Nietzsche’s Three Metamorphoses of the Spirit | Self Improvement

“Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: how the spirit becometh the camel, a lion, and the lion at last a child.” – Nietzsche

This is a passage from Nietzsches (in my opinion, best) book, thus spoke Zarathustra. The story covers the theme of humanity and it’s chasm between the past and future stages of development. The main theme of the book (and most of Nietzsche’s work) emphasizes continual development and improvement. In fact, the word “surpass” is said 29 times, “surmount” – 11x, and “overcome” 9x – all in this one relatively short read.

The three metamorphoses represent a fable / symbolic take at the stages of growth in life;

Camel- basically represents “accepting”- burdens, experiences, information, customs, expectations.

Lion- realizing your power, capacity for independent thought.

Child- a new, clean slate, future enriched with possibility, capacity for creating values.

This is section 1 in “thus spoke Zarathustra” (a few paragraphs long) right after the prologue. Reading is suggested, but not mandatory.

Questions for the breakout groups:

-Do these 3 stages apply more on a large scale of the totality in life, or repeated at transformation in each area we aim to improve?

-Which level of transition do you feel would be harder?

– 1st transition into camel, 2nd into lion, or 3rd into child? -Is it possible to regress backwards through these stages if we aren’t careful?

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