Non Conformist Thought (BBC Documentary)

HISTORY FORUM: The Age of Enlightment in France and Europe.

EMPIRE OF THE MIND: The Greeks - Crucible of Civilization narrated by Liam Neeson (PBS-1999)

HISTORY FORUM: Machiavelli's "The Prince" and the "Art" of Governing

GOOD READ: All You Need to Know About The Enlightment Philosophers

HISTORY FORUM: Nader Naderpour on Iran's Constitutional Revolution and European Rennaissance (1996)


more from Darius Kadivar

Here's a piece of my translation from the Book of Hours (draft)

by Nur-i-Azal on

Litanies of Vigilant Observance (awrâd

1. [O! To]
that God who hears the call of the burning
desire! How [It] discloses
(kashf) the way to the interior illumination! By the approaching of the
Malakût (angelic world) of sanctity whereby the
word is upraised to the
Persons of Light (ashkhâs al-daw'), inasmuch as
They proclaim:

O God of
all gods (yâ ilâha kulli
ilâhîn), upriase/assemble the litany of the
Light! Come to the aid of
the people of Light (ahl al-Nûr)! Guide the
light unto the Light!

With the
First Being the principle movement originates. To this First Being is
lead the final limit of time and repose. Close
is the moment. The Signs
have appeared. Herein gathered are in assembly the folk of
Sina'i, so reciting, let them say:

God of the Separations (yâ ilâh
al-fâriqât), assemble/upraise the litany of the
Light! Come to the aid
of the people of Light!
Guide the light unto the Light!

Lord is alone and without equal by the glare of
Its splendorous flashes
of Glory (bi-sanâ' al-majd). One and single in
magnitude of Power.
Exalted in the sublimity of Its Victorious
force, dominating every
Intelligence, every heart and every material body. Within each living
being It epiphanizes [Itself]. In the proximity of
Its Majesty are the
highest altitudes of the heights and utmost
abysses of depth, so let
the Pure Ones (al-zakkîyât) proclaim :

You to whom
belongs the supreme symbol (sâhib al-mathal al-a'lâ). Assemble the
litany of the Light. Come to the aid of the People of Light. Guide
light unto the Light!

[O] God
who purifes the upright while approaching them, approving of the
liturgy of the Light arising to sounds of the Sanctified Easts (quddâs
al-ishrâq), for Its blessings are upon the cone of
the flame of Light.
It directs the celestial impulse upon the lamp of
the sanctuary (qandîl
al-mosallâ). It consecrates the offering and praiseworthy acts. It made
of the herald of the
Levantine Light the rider of the Orient (rakîb
al-mashriq), for the nearness of the Holy Ones,
ameliorating [the
request for] aid, launch[ing] the [divine] Order by proclaiming atop the
crenels of the world of

Principle of the Universe, terminal time limit of the movements of the
suns which rise to their Orients when they decline from their Occidents
(al-shâriqât al-ghâribât), assemble/upraise the litany of
the Light.
Come to the aid of the People of
Light. Guide the light unto the Light!

the primal Light mediator and sovereign. It projected upon him Its
Light. It gave him the sovereignty over the direction of
bodies. It
made of him a lord reigning upon the napes of the necks of the beings
in material bodies. It confirmed by him the mediation of
the cosmic
order, the perfector of life, the cause of the seasons, the nights and
days, and to whom the sanctified (hieratic) souls ( muqadassât
al-nufûs) invoke with fervor, whilst addressing themselves to Him:

You, the Singular Person (yâ ayyuhâ al-shakhs al-anwâr) [in authority]
of/over the Lights. You who eternally turn your face
towards your Father.
Call upon the Giver of Intellect (wâhib al-'aql)
and Life. Say:
Assemble/upraise the litany of the Light! Come
to the aid of the People
of Light! Guide the light unto the Light!

