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  • In /On the Genealogy of Morals/, Nietzsche compares the feeling of resentment to a toxin

  • or an illness, because he believes that resentment is anti-life and anti-growth.

  • This is a sentiment I agree with, and it's an idea I wanna explore for myself.

  • Why do we become resentful, what happens when we become resentful, and how do we prevent

  • ourselves from becoming resentful?

  • These are some of the questions I wanna grapple with and explore in this essay.

  • So let's start at the beginning: where does resentment come from?

  • Finn, a 28 year old man, is resentful towards women as a whole, but he wasn't always this

  • way.

  • How did he get here?

  • Frustration.

  • A lot of pent up frustration.

  • But how did this frustration accumulate?

  • Rejection.

  • For years, Finn has approached women that he perceived as beautiful and asked them out

  • on dates.

  • And every single time, he received a no.

  • Why?

  • One might have thought he was unattractive, one might have been already taken, one might

  • have simply not been interested, one might have thought he was creepy, so and so forth.

  • Every woman had her own reason.

  • But Finn took the rejection very personally.

  • Why?

  • Think about it: do we take all rejections personally?

  • If I ask a stranger for a ride, do I get mad if they say no?

  • If I go up to someone and say, “give me some money,” do I become resentful if they

  • say no?

  • If I try to flap my arms and fly, do I become resent at the world for not giving me wings?

  • I only become resentful if I feel you're blocking me from what I'm entitled too.

  • The keyword here is /entitlement/.

  • Finn believes women are objects that he's entitled too, and their lack of surrender,

  • their lack of submission, the expression of their own autonomy and freedom is a threat

  • to his perceived entitlement.

  • So rejected entitlement leads to frustration, and accumulated frustration leads to resentment.

  • And so the belief behind resentment, if I'm going to put it simply, is this: /“you shouldn't

  • be in my way”/.

  • Resentment builds when I believe you're preventing me from receiving what I'm entitled

  • to.

  • The resentful eye is always looking for someone to blame.

  • So what happens when we become resentful?

  • Like Nietzsche said, resentment is anti-life and anti-growth, and unfortunately, we've

  • seen stories like Finn play out in real life many times.

  • The resentful want to annihilate that which they resent.

  • They want to destroy the thing they think is blocking them from getting what they believe

  • they deserve.

  • Resentment is, at best, a win-lose game.

  • One person has to lose so the other can win.

  • But more often, resentment is a lose-lose game.

  • The feeling of resentment doesn't feel good, so if I carry it with me, I'm already losing.

  • And if I act on my resentments, it's a loss for the people who I act it out on.

  • So how do we prevent ourselves from becoming resentful?

  • In order to defuse all resentment in the mind, this idea has to be true: /there's a place

  • in this world, and a way to that place, for everyone which can't be denied by anyone

  • except for themselves./ In other words, it's not possible for anyone to truly get in your

  • way.

  • That's the idea that would have to be true for resentment to never build up in the mind.

  • If we return to the example of Finn, this may mean that he believes, no matter how many

  • times he's rejected, that there is a right person out there for him.

  • And there's a way to find and connect with that person, but he just hasn't found the

  • right way yet.

  • And now you may be wondering: is it true?

  • Is there a place in this world, and a way to that place, for everyone which can't

  • be denied by anyone except for themselves?

  • Can I construct a scientific experiment to prove that it's true?

  • What would that experiment look like?

  • Let's return to our example.

  • Imagine Finn lives out his whole life, and on the very last day, he says, “It was true.

  • There was a woman for me out there, and it took awhile, but I did find my way to her.

  • No one was ever in my way but myself.”

  • So in this scenario, Finn has proved the belief true.

  • Now, let's consider the alternative.

  • Finn lives out his whole life, and on the very last day, he says, “It's false.

  • There was never a woman for me in this world.

  • I never found her, and I'm not the one to blame.

  • Women are to blameand the Men they choose to be with!

  • They're the ones in my way!

  • The World is to blame for my failure!”

  • In this scenario, has Finn proved the belief false?

  • No.

  • What if the right girl did exist but he just never found her?

  • So what does all of this mean?

  • Earlier I said this belief had to be true to clear the mind of resentment: /there's

  • a place in this world, and a way to that place, for everyone which can't be denied by anyone

  • except for themselves./ And this is a belief that you can prove true for your own life,

  • but you can /never/ prove it false.

  • And I think that means, ultimately, that resentment is a choice.

  • And this a point I really wanna hammer home.

  • When you read the manifestos of people like Finn, people who do really atrocious things

  • to the world, you can see they're resentful.

  • And they often say something that amounts to, “things could've been different, if

  • you, the world, didn't make me resentful.”

  • And I think this part is false.

  • No one can make you resentful.

  • You have to decide whether the world has a place for you, a place which no one can deny

  • you but yourself, and then you have to dedicate your whole life to that search.

  • And at the end of your life, you can say that you never found that place, but you can never

  • say that it didn't exist.

  • Because it's impossible to prove that it doesn't exist.

  • Or you can reject the idea that there's a place for you in this world, and you can

  • become resentful towards the people you think stand in your way, but then you have to be

  • honest with yourself: this is a choice you are making for yourself.

  • No one can make you resentful but yourself.

  • Resentment arises from a voluntary abandonment of faith in the world—a voluntary abandonment

  • of hope.

  • And although I talked about resentment in a very specific context, I could've used

  • hundreds of different examples.

  • I could've written about a woman who becomes resentful towards men, or a boss to their

  • employee, or an employee to their boss, or a parent to their kid, or a kid to their parents,

  • and so on.

  • But I believe the mechanics of resentment operate the same in all situations: a voluntary

  • abandonment of faith in the world leads to entitlement, rejected entitlement leads to

  • frustration, and an accumulation of frustration leads to resentment.

  • So the key to stopping resentment is to never lose hope in the world.

  • So let me leave you with this.

  • From 1942 to 1945, Viktor Frankl was imprisoned in various concentration camps.

  • In these years, not only had he lost his freedom, but he lost his father, his mother, and his

  • wife to these camps.

  • Witnessing all the cruelty, humiliation, and atrocities around him, Frankl had every reason

  • to lose hope.

  • But he never did.

  • In fact, in his bestselling book /Man's Search for Meaning/, he wrote, “everything

  • can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedomsto choose one's

  • attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.”

  • He reaffirmed the idea that even in the worst of circumstances, when all seems lost, we

  • can still hold on to hope, and we still retain a power that no one, and I mean /no one/,

  • can rob us of.

  • Even in the darkest situations, we hold a light within us that can ward off the all-consuming

  • shadows of resentment, but we must choose to harness that light, and we must choose

  • not to surrender to the shadow.

  • As always, this is just my opinion, understanding, and interpretation of some of Nietzsche's

  • ideas, not advice.

  • If you liked the video, please consider liking the video.

  • And if you're looking for another Nietzsche video to watch after this one, I recommend

  • watching my videoNietzsche - Beware of People Playing the Victim”.

  • I'll put a link to it in the description below and in the top right of the screen right

  • now.

In /On the Genealogy of Morals/, Nietzsche compares the feeling of resentment to a toxin

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Nietzsche - Don’t Let Your Darkness Consume You

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    Summer posted on 2022/02/25
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