The Thingness of History

According to Nietzsche, history should never be pursued for the sake of just collecting more knowledge about the past. This means that history is something more to us; something that we can carry every day in our lives; something that others cannot take from within us. It is something that we can hold on to.

Nietzsche has been quoted to say “However far and fast he runs, the chain runs with him”. We can’t escape our memory, we can’t escape our history and we can’t wear it down. That would be the nature of history for me. It is a part of every human being. It is a matter of concern that is distinguished from a living being; something that makes a strong appeal to the individual. This indicates, personally, that the nature of history is a means to have or be capable of having within and naturally being within us.

Let’s take odor as an example. Odor is a characteristic or a predominant quality, a peculiar and essential character that every person has. The natural odor of every person is the smell that he bears or within one always. Meaning, that odor cannot be worn by anyone else. It is essentially in every human being. The same as with the nature of history, history is essentially part of human lives, individually.

When we say pattern of history, we are implying that there is one. When we say pattern, by all means, it is a form or model proposed for imitation, something designed or used as a model for making things, or a discernible coherent system. Our world is a state of things in which chances are supreme. We are living, ever since, in an unorganized world with our hopes, choices and dreams. A world that is a matter of chances that there can be no such thing as a perfect example or model as a whole that to be compared with regarding to the pattern of history. We are living in a confused unorganized state in a distinct form of the world since the beginning. That would be considered our evidence of knowing that we are living in an imperfect world. That by far, no complete peace, freedom and happiness has ever been achieved. A proof of not having the capability of having the quality of holding our lives, cohering a coherent plan for action to have a such organized world to set up an administrative structure for human lives. Therefore, there can be no pattern to history that we are capable of constructing for history or for the world. Our world is marked by gradual changes and a matter of choice. Your body, your emotions, the people around you and world- everything is changing. There are no patterns, no formulas but a constant change. A change that will for sure eventually lead us to an end. An end to our sorrows, needs, aspirations and all. And that is how we need change, a change to improve our life. We are in a process of change, a continuing natural activity or function that will lead us toward a particular result. That would be the only thing that we can be of certain about. We are in a series of action and operation conducting to an end.

Having to know the pattern of history also mean having a perfect kind of world. This would mean that you could have the ability that will cause you to be in a certain position of power to take control of the world. For the reason that you are in possession of exclusive knowledge or information relating to the main essential points of the world. But we cannot have and know that except for fact that the world is too huge and chaotic for someone to find a perfect model as a whole, or an ideal exemplification in general to put one’s life, thoughts and emotions in order. We need to look for it in pieces. We need to look at models in a view of their structures, their achievements, their attainments, accomplishments, or the things they are composed of, something that is useful that we can use in our lives. We should consider that our mind is living in a very huge and extensive world which cannot bare the ways of the world. Therefore, there can be no pattern of history or the world, for the fact that we cannot know it. It is far beyond the capability of human beings.

Human beings’ consciousness about the historical events of the past is the driving force that exerts pressure to every individual to live life. It is the thing that history brings out to every human life; the existence of history in human lives. This quality puts you in a state of being aware of something within oneself. The historical consciousness serves as the aspect or quality that connects us as being or belonging of the same kind. It is a kind in which every individual serves as a vital function to everyone.

History in relation to past serves as the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being to establish the existence of a thing, or to demonstrate as having a particular quality or worth. Because of the things happened in the past, history is created. The things that are for some had just gone for a long time ago and having existed or taken place in a period of time may, for others, and even to everyone, plays a very significant function to every human being. This function serves as the purpose of your life, to direct you on a course or in a direction on going ahead. Past serves to be just part of history; an essential portion or element of history. It is a means to have something less than a whole, but of one of the functional units of history.

Regarding to the relation of time in history, time shapes history. As the time goes on, history goes on. It is the nature of history that stays with us, within us and goes on with us. Such that history never dies. It is alive and has desirable and esteem characteristics.

Our seeking of truths, importance and purpose from the past is the great force that will make every human being seek to find the perfect world. It is the use of history in relation to life. According to Nietzsche, “history so far serves life, serves an unhistorical power. It doesn’t serve the past, it doesn’t serve the future but serves creativity and it serves will”. What he meant was history is not only limited to being understood only within their own contexts and times but as symbols of greatness and achievements. It should be views as an inspiration to oneself that as for Nietzsche is the Monumental History. It expresses something very positive and a faith in humanity. A faith such that for Nietzsche, the great moments in struggle of individuals form a chain in them. In them the high points of humanity are linked throughout millennia. That would be what is highest in such a moment of a distant past be as an inspiration to creativity, to growth and to develop, and also to give us courage. The courage such that for Nietzsche, “the knowledge of the great which once existed was at least possible once and may well again be possible sometimes”. It is when history works for us, it gives us the ability or power to instill with boldness to do great actions.

That would be by so far my own understanding of history regarding to its nature, its pattern, its relation to the past, in relation to time, and its relation to life. History would mean something to us if we only know how to appreciate history. History for life plays a very important thing in our lives. It can mean nothing to us if we won’t be able to find the importance of history and its values to every human kind. We need to work out our ways and bring out the creativity within us. It will lead us to be better in making our choices such that history serves as a set of choices we can rely on for the development of life. History does serve as many significant things in our lives. It serves as an inspiration, a purpose of being in the world, and a will to do great things. But somehow, we should not take history as the only way of living our life to the perfect world. We should bear in mind that we are always in the process of finding our own happiness in life. Through this process, we might be faced with much difficulty. Trying to draw positive conclusions through this may be challenging. We just have to find the beauty in every choice we make. As what the saying goes, “We all make choices in life. The hard thing to do is to live with them”. Therefore, beyond all the choices we made must also be the responsibility for each choice. To be responsible for them teaches us to stand for what we believe in and this will lead us to growth. Those choices will be able to teach us in the ways of life and let us discover that what we thought were ordinary turned out to be so much more.