Our will is a mysterious force and it receives a lot of attention in the personal development realm. We are often told that we can have anything we want, we just have to want it enough. But at what cost?
To understand our will, and the power of it, we need to understand that there is bad will as well as good will.
We often hear people say that it is good to get in touch with our feelings but it is even better to get in touch with our will. Our will can be a strong guiding force in our soul as we saw in the last exercise.
To get in touch with our will we need to become aware of the role is plays in our soul. I quote from my book.
When we look at how the soul interacts with the world we can understand, from a different perspective, the functions of feeling, thinking and willing. Picture yourself looking out the window, or talking to a colleague at work. Impressions and events enter into us in this way:
1. Firstly, we take in the impressions through our bodily senses into the first soul region; in other words, we get an impulse from the outside world. We then have feelings about these impulses.
2. In the second soul region we make something of the impressions by thinking them through, by reasoning. We compare them with past impressions and make something of them.
3. In the third region we become aware of the fullness of the impression and make a decision to act or not. Here we can develop healthy intentions.
It is easy to see that we don’t always follow this pattern. We can take in an impression and not think about it. We simply take it in and do nothing with it and we may say that something escaped our notice, but when questioned about it we do actually have the image of it in our soul. Another possibility is that we take the impulse in and think about it, turning it over in our mind but don’t do anything about it. If this were to become habitual we become stagnant. We can even skip the middle soul region, taking in an impression and then act without thinking.
It is this acting without thinking that is bad will. One of the most common misuses of the will is to impose our will on others. We are not fully aware of what goes on within us when we do this. If we can think it through we realise that we have a desire which becomes a fully-fledged feeling needing to be satisfied. Mostly it is about getting someone to do something that we want them to do so that we will be satisfied and there is little if any consideration about their satisfaction (unless we bribe them of course).
It could be even subtler than this; we could manipulate someone to do something against their will. The sad thing about this is that we rob them of their own will and we damage ourselves by misusing our will. You see will is a force which if used in one way becomes unavailable for use in another way. Think about an army advancing in one direction which leaves it vulnerable in another direction. In a similar way, our will directed at another person could have been put to good purpose within our own being. This is where it gets quite subtle and perhaps difficult to understand but it is at this level that we need to understand the will aspect of our soul. Repeat the previous exercise and observe your will a bit more closely.