Good (the Elect) beseech the highest of Persons,
the most elevated of
the beings of Light. The human assembly beseech
the celestial Souls,
while all together beseech the [archangelic] agent Intellects (al-'uqâl
al-fa''âla) (i.e. the Cherubim) whilst our Principle encircles their
totality. And this is the prayer of all the
levels of the hierarchy of
beings, the answer to the Call:

O Dispenser of the Light and the
beneficial influx! Assemble/upraise the litany of
the Light! Come to
the aid of the People of
Light. Guide the light unto the Light!

2.Spiritual Influx of the Grand Testament (wârid al-wasîya al-kabîra)

took the flame from the meteors and I set ablaze a region of it. I put
to flight the demonic legions and hid from their glances, so that they
did not behold me ascending up towards the Pleroma of
All-Light. I
invoked my Father from the distance, [and said]:

Angel of the sublime theurgy, You who
are the closest in relation to the benevolent God, attract me towards
yourself, so that my being may dilate in the glare of
the divine clarity.

I stripped myself of the
skin which wrapped me in darkness and threw it afar. By the force of
the divine Name, here I was suspended upon the tabernacle of Exaltation
and Glory, since after the exitus of the great
day, I was uprooted,
because whenever the Eternal appears to any being it uproots.



by Nur-i-Azal on

Did you come up to southeast Queensland or northern NSW (i.e. Byronshire)? I call this place HaShem's own country ;-)

Can't blame you for staying put in Israel. One side of my mother's family (relatives) live in Tel Aviv and run a successful franchise of Persian rugs and merchandise businesses. Earlier last decade when all the suicide bombings were happening we begged them to get out and come here, or even to the US, but they all unanimously said no, and would be quite happy to die over there, suicide bombers or no suicide bombers. Anyway, where else in the world can you get the felafels and shawarmas you get in Israel. I would kill for one right now, as a matter of fact ;-)

The other two Sohravardi mss. are Saray
Ahmet III, 3217 & 3271.
I've tried everything to try to get ahold of these two. But the folks over there are incredibly strict, and the level of red tape is unbelievable. I would fall at your feet in eternal gratitude if you could find a way to get copies of these two mss.  Brockelman (GDAL) also lists a version at Zurich S. 438 31. wāridāt wataqdīsāt (Hymnen u. Gebete, Stamb. Hdss. Bei Ritter). This later one is more easier to get ahold of. I can get this latter one myself. But the Saray Ahmet mss. have been a nightmare to get access to.




majnuni aflatuni

by humanbeing on

there! you got me out of lent! i have been abstaining from the computer since yesterday.

thanks for your generous and gracious exile invitation. really. we were in australia twice, we loved melbourne best, though we spent most of our time in canberra.

we stay here in the armpit of the world, despite all. my husband was offerred a very prestigious job in oxford in the middle of the intifada, but we decided to stay put. i think i can do more by staying than by going. i know i'm crazy, and that that sounds extremely patronizing. but i am very sincere about it, and it's not a zionist thing, but more a peacemongering thing.

of couse eros is not the monopoly of pederasts, even in ancient greece! the interplay between gamos and eros is very interesting, in epic it is two parallel lines which do not verge entirely, not even in the story of odysseus and penolope, and euripides hippolytus describes the revenge of aphrodite on the man who dares to give her the cold shoulder. but when you get to new comedy and to the ancient greek novel, which modern anachronists describe as 'bourgeois' and 'romantic' (vis-a-vis the 'heroic' nature of epic), the characters are not meant to have eros outside of gamos.

yes, do tell me when the suhrawardi translation is done, and i'd be glad to read it. i can't vouch that my arabic is top league, especially in the nuances of that genre, but i do know how to nitpick, being a philologist. are the other two manuscripts also in istanbul? i once had a grant to send a student to istanbul, and he was able to get his hands on stuff there that i thought would be impossible. he had the charisma and the communication skills for opening doors. i don't go anywhere, for family reasons, but i wish i could send him again soon.

