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The bearing Will Power has on our lives

People have moments where they stand up to do what is needed of them. An example can be meeting a deadline or quit smoking. We make these efforts many times in a day, for the smallest of matters that have to be done right. Thus when the ‘will’ to do the right things is strong there are good effects.

There are also moments that have had power ‘over’ us. These moments make us uneasy. Sometimes a conversation that we witness or a moment on t.v. or a moment in a movie captivates us so much so that it’s hard to pull out. These moments are my lows where I think I didn’t resist enough. And thus when the ‘will’ to do what is needed is weak there are bad effects.

Clearly then ‘will’ is the most important resource we have. More so than knowledge, wisdom or money for if one does not have sufficient ‘will’ all their knowledge and wisdom put together will not be sufficient to rescue them from the moment.

‘Will’ is the tool by which we can move mountains. Somebody has said that ‘will’ is energy and ‘intent’ is the movement of this energy. But when intention is absent [the will to act won’t exist and thus] the act will not take place. Thus we could possibly get stuck in inappropriate patterns we can’t get out of.

But what is an inappropriate pattern?

A pattern exists when we give the same responses to the same situations. An example can be conversations we have with somebody where these conversations have 'theme[s]' that repeat themselves.

A pattern is ‘inappropriate’ when there is discomfort every time it recurs. So to continue the example an inappropriate pattern would be one where the person we have a conversation with is a bully and you the victim. As long as we can’t resolve this problem the pattern of being bullied will persist.

To get out of this pattern one could simply get support from their teacher or friends. But you can see that to do even this one would need resolve [or ‘will power’].

Thus patterns we have become used to can be broken if we intend [and thus have the 'will'] to break them.

Such is the use of Will Power.

1.To break a pattern one has to identify it. To do this one should detect any recurrent patterns of discomfort they feel. To get out of this pattern the best general strategy I have is to discuss the pattern with somebody. This helps because it is like taking a second opinion in a situation where you get stuck.

2.In the process of breaking patterns we also learn important lessons. These lessons teach us about new choices we didn’t know we could make. And as has been said very succulently in the movie The Matrix: "The difference between the powerful and the powerless is the choices they make”. Where the value of learning these lessons is presented at another place: "To move beyond a choice you have to understand it".

3.Time is Decompartmentalized: Life is a collection of moments where each moment is significant in how I unfold my will. Thus life [my time on Earth] is de-compartmentalized as a play with the moment.


  1. This last bit of wisdom by itself will transform my day today. I just got through telling my Mom how hard choices are for me because everything - everyone's important.

    "To move beyond a choice you have to understand it"
    "The difference between the powerful and the powerless is the choices they make”

    Now address, if you don't mind, how we prioritize a busy life and still make time TO understand.

  2. The whole issue of understanding choices has to do with becoming aware of patterns you are stuck in so that you can get out of them. Other than finding time to do this you also need a technique.

    One lead into ['seeing' the pattern] has to do with putting a finger on things you are avoiding that you know you must do. Another area to pin point is to become aware of any hobbies you may have that you use as 'escape' tactics [my blog is a big escape tactic at times that I delve into when I want to escape from things].

    In the context of the post the following excerpts seem apt:

    The game is about dealing with inappropriate patterns and working out of them.
    An inappropriate pattern is described below:
    I had developed fixed responses to certain situations where these responses repeated themselves every time I entered the same situation. Unfortunately I would have wished that these responses be replaced by something better but was stuck with them.
    Thankfully inappropriate patterns always create discomfort
    The feeling of discomfort is at times subtle thus hard to detect
    Thus to deal with an [inappropriate] pattern..
    1:be wary of..discomfort
    2:recognize the internal dialog - this dialog is the key
    Since you are stuck in a pattern because you can't 'see' it talking it out with somebody might help. This might help because in bouncing off your idea you will be able to 'see' the pattern from the eyes of another person. [Such are the benefits of feedback]

  3. I hope this was of help. In any case 'understanding' is really about simplifying the life you are already leading. So your answers need to apply immediately [this does not have to be an esoteric learning].

    To solve problems in your daily life, you can discuss them out with people or work your own way out by maybe writing it on paper if you want. The former is clearly superior.

  4. YES, this response is SO helpful that I'm printing the entire section out and during a break I'm taking from more than the most necessary internet activity, I have made a strong intention to reflect and act on your amazingly mature and accessible suggestions.

    This work you have done strikes me as valuable for many folk of all ages and all backgrounds. Universal, practical and in a surprising way, also spiritual. Thank You so much!

    Two parts jump out at me especially with the first reading:

    1) "thankfully inappropriate patterns always create discomfort" how true...failing on occasion to listen/pay attention to this discomfort can be amended by the reader by your reminders. I have learned to trust this and my intuition or Holy spirit and this reminder will help me to trust this more...

    2) Getting feedback from others. Sometimes I used to need this too much and have not sought this out because of that...yet probably went to far - because of your practical tip, I will try now to find balance between others' feedback and my own soundest self- assessment.

    With Gratitude!

  5. During my last few days of "winding down" on activism, I'm of course reflecting on RR folk came to mind when I heard this interview. I don't know of him & his writing sounds a little rough while self-revealing. But the interview really grabbed me about the need for the Spiritual and that Self-help alone was not enough for him.

    Your posts however feel like they will combine self-help with the spiritual.

    Interview of Dan Fonte (with Terri Gross, NPR radio)

  6. The tale of the Seh-Morgh is a journey through 7 valleys. The goal of the journey to find the King is [I think] a journey to get the kind of inner power you need to become a king in the world.

    The 7th valley is where the king is found.

    The 6th valley is the valley of wonder where you find that the world is actually standing on its head.

    The 5th valley is the valley of Love.

    Without going through the 5th valley those who enter the 6th valley and face the demons in the world are very much like sitting ducks!

    One needs the power of love to
    fight the darkness in the world.

    Without it we are truly powerless.

    This is a very practical fact that everybody can relate to, but do they?

  7. This may be off focal point here but today I have been considering how we stay in this personal spiritual/ transformational where each step counts and can't be rushed. Now to do so appears much more possible to me were it not for the reality of so many external emergencies on every hand.

    So here's my last question and then I will come back and read and then be silent as discipline for quite a long time..

    Do you mind speaking to what you perceive to be just the right amount of detachment from the external in order to proceed with the steps you have mentioned?

    Thank you for your astute and practical wisdom which includes the necessity of love in all things.

  8. I wouldn't know how one would 'manage' detachment.

    Whenever I have successfully detached my self from something it has been somewhat gradual and came of its own.

    So I wouldn't how to 'induce' it.

    One thing though I am very sure about is that it is fundamental to always maintain 'composure'.

    Composure is a sort of compass [and detachment one result].

    If a person is composed their heart will guide them.

  9. The first part of your response strikes me as most perfect and reasonable. The second about composure leads me to pause and consider: is this always true? I have no answers yet.

  10. If one is composed [vs. being agitated] we can 'feel our way through' the situation [in addition to mentally working out of the situation].

    Thus there is more clarity when we are composed because we use both faculties rather than 1 thus I don't think greater clarity is possible in any given moment.

  11. OK, this is probably quite accurate in many if not most situations.
    Yet, theoretically, some of us have learned the hard way that we are not able always to go by the gauge of how we feel in any given situation. We may feel composed and therefore be more confident and therefore may act in ways that we may regret later. Whereas we may feel ruffled, confuse, chaotic and may because of what we know we must do for responsibility or ethics sake end up doing the right thing and/or find out that out of this confusion can come something much more creative and elevated than if there had been no temporary chaos. And again, a person may in perfect composure and technical perfection bomb human beings below and do humanity and themselves great harm - sometimes because of or more easity out of such composure.

  12. Here is one more perspective which may have some bearing on our discussion? There is a tendency to err I believe on either extreme. IE that some would foster false humility and others would become ever more negatively self-centered by always playing the role: "woe is me"...therefore practical mental health in your understanding that confidence and calm (you said it better) are requirements. Yet again for the overly proud, perhaps this sentiment may help. There is the similar striving for balance in my own tradtion among the mystics and contemplatives. So I await your own pulling together of the opposites in cohesive form for us. :)

    "No denser veil than pretension exists between God and the devotee. There is no closer way to God than spiritual impoverishment before Him."

    - Tustari in Attar: Tadhkirat

  13. I read at a place to the effect that being humble has a flaw just like being arrogant has a flaw.

    The former being a kind of spiritual arrogance.

    The lesson here [that I understood] was that it is important to remain balanced at all times. One way or the other. [For our ego has a way of carrying us off...]

  14. But to come back to detachment I think we must actively [and consciously] detach ourselves from situations that become overwhelming and that could be potentially harmful to us.

    In these cases I do feel detachment is a very important option [if only to give us the space to come back later].

    This was a good question :)

  15. I hope you don't mind but I will post my comment to your last two comments under your latest blog for Thursday which was Oct 8th


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