A Sudden Question

A few minutes ago I got following message in gmail chatbox by H. I was only able to convey my astonishment(Oh!) at the suddenness of this question, and next moment she was offline leaving me alone to grapple with the question:

H: so let me ask you this?
What is something that doesn't kill you makes you stronger?
Answer me whenever you have time! I shall wait for your reply
4:24 PM

It(this question) came so suddenly that I felt as if I was caught unaware.

I would like to begin my answer with a question.

Why would anyone like to know about such a thing that if it fails to kill me makes me stronger?

It can be said that such a statement is capable of arousing genuine interest. I would like to begin a dialogue with the questioner on how this question came to her mind and what prompted her to ask it so suddenly and in the first place what is it that can inspire anyone to ask such a question.

Leaving this speculation about the origin of the questin aside and defering it to a later date, lets begin to encounter it.

My gmail custom message is this quote by Nietzsche:

Everything which does not kill me, makes me stronger.

It occurs at the very first pages of his book Twilight of the Idols.

Nietzsche's remark is valid for every man and is a general statement about the healthy state of a powerful individual. But every individual also has his/her own specific life history and so is mine. So, the spirit of the question asks this:

What is it in my life which, if it fails to kill me, makes me stronger.

If anyone so far has threatened to kill me, it is my solitude. And it has indeed made me stronger. My self is that isolated and highly contested space which constantly undergoes the tension between feelings of a primordial aloneness and and multiple armies in clash with one another. Such armies constitute my own libidinal energy, my inherited habitus or my social unconscious, a hordes of oppressive political, social and cultural institutions and around me and a countlessnumber of deep and violent inscriptions made by these institutions on my entire psycho-physical and spiritual self.

I can understand now that it is not only my solitude which has threatened to kill me as I have asserted a little while ago, but the constant conflict of these massive forces set eternally against one another. If I am a mere space, which witnesses all the wars and resulting devastation, then I am unable to do anything. Then, what is that which is saving me from such a formidable danger, and not just saving, but making me stronger day by day as I go through this life-threatening storm?

I simply can't dare to answer such a question, H.?


  1. What are you trying to become stronger from?
    What external and internal threat? Who is the enemy here and who is at threat?

  2. I am not trying to become stronger from anything.
    I am just describing whatever is happening to my self.
    Whenever something tries to kill my self, it ends up becoming stronger. Thats a description of how things happen. Its not a result of my desire.
    I am the enemy and my self is at threat.

  3. oh i love this quote
    and this is true most of the time.

  4. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"

    Answer... L I F E.


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