The Abyss

Lae and I were chatting the other day how he got stuck in an uncharted area of DDO that he has still yet to tell me, and he sent me this:

Image courtesy of Laeris


“I stared into the abyss, and the abyss stared back.”

Something about that was SO beautiful and profound to me, and when he told me it was a quote by Nietzche, a German philosopher, I just had to look into it.

The true quote, taken from his work Beyond Good and Evil, goes as follows:

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

After doing some quick research on the meaning behind this… I have come to fall in love with this particular philosophy. The abyss doesn’t necessarily represent an endless chasm of good or evil – rather, it is representative of the reader’s truth.

Exploring the theme of monstrosity and humanity is a common one in many of literature, like Geek Love and Frankenstein. When presented with the moral dilemma of fighting for justice, who is to say that you yourself cannot be corrupted? That you become a monster in the process of it all? It’s something I’ve been watching as of lately, a lot of vigilante/war/action TV shows and movies I’ve been watching with War. Especially Dare Devil. The exploration of understanding where that personal line is for you is precisely what the abyss refers to; when you’ve reached a point to where you can see the end of the abyss, is when it “stares” back at you. It is a beautiful, powerful, and eerily evocative statement that tells you, “the only way to find out is to stare – deeply – into the abyss”. An “endless search for truth”, and when you find that the abyss stares back, that’s when you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

The question is, where is that personal limit for you?

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