THE MYSTERY OF THE WILL-FORCE.
Will-Force is the power of Re-action. It can render all the other mental functions active or passive. It is the DETERMINATIVE faculty and is affected most of all by the JUDGMENT. On the lower plane of mind, Will-Power manifests as Desire and is reciprocally influenced by outside attractions as well as repulsions.
On this plane the Will is not free. But when it draws the volition for externalizing itself from Within in the light of the Higher Reason, then indeed is it Will-Power. On the material the human will is a slave; on the spiritual plane it is the sovereign. It may then be called the “awakened” will. It is my conviction that the eternal crossing of swords between the Determinists and the Libertarians can be set at rest only by a right understanding of the spiritual makeup of man, otherwise the arguments of both sets of thinkers are equally strong. Each side has got hold of half the truth, but requires the reconciling light of transcendental Psychology in order to enable us to see the whole truth as it is. However, the point I am driving at is that your will is free only when it is self-determined i.e., when it has risen above the impulses of the Lower Personal Self and acts under the direction of the Higher Impersonal Self_. In order to fix this most important truth in your mind, let us give you a brief idea of the “I AM” consciousness. Do not pass this by as so much dry rot. No one will ever or can ever manifest genuine Will-Force of a distinctly spiritual type who does not understand the “I AM” consciousness. So please listen attentively and think over the following.
THE “I AM” CONSCIOUSNESS.
If you just turn in and examine the report of your consciousness regarding the self-dwelling within, you will become conscious of the “I”. But if you press your examination a little closer you will find that this “I” may be split up into two distinct aspects which, while working in unison and conjunction, may nevertheless be set apart in thought. There is an “I” function and there is a “me” function and these mental twins develop distinct phenomena. The first is the “MASCULINE” principle; the second is the “FEMININE” principle. Other terms used in current writings on New Psychology are Conscious Mind, Active Mind, Voluntary Mind, Objective Mind and so forth. These all refer to the “I” principle. And the “me” form of mind corresponds to the Sub-Conscious Mind, Passive Mind, Involuntary Mind, Subjective Mind and so on. Ninety-nine p. c. of humanity mean this “me” when they say “I”. Now let us examine what this “me” implies. It consists largely of our consciousness, of our body and physical sensations as associated with touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing. The consciousness of some of us is largely bound up in the physical and carnal side of life. We “live there.” There are some men who consider their “clothes” too as being a part of themselves. But as consciousness rises in the scale of evolution, man begins to “dissociate” his idea of “me” from the body and he begins to regard his body as a beloved companion and as “belonging to” him. He then identifies himself with his mental states, emotions, feelings, likes and dislikes, habits, qualities and characteristics. But, by and by, he begins to realize how even these moods also are subject to change, born and die and are subject to the Principles of Rhythm and Polarity. He realizes faintly that he can change them by an effort of will and “transmute” them into mental states of an exactly opposite nature. Then he again begins to “dissociate” himself from his emotions and feelings and at last through mental analysis, introspection and concentration, he sets them apart into the “not I” collection. He begins then to realize that he is something above his body and emotions. So also with the intellectual functions. The intellectual man is very apt to think that although his physical and emotional selves are something different from him and under his control, still his intellect is himself. This is the stage of “Self-Consciousness”. “I control my body and emotions.” But as consciousness unfolds intellectual man finds that he can practically stand aside and see (mentally, of course) his mind going through various processes of intellection. Study of Psychology and Logic will enable you to see how all your intellectual processes may be held at arm’s length, examined, analysed, labelled and discussed quite with the same ease as the professor talks of a solid, liquid and acriform substances in his laboratory. So at last he finds that even the wonderful powers of the Intellect must go into the “not I” collection. This is almost as far as the average man can realize. You can realize and say “I am not the body, not the emotions, not the intellect.” Therefore you see, that side of consciousness which is the sum-total of your physical, emotional and intellectual functions comprises the “me” or Feminine or Passive mental principle. That which can separate itself in thought from all the above is the “I” or the Masculine Function. But another step must be taken. That which you have been taught to regard as the Spiritual Consciousness (see “Spiritual Consciousness”) will also eventually