Photo Credit: Time Travel
"What if, some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence—even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!'
Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine'? If this thought gained possession of you, it would change you as you are or perhaps crush you. The question in each and every thing, 'Do you desire this once more and innumerable times more?' would lie upon your actions as the greatest weight. Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?"
Let's take a look at the possible consequences of Nietzsche's theory.
Let's also assume that the life you are currently living is not simply one of the repetitions but is actually your first time around. This means that every moment that passes will be set in stone and repeat itself eternally. How does that sound to you?
If you are a "common man", Nietzsche predicts that this would be the heaviest possible burden. On the other hand, he believed human greatness is achieved when you don't want anything to be different; past, present or future. When you accept and love the present moment, you have won.
(Read: The Power Of Now)
Practically speaking, Nietzsche is then suggesting that you choose the best action at every moment and always ask yourself whether what you are doing right now really is the best you could be doing. If you follow his advice and always act according to this knowledge, I'll bet that you will have a life worth (re)living.
Another point of view
Whenever I experience a déjà-vu, I like to believe that it means I was just given the chance to go back and re-live the event. Somehow, I've broke Nietzsche's theory and gone back in time so I can do better the second time around. That split-second déjà-vu is the fleeting notion that this is occurring.
This is a very empowering exercise. If you were given a second chance, wouldn't you work much harder, be much more daring, and be much better of a person?
You might be thinking: "Well that's pretty far-fetched so why entertain the thought?" But feasibility is not the point of mind exercises like this. The point is if you can get yourself to buy into this belief strongly enough, you now have a powerful tool for elevating yourself to a higher state at any given time, not just when having a déjà-vu.
When you've mastered getting into this mental state when you've had a déjà-vu, what would stop you from applying the same mental process in other situations?
Then you can take this to the next level. Live your entire life like it's your second chance.
Will you do it right this time?