Nietzsche — We Are Living in an Illusion

>Truths are illusions which we have forgotten
are illusions. — Nietzsche, On Truth and Lie in a Nonmoral
Sense Are we living in a lie? I look out of my window and see two orange
trees. Orange trees: one concept, two entities. In reality, they’re not the same. One has 203 leaves and the other 106. One has roots that run 6 ft deep and the other
3. One has many branches and the other only a
few, yet we call them the same tree. We simplify the world into useful concepts
and fictions: instead of seeing 100 different trees, we see a single forest. We live in a world of illusions that allow
us to survive and thrive. We never see our family, friends, and loved
ones as they really are; we only see illusions of them. Everyone I know is deeply complex. I say that John is kind and intelligent. But, John is *mostly* kind. He’s unkind if he hasn’t eaten for a long
time. He’s very skilled at mathematics but a terrible
writer. Yet, I simplify him into the concepts of kind
and intelligent because that’s useful for me. To know John better, I would need way more
concepts, but even then, it’s unlikely that I’d ever fully exhaust who he is. The mind uses concepts to give a meaningful
order to the chaotic world, but order is just a useful fantasy—a pretty lie. Whether we use science, philosophy, theology,
or art, the fantasies we construct help us interact with the world. In other words, they give us more power. Let’s return to the orange trees and experience
them as the separate entities they really are. Let’s notice how one smells better than the
other, how the bark of one is smoother and how the fruits of one are larger. Reality seems more complex than our illusion. But even if we updated our illusions—if
we increased the words and concepts we could use to describe the tree—does being aware
of the details matter? If you’re a farmer, maybe. I think that’s what Nietzsche wanted us to
think about when he said Suppose we want truth: why not rather untruth?
and uncertainty? even ignorance? — Nietzsche, Beyond Good & Evil Unless you’re a farmer, ignorance might be
preferable to the detailed truth. Maybe, we only care about truth in so far
as it empowers us: knowing and thinking about all of the details of every orange tree would
just be a psychological burden. But—I can’t help but ask—is it possible
that the mind is actually accessing a deeper kind of truth? Maybe, the mind is separating the signal from
the noise. But, what constitutes signal versus noise? Our values. A farmer that values knowing all the details
of an orange tree will view it differently than a regular person. Well, where do our values come from? Here’s Nietzsche’s view from Beyond Good and
Evil: Behind all logic and its seeming sovereignty
of movement, too, there stand valuations or, more clearly, physiological demands for the
preservation of a certain type of life. — Nietzsche, Beyond Good & Evil For Nietzsche, our values come from our physiological
demands, and what does our physiology demand? Power. It wants to survive and thrive. What does it mean to thrive? To imagine the world a certain way and to
be able to make that illusion a reality. Someone could challenge this idea by saying
that they don’t seek power or want to thrive: they won’t eat or drink anything to prove
this point. But, they would *still* be seeking a kind
of power: they imagine a world in which they prove the idea wrong and they seek to bring
*that* world into fruition—even at their own expense. For Nietzsche, everything we do is an expression
of our will to power. We construct illusions to empower us, and
we only care about truth in so far as it helps us achieve that goal. To the extent that an idea doesn’t empower
us, we should question the degree to which that idea is true. For Nietzsche, something isn’t simply true
or false: truth contains multiple degrees and dimensions. Nietzsche is not saying that truth doesn’t
exist but only that it’s complicated. We might say that the truth of gravity’s existence
remains constant whether we believe it or not. But, does it? Is there any reason that gravity couldn’t
just reverse in the next moment? We predict that it’s unlikely based on our
past experience, but what’s really stopping it from happening in the end? And so, we’re brought back to the quote I
started the video with Truths are illusions which we have forgotten
are illusions. — Nietzsche, On Truth and Lie in a Nonmoral
Sense Our understanding of trees, friends, gravity,
and the world, like all conscious understanding, are illusions that we’ve created to give us
power. And sometimes, they’re illusions that hold
up for long enough that we forget that they’re illusions.

90 thoughts on “Nietzsche — We Are Living in an Illusion

  • Mind and belief influence reality and truth is not fixed in stone. That's why we have the power to change our paradigms and build a life in a much more healthy and productive foundation.

