Here it is a simplified version of what permutation means and a brief introduction to the concept. If we toss a coin, the most probable outcome of heads or tails coming up is 50/50, (50%) That means, since the coin has only two sides, a throw of 100 times will probably result in heads and tails coming 50 times each. This is only "probability," though. There is no absolute way of knowing for sure. To simplify the example, let us examine only 10 throws. According to the statistical probability we are very likely to get 5 heads and 5 tails. But from experience we know it is also possible to get all 10 heads and 0 tails; or 9 heads and 1 tail; or 8 heads and 2 tails; or all the other combinations of heads and tails up to 1 heads and 9 tails; and 0 heads and 10 tails. That is why mathematics can only give us the statistical "probability." Taking each of these combination of heads and tails and performing some mathematical operation would then give us the famous "bell curve" which shows the percentage probability of each combination of heads and tails. The 50/50 heads to tails ratio would have the highest probability at the top of the dome, right on the top of the bell. The 9 heads to 1 tail and 9 tails to 1 heads would be at each wing of the bottom of the bell curve, having the lowest probability of occurrence. We are still left without any way of knowing with "certainty" what the next coin throw will produce. It can be a head or tail. Not only that, but the next 10 throws can be all heads and 0 tails, or all tails and 0 heads. Put bluntly: we have no way of knowing what the future holds. That precisely, is the reason why fortune-tellers, Tarot card readers, the entire horoscope industry, the Las Vegas slot machines, the horse races, the dog races, and all other forms of gambling will always be in business.

Regardless of the odds, the gambler keeps hoping, and betting that the next few coin tosses or dice throws will bring a series of results favorable to him. Occasionally, this turns out to be true, and the gambler wins, proving all the statistical probability wrong! In the case of the dice, since it has 6 sides, each face has a one 6th probability of coming up on top. That is a smaller percentage than the coin. That is only 16.66% as compared to 50%. But when we apply the mathematical operation on the combinations of the dice, we still end up with the bell curve. The 16.66% for every face on the dice coming up will be on the top of the bell, but all other combinations will be spread on the bell curve from the top all the way to the bottom fringes. To simplify the theory of eternal recurrence further and give one more concrete example, suppose we have a necklace with an arrangement of a variety of colored beads on a string. These colored beads can be arranged in a sequence: red, blue, yellow, orange, green, purple... etc. Suppose that we keep a record, and change the sequence of colors after wearing the necklace every day. Since there are a limited number of beads on the necklace, we soon find that we will have exhausted all possible sequence of colors, and would need to repeat a sequence previously used. If we continue this for a long time, we will have pattern after pattern repeating again and again. That, in short, is the sum total of the doctrine of "eternal recurrence," and its proof. The colored beads would represent "matter" while the string in which the beads are threaded represents "space."

From this simplistic "pseudoscientific" explanation, one is expected to arrive at that horrendous conclusion that we must have lived this same life many times in the past, and everything goes on and on in an ever repeating "single" circle. So we have no alternative or power to do otherwise, but to come again and again and relive this very same life over and over again through all eternity. That is the basis of the doctrine or philosophy, if you will, of "Eternal Recurrence." God can then be seen as a child with a single film, audio or videocassette, and who replays that single tune or film again, and again, for eternity. What poverty of imagination! What total pauperism of the intellect that this doctrine should be advocated by a mind as rich and as fertile as that of Nietzsche! This betrays a linear mind and a limited view. The above "proof" of Eternal Recurrence, so well camouflaged in the terminology of western thought, painted in heavy "pseudoscientific" makeup, and supported by physics and statistical probability to boot, on closer inspection, begins to give off a strong smell of curry and vindaloo. It reminds us of that dinner we had many years ago in an Indian restaurant. The only difference being that in the Indian menu it was referred to by another name -- Reincarnation/Karma. Those two names too, recurrence and reincarnation begin to sound more and more alike. Has that German chef, Nietzsche, moved from traditional baking of chocolates and cakes to the cooking of spicy, Oriental dishes? The reincarnation/karma combo, usually marinated with Madras curry, is a traditional Indian dish, served with rice!

There are several forms of reincarnation in many Hindu religions. In Buddhism too, a person is born and reborn dozens of times until he learns to master his emotions and desires. Life is believed to be for the purpose of overcoming the desires of the body. Through a series of births and deaths a person finally achieves Nirvana, when the cycle of births and deaths ends, and one is born no more. Nirvana is supposed to be a state of bliss where one has reached the state beyond birth and death. In some Hindu religions, one can be reborn as an animal, an insect, a worm... etc. One Indian saint told his disciples that he would come as a rat in the next life. There is an Indian temple in his honor where they still continue to feed and protect rats of the neighborhood daily for fear that one of them might be the reincarnation of that saint. There is another Hindu god, Hanuman, who was incarnated as a monkey in his last appearance. They have a temple for him too, where they feed monkeys daily, protect and care for them in the environs of the temple. The law of Karma too, fatalism, is about the powerlessness of man to change or do anything about his fate, that whatever is written is what will take place, and one lives one's life only in the way that the law of Karma dictates.

