Thursday, November 5, 2020
Courage and bravery are an ancient virtue that we need to appreciate and revalue. Courage is the ability to stick firmly to life and the real, and not to borrow one’s beliefs and values from imaginary other worlds or modes of being. Likewise, it is courage not to manufacture one’s beliefs and values by a fearful negation of becoming, uncertainty and suffering, which are the conditions of life and the real. Such courage in the type is represented by Epictetus (the Stoic philosopher who had been a slave) and contrasts it with the Christian slave characterized by faith and hope in a different life. A few sections later, courage is proclaimed as a key ‘future virtue’: the arrogance to understand and not be afraid of the world. This courage is not dissimilar to generosity. Thus, the courageous type of thinker who is aware of the ‘cruelty of the intellectual conscience’, which does not simplify but insists upon multiplicity and perspective. Such courage is a form of self-overcoming. Zarathustra talks about those among his disciples who are too cowardly to change the direction of their willing and thus soon abandon him in favour of their contentment.