Sunday, November 06, 2005

How to find willpower in yourself, and where

What follows may seem abstract - and indeed it is. But because the power of the will is intrinsic to every being, a little generalisation is necessary to make clear how absolute the principle of will is.

Most psychology does not discuss the will. Or if it does, it speaks in terms of personal willpower. I understand the notion of will in quite a different way.

The common view of ordinary human willpower is that people can't help being what they are, and so the emphasis on willpower is just judgmentalism. And there is certainly a grain of truth in this view. When people often fail, and there seems no easy cause to pin the failure on, then it is easy to blame willpower. Or lack of willpower. Or whatever.

But the understanding of the will which I intend to present here is an powerful context for growth and evolution.

Will is a universal quality in consciousness. So being in all things, it is also in the divine and also part of divinity. Whereas other qualities of consciousness can be distorted into purely human inventions, the experience of the will has a kind of pristine purity and uplifting power which cannot be put fully into words.

The merely "human" will seems so weak and fallible that it seems like only a delusion often. But what is overlooked about the will is that from little things, big things evolve. And the key processes of personal growth occur in relation to a specific attitude of this ordinary human will. What has been discovered is that by using the small willpower we have wisely, enormous power can be released. Small beginnings can lead to to big events and cosmic endings.

But what are these small actions of the everyday will which release infinite power? They are threefold:

1. Surrender
2. Consent
3. Intention

In practice these may occur at once. You realize that the ego is a paltry thing, and if you are fortunate, also discovers the endless Will of divinity, available to anyone the moment they surrender to it, whether they feel or know it or not.

What follows, then, is an exploratory and contemplative process for myself and others. These are more notes towards meaning than pristine statements of truth. But I can do my best to be clear, and thereby serve to clarify others as well. These seven points are not linear, but simply scaffolds to hang meaning on as it unfolds of its own accord. Returning to them several times is best to observe subjective experience of them at different times and learn.

1. Clarity of will is achieved by observing obstacles unfold. As one observes, clarity of will appears automatically.

2. The experience of the will is an exploratory process that begins with consent to experience it. Consent sets up the conditions for it to occur, but intention brings the experience into the everyday.

3. Without everyday application and patient return again and again to clarity, will tends to slowly effect situations around a person invisibly and unconsciously. When intention and consent are aligned, the learning curve tends to speed up as events gain in power and clarity.

4. The qualities of will are:

relative unchangeability (compared to everyday life)
fixity and stability, and
purity of context.

5. "Great power is supported by purity of context." Contemplating this idea leads one to comprehend the power of pure intention to overcome habit and delusion.

6. "Nothing causes anything. Everything becomes actual as a consequence of potentiality meeting the right conditions and being actualized by intention." Contemplating this idea leads one to comprehend the universal quality of willpower, thus opening the mind to experience it more.

7. Willpower is found in subjective experience, within or without oneself, at anytime, even in dream. The stabilizing, peaceful, wholesome quality of it is universal and enormously powerful. As with most truth, with practice and experience willpower, stability, and purity of context becomes first nature.


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