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Nietzsche’s Analysis of Ressentiment and Humanistic Psychotheraphy
Ressentiment, being different from resentment or hatred, has a central place in Nietzsche’s analysis. As an existentially creative force beyond a mere emotional state of being, ressentiment brings about a deepening of the inner life and a spiritualization although these come at a cost. The slavish values such as alturism, compassion, solidarity, which become dominant in Europe even if only as a metaphysical horizon, are not as pure as they might seem because they mainly originate from ressentiment. Nietzsche uses his own method of genealogy in search of the dark traces in these seemingly pure and indisputable humanistic values. Ressentiment is not only negative and reactive but is also positive and creative. As Deleuze puts it, ressentiment, being secondary or reactive, reveals itself in preventing active forces from what they are capable of doing. It does not cease to be a reaction even when it overcomes active forces. The ressentiment of the resentful and ordinary men, the domestic animal, against the aristocratic turns back on the resentful and brings about a fictitious relief. The price paid for this relief is the man of conscience who tortures himself all the time. Nietzsche saw ressentiment at the source of the spirit of the European Christian culture. This article aims to elucidate the distinct place of ressentiment in the application of the genealogical method and demonstrate the influence of Nietzsche’s analyses of ressentiment on the existentialist schools of psychoteraphy.

Ressentiment, genealogy, love, humanistic psychotheraphy.

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