Hiking with Nietzsche is a tale of two philosophical journeys in the Swiss Alps: one made by John Kaag as an introspective teenager, the other seventeen years later in radically different circumstances – as a husband and father with his wife and small child in tow. Kaag travels to the peaks above Sils Maria where Nietzsche routinely summered, and where he wrote his mysterious landmark work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Both trips are made in search of the wisdom at the core of Nietzsche’s philosophy, yet they bring Kaag to radically different revelations about the human condition.
Entertaining, intimate and thought-provoking, Hiking with Nietzsche explores not only Nietzsche’s ideals but how his philosophy relates to us in the 21st century. It is about defeating complacency, balancing sanity and madness and coming to grips with the unobtainable. As Kaag hikes into the high places, alone or with his family, but always with Nietzsche, he finds that the process of climbing and the inevitable missteps give one the chance, in Nietzsche’s words, to ‘become who you are’.
Even when we think it too late to change, this most controversial of thinkers can inspire the rediscovery of meaning.