  • A thought to ponder: Blind people cannot see they lack the ability to sense light. People who are not blind can see light. What if us humans lack another sense which shrinks the view of the world around us. Additionaly 3D beings can only observe in the 2D. If you lived in a 2D world you would only see 1D. What if there are 4D beings which observe us that we cannot see?

  • "What does it mean to thrive? To imagine the world a certain way and to have the power to make that illusion a reality."

    I'm not sure. Sometimes our striving after our illusions is what makes us sick.

    Is society an illusion? Are laws an illusion? Is the desire to protect children from abuse an illusion? I mean humans didn't always do that. At least not in any organized way.

    We set up ways of living and then suffer mental anguish when our reality doesn't match our dreams.

  • Perception defines our life, and everything in it. Other than that, we don't know about anything.

  • Being someone who is faithful in The Most High Father I believe the world presented to me through my consciousness is the way He custom designed it for me and wants me to see it.

  • It's almost impossible to explain spirituality to a hungry person.
    This is the next step in self-actualisation and many will have to cover the basic needs before understanding this truth.

  • Abstractions are illusions only if we believe that our abstractions are equal to reality. So Nietzsche was spot on.

  • Or you can stop caring about all the profound stuff, and only care about what effects the important stuff like friends, family, and others. (Also last night I concluded that the world is an illusion last night but it really doesn’t matter anyway)

  • Could somebody formulate theories about why some people disliking this videos ?
    Just want to hear different faces of truth..

  • But we cannot create our own value at the first,we need perspection and intuition to help use get these value and idea. Want to be out of the box, but we are rooted in the box. You can grow as tail as you want to see outside the box, but you are rooted inside the box.

  • I'm sorry, but you presented no actual illusion in here. Everything is based on our definition. Our definition might be incorrect or incomplete, but the actual truth of whatever it is you're talking about is not an illusion. The lemon tree in your example, has been reduced to a lemon tree because of our incomplete definition of a lemon tree. The actual truth of the organism we call a lemon tree is no illusion.

  • If life is an illusion and nothing exists…then that illusion exists…and we (as the observers) exist. If truth doesn't exists then … the Nietzsche's theory ('there is no truth') isn't truth as well. Maybe Objectivism?

  • No, we are not living in an illusion, not everything around us is an illusion. We don’t need these, “illusions” to survive or thrive, (very broad statement by the way). A simplified thought on something is not an illusion either. We simplify things in this world so it’s easier and faster for our brains to digest.

    The only time our physiological demands influence our values is when well, it demands something. Even then it doesn’t completely stomp the original values we had before. So it doesn’t make sense to say our values come from our physiological demands. Would go into more detail but this isn’t the main point of the video anyways.

    He then proceeds to say that everything we do is an expression of our will to power and that we construct, “illusions,” to empower us. We then only care about truth if it helps us achieve empowerment, according to him. With that logic then why would we supposedly need illusions to help us thrive or be empowered? That’s going against what he just said. The whole “illusions empowering us” thing doesn’t even make any sense anyways.

    Now he’s saying that something isn’t simply true or false. Which can be true. Basically there are truths, and real things in this world, and not everything is just an illusion. To say all truths are just illusions is absurd. There are truths that people have and truths that logic has. People’s own truths, whether actually true or not logically, are still truths, it’s their truth, their perspective. Not an illusion. To one person, a bird could be bright red, that’s their truth because they see it as bright red. Someone else could see it as a dark red, thats their truth because they see it that way. They’re both truths, but they may not be logic’s truth. They are all still truths though.

  • The problem I have with the video as a whole is that you don’t address the possibility of this overriding idea to drive people into nihilism.

    Thus I wish the video was longer. That’s a crucial danger to address.

  • Beautiful! This is so profound. You can talk about this topic for hours but even 7 min video is making a difference in the world. Thank you

  • I never liked the usage of 'illusion' in this concept. I like 'model' better

    To be clear, illusion carries the connotation of it being false. Its not false that both trees are trees. It's just a low resolution model. It's still true, not entirely so

  • We see with our eyes come on lol but our brain simplifies it with this noise we've created, could we function without it tho?

