What does the expression Time is a flat circle” mean in 2021

Time is a flat circle

What does the expression Time is a flat circle” mean 2021

In True Detective, the character of Rust Cohle is remarkable in giving voice to pessimism. Cohle says: “Time is a flat circle”. This is Friedrich Nietzsche’s doctrine of eternal recurrence, as depicted in The Gay Science and Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Cohle expresses this idea in a pessimistic mood and it is meant to magnify the absurdity of life by declaring its endless repetition.

Schopenhauer was an early influence on Nietzsche, and they agreed on certain basic things, including the primacy of a driving will, which generates perpetual conflict with no ultimate resolution and no salvation. Nietzsche’s book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, provides a dramatic narrative depicting the task of life‐affirmation in the face of eternal recurrence.

The portrayal of eternal recurrence in True Detective is not in the spirit of Nietzsche’s conception. It is more akin to Schopenhauer’s response. Nietzsche finds a way to overcome pessimism by affirming life because of its tragic limits.

Time is a flat circle

What does the expression Time is a flat circle” mean in 2021

The character of Rustin Cohle from True Detective says,“Time is a flat circle. Everything we have done or will do we will do over and over and over again- forever.”
This is actually Nietzsche’s Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence, as depicted in The Gay Science and Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
Arthur Schopenhauer’s basic idea is recounted in a pessimistic manner and declares the absurdity of life by declaring it’s endless repetition. For him, the ultimate nature of reality is the will, a blind assertive drive to live and satisfy desires.

We constantly seek what cannot be delivered in life.

There are conflicts between Schopenhauer and Nietzsche but they agree on certain basic things like the primacy of the driving will, which generates perpetual conflict with no salvation or resolution ultimately.
However, one cannot deny that life as we have it, puts a tragic limit on all human interests and aspirations.

For both thinkers, this tradegy is the last word on existence, but they differ in whether life as we have it is worthwhile or meaningful. Schopenhauer’s answer is No and Nietzsche’s Yes.

Refer to this link and you’ll get the entire story-

What did Nietzsche believe when he wrote “Time is a flat circle”?

You need to Google these questions before you post them. If you had, you would have known the following… “The character of Rustin Cohle from True Detective says,”Time is a flat circle. Everything we have done or will do we will do over and over and over again- forever.” This is actually Nietzsche’s Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence, as depicted in The Gay Science and Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” If you need more information Goggle “Eternal Recurrence.”

Well, a flat circle is something timeless on itself, so time is a flat circle as it’s eternally present and not changing, we are, looking, appreciated, and bored of the circumference, as never changing as well, and always there.

Nietzsche probably would like to say we, the humans, are destined to live, and nothing else, in circles, walking around lost, all of us, and each, he separated the individual from the whole in order to analyze us all.

What does the expression Time is a flat circle” mean in 2021

We’re the light, time is … grass in our garden, and sometimes we need one umbrella too, some other a fire, to heat ourselves.

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He was a thinker and any thinker tends to put always himself in the center of his own thinking, as an observer of the environment, the surroundings, and the actions and reactions mostly others to him alike have.

A thinker is a learner, not a teacher.

He learns, yeah, a lot, and teach, yeah, a lot even more and … we try to understand, interpreted, the lessons they leave behind when they, themselves, become part inheritance to the whole, the circle, apart from time.

Always guessing… sometimes we get there.

Is “Time is a flat circle” true?

It is a very thought provoking question and it all depends on how a person perceives this concept of time recurrence.The opinion which I may provide might seem dichotomous to others hence there is no definitive answer to the question.
Nonetheless one of the influential philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche has introduced similar subject through his concept called as Eternal Recurrence which frequently appears in his works.I would like to put forth a passage from one of his works

“Whoever thou mayest be, beloved stranger, whom I meet here for the first time, avail thyself of this happy hour and of the stillness around us, and above us, and let me tell thee something of the thought which has suddenly risen before me like a star which would fain shed down its rays upon thee and every one, as befits the nature of light. – Fellow man! Your whole life, like a sandglass, will always be reversed and will ever run out again, – a long minute of time will elapse until all those conditions out of which you were evolved return in the wheel of the cosmic process.

What does the expression Time is a flat circle” mean in 2021

And then you will find every pain and every pleasure, every friend and every enemy, every hope and every error, every blade of grass and every ray of sunshine once more, and the whole fabric of things which make up your life. This ring in which you are but a grain will glitter afresh forever. And in every one of these cycles of human life there will be one hour where, for the first time one man, and then many, will perceive the mighty thought of the eternal recurrence of all things:- and for mankind, this is always the hour of Noon”

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Therefore I conclude by reasserting my opinion that it has no definitive answer and no substantial evidence. If you would like to read more on them do refer to the following links which have a few books and articles from Wikipedia.

