In the beginning of the third part of "Thus spoke Zarathustra" there is a paragraph about accidents that befall oneself (german: Zufall) and ownership:

The time is now past when accidents could befall me; and what could now fall to my lot which would not already be my own!

What are the possible readings of the ownership in this case? The German text is a play on the word "Zufall", which can mean both accident (maybe even more befitting: incident) and/or recipiency. Nietzsche possibly does not refer to material ownership here, so what kind of ownership interpretations are more likely?

Here is also the German version for reference:

Die Zeit ist abgeflossen, wo mir noch Zufälle begegnen durften; und was könnte jetzt noch zu mir fallen, was nicht schon mein Eigrn wäre!

1 Answer 1


In short, when you're the master of your life experience, you own every bit of it.

You can read most of Nietzsche's works for his Master-slave Morality. You can of course analyze and synthesize many unsavory, but perhaps informative, takes on the relations between people from related passages. These include the moral bases of the ownership of some people (slaves) by other people (masters). If you want to avoid these, you're better-off treating lines such as the above as underscoring the difference between submission to one's life experience and ownership of it.

In "45. The Wanderer," Nietzsche, then, is speaking encouragement to the understanding of yourself as the sole proprietor of your "summits," "valleys"--your world, your life experience. You are alone in this proprietorship. "And if all ladders henceforth fail you, then must you learn to mount upon your own head."

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