What is the will? It is the
function by which we direct and sustain our attention,
imagination, and actions toward a given goal.
The "directing" is not a forced effort; it is simply the
decision to attend to one phenomenon and not a different one. The
decision is enacted via the selection of a single thought, image,
energy tone, or action; this selection directs our attention.
The "sustaining" is the reiteration of our original direction.
For example, we could sustain the will by re-affirm our self-talk
phrase whenever we think of the subject.
Techniques for using
Archetypal field-work. For example, I used the following
techniques when I quit smoking.
Self-talk. For example: "I enjoy breathing fresh air"; "My
lungs feel healthy and strong"; etc.
Directed imagination. For example, we visualize ourselves
in situations without a cigarette. We visualize healthy lungs.
We see ourselves exercising with vigor and confidence.
Energy toning. For example, we focus our attention on the
freshness in our lungs, the delight in experiencing clean air,
the pleasurable sensations of a healthy body, the pristine
scent of our clothes, the serenity when we are not
over-stimulated by nicotine, etc.
The "as if" principle. We act "as if" we are a non-smoker;
for example, we do not possess cigarettes; we do not spend time
in places (e.g., bars) where we would tend to smoke; etc.
We enhance our awareness of our intuition. Intuition is
essential in the use of will:
Intuition suggests the goal toward which our will is to be
directed. Intuition is the means by which we are aware of the
dynamics of spirit. (The dynamics can include factors such as
the soul's choice to explore a particular archetype; or the
residual charge of elements within an archetypal field, from
previous encounters with that archetype.) Spirit's dynamics are
translated into the material worlds, where we discern that a
particular material goal would satisfy those dynamics.
Subjectively, we experience the dynamics as our "desire" or
"motivation" to commit a particular act; then, we engage our
will to "willingly" focus our attention upon the act.
Intuition suggests the elements for our archetypal
field-work. For example, it can recommend a particular
statement to be used in self-talk.
Intuition reveals the conflicting drives, and it suggests
means for resolving them. While our human self might cherish
its stated goal (in contrast to the conflicting impulses), the
soul cherishes the entire dynamic of the situation -- the
exploration of archetypes, the need of existing elements to
discharge their charge, and the goal (to the extent to which
the goal furthers that exploration, and that discharge, and the
ego's need to create a functional human existence, etc.).
We can strive to be more aware of the dynamics of the will.
For example, what is happening psychologically when we "will" to
close our eyes, or cross our legs?
What is the source of this impulse to act?
How do we decide whether to enact the impulse? Do we make
the decision consciously (i.e., willfully), or do we default to
a habitual response?
How do we enact the impulse? What is the series of thoughts
and actions by which the impulse is acted out? (This
progression of impulse-to-action is explored in the chapter
regarding "thought meditation.")
We can explore the related issues:
Willpower. Willpower is the incorrect use of the will,
whereby we violate the dynamics of will in various ways (as
explained in the chapter regarding discipline).
Free will. Refer to that chapter.
God's will. When we debate whether humans have free will,
we might also debate whether god has free will. (Of course, we
can also debate whether god exists at all; the subject is
explored in the chapter regarding god.) I speculate that each
soul is composed of spirit; for the purposes of my metaphysical
model, I speculate also that god is composed of spirit.
Thus, just as the soul "surrenders" its will to the dynamics of
spirit, perhaps god does the same -- merely finding its own
place within the interplays of this life-substance. Or perhaps
god has an autonomous will by which it initiates action (e.g.,
the cyclical creation, maintenance, and destruction of the
universe -- and the decision that, for example, the sky should
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