34. XXXIV. SELF-SURPASSING. (continued)
With a hundred-faced mirror did I catch its glance when its mouth was shut,
so that its eye might speak unto me. And its eye spake unto me.
But wherever I found living things, there heard I also the language of
obedience. All living things are obeying things.
And this heard I secondly: Whatever cannot obey itself, is commanded.
Such is the nature of living things.
This, however, is the third thing which I heard--namely, that commanding is
more difficult than obeying. And not only because the commander beareth
the burden of all obeyers, and because this burden readily crusheth him:--
An attempt and a risk seemed all commanding unto me; and whenever it
commandeth, the living thing risketh itself thereby.
Yea, even when it commandeth itself, then also must it atone for its
commanding. Of its own law must it become the judge and avenger and
How doth this happen! so did I ask myself. What persuadeth the living
thing to obey, and command, and even be obedient in commanding?
Hearken now unto my word, ye wisest ones! Test it seriously, whether I
have crept into the heart of life itself, and into the roots of its heart!
Wherever I found a living thing, there found I Will to Power; and even in
the will of the servant found I the will to be master.
That to the stronger the weaker shall serve--thereto persuadeth he his will
who would be master over a still weaker one. That delight alone he is
unwilling to forego.
And as the lesser surrendereth himself to the greater that he may have
delight and power over the least of all, so doth even the greatest
surrender himself, and staketh--life, for the sake of power.
It is the surrender of the greatest to run risk and danger, and play dice