If something is necessarily so the case then in all instances of the circumstances this holds. Hence necessity is a generalization.

On combating determinism. From the fact that something happens regularly and predictably, it does not follow that it happens necessarily. That in every determinate case a quantum of force behaves and determines itself in a single way does not make it an ‘unfree will’. ‘Mechanical necessity’ is not a fact: it is we who have interpreted it into what happens. We have interpreted the fact that what happens can be expressed in formulae as resulting from a necessity that governs what happens. But from the fact that I do a particular thing, it by no means follows that I do it under compulsion. Compulsion in things cannot be demonstrated at all: regularity proves only that one and the same happening is not another happening as well. Only our having interpreted subjects, ‘doers’, into things makes it appear that everything which happens is the consequence of a compulsion exerted on subjects – exerted by whom? Again, by a ‘doer’. Cause and effect – a dangerous concept if one conceives of a something that causes and a something upon which there is an effect. (A) Necessity is not a fact but an interpretation. (B) Once one has understood that the ‘subject’ is not something that effects but merely a fiction, many things follow. It is only after the model of the subject that we invented thingness and interpreted it into the hubbub of sensations. If we cease to believe in the effecting subject, then the belief in things that exert effect, in reciprocal effect, cause and effect between those phenomena we call ‘things’, falls as well. This, of course, also means the fall of the world of atoms that exert effect, the assumption of which always presupposes that one needs subjects. Finally, the ‘thing-in-itself also falls, because at bottom this is the concept of a ‘subject-in-itself’, yet we have understood that the subject is fictitious. The antithesis of’thing-in-itself’ and ‘appearance’ is untenable; with this, however, the concept ‘appearance’ collapses too. (C) If we give up the effecting subject, then also the object on which effects are exerted. Duration, conformity with itself, being, in here neither in what is called subject nor in what is called object. They are complexes of what happens which appear to have duration in relation to other complexes- for example due to a difference in tempo (rest-motion, fixed-slack: all these are oppositions which don’t exist in themselves and in fact only express differences of degree that look like oppositions when viewed through a particular prism.) There are no oppositions: we have only acquired the concept of oppositions from those of logic, and from there wrongly transferred it to things. (D) If we give up the concept ‘subject’ and ‘object’, then also the concept ‘substance’ – and consequently its various modifications, e.g., ‘material’, ‘spirit’ and other hypothetical entities, ‘the eternity and immutability of matter’, etc. We have then rid ourselves of materiality. Put in moral terms: the world is false – but inasmuch as morality itself is a piece of this world, morality is false The will to truth is a making fixed, a making true and lasting, a removing from sight of that false character, its reinterpretation into something that is. Truth is thus not something that’s there and must be found out, discovered, but something that must be made and that provides the name for a process- or rather for a will to overcome, a will that left to itself has no end: inserting truth as a process to infinity, an active determining, not a becoming conscious of something that is ‘in itself’ fixed and determinate. It is a word for the ‘will to power’. Life is founded on the presupposition of a belief in things lasting and regularly recurring; the more powerful the life, the wider must be the divinable world – the world, so to speak, that is made to be. Logicising, rationalising, systematising as life’s resources. In a certain sense man projects his drive to truth, his ‘goal’, outside himself as a world that is, as a metaphysical world, as a ‘thing-in-itself’, as an already existing world. His needs as a maker already invent the world he’s working on, anticipate it: this anticipation (‘this belief’ in truth) is his mainstay. All that happens, all movement, all becoming as a determining of relations of degree and force, as a struggle . The ‘well-being of the individual’ is just as imaginary as the ‘well being of the species’: the former is not sacrificed to the latter; regarded from a distance, the species is something quite as fluid as the individual. The ‘preservation of the species’ is only a consequence of the growth of the species, i.e., of overcoming the species on the path to a stronger type. As soon as we imagine someone who is responsible for us being thus and thus, etc. (God, nature), attributing our existence, our happiness and misery to it as its intention, we corrupt for ourselves the innocence of becoming. We then have someone who wants to achieve something through us and with us. That what appears to be ‘purposiveness’ (‘the purposiveness infinitely superior to all human art’) is merely the consequence of the will to power played out in everything that happens that becoming stronger brings with it orderings which resemble outlines of purposiveness that what appear to be purposes are not intended; instead, as soon as a slighter power has been overwhelmed and made to work as a function of the greater one, there is an order of rank, of organisation, which is bound to produce the appearance of an order of means and ends. Against what appears to be ‘necessity’ – this only an expression of the fact that a force is not also something else. Against what appears to be ‘purposiveness’ – this only an expression of an ordering of spheres of power and their interplay. Logical determinacy, transparency, as criterion of truth (‘All that is true which is perceived clearly and distinctly’, Descartes): this makes the’ mechanicist hypothesis of the world desirable and credible. But that is a crude confusion, like the simplicity of truth). How does one know that the true nature of things stands in this relation to our intellect? – Could it not be different? That the hypothesis which most gives the intellect the feeling of power and security is the one it most favors, values, and consequently calls true? – The intellect posits its freest and strongest capacity and skill as the criterion of what is most valuable, consequently true… ‘true’: from the perspective of feeling: what most strongly stimulates feeling; from the perspective of thinking: what gives thinking the greatest feeling of force from the perspective of touching, seeing, hearing: what calls forth the strongest resistance. Thus the highest degrees of effort arouse for the object the belief in its own ‘truth’, i.e., reality. The feeling of force, of struggle, of resistance, prompts the conviction that there is something which is being resisted.

