OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
combination in particular. What "will" means, after all, anyone can know by experience at any time. To will is to strive after something. The meaning of power, as everyone knows today from daily experience, is the exercise of mastery and force. Clearly, then, the will "to" power is the striving to come to power.
The title "The Will to Power," according to this view, presupposes two different elements that were subsequently put together to form a relationship: willing on one side and power on the other. When we finally come to ask about the ground of the will to power, not just to rephrase it but also to clarify it, what emerges is the sense that because it is a striving for something that is not yet a possession, it originates from a feeling of lack. Striving, the exercise of mastery, and the feeling of lack are states (mental faculties) and representational modes that we grasp through psychological knowledge. For this reason, an explanation of the essence of the will to power belongs to psychology.
What we have just set forth about the will to power and the possibility of knowing it is indeed clear, but in every respect such dunking misses what Nietzsche thinks with the phrase "will to power" and how he thinks it. The title "Will to Power" provides a fundamental word of Nietzsche's ultimate philosophy, which can therefore be fairly described as the metaphysics of the will to power. What the will to power means in Nietzsche's sense, we will never understand by means of popular ideas about will and power, but rather only by way of a reflection on metaphysical thinking, and that means also reflecting on the entirety of the history of Western metaphysics.
The following commentary on the essence of the will to power thinks in terms of these contexts. Although adhering to Nietzsche's own explanations, it must also put them more clearly than Nietzsche himself could say directly. Yet what has become clearer to us is only what has already grown more meaningful to us. Something is meaningful if in its essence it grows closer to us. What has preceded and what follows, throughout, is thought from out of the essence of metaphysics, not only from one of its phases.
It is in the second part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra (written during 1883, the year after La Gaya Scienza was published) that Nietzsche first places the "will to power" in the context in which it must be understood: "Where I found the living, there I found the will to power; and even in the will of the one who serves I found the will to be master."
To will is to will to be master. Will thus understood is found even in the will of him who serves. Not, it is true, in the sense that a servant might strive
Nietzsche's Word: “God Is Dead”
GA 5 p. 233