'majnunan mudtariban'  (dad, not dal) is the title to the article i wrote about hunayn ibn ishaq's 'version' of qissat salaman wa-absal (with the ta'wil by al-tusi)! it is imbued with platonisms, but the salaman is described as 'majnun' in his love for absal, and then for zuhra (anahita?). corbin glosses over some of these nuances in his 'precis' of this 'recital'; he's not interested so much in the surface layer.

i should get going. i'm trying to write a blog about a lecture i heard on the nana myth in panjikent. have been looking for a visual for two days already.

i feel like i'm hijacking dk's lovely blog and spamming it with my impressionistic opinions. i bring it back on topic by saying too bad nietzsche didn't further his expertise to iranology as well.

sorry dk, it just dawned on me. i can be very insensitive sometimes. but i reiterate that this has been a fascinating blog.


یا عشق


HB, if things get too crazy in the ME, please come here to the Great Land of OZ. It is safe here. My house is your house. Seriously! There's also a huge community of Israelis out here who I am close friends with. You would feel right at home, and plus I would love to have you here to have a fellow Platonist of your calibre in this kneck of the woods I could hang out with :-)

As far as erastes-eromenos (male homosexuality and pederasty in ancient Greece) is concerned, I think Diotima (= Sophia-Shekina) in the Symposium pretty decisively, albeit surreptiously, dismisses the whole thing as a corrupt practice. True initiation into the Mysteries, for the male at least, comes from Woman. Period! That dialogue lays it all out IMV, and I believe this was Plato's own personal point of view as well, which is why he put it in the Symposium.

As far as Corbin's translation of Sohravardi's treatises in l'archange empourpre (the Crimson Archangel) is concerned: I am translating one of its pieces right now, i.e. the Book of Hours (al-waridat wa'l-taqdisat) which is his prayer book, into English. I've only got a copy of one Arabic MS of this thing from the Aya Sophia right now (the same one Corbin used) but I need at least two more in order to establish a critical text and do a reasonable translation with a good intro and commentary. An outfit in the UK has expressed interest in publishing the final product. Maybe you can read for it when the translation is done, if you want.

I take everything to a mystical level. But my mysticism also abides within an entelechy where the Otherwordly is simultaneously the this-worldly; majaz and haqiqat are One and the Same; the transcendent is reflected within the imminent; the love and passion a couple hold for each other = the Divine pathos, etc. So call me a Tantric Platonist, if you like, amongst other things. Maybe call me even a Majnuni Aflatuni :-)



العاشق والمعشوق


is a great topic for discussion, nur. erastes and eromenos. i don't think it's off topic on this thread either, and could familiarize others with plato, even if we go off on philological tangents. it is a way also of sneaking in corbin without 'turning off' potential readers (by the way i know corbin mainly through avicenne et le recit visionnaire and l'archange empourpre -- sorry no accents on this comment --): could be al-hallaj -- or suhrawardi maqtul !-- and allah; could be socrates and athens; could be majnoun and layla or salaman wa-absal (wa-zuhra); could be harut wa-marut and zuhra; could be socrates and lysias; could be the narrator and katayoun in the story by ari siletz. from my point of view on an equal footing in the discourse. let's open it up.

i'm more visceral thisworldly than spiritual, but i am very interested intellectually in the spiritual side and how it is expressed in belles-lettres.

what i've read is mostly theoretical stuff (the risala fi 'l-ishq of the ikhwan al-safa, and the one by ibn sina, as well as the relevant sections of ibn hazm's tawq al-hamama and al-isfahani's kitab al-zuhra -- the same ibn da'ud al-isfahani who prosecuted al-hallaj) or medical sources describing lovesicknes (including anecdotes).

i like when things connect unexpectedly (but i don't take it to a mystical level) e.g. the compatibility between two people who just happen to be lefthanded and wear hats and like cinema and humour (dk and myself), this fascinating ongoing dialogue with a fellow over-the-edge aflatuni, or even the fact that yesterday i was in the church of 'ecce homo' on the via dolorosa. i even photoed it to embed in this comment, but am hopeless.

on a final note, this thread has had an influence on my teaching plans for next year! i just changed the title of my graduate seminar from 'greek and latin rhetorical narrative' to 'euripides' bacchae and other greek passages through the prism of nietzsche's birth of tragedy.

another great escape from what is happening down here on earth now, especially in the ME.

p.s. you know more about kabbalah than i do, i'm sure. haven't gone in that direction.

to be continued.


