The Nature of Will & Desire

Will is an expression of desire.

It's possible to want to do something and not do it. But, on the other hand, it's hard to imagine doing something unless there are at least some remnants of a motive of desire, either want or fear, repulsion, or aversion. Of course, this doesn't mean one has to act on every desire. Instead, everyone's experience tells him that desire can be restrained, restricted, or completely inhibited, and the will can not only resist the urge of desire. Still, it may even act to restrain and drive it away.

Thus, we can analyze the nature of will from three different angles. On the one side, there's a blending of will and desire, so close that it's hard to tell them apart. Nevertheless, desire is one of the phases of the will. Next, in the second phase of will, we see the manifestation of what we call "choice" - the ability to choose between the things we want. Many consider this the will's primary function.

Usually, people use their will this way to make choices of this kind based on their feelings and emotions.

Volition or action is the third phase of will. Following the decision made as a choice, the latent power of desire is released, not only because of the relative strength of the several desires presented to the will but also because of the "mental paths" of the mind. An action's strength depends on the force of its desire or its necessity.

Attention is the eye of the ego. It is the chariot driver who steers the wild horses of the mind and directs it either towards or away from one thing or another. Unfortunately, most people allow the horses to run away with the chariot. With training, you can accustom them to your mastery. One of the best ways to administer this type of training is to will yourself to do something you dislike. Ideally, you should choose something that doing would be to your benefit in some way.

In this way, you learn to control yourself through your willpower. As soon as you have mastered this skill, half of the battle will be over because your mind will have learned how to submit to your command.

1 comment

This makes alot of sense to me for sure. This is how I feel about meditating. I really want to master it, but on the other hand when I do finally sit down and do it I fall asleep. So then because, I feel, I keep failing at it…I then give up. If I actually put some real time and effort (ie. WILL) I can master the “horse” so it doesn’t run away with the chariot. (falling asleep)

Sara July 31, 2022

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