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  1. What is the will?
  2. Techniques for using the will.  

What is the will? It is the function by which we direct and sustain our attention, imagination, and actions toward a given goal.

  1. 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.
  2. 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 the will.

  1. 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.  
  2. 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.).
  3. 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.")
  4. 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 be blue).


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