Notebook 9, autumn 1887 paragraph 91


NLP differs from positive thinking. Although many NLP practitioners prefer good feelings over feeling bad; and many NLP techniques (but not all) imply that feeling good works better, NLP also works with negative stuff.  In the end if something works one can make a NLP strategy out of it and if that strategy involves negativity then there is nothing within NLP that forbids it. Even if most NLP practitioners might not like it. Also there are many NLP strategies that are neutral when it comes to feelings. There is a NLP strategy for boiling an egg, but it has really little to do with feeling good or bad.

Hedonism, pessimism, utilitarianism, eudamonianism: these are all ways of thinking that measure the value of things according to pleasure and pain, which is to say according to incidental states and trivialities. They are all foreground ways of thinking and naivetes, and nobody who is conscious of both formative powers and an artist’s conscience will fail to regard them with scorn as well as pity. Pity for you! That is certainly not pity as you understand it: it is not pity for social “distress,” for “society” with its sick and injured, for people depraved and destroyed from the beginning as they lie around us on the ground; even less is it pity for the grumbling, dejected, rebellious slave strata who strive for dominance – they call it “freedom.” Our pity is a higher, more far-sighted pity: – we see how humanity is becoming smaller, how you are making it smaller! – and there are moments when we look on your pity with indescribable alarm, when we fight this pity –, when we find your seriousness more dangerous than any sort of thoughtlessness. You want, if possible (and no “if possible” is crazier) to abolish suffering. And us? – it looks as though we would prefer it to be heightened and made even worse than it has ever been! Well-being as you understand it – that is no goal; it looks to us like an end ! – a condition that immediately renders people ridiculous and despicable – that makes their decline into something desirable! The discipline of suffering, of great suffering – don’t you know that this discipline has been the sole cause of every enhancement in humanity so far? The tension that breeds strength into the unhappy soul, its shudder at the sight of great destruction, its inventiveness and courage in enduring, surviving, interpreting, and exploiting unhappiness, and whatever depth, secrecy, whatever masks, spirit, cunning, greatness it has been given: – weren’t these the gifts of suffering, of the disciple of great suffering? In human beings, creature and creator are combined: in humans there is material, fragments, abundance, clay, dirt, nonsense, chaos; but in humans there is also creator, maker, hammer-hardness, spectator-divinity and seventh day: – do you understand this contrast? And that your pity is aimed at the “creature in humans,” at what needs to be molded, broken, forged, torn, burnt, seared and purified, – at what necessarily needs to suffer and should suffer? And our pity – don’t you realize who our inverted pity is aimed at when it fights against your pity as the worst of all pampering and weaknesses? – Pity against pity, then! – But to say it again: there are problems that are higher than any problems of pleasure, pain, or pity; and any philosophy that stops with these is a piece of naivete.

Beyond Good & Evil paragraph 225


Nietzsche is of course well known for his nihilism. NLP sounds like the exact opposite of nihilism. Nevertheless, Nietzsche’s nihilism has been often misunderstood. Nowadays we would classify Nietzsche’s thinking more as pragmatism than nihilism. The best definition of pragmatism has been given by the philosopher Stephen Stich: any theory that values other things besides truth or instead of truth is a form of pragmatism.