In True Detective, why does he say time is a “FLAT” circle? Why flat?


Rust Cohle

What’s so interesting about this monologue, from which this excerpt is from, is that it applies ideally to a character in a film or TV show. Nic Pizzolatto cleverly puts words into the mouth of this character, Rust Cohle, that perfectly describe his literal existence. A movie or TV screen is flat. The circle refers to the nature of existence as a character in a movie or TV show in that the viewer can hit rewind and watch a scene over and over.

Each time an audience member rewatches a particular scene the characters will do exactly what they did the first time. There will be no deviation, no sudden break from what went before, there can’t be, that’s the nature of Cohle’s, and all the other characters, reality. A reality that’s purely fictional. Yet, to the character(s) this fictional existence is real. That’s how acting works.

I didn’t get this the first time I watched this monologue, but a number of reviewers touched on this aspect of what Cohle was saying, it was like we were all making sense out of it together. This evolving clarity had a circular nature of its own, the process of understanding sparked yet deeper understanding, another indication that Mr. Pizzolatto had written something quite special here.

The words Mr. McConaughey utters may not describe the nature of our reality, but they perfectly capture the nature of Rust Cohle’s reality.

“ . . . Death created time to grow the things that it would kill.” In the context of Cohle’s existence, Mr. Pizzolatto is dead. He uses the time to grow the things he kills. And time in this context can be tracked by the viewer simply by hitting pause. We, the audience, sit out there with a “fourth-dimensional perspective” looking down on characters within a story.

Time, as it applies to the story, doesn’t exist for us. We have our own reality, our own circle, divorced from the circle of Cohle’s reality. We have our own Death which created time to grow the things it kills. Taking the metaphor to its logical conclusion, one is tempted to look up and wonder if there are other beings looking down on us with a “fourth-dimensional perspective”. It’s a compelling thought. And more than a little haunting.

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What does the expression “circle gets the square” mean?

A television show called Hollywood Squares had 2 contestants play tic-tac-toe with a panel of 9 television personalities or celebrities who occupied each of the games positions. The stars are asked questions by the host, and the contestants judged whether the celebrities knew the answer or were making one up and lying. If the contestant picked the celebrity who knew the correct answer they would gain that square. The purpose is to complete the right pattern to win the game. Below is a video showing a single game.

Each contestant was assigned either an O = circle or an X = ex to signify their mark on the board and it would light up in the square under the celebrity. The term in question relates to the person represented by a circle, winning the square in the tic-tac-toe game and the host would announce: “Circle gets the square.”

Below is an updated visual of the tic-tac-toe board with celebrities. The upper left corner, a circle got the square!

Time is a flat circle

While the show has had a few incarnations, today the meaning has translated to you have the right answer when people say flippantly and the circle gets the square. It’s a throwback show, also I’ve seen some people make a hand gesture touching their nose which also means you’ve hit it on the nose, or you have the right idea when they also say, and the circle gets the square. Both meaning you are right and I am saying and gesturing my opinion in agreement.

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In True Detective, Rust Cohle says time is a flat circle. I know that this is from Nietzsche’s theory of Eternal Occurrence, found in The Gay Science and Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but where does Nietzsche actually say “flat circle”?

This is a great question because while Nietzsche wrote this, it isn’t in the same context that one might think. Nietzsche first proposes the eternal recurrence in The Joyous Science as a thought experiment, and then further develops the idea as a philosophy in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

As the character Zarathustra is making his rounds and teaching the people of Europe about his ideas, various “followers” of Z. take his teachings out of context and warp his ideas, and then begin teaching others. At one point, a dwarf is found following Z. and trying to preach the eternal recurrence by repeating upon Z’s shoulder that “time is a circle”. Z.

Time is a flat circle
Time is a flat circle

says that this is wrong. Time is a line, flowing eternally into the past, and eternally into the future, and when we look at the “now”, we come across a gate to pass through, and upon the gate reads: “moment”.

As for True Detective and Rustin Cohle, the “time is a flat circle” comes across as poetic, it is more of a pessimistic view, that there is no meaning to our existence. Whereas Nietzsche wants us to affirm life.

What does the expression “bottom dollar” mean?

Your “bottom” dollar is your last dollar; the dollar at the bottom of your wallet (or pocket, or piggy bank, etc.). “You can bet your bottom dollar” means something like “If you lost everything, and all you had in life was that one last dollar, you could still comfortably bet it on this.” It’s along the same lines as “bet your life.”

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