بسم الله العاشق و المعشوق


HB, no sweat. Take things at your own pace. No rush. Feel free to email me via this site and let's get our own dialogue going whenever you have more time on your hands.

Like yourself, I am also a majzub-e-'ashiq of all things Platonic. Those who call such things unhealthy, well, aren't really alive in my book, since as Hafez says,

hargez namirad an keh delash zendeh shod be-'eshq

sabt ast bar jarideye 'aalam-e-davvaam-e-maa!

The one whose heart has been set alive by passionate Love shall never die

So hath it been confirmed upon the scrolls of destiny in our everlasting
world/world of perpetuity.

A Platonic statement if there ever was!

BTW I am also quite interested in the Kabbalah and know a little Hebrew as well (not conversational Hebrew or contemporary Hebrew prose, mind you, but enough to read through the Old Testament and some Kabbalistic texts, again, only with a dictionary). I've even formulated my own version of the Etz ha-Chayyim (the Tree of Life), this one being 13 Spheres and 36 Pathways (the Pathways represent the 32 Persian letters plus the 4 vowel markers). I call it the Tree of Reality (shajaraye haqiqat). Here's  what it looks like.

Amongst Platonists, there is no such thing as limitations ;-)


p.s. How do you like my personal bismillah fomula btw, one of them, anyway?


hi nur

by humanbeing on

i saw your email yesterday, but was slightly incommunicado. then had a mini-meltdown. i'm sort of back to normal (whatever that is). this is all really really exciting.

i must warn you that i'm a zero in philosophy. i'm interested in, and sort of understand a bit about the writing as an art, and in the language and text structure. i also am enamoured of any thing to do with plato. not mahabba, but ishq, which is defined as meta-mahabba (e.g. in the definitions of ishq in rasa'il ikhwan al-safa, or the arabic medical writers not to mention the tasawwuf literature): obsessive, total love. unhealthy love in the medical writers. i have written about this in an article on 'qissat salaman wa-absal', but unfortunately it is in hebrew (!). i hope to translate it, but cannot yet, because it hasn't been published it is a contribution to a secret volume for a professor who is to retire next year. in fact i do a (respectful) critique of corbin's analysis of this hikayat on formal/literary grounds.

please let's discuss stuff, as long as you know my limitations in the philosophy end of it. what i can offer to the dialogue, as it were, is perhaps the greek: ask me anything about the wording, structure, or intertext of passages in plato or the greek neoplatonists. i don't promise i'll have an answer, but if not, it will open up new areas for exploration. socrates in the apology hops around the aegean looking for sophia and for sophoi. the upshot is that we find out how much we don't know. this is the virtual aegean, and i am a sophist, with all the pitfalls...

now the downer: i am now in a very very serious deadline crisis, not at all helped by a deblitating addiction to ic. i answer slow and sloppy for the moment.

hope i will not disappoint you!


Dear humanbeing. Where have you been hiding yourself?

by Nur-i-Azal on

Yes, forgot to add the Symposium in there. I go back to that as well quite often.

Now where in the world have you been hiding yourself? You and I are one of a kind on the intellectual front! I am deeply heartened and honored to make your virtual acquintance knowing you frequent this virtual space. Really! You and I need to talk :-)  Drop me an email or something, please.

You mentioned Corbin and then Nasr. Corbin is my hero of all intellectual heroes of the 20th century, and I account myself a Corbinian. I've mentioned him on this site again and again and again -- but no one pays any attention. He brought me to the Iranian philosophical/esoteric tradition at 18 just as I had started out as a freshman in college back in 1990. Spiritual Body and Celestial Earth literally turned my intellectual foundations upside down and brought me back Home to the fertile Orient of my own spiritual heritage. This is the period when I had begun getting restless, impatient and totally nihilistic about Nietzche's own nihilism and wanted more, and Heidegger on his own at that point definitely wasn't doing it for me. Corbin did. For years he was (meaning, his works were) practically my spiritual guide (pir/murshid). Long story!