  • Illusion isn't a good word for what Nietzsche was writing about, because it suggests visual unreality, when he was writing about cognitive unreality. In fact, Nietzsche's whole point is that there is no fundamental 'truth' that we can get to, so there's nothing that can be covered up or obscured by 'illusions'. Put simply, all he's saying is that reality is woven together entirely from the stories we tell each other. We experience the physical world, and (just like in science) we construct theories (stories) about what we're experiencing and how we can interact with it. Even 'truth' is a story we tell ourselves (though, as Nietzsche says, we have forgotten that it's a story because we've been building our reality on it for so long).

  • Just checking whether I understand the point of the video.

    Does it mean that we perceive whatever that can empower us to achieve the life that we want which is based on our values that come from our physiological need.

    For example, if you are a smartphone enthusiast, you know every difference between each smartphone while a normal user only knows the surface differences such as the different brands.

    What I can't get is how does this contribute to our world view and increase our moral compass.

  • So do all people seek power? I think supreme reality is not made do be seen, if you could see the whole structure you would have a good laugh and go back to your day to day life.

  • We've to free from knowledge whatever we had stored in our mind ( accidently or knowingly ) to know the difference between Reality and Illusion about the our Life
    besides Thank-you ☺️ and I'm grateful always that I've found your channel at this young age

  • The earth is flat and stationary, space is fake and gravity is a state sponsored illusion.
    Buoyancy, Density and Static Electricity work just fine 👍

  • Create your world from within. If it’s magnetic enough, it will draw actual minds and bodies to it to participate in your altered reality. It takes time and dedication to do this but it is very possible. Your mind is key. Take full control of it…unapologetically.

  • It's not an illusion, more like a superficial view on things. We understand things way more deeply than other animals. Except when you believe experience itself is an illusion of course

  • But what if what you say is just an illusion? What if we are learning basic facts that aren't illusions and just ignoring deeper facts for convenience?

  • This world as an Illusion is a concept older than Nietzsche. From the philosophy of non-duality from AdiShankarachrya who lived centuries before him. Máya as AdiShankara called illusion . Which keeps us from understanding ourselves. I hope we separate philosophy from Eurocentrism.


  • It's in all seriousness . The two trees . Are only different by the point you focus on them both and only the differences you focus on that they are . Both trees . Both . Same in one view . Your focus . Is what you consider is an illusion . If that is YOUR FOCUS .. THE ILLUSIONS

  • Hate by sadistic brutal hooligans is as evil as is hate by professionel torturers of animals and humanbeings also to the tortured and as is hate by islamists and rapemob in their hinderance and violence to peace and civilisation, which can't develope by their presence.
    And as warcriminel sadistic brutals phantasise themselves being superior by nothing but brutality and violence, they are hindering peace and justice and a jurisdiction, which got already distorted by warpropagandists and which will have judges, members of police and medicals being charged with organised robbery, falsification of truth, of justice and of identities, in intend to robb them off and to hinder their existence in peace,which will have those judges, medicals and members of police in being charged for organised robbery, crime, theft, falsification of identities and truth in intent to be part of criminel organisations, which will make this judges,members of police, military having criminalised for taking part in robbery and theft and murder and even rape and distortion and falsification of truth and in abuse of laws and rights to have them offended for being part of criminel organisations, which will have to be destroyed by force and by enforcement of deathpenalty to those medicals and members of police also.

  • You are forgetting that the main component to logical perception is consistency and the lack of contradiction. If you are unable to identify your own logical fallacies and root out hypocracy then your belief systems are as close to objective "wrong" as something can be, even though there is no such thing beyond subjective interpretation of events. It's the fact that your approach to systematic thought in said case lends to flimsy structures that fall apart easily.

  • Our categorization of things is not our creation of falsehood (e.i. illusion). When we say that there are two orange trees, we are not saying that those two trees are the same trees, but that those two trees are the same type of tree. This spurious idea of man's inherent illusion through his biological necessity to categorize is not a Nietzschean concept. This is not to say that illusions can not come about through conflations and inappropriate applications of categorization and that there is not a will to power through the acquisition of knowledge, which becomes complete through the analysis of deeper and deeper intricacies. But to interject your own false understanding of categorization and claim it as Nietzschean is deceptive. Truths are not illusions. Things are not wrongly perceived but just often perceived at different levels, which you admit later in the video when quoting Nietzsche. But then you proceed to revert back to your initial claim. You are just demonstrating a misunderstanding of Nietzsche.

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