Both one's enemies and one's friends challenge and drive one toward the overman. Both are one's equals: those who are below one's level cannot even be one's enemies. The only essential difference between friends and enemies is that one is warmly disposed towards one's friends and ill disposed towards one's enemies. Still, one respects one's enemies, and one's friends may at times be one's enemies and vice versa. This conception of friendship is unlike the one most of us hold. On the whole, we tend to treat friends as our support network and as people we can relax with, not as people who should challenge us and make life difficult for us. Of course, the best of friends will serve as some kind of spur toward self-improvement, but Nietzsche's conception of friendship is closer to the ancient Greek ideal than the one we have today.

Popular pages: Thus Spoke Zarathustra