My classical Greek is on the intermediate reading level and I definitely need my copy of Liddel & Scott's Lexicon at my side whenever I am ploughing through this material. Plato and Plotinus are notoriously (sometimes impenetrably) difficult to read. Proclus, I find only slightly better. Iamblichus and Poryphyry are the better ones to read. The funnest read for me is always the Greek libelli of the Corpus Hermeticum (which is a sort of Bible to me).

Yes, I am referring to the patronage of the Alexandrian exile community in Jundishapur. I believe John Walbridge had a graduate student at Indiana University-Bloomington working with him in the '90s who was actually researching this area of translations of Platonic (and other Greek philosophical) texts into middle Pahlavi under Sassanian patronage. Don't know where this all went, but I do hear through the grapevine every now and then that other's have worked on this area as well since that time.

Which text of Hunayn ibn Ishaq did you work on? Yes, Salman and Absal has Greek and other cool non-Greek Gnostic substrates running up and down the narrative (Corbin does a superb job pointing most of this out in Avicenna and the Visionary Recital), as does Sohravardi's Tale of the Occidental Exile which is a novel recapitulation of the Gnostic Hymn of the Pearl.

You know, I think Love for this material, when one engages with it on the deepest of levels (on the level of noesis), can actually prevent things like senility. 

Really happy to know you are around :-)




yes, nur

by humanbeing on

i also love phaedo, the symposium, lately sinking deeply into the republic, and the platonic myths of gyges and er. the greek is beautiful, and if you have taken the trouble to learn the language, i'm sure you agree about how rewarding the experience is of reading in the original. i could go on about this for hours, but it's quarter to two in the morning here, and i have a deadline to meet on unrelated work.

you refer to the patronage of these greek intellectual 'exiles' in jundishapur, i presume. i've discussed this a bit with dr. noury on this site. what i would love is to find not accounts tht these dialogues were translated, but some sample of a translation in dialogue form, with all the platonic literary touches -- and some from the culture of the target language.

but still, i'll add that i am reading a lot of proclus as well (in greek, but also in festugiere's translation, because of his learned comments), and i've read henry corbin and seyyed hossein nasr, because i worked on a hermetic text in arabic ascribed to hunayn b. ishaq but found in the collected rasa'il of ibn sina on the story of salaman and absal. it has lots of greek substrates in it, from the medical literature and platonic themes, but also, interestingly, motifs from popular romantic literature in the pre-islamic arabic tradition.

corbin and nasr of course brought me to sohravardi, whose work in arabic i've dabbled in, but has led me to the brink of insanity, because i have the hubris now of wanting to study persian (you mention you studied greek on your own, but i'm sure you did it at a young enough age). if i can hack it, i'll have the privilege of reading some poetic prose hikayat by sohravardi in persian, even if it's the last thing i manage to do before senility hits hard.

you are truly fortunate that you can read plato AND the neoplatonists in the original, as well as sohravardi in the original.



by Nur-i-Azal on

Yes, reading Nietzche as an adolescent is definitely a rite of passage. Like yourself, I am a dyed in the wool Platonist. I am also very interested in the Middle and Neo-Platonists, esp. Plotinus, Poryphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus and the mystical Hermetic-Platonic religion of late antiquity. I studied classical Greek on my own and, Plato being the most difficult prose of all classical Greek, I  frequently go back to re-reading esp.  the dialogues Timaeus, Parmenides, Meno, Phaedrus, the Republic and the 7th letter. To me Plato is practically a divine messenger!

Plato was indeed translated into Pahlavi during the Sassanian period. If you recall, when one of the Byzantine  Christian emperors shut down the Academy in Alexandria, most of the Platonists found refuge in the Persian Sassanian empire. There is some scholarship available on this btw. But that aside, one of the greatest Platonists of all time is none other than Shihabuddin Sohravardi, the Master of Illumination (shaykh'ul-ishraq), and he knew Plato inside and out.