NLP is a form of pragmatism. Inspired by William James and John Dewey, one of the most important ideas within NLP is that NLP practitioners don’t care about the truth and are only interested in what works. So that they can do of what works and less of what isn’t working.  Critics of NLP have often held this against them, but this is only because these critics are not pragmatist themselves.

I. Nihilism as a normal condition. Nihilism: the goal is lacking; an answer to the ‘Why?’ is lacking. What does nihilism mean? – That the highest values are devaluated. It is ambiguous: (A) Nihilism as a sign of the increased power of the spirit: as active nihilism. It may be a sign of strength: the force of the spirit may have grown so much that the goals it has had so far (‘convictions’, articles of faith) are no longer appropriate – for a belief generally expresses the constraints of conditions of existence, submission to the authority of the circumstances under which a being prospers, grows, gains in power . .. On the other hand a sign that one’s strength is insufficient to productively posit for oneself a new goal, a ‘Why?’, a belief. It achieves its maximum of relative force as a violent force of destruction: as active nihilism. The opposite would be the weary nihilism that no longer attacks: its most celebrated form Buddhism: as passivist nihilism. Nihilism represents a pathological intermediate state (what is pathological is the tremendous generalization, the inference that there is no meaning at all): whether because the productive forces are not yet strong enough or because decadence is still hesitating and has not yet invented the resources it needs. (B) Nihilism as a decline and retreat of the spirit’s power: passive nihilism: as a sign of weakness: the force of the spirit may be wearied, exhausted, so that the goals and values that have prevailed so far are no longer appropriate and are no longer believed – that the synthesis of values and goals (on which every strong culture rests) dissolves, so that the individual values wage war on each other: disintegration that everything which revives, heals, soothes, benumbs comes to the fore in a variety of disguises: religious, or moral or political or aesthetic, etc. 2. Presupposition of this hypothesis: that there is no truth; that there is no absolute nature of things, no ‘thing-in-itself’ – this is itself a nihilism, and indeed the most extreme one. It places the value of things precisely in the fact that no reality corresponds and has corresponded to that value, which is instead only a symptom of force on the part of the value-positers, a simplification for the purposes of life.

Notebook 9, autumn 1887

NLP Master Practitioner

The difference between the NLP Practitioner and the NLP Master Practitioner course ought to be that in the NLP Practitioner you get all kinds of recipes to learn how to use NLP, but that in the NLP Master Practitioner you are learned to let go of these recipes.

A few theses. – Insofar as the individual is seeking happiness, one ought not to tender him any prescriptions as to the path to happiness: for individual happiness springs from one’s own unknown laws, and prescriptions from without can only obstruct and hinder it. – The prescriptions called ‘moral’ are in truth directed against individuals and are in no way aimed at promoting their happiness. They have just as little to do with the ‘ happiness and welfare of mankind’ – a phrase to which is it in any case impossible to attach any distinct concepts, let alone employ them as guiding stars on the dark ocean of moral aspirations. – It is not true, as prejudice would have it, that morality is more favourable to the evolution of reason than immorality is. – It is not true that the unconscious goal in the evolution of every conscious being (animal, man, mankind, etc) is its ‘highest happiness’: the case, on the contrary, is that every stage of evolution possesses a special and incomparable happiness neither higher nor lower but simply its own. Evolution does not have happiness in view, but evolution and nothing else. – Only if mankind possessed a universally recognised goal would it be possible to propose ‘thus and thus is the right course of action’: for the present there exists no such goal. It is thus irrational and trivial to impose the demands of morality upon mankind. – To recommend a goal to mankind is something quite different: the goal is then thought of as something which lies in our own discretion; supposing the recommendation appealed to mankind, it could in pursuit of it also impose upon itself a moral law, likewise at its own discretion. But up to now the moral law has been supposed to stand above our own likes and dislikes: one did not want actually to impose this law upon oneself, one wanted to take it from somewhere or discover it somewhere or have it commanded to one from somewhere.

Daybreak paragraph 109


Gregory Bateson asked Richard Bandler once whether the “I” was a nominalization and Richard answered Gregory: “No, only nouns that stand for a abstract concept are nominalizations. If you put a nominalization into a wheelbarrow there is nothing there.” Gregory answered: “Ah, that is too bad.”

