Five Statements on Art

In that regard Nietzsche says, "We have art in order not to perish from the truth" (WM, 822). Again "truth" means the "true world" of the supersensuous, which conceals in itself the danger that life may perish, "life" in Nietzsche's sense always meaning "life which is on the ascent." The supersensuous lures life away from invigorating sensuality, drains life's forces, weakens it. When we aim at the supersensuous, submission, capitulation, pity, mortification, and abasement become positive "virtues." "The simpletons of this world," the abject, the wretched, become "children of God." They are the true beings. It is the lowly ones who belong "up above" and who are to say what is "lofty," that is, what reaches their own height. For them all creative heightening and all pride in self-subsistent life amount to rebellion, delusion, and sin. But we have art so that we do not perish from such supersenst.ious "truth," so that the supersensuous does not vitiate life to the point of general debility and ultimate collapse. With regard to the essential relation of art and truth yet another statement about art, the final one in our series, results:

5. Art is worth more than "the truth."

Let us review the preceding statements:

1. Art is the most perspicuous and familiar configuration of will to power;

2. Art must be grasped in terms of the artist;

3. According to the expanded concept of artist, art is the basic occurrence of all beings; to the extent that they are, beings are selfcreating, created;

4. Art is the distinctive countermovement to nihilism.

At the instigation of the five statements on art, we should now recall an utterance of Nietzsche's on the same subject cited earlier: " ... we find it to be the greatest stimulans of life—" (WM, 808). Earlier the statement served only as an example of Nietzsche's procedure of reversal (in this case the reversal of Schopenhauer's sedative). Now we must grasp the statement in terms of its most proper content. On the basis of all the intervening material we can easily see that this definition of

Martin Heidegger (GA 6 I) The Will to Power as Art - Nietzsche 1