Azarin Sadegh

to Iraniandudee: Nietzsche lived in the 19th century

by Azarin Sadegh on

and he died in 1900. Plus, Thus Spoke Zarathustra is not really about Zoroastrians...

My favorite Nietzsche is Beyond Good and Evil which was written after Thus Spoke Z. and I found easier to read. I thought Thus Spoke Z.'s voice was too biblical/koranic, and so i found it a bit irritating...But it is my personal taste,.because I didn't like either Coelhoe's The Alchemist (a copy from Hesse's Sidartha) or even Gibran's The Prophet.   

Have a nice reading!



Intresting stuff

by Iraniandudeee on

I really wanna read the zoroasterian one. Was this published during the nazi reign?



"You should not be afraid of the ideology but of the determination and will of the men behind it"


"A drowning man is not troubled by rain" Persian Proverb


Very interesting

by Raoul1955 on

Thank you Darius Kadivar for posting these materials.  Very thought provoking, informational and also enlightening.
Back in high school I enjoyed reading Nietzsche among others.


azarin, nur, dk

by humanbeing on

azarin, nietzsche's 'relationship' with womanhood is complex. there are his texts, and there is his life. i'm a bit of a gossip, so i used to read about that a lot. he was incurably smitten by lou andreas salome, and equally heartbroken, at least by some accounts. i can believe this impressionistically because of the totality of his nature in anything he did. of course, i wasn't there. she was a very very interesting woman, much much more than say alma mahler with whom she is sometimes compared. and if i were a thinking guy at the time i would probably also go for someone like that rather than your run-of-the-mill barbie doll.

nur, my nietzsche peak was also in high school; for many it's an adolescent rite de passage more elegant than acne, you know going to coffee shops, smoking 'more' cigarillos and reading nietzsche. it seems you were more serious. i always kept a soft spot for him, even when i went in the same direction you describe. i'm still an 'aflatuni'. in fact, i don't have time to read lots of beautiful modern literature, because i have made (a somewhat maniacal) resolution to read all of plato, in greek. i don't have that much time left, i'm not young. (nietzsche i'm sure read it all, in greek, as a young man, and not only understood all the philosophy, but was inspired by it not to be merely a thinker, but a writer of beautiful texts.)

one sideline that has always fascinated me is whether plato was translated into persian in late antiquity, and whether any of those dialogues survived in their original textual form.

dk, this is a really interesting thread! it managed to pull me away from the friday domestics. thanks again.


I love this book

by Nur-i-Azal on

I first read Nietzsche's Thus spake Zarathushtra when I was 15 years old in the 10th grade of highschool. Soon after that I read his Beyond Good and Evil, then Ecce Homo, then the Antichrist. The first of Nietzche's books became my virtual Bible all throughout highschool and I would regularly quote passages at teachers and school administrators alike on a regular basis. I read and re-read Thus spake Zarathushtra again and again and again and again. Then I supplmented my readings of Nietzche with the Ruba'iyyat of Omar Khayyam whilst also getting more and more interested in Plato at the same time. This was all in my early teens.

In university, however, my teen obsession with Nietzsche's ideas thankfully got shaken out of me, thanks to Plato, and so by the sophomore year of my undergraduate philosophy degree I was a fully converted Aflatuni. Although I disagree with his general nihilism these days, yet from time to time I still go back to Nietzche.


Azarin Sadegh

Nietzsche's abyss

by Azarin Sadegh on

Thank you so much Darius aziz for this great blog! Finally! After reading a few "time-wasting" blogs...finally something thought provoking!

Yes, I totally agree that Nietzsche is a totally misunderstood philosopher...still, I never got over his ideas about the women. But I respect him the most as the one announcing the death of god. Plus, I think Existentialism owes him a lot.

I really liked Nietzsche's last days video...He looks as if he is really looking at his famous abyss...unaware that the abyss is already looking back at him, and probably waiting for him! 

