Nietzsche’s three metamorphoses looks at human growth and progression through the context of values.

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Abstract: Nietzsche outlines three stages of human development, or the three metamorphoses, in his book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. As spirits we can become the camel, who bears the weight of given values. We can then become the lion, who unleashes a sacred No against these values. Finally, we can become the child who can create and begin again.


Why doesn’t choosing a perfect career solve the problem of meaning in life, or, perhaps put in a better way, finding purpose? I think it doesn’t resolve the problem because of how fragile the concept is… like the video shows, it’s just an external weight that can be pushed off of our backs. If work wasn’t a thing anymore, would choosing a career even be a thing? I agree with Nietzsche in that we cannot simply accept the values of the dragons (the camel), but it would seem ridiculous to show defiance to everything. (the lion) The child is where I fall with. However, I think we are always in a state of flux with these three figures, as adults. I think different circumstances can make us go from the child to the camel or the lion, and vice versa. Also, perhaps Nietzsche isn’t trying to be literal with the concept of the child, but I find it interesting to see how we could go back to our childhoods and think about our dreams, e.g. what we wanted to do or be when we grow up. It makes me think of something that Walter Murch (sound designer for the film Apocalypse Now) said: that children, especially those at age 10—who have the experience of the world but still retain the (taking Nietzsche’s ideas here) child’s curiosity and freedom to create values—are of the age where they best display their purpose. Thinking about it in terms of this video, I think this period in human development (age 10 or thereabout) is a representation of the camel, the lion, and the child. They probably have experienced the values that society and family has placed upon them, are rebelling against those values in the way that preteen and teenage kids do, yet still retain the experiences of value-creation that they had as a child.


tried reading Metamorphosis for the 3rd time the other day… this book is up my alley in so many ways it’s like a good damn art show in here- still, something about the way it’s written always puts me to sleep.