'Power' and Sauwelios

So, now I think your concept of “power” revolves around something other than sustainability/stability.

There. I think you are talking about fire. Please tell me what kind of power and higher type you are speaking of.

Indeed I do not agree with Satyr on the primacy of survival: in that, I find him a little bit too Schopenhauerian. Nietzsche describes the will to power as “an insatiable desire to manifest power; or as the employment and exercise of power, as a creative drive, etc.” [The Will to Power, section 619.]

In a recent post, the aforementioned “Moody Lawless” writes the following:

That was rather axiomatic, with few examples.

I’ll set before all a reminder, in case they forgot:
Nietzsche is not God.
As such, Nietzsche is not all-knowing, and is not perfect.
Some, but not all of his words are correct.

An addiction is a perfect example of the will-to-life.
Reproduction is another example of this kind of will-to-life.
In fact, this is a will to repetition,
And I will explain:

Any formed and defended habit will wish to repeat itself eternally. Life consists of replication on all scales [micro and macro]. When or after a person experiences a certain degree of appealing pleasure [whether that be empowering or weakening] they will seek to re-experience such pleasure again-and-again. Thus, for example, single concepts and single genres of music are continually produced, remade and re-fed to the public, along with a few new spices or twists [in order to keep it more stimulating].

Any species which did not try to repeat itself eternally would have gone rapidly extinct, whilst the species whom did want to repeat or live forever would have lasted longer, and may even be present today. Food and sex are the main drives all sorts of beings have. Life is made of ritualistic repeats of feeding, sleeping, reacting, etc. The will to repetition is blatantly obvious to me, and it exists in relation to the cyclic nature of reality. [Planetary rotations, seasons, rain-fall, etc. these are all natural cycles, as is life itself.]

As far as power is concerned, and as far as power has been obtained at the top of the food-chain apart from man:
Elephants, Rhinos and Whales are examples of the most powerful animals. More powerful than predators, too.
These species are not so self-abusing, self-enslaving or strife-ridden, etc.
Elephants and especially the Whales are highly intelligent, in some ways they are smarter than the monkeys or the apes, and also, and they are sociable/peaceable.
I’d also say Dolphins are superior to Sharks, because even though the Dolphin is far less dangerous, it is also far more intelligent. It’s life is less robotic and more complex.

These are just a few examples of the fact that violence & predation does not actually produce or sustain “superiority”.

If they do not have any sense of survival, they would not have fear. If they did not have any sense of spreading the genes, they would not have any sexual desire. If they did not have any teleology, then they would not have any meaning, so they would not have any purpose, and so they would not have any goals, values or priorities in their existence [but they do have such, so there].

Imagine a glass jar striking against a block of titanium. After that, which one remains unbroken?
The titanium is more stable, more firm, and thus, it can outlast [and is perspectively stronger/more powerful than] the glass.
Many persons have wanted peace and long-life. Yes, many humans have wanted this.
That is also an example of a will-to-stability.
Stability is quality.
Brutish or extreme power is simply quantity of release.
Release is a loss, and so, releasing blood is not wanted in any normal case.

Darwinistic superiority and power is a temporal concept based upon flexibility, adaptiveness, stability, etc.

There are certain logical fallacies which some humans have gotten caught in.
One of the main ones is:
“If it has defeated me, it must be superior to me.”
But even accidents, mistakes, defects, disasters and diseases can defeat people.
That does not mean such things are “superior”.
It only means such things are either unsurpassed or destructive.

Nietzsche was the one that formulated a response to Schopenhauer’s Buddhist detachment, and nihilistic pessimism, but this does not negate the primacy of survival.
It just makes man the overcoming entity; the one that has the possibility of going beyond his own nature, as simple survival machine.

This overcoming goes through a nihilistic destructive phase, as the organism, becoming aware of itself, goes into despair which cleanses it from its past.
Nihilism is the phase of the mind detaching itself from its own nature.
The process is painful and dangerous.

The primacy of survival is exhibited in the fact that one cannot exude power or “flourish” unless one first preserves what one has or what one is.

Defense precedes expansion and a high-rise building, reaching for the heavens, requires a deep or a wider base to support its ascent.