Thanks again for de Botton's videos...I'll watch them all!


we all learn from each other

by humanbeing on

i've got to finish some work and cook up a storm for 15-20. got 12 bottles of bubbly, in case there isn't enough food. it will clear my head.

maybe for homework we'll take out 'fish/wanda' from the dvd rental for old times' sake, when we used go out to see movies in a real cinema without worrying about babysitters.

thanks to the blog and its followup, i'll be reading 'also sprach zarathustra' again, but not a light weekend read... 

have a great weekend

Darius Kadivar

Anahid Jaan and humanbeing Jaan

by Darius Kadivar on

Glad you found this blog interesting and educational.

I actually often learn from them as I post them.

So I am anything here but a teacher ...

Warm Regards,


Anahid Hojjati

Dear DK, thanks for your article on this great Philosopher

by Anahid Hojjati on


I have this thick book on Nietsche that I was in midst of reading more than one year ago and guess what activity put an end to my reading? Yes, blogging for IC.  But "AAz shokhi gozashteh", I learned from your blog.  That happens with many of your blogs, I mean the learning.  


your welcome dk

by humanbeing on

the new avatar is inspired by your repeated calls for transparency. believe me i wouldn't have done it had there been no situation that called for extreme action. i hate being photoed. at least here i took advantage of the opportunity of context, and got to hide behind a hat and glasses.

i saw 'fish/wanda' years ago, so it's from clouded memory. i think when he hangs on to the plane at the end, but also when he does some callisthenic exercises before seducing jamie lee curtis. but i'm sure he does nietzsche.

don't bow down, i'm not so knowledgable in nietzsche. just the bits that have to do with gossip about him, and the greek philology stuff. and i don't understand philosophy, it's the writing style (like wtih camus) taht interests me.

best wishes

ps it was an honour to stand up for you (though you could manage brilliantly on your own, it was good you didn't stoop to react). there were lots of people who were offended and felt the same, i just acted out with 'chutzpah'

Darius Kadivar

humanbeing Jaan Love your New Avatar ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

And thank you for your insightful and knowledgeable comments as always.

I would love to find the Wanda/Kevin Kline reference you are speaking of on youtube but could not find it. If you do please post here.

I bow to your knowledge on nietzsche. I have to admit I have limited knowledge as to the pertinence or not of his ideas but know a little about it's far reaching influences ( not always understood as Ricky Gervais smartly and humorously observed).

Good to be able to put a human face on you too and hope to see more of you in a near future ;0)

Warm Regards,


PS: Also thank you for your kind support on another blog ... ;0)


thanks for the nietzsche stuff, dk

by humanbeing on

a clip from 'fish called wanda' of kevin cline doing nietzsche stuff wouldn't be out of place here either.

it is true that nietzsche's view of zarathustra is personal, and his philosophical writing doesn't forfeit the lyrical and poetic. talking about romantic cv, he had really good taste: lou salome, which is just another feather in his cap. sorry, i'm subjective. so was he.

anyway, just to add my two cents, nietzsche's personal, subjective outlook on zarathustra was influenced, among other things, by his intellectual background. his 'day job' was as a classical philologist. the topic of his doctoral thesis was the sources of diogenes laertius, the ancient greek biographer of (more) ancient philosophers. nietzsche's thesis was written in latin, so it is not as accessible as the rest of his writings. in fact, most classicists haven't bothered to read it. i have only read it about 5 years ago.

diogenes laertius' composition, written in greek,  (3rd century a.d.) begins with a discussion of the origins of philosophy, whether it was from the east, or was it a greek invention. he of course claims it is greek. he subjectively, and following the tradition of his own (very nationalistic) culture, roots for his own nation. but that's not the point.

there are some interesting comments on the primacy of the magi and zoroastrians among non-greek thinkers. he describes their belief system, equating 'oromasdes' (i.e. ahuramazda) with zeus, and 'arimanius' (i.e. ahriman) with hades.

i'm sure nietzsche in some sense wanted to 'argue' with diogenes, giving primacy of philosophy not to greeks, but to pre-greeks, at least symbolically (or as a romantic fantasy?). he was an enfant terrible. a very creative one.