So Nietzsche was not insane in the last phase of his life. It was the very conclusion of his negative approach. An intellect can only be negative. It can argue and criticize and be sarcastic, but it cannot give you any nourishment. Nietzsche could get no nourishment from any negative standpoint, so he lost his God and he lost his consolation. He became free just to be mad.
And it is not only Friedrich Nietzsche, so it cannot be said that it was just an accident. Many intellectual giants find themselves in mad asylums or commit suicide because nobody can live in a negative darkness. One needs light and a positive, affirmative experience of truth. Nietzsche demolished the light and created a vacuum in himself and in others who followed him.
If deep down you feel a vacuum, utter emptiness with no meaning, it is because of Friedrich Nietzsche. A whole philosophy has grown in the West. Nietzsche is the founder of a very negative approach to life.
Søren Kierkegaard and Jean-Paul Sartre; Marcel, Jaspers, and Martin Heidegger – all the great giants of the first half of the twentieth century – were only talking about meaninglessness, anguish, suffering, anxiety, dread, fear, angst. In the West this philosophy has been called existentialism. It is not. It is simply non-existentialism. It destroys everything that has consoled you.
I agree with this destruction because what was consoling man were only lies. God, heaven, hell – all were fictions created to console man. It is good they are destroyed, but you are leaving man in an utter vacuum. Out of that vacuum existentialism is born. That’s why it only talks about meaninglessness: “Life has no meaning.” It talks about no significance: “You are just an accident. Whether you are here or not does not matter at all to existence.” And these people call their philosophy existentialism. They should call it accidentalism: you are not needed, just by accident, on the margin, somehow you have popped up. God was making you a puppet, and these philosophers from Nietzsche to Jean-Paul Sartre are making you accidental.
And there is a tremendous need in man’s being to be related to existence. He needs roots into existence, because only when the roots go deep into existence will he blossom into a buddha, will he blossom into millions of flowers, will his life not be meaningless. Then his life will be tremendously overflowing with meaning, significance, blissfulness; his life will be simply a celebration. But the conclusion of the so-called existentialists is that you are unnecessary, that your life has no meaning, no significance; existence is not in need of you at all.
So I want to complete Friedrich Nietzsche’s work. It is incomplete: it will lead the whole of humanity to madness – not only Friedrich Nietzsche, but the whole of humanity. Without God, you are certainly free – but for what? You are left with empty hands. You had empty hands before too, because the hands that looked full were full of lies. Now you are absolutely aware that your hands are empty and there is nowhere to go.