Is Nietzsche's goal -- for the overman and higher type of human being -- just the Buddhist concept of "forgetfulness" or dukkha?

I am asking because it makes sense in my -- somewhat -- Buddhist world view, and the value I place on modernism's revolutionary characteristic.

  • Do you mean forgetfulness in the specifically Buddhist sense of Muṣitasmṛtitā? And I don't really see a connection to Nietzsche's overman, can you elaborate on why you think this idea might be related to forgetfulness?
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 4:27
  • no not at all, i mean in relation 'dukkha' that's all.
    – user46524
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 7:13
  • 3
    It would be nice if you could link a passage from Nietzsche that makes you think this, because I'm having a hard time fitting any notion of 'forgetfulness' in with Nietzsche's thought. Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 16:16
  • Dukka is usually translated as suffering, or anguish. How can you relate that to forgetfulness? Self-forgetting..? Nietzsche is seriously un-Buddhist, though I feel there is a meaningful resonance between eternal recurrance, and rebirth approached as a thought-experiment which in a world of anatta I see as the only way to interpret it.
    – CriglCragl
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 20:44

2 Answers 2


Friedrich Nietzsche was someone who somewhat admired Buddhism and said in his writing: "Buddhism already has - and this distinguishes it profoundly from Christianity - the self-deception of moral concepts behind it - it stands, in my language, Beyond Good and Evil." He saw it as promoting '...nihilistic turning away from life, a longing for nothingness, or for life's 'opposite', for a different sort of 'being' as he describes in in The Genealogy of Morals. The concept that caused Nietzche to believe this isn't the Buddhist concept of forgetfulness, but the concept of Dukkha - a concept that roughly translates to "suffering' or "unhappiness". It refers to the painfulness of the mudane life that can be overcome by following a path of enlightenment similar to Buddha. For this, Nietzsche saw the goal of Nirvana and escaping Dukkha was similar to the concept of the overman - similar to Buddha, achieving Nirvana was be a form of life denying nihilism in a form of inversion. So, to Nietzsche, the goal of the overman was related to Dukkha in that - to Nietzsche - overcoming the pain of the mudane life and transcending it with their own sense of morality to reach a personal form of 'nirvana' (ie. overcoming nihilism) was the main goal of the Ubermensch.


no happiness, no cheerfulness, no hope, no pride, no present, without forgetfulness

I think calling that forgetfulness "suffering" (due to pain, impermanence or conditioned existence) is a strange equation. I suppose we might "suffer" when we forget buddha nature

remember your Buddha Nature. Remember your innate capacity for dignity, understanding and vast compassion. These gifts were born into you. Discover how the beautiful qualities of Buddha Nature can become alive for you, in your heart and the way you live.


but what would that really mean to Nietzsche? What does Nietzsche think we should forget, our essence?

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