OFF THE BEATEN TRACK


to go into the possibilities of command. These possibilities are given only by a penetrating preview that is of the essence of the will to power; for as the will to more-power, the will to power is in itself perspectival toward possibilities. Making such possibilities open and available constitutes the condition, characterized as follows, for the essence of the will to power: that as the condition which is antecedent in the literal sense of going before, it exceeds the condition originally mentioned. That is why Nietzsche writes (The Will to Power, no. 853, from 1887/88): "But truth is not to be taken as the highest value, and even less as the highest power."

The creation of the possibilities for the will, possibilities which enable the will to power to free itself for itself in the first place, is for Nietzsche the essence of art. In accordance with the metaphysical concept of art, Nietzsche does not, under the rubric "art," think exclusively or even primarily of the aesthetic realm of artists. Art is the essence of the willing that opens perspectives and takes possession of them. "The artwork, where it appears without an artist, e.g., as body, as organization (Prussian officer corps, Jesuit order). To what extent the artist is only a preliminary stage. The world as an artwork that gives birth to itself" (The Will to Power, no. 851, from 1888).

The essence of art, grasped on the basis of the will to power, is the fact that art excites the will to power toward the will in the first place and spurs it to willing above and beyond itself. Because Nietzsche, in a faded echo of the ζωή and φύσις of the early Greek thinkers, often refers to the "will to power" (understood as the reality of what is real) as "life," he is able to say that art is "the great stimulant of life" (The Will to Power, no. 851, from 1888).

Art is the condition, set in the essence of the will to power, that enables the will, as the will that it is, to climb to power and to heighten power. Because it sets such a condition, art is a value. As that condition which takes precedence in the hierarchy of the conditions for securing durables and which therefore precedes all conditions, art is the value which first opens all the heights to be climbed. Art is the highest value. In comparison with the value of truth, it is the higher value. One summons the other, each in its different way. Both values determine in their value-relationship the unitary essence of this will to power that intrinsically sets values. This will is the reality of what is real, or, taking the word further than Nietzsche usually cares to employ it: it is the being of beings. If metaphysics is obliged to speak beings in respect to being and thereby and in accordance with its nature to specify the ground of beings, then the ground-thesis of the metaphysics of the will to power must state that ground. The thesis declares which values are set essentially


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Nietzsche's Word: “God Is Dead” (GA 5) by Martin Heidegger