Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
I suppose Nietzsche would have loved this
am 10. Juni 2016
I read this book on recommendation by a Catholic priest. I am not quite that religious myself, but the guy had a good reputation in our community, so I esteemed him and thought him to be an intelligent and well-meaning man.
This book is about anything but religion: it’s the exact contrary. It practically wants to convince you that you “only have to believe in yourself” and you will reach the highest of heights. You won’t need God any more. To me it seems like “Also spoke Zarathustra” (which was written by Friedrich Nietzsche, the man who formulated the statement “God is dead”) in a diluted version, easy enough to be understood by children and teenagers.
Seagull Jonathan, the books’ protagonist, is a creature that is always alone. He shuns his family because he feels superior to them and searches the company of “others like him” in order to “perfection himself” and then to lecture them. God does not exist. Nor does Paradise. Only he and his little “quest for perfection”.
What a wonderful idea, “just believe in yourself” is! How easy for you, never mind the rest of the world! Just do what you think is right. Someone who takes this message may feel encouraged and convinced to make an important decision in his life disregarding the points of view and the possible consequences for the ones around him, and then feel elated when he at first has success. Later, when things start to go wrong because the “ordinary, foolish” people around him just won’t get it that he of course has only the best intentions for everybody, he won’t allow himself to see this perhaps as a warning from above, from God who may be trying to tell him that he is erring. No, the fault is merely on the side of “unawakened souls” who don’t have such wonderful visions as the one who “believes in himself” has.
I wonder how many lives this book has destroyed, how many people it has made choose the wrong path, how many it has made unhappy together with the ones around them, because all it is about is, plainly, this: pride - the worst capital sin.
Who declares that this book is one of his favourites is not wise but deluded and blind. If someone told me he loves it, I would run away from them as far as I can.
A healthy self-esteem and the wish to purse your own dreams are of course not wrong in themselves; they become wrong if you only mind yourself and do not realize that you are a part of human community and that above all, you are just a creature of God like everybody else. You are neither more nor less than the others around you. You may believe to be wiser, better and stronger than others; but you could be dead wrong. Time and the outcome of your life will perhaps tell you - but if you are still adamant at “believing in yourself” you will never get it.