So, Nietzsche's Eternal Recurrence is just a form of reincarnation and karma. Along with the book of Manu, Nietzsche must have come across one or more of the many kinds of Indian religions, absorbed their teachings, and regurgitated some of those thoughts in his writings under the new name -- Eternal Recurrence. So much for originality! This is an old shoe, so common in many Oriental thoughts, and the quote above, '"O Zarathustra, who you are and must become" behold you are the teacher of the eternal recurrence -- that is your destiny! That you as the first must teach this doctrine...' is simply not true, and has no basis. This doctrine is an ancient concept, taught in various forms by many Oriental teachers throughout the ages, and Zarathustra was not the first to teach this doctrine. Why then does Nietzsche make the claim of being the first to teach it? The answer is simple. It was customary in those days for European travelers to come to Africa or Asia, ask native guides to show them the way to the source of a river, or to the top of a mountain, and then turn around and claim it as their discovery. They would then name it after themselves or their king or queen. Nietzsche's claim of originality and of being first to teach this doctrine must be seen in that light. He could claim of introducing it to Europe. That is all. There is nothing original about it.

Regardless of the odds, the gambler keeps hoping, and betting that the next few coin tosses or dice throws will bring a series of results favorable to him. Occasionally, this turns out to be true, and the gambler wins, proving all the statistical probability wrong! In the case of the dice, since it has 6 sides, each face has a one 6th probability of coming up on top. That is a smaller percentage than the coin. That is only 16.66% as compared to 50%. But when we apply the mathematical operation on the combinations of the dice, we still end up with the bell curve. The 16.66% for every face on the dice coming up will be on the top of the bell, but all other combinations will be spread on the bell curve from the top all the way to the bottom fringes. To simplify the theory of eternal recurrence further and give one more concrete example, suppose we have a necklace with an arrangement of a variety of colored beads on a string. These colored beads can be arranged in a sequence: red, blue, yellow, orange, green, purple... etc. Suppose that we keep a record, and change the sequence of colors after wearing the necklace every day. Since there are a limited number of beads on the necklace, we soon find that we will have exhausted all possible sequence of colors, and would need to repeat a sequence previously used. If we continue this for a long time, we will have pattern after pattern repeating again and again. That, in short, is the sum total of the doctrine of "eternal recurrence," and its proof. The colored beads would represent "matter" while the string in which the beads are threaded represents "space."

From this simplistic "pseudoscientific" explanation, one is expected to arrive at that horrendous conclusion that we must have lived this same life many times in the past, and everything goes on and on in an ever repeating "single" circle. So we have no alternative or power to do otherwise, but to come again and again and relive this very same life over and over again through all eternity. That is the basis of the doctrine or philosophy, if you will, of "Eternal Recurrence." God can then be seen as a child with a single film, audio or videocassette, and who replays that single tune or film again, and again, for eternity. What poverty of imagination! What total pauperism of the intellect that this doctrine should be advocated by a mind as rich and as fertile as that of Nietzsche! This betrays a linear mind and a limited view. The above "proof" of Eternal Recurrence, so well camouflaged in the terminology of western thought, painted in heavy "pseudoscientific" makeup, and supported by physics and statistical probability to boot, on closer inspection, begins to give off a strong smell of curry and vindaloo. It reminds us of that dinner we had many years ago in an Indian restaurant. The only difference being that in the Indian menu it was referred to by another name -- Reincarnation/Karma. Those two names too, recurrence and reincarnation begin to sound more and more alike. Has that German chef, Nietzsche, moved from traditional baking of chocolates and cakes to the cooking of spicy, Oriental dishes? The reincarnation/karma combo, usually marinated with Madras curry, is a traditional Indian dish, served with rice!

There are several forms of reincarnation in many Hindu religions. In Buddhism too, a person is born and reborn dozens of times until he learns to master his emotions and desires. Life is believed to be for the purpose of overcoming the desires of the body. Through a series of births and deaths a person finally achieves Nirvana, when the cycle of births and deaths ends, and one is born no more. Nirvana is supposed to be a state of bliss where one has reached the state beyond birth and death. In some Hindu religions, one can be reborn as an animal, an insect, a worm... etc. One Indian saint told his disciples that he would come as a rat in the next life. There is an Indian temple in his honor where they still continue to feed and protect rats of the neighborhood daily for fear that one of them might be the reincarnation of that saint. There is another Hindu god, Hanuman, who was incarnated as a monkey in his last appearance. They have a temple for him too, where they feed monkeys daily, protect and care for them in the environs of the temple. The law of Karma too, fatalism, is about the powerlessness of man to change or do anything about his fate, that whatever is written is what will take place, and one lives one's life only in the way that the law of Karma dictates.

So, Nietzsche's Eternal Recurrence is just a form of reincarnation and karma. Along with the book of Manu, Nietzsche must have come across one or more of the many kinds of Indian religions, absorbed their teachings, and regurgitated some of those thoughts in his writings under the new name -- Eternal Recurrence. So much for originality! This is an old shoe, so common in many Oriental thoughts, and the quote above, '"O Zarathustra, who you are and must become" behold you are the teacher of the eternal recurrence -- that is your destiny! That you as the first must teach this doctrine...' is simply not true, and has no basis. This doctrine is an ancient concept, taught in various forms by many Oriental teachers throughout the ages, and Zarathustra was not the first to teach this doctrine. Why then does Nietzsche make the claim of being the first to teach it? The answer is simple. It was customary in those days for European travelers to come to Africa or Asia, ask native guides to show them the way to the source of a river, or to the top of a mountain, and then turn around and claim it as their discovery. They would then name it after themselves or their king or queen. Nietzsche's claim of originality and of being first to teach this doctrine must be seen in that light. He could claim of introducing it to Europe. That is all. There is nothing original about it.