"Great" mode vs "Normal" mode

23rd April 2015

I recently found this quote on cat-v.org.

‘The Great Man … is colder, harder, less hesitating, and without respect and without the fear of “opinion”; he lacks the virtues that accompany respect and “respectability”, and altogether everything that is the “virtue of the herd”. If he cannot lead, he goes alone. … He knows he is incommunicable: he finds it tasteless to be familiar. … When not speaking to himself, he wears a mask. There is a solitude within him that is inaccessible to praise or blame.’ – Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

This article is not really about the quote but I will get some of my terminology from it.

I will compare two different "Modes" of existence: "Great" mode and "Normal" mode. Of course whether something is "Great" is a matter of opinion and the concept of "Normal" is immaterial so I will put these in quotes when I refer to them.

"Great" mode

I find that in order to have the mental clarity, short term memory and focus to do any difficult intellectual task, I need to clear my mind of unnecessary garbage. This puts me into "Great" mode.

In "Great" mode I am more likely to:

Pros of "Great" mode:

Cons of "Great" mode:

"Normal" mode

For socialising I find that "Normal" mode is best. Normal mode basically means filling my mind with as much garbage as possible to give me "Normal" things to talk about and increase my robustness against perturbation.

In "Normal" mode I am more likely to:

Pros of "Normal" mode:

Cons of "Normal" mode

Switching between modes

I think the two modes are on a continuum, so I can be half-way between the two modes. However it takes a couple of days to fully go from one mode to the other. I can't for example just be in "Great" mode in the morning and "Normal" mode in the evening.