A nominalization is a distortion of reality because it treats abstract concepts as real existing things. A nominalisation  is taking a process and making it into a thing. As part of the metamodel a nominalisation is a distortion of reality because it takes something dynamic (a process) and presents it as something static (a thing). The issue here is that in their nominalized form these processes are less changeable and fluid then they would have been if they were stated in their active form. Denominalizing is the process of breaking down the thing the underlying process. This is mostly done with nominalisation that someone uses and where negative stuff follows on its use. In the case of positive processes it is often a good idea to nominalize them so they become less changeable and more lasting.

What separates me most deeply from the metaphysicians is: I don’t concede that the’I’ is what thinks. Instead, I take the I itself to be a construction of thinking, of the same rank as ‘matter’, ‘thing’, ‘substance’, ‘individual’, ‘purpose’, ‘number’; in other words to be only a regulative fiction with the help of which a kind of constancy and thus ‘knowability’ is inserted into, invented into, a world of becoming. Up to now belief in grammar, in the linguistic subject, object, in verbs has subjugated the metaphysicians: I teach the renunciation of this belief. It is only thinking that posits the I: but up to now philosophers have believed, like the ‘common people’, that in ‘I think’ there lay something or other of unmediated certainty and that this ‘I’ was the given cause of thinking, in analogy with which we ‘understood’ all other causal relations. However habituated and indispensable this fiction may now be, that in no way disproves its having been invented: something can be a condition of life and nevertheless be false.

Notebook 35, May – July 1885 paragraph 35

In a world of becoming in which everything is conditional, the assumption of the unconditional, of substance, of being, of a thing, etc., can only be error. But how is error possible?

Notebook 35, May – July 1885 paragraph 51

The genesis of ‘things’ is wholly the work of the imaginers, thinkers, willers, inventors – the very concept of ‘thing’ as well as all qualities. – Even ‘the subject’ is something created in this way, is a ‘thing’ like all the others: a simplification to designate as such the force which posits, invents, thinks, as distinct from all individual positing, inventing, thinking. Thus, the capacity is designated, as distinct from all individual cases: at bottom, it is action summarized with regard to all the action anticipated for the future (action and the likelihood of similar action).

Notebook 2, autumn 1885 – autumn 1886 paragraph 152


Nonsense is important within NLP. The idea is that as soon as people stop taking their problems so serious their problems disappear.

Pleasure in nonsense. – How can man take pleasure in nonsense? For wherever in the world there is laughter this is the case; one can say, indeed, that almost everywhere there is happiness there is pleasure in nonsense. The overturning of experience into its opposite, of the purposive into the purposeless, of the necessary into the arbitrary, but in such a way that this event causes no harm and is imagined as occasioned by high spirits, delights us, for it momentarily liberates us from the constraint of the necessary, the purposive and that which corresponds to our experience, which we usually see as our inexorable masters; we play and laugh when the expected (which usually makes us fearful and tense) discharges itself harmlessly. It is the pleasure of the slave at the Saturnalia.

Human, All Too Human, part 1, paragraph 213


A number is a nominalization and as such a distortion of reality.

Number. – The invention of the laws of numbers was made on the basis of the error, dominant even from the earliest times, that there are identical things (but in fact nothing is identical with anything else); at least that there are things (but there is no ‘thing’). The assumption of plurality always presupposes the existence of something that occurs more than once: but precisely here error already holds sway, here already we are fabricating beings, unities which do not exist. – Our sensations of space and time are false, for tested consistently they lead to logical contradictions. The establishment of conclusions in science always unavoidably involves us in calculating with certain false magnitudes: but because these magnitudes are at least constant, as for example are our sensations of time and space, the conclusions of science acquire a complete rigorousness and certainty in their coherence with one another; one can build on them – up to that final stage at which our erroneous basic assumptions, those constant errors, come to be incompatible with our conclusions, for example in the theory of atoms. Here we continue to feel ourselves compelled to assume the existence of a ‘thing’ or material ‘substratum’ which is moved, while the whole procedure of science has pursued the task of resolving everything thing-like (material) in motions: here too our sensations divide that which moves from that which is moved, and we cannot get out of this circle because our belief in the existence of things has been tied up with our being from time immemorial. – When Kant says ‘the understanding does not draw its laws from nature, it prescribes them to nature’, this is wholly true with regard to the concept of nature which we are obliged to attach to nature (nature = world as idea, that is as error), but which is the summation of a host of errors of the understanding. – To a world which is not our idea the laws of numbers are wholly inapplicable: these are valid only in the human world.

Human, All Too Human, book 1, paragraph 19