This is why “higher” life forms or the genius or the greater spirit is more vulnerable.
The ascent leaves it entirely exposed.

I see every growth as a product of excess energies.
The unity, attempting to become, first protects and upkeeps what it has, before it gathers its energies to grow further.

Addiction is dependence, an expression of an “impotence to power”, as Nietzsche calls it. Reproduction follows from the will to power, as does nutrition. It is not a will to repetition but a will to growth.

Nietzsche does indeed say that the sole form of duration is in cycles. But these are not cycles of stability, but cycles of increase and decrease, of growth and decadence. As for a planet rotating around a star, that is a case of a will to power (a force) strong enough to keep it moving through the periphery, but weaker than the force that keeps it there. The seasons: a limited increase in temperature allows nature to do what it wants, to grow, but with the subsequent decrease in temperature (which follows from the aforementioned rotation), it must shrink again.

But dolphins are not pacifistic. There is a lot of strife - and fighting - between males, for example. I guess this goes for elephants too, considering the tusks.

I do not agree with Moody that there is no teleology in that. I think power is an end. But the following may explain why he says there is no teleology:

“But the ‘will to power’ is not the ‘will to survival’ you describe, which latter is purely teleological, and to ascribe it to the rest of nature is purely anthropomorphic.
Nietzsche’s coinage is a [failed] attempt to get away from such teleological thinking and probably ends up as a tautology, as what is it that wills power? Power itself wills power.”

The will to power is actually the will to the power to will to power etc., or the power to will to the power to will etc. (all will is will to power). It is a circle, and a circle can have no teleology (no end, just means to means to means to means).

Why? To what end? Was this a positive will-to-something or a negative not-will-to-something (to violence and death)? Was it not an expression of weakness? Of being struck against titanium, so to say?

Does that not mean they are superior (in power) to those people?

Nietzsche was ignorant of Buddhist doctrine, because there was so little translated (and even that was often questionable) in his time. So anything he ‘formulated’ regarding it wasn’t worth much.

I’m not buying this idea that will-to-power holds supremacy over will-to-life.

One might even say the will-to-equilibrium and calm repose is what widely different phenomena from inanimate systems to human beings truely strive for, the conditions of the equilibrium point differing as to the particular constitution of the phenomena and environment encompassing it.

In Nietzsche’s library:

Oldenberg, Hermann
Buddha. Sein Leben, seine Lehre, seine Gemeinde (Berlin: 1881)

Check him out:


There is no will to life, as that which does not live cannot want to be alive, and that which lives is already alive.

Check this out:


“Oh, the calm of emptiness!”

What completely biased propaganda. By the way, you didn’t respond to my contention that Nirvana be simply a mental state, and perhaps a pathological state - why is that?

I do not want to be unfair to Zen Buddhism (from Chan, a Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit dhyana, as in “dhyana yoga”), or to Vajrayana Buddhism, but Nietzsche’s critique of orthodox (Gautamic) Buddhism is spot-on.

I would not argue against your saying the same thing about The Laws of Manu, by the way. Of that work, he read the Jacolliot “translation”. It is not a Buddhist text, however.

I was thinking more along the lines of the will-to-life being a will to sustain life, to keep the fire from extinguishing. And I also think the barrier betwen inanimate systems and animate systems has been broken down.

Sustain life for what? What meaning does such a “sustained” life have? What pleasure is there in this maintenance?

That duration works in cycles already shows that it is not a case of “sustenance”. One grows whenever one can; when one is threatened, for instance, by cold and scarcety (e.g., in winter), one resists one’s complete annihilation. This is not sustenance, though: it is the will to power against another will to power.

If the essence was will to survival instead of will to power, life could never have come about. If sustenance was the basic fact, there would be no change: a Parmenidean universe.

The first sentence of the above quote is why. As you’re ignorant of eastern philosophy, what is it exactly that qualifies you to identify what’s propaganda and what isn’t, lol.

Just as I presume you don’t want to waste your time discussing Nietzsche with those with no background in his writing, I follow the same rule of thumb about eastern philosophy, with limited exceptions…and this isn’t one of them.

I’d say that all beings want to sustain their own equalibrium, yes. That is why their bodies will make more warmth when it is too cold, or why they will seek to go some place silent when another place has too much noise, etc. And then, after the fundamental compensations for imbalance, we are sometimes left with over-reactive survival instincts, which must then balance themselves out through mindful life-experience.

I’m not so ignorant as you may like to think. Indeed, I know that people (like you) like to believe in the supernatural qualities of Nirvana and the like. Oh, and the blessedness - “the calm of emptiness” - can really be attained, alright: it is just that it is a matter of psychological-physiological states and techniques - if you at all believe in a physical world. If you do not, you may indeed be God, or a butterfly dreaming of being a human being. But then this discussion is useless, as you may also be dreaming me up.

“Eastern philosophy.” Well, I’ve studied Vedanta (Vaisnava and Saiva), Himalayan shamanism, tantra, Vajrayana, and some Zen. But by “eastern”, I take it that you do not so much mean Indian as well as Chinese and Japanese philosophy (not to mention Middle Eastern philosophy). I do admire Shinto, by the way. Shinto and Buddhism are more or less the Paganism and Christianity of Japan. Another case of a nihilistic religion winning ground on a life-affirming one (but also, being overcome thereby in some cases and becoming itself life-affirming, e.g., Zen).

The will-to-power seems as if it were a slave to the master of will-to-life. It’s one way to accumulate the resources needed for prolongation and also keep them from others.

Thus it may seem to you. But then the “will to life” is itself a will to power.

“The power to prolong one’s life”; “the power to keep resources from others”; etc.

There isn’t any grand design or ideal that biological life is evolving to become. You cannot try to describe “power” with moral or ethical prescription, as if power is a thing that needs to be evaluated in order to be significant, appropriate, or proper.

In Darwinian terms, which were appealing to Nietzsche (because it was popular new science, obviously), power is the expression of an organism adopting in ways through conditions which are advantageous to it.

It is a reductionalism basing all voluntary action, all intentional action, to a cost/benefit ratio between “emoting” behavior that causes pain, if it is probable that that pain will bring greater rewards worth the temporary disadvantage of being in pain, and emoting behavior that is reserved and habitual…with minimal deviations from a routine, which are unlikely to cause a feeling of exhilaration through power.

What is daring rationally is the combination of intellect and “instinct”, which is really only behavior that is developed through learning in language and mimicking adult behavior. “Instinct” that is not a spontaneous reaction like flinching, for instance, is not a “hardwired” behavior tendency.

This instinct composes the majority of behaviors in people, while the moments of rational daring are expressions of original power and intelligence. So, essentially, the will to power in man is at its best when there is a strong depository of traits, manners, temperaments, and learned behaviors that are unique to that subject, …the “instinct” in the subject at base gives the capacity to be intelligent.

If, in combination with this healthy subject, there are many experiences that require, probably, more attempts at daring to achieve an end and express power- therefore that exhiliration, which is the goal of all emotive behavior, pleasure in short- a cunning develops and an intellect which works critically with much at stake.

Power then is the combination of a healthy organism and an active intellect through extreme “cognitive experienes”,…experiences requiring intense thinking, comprehension, awareness, attention, and with things at stake…and a fear of failing.

Since each person is different, the extent of their greatest expression of power…instinct and intellect…will vary, but each individual has an “optimal” condition in most experiences which aggitate and provoke him into extensive thinking…and therefore power.

Beside this, there isn’t much else that is significant for biological life. Only the individual expression of optimal behaviors in novelty experiences is necessary, if at all. This is the man animal at his best…not for the herd but for the exceptions- these unique individuals having to dare much and becoming clever because of it- and other than this…no other purpose exists.

Is this not enough? I have explained to you the marriage of the passion and the intellect. The passion as learned instinct and behavior, the intellect as leaps in intelligence for coping with extreme or novelty experiences where innovative, clever thinking is advantageous.

Because there is no end or no reason for “everything”, the thought itself of evolution becomes interestingly dull. We must make art out of man and make sure there is always good, healthy people in turbulent conditions.