In this post we will explore the meaning behind the will to power.
Nietzsche entertains the idea that the will to power is an integral part of reality, Everything we do is a form of self-realisation. Contrasted with living for procreation, pleasure or happiness. It is the summary of all man’s struggle against his surrounding environment as well as his reason for living in it. i.e., the main drive force in humans. If we look at organic life, we find that we live in a dynamic and chaotic process of creation and decay, of overpowering and becoming overpowered.
This Will to Power is ultimately decisive for life to develop itself and to survive, or as Nietzsche puts it: for its potential to become what it is. It is ingrained in our deepest self, where the smallest of actions have a will to do something, it is always present – it might be potentially discoverable or paralysed, but there is always a will to power – which we should strive for. As Nietzsche puts it:
“If we succeed in explaining our entire life of drives to one basic form of will, it would be this will to power and nothing else.”
However, the most important concept of the will to power, and the one Nietzsche was most likely to emphasise, is that the will to power is becoming who you truly are. It is pure self-expression and self-overcoming, without being enslaved by things.
The will to power is the true way, not the Schopenhauer approach of the will to survival or the will to knowledge. We need knowledge for a purpose, to live it, not to have it, but to experience it.