go into the “Not-I” or “me” collection. In brief, the spiritual mind may be said to comprise all that is GOOD, NOBLE and GREAT in the field of consciousness. It is the “Super-Conscious” mind, just now. But, mark this, when through further evolution, the “I” has mastered this field of consciousness also and is able to regard it as being the last of the “me” collections, then it will lose its sense of relativity and separation and the real individuality, the “I AM” consciousness, will have been realized. What do I mean? This “I AM” is not the petulant self-assertion of the relative ego. “I” but really means GOD CONSCIOUSNESS as perfect Existence, perfect Knowledge or perfect Bliss. It means the realization of an Infinite and Eternal Self or Individuality. “He that has lost the self has gained the SELF”. Here is the explanation: this little self or “I” so long as it is attached to the PERSONALITY which is the product of the “me” consciousness is bound down to the relative plane. It can think only through only one brain, enjoy through one body and such happiness as it gets is transitory, short-lived and impermanent because this world of relative existence is itself essentially changeable. It is permanent only in its impermanence. So long as the “I” thinks and while only for the benefits of its personal self, both thinking and willing are limited and not free. But when it has succeeded in joining itself to the Spiritual mind and works for, aspires after the Larger Self—the “I AM”—it has to renounce or “disattach” itself from the personal self and work under the guidance of the impersonal Higher Self. “I refuse to be contained within my hat and boots,” said Walt Whitman. When the Vedantist says “Aham Brahmasmi”—”I am the absolute”—he does not mean this lower “I”. No, no. He is not built that way. For him the moorings of self-consciousness are out. He has lost all sense of his particular relative “I” and has one-d himself with the absolute “I AM”—the impersonal, intangible, immortal, omnipotent Self of and over all. This “I am” is Spirit or Atman. There can be but one Individuality—that of the Absolute. It becomes objectively expressed in man as Cosmic Consciousness. Subjectively it is God. Now then you have an idea of the “I am” Consciousness. Hold fast to it. It is your real, Larger Self. In the understanding and the exercise of the Will-Power the “I” or the Positive Mental Principle is the chief factor. To use the one you must understand the other. Will is a Soul-Power. This “I”—as I have explained it above—is negative to the “I AM” or God—both meaning the same thing. It is positive in relation to the Higher Self. This “I” is the future promise of the “I AM”. It is true it shall lose itself in finding its Self, but so does the child when it grows into full manhood. Christ was one with his Father-in-Heaven (i.e., on the spiritual plane) and therefore he could still the waves and raise the dead. Yet just you examine the nature of Lord Christ’s Will-Force. Think of his constant retirement into the Silence in order to obtain inspiration for his work in the objective universe. Again, note his utter indifference to and absolute control over his personal self. Did he care whether his body would live or die? Did he live for the enjoyments of the flesh? Did he “play to the gallery” and act and speak for any worldly gain or low considerations? No! He had forgotten the interests of the flesh in his earnest enthusiasm in the cause of the Eternal Spirit. He was not moved by any dammed sense of prudence and caution. He drew the “Motives” that energised his Will-Power in the life of Action fromWithin. Nothing from outside, nothing from the world of lower attractions could in the least swerve his inner determination or unbalance his brain. Do you or can you prepare yourself to follow in his steps? Then my first point and the most infallible method of awakening your Will-Power is this:
(a) Teach Thy Will to “Resist and Renounce.” Strengthen your Will-Power by Renunciation. By Resistance is not meant outer resistance or aggressiveness. I find that all the modern teachers of Hypnotism advise their students to develop Will-Power by exercising it upon others. This is placing the cart before the horse. We Hindus know better. No; by Resistance to and Repression of your lower Desire-Nature is meant letting the more difficult choice exercise its compelling and restraining power over the easier one. Says Sister Nivedita: “The Indian ideal is that man whose lower mind is so perfectly under control that he can at any moment plunge into the thought-ocean and remain there at will without the least possibility of a sudden break and unexpected return to the life of the senses.” Yes, your interests should be within and not without. You must rise above all personal impulse. Even in this world you find that men of distinction, fame and honour have achieved recognition by practising a little self-denial, which is a “milder” form of absolute Renunciation as practised by true Sanyasis. The man who can work at his aim with perseverance and denies himself the mess of pottage of present indulgence in view of some future gain develops Will-Power. So in training your Will to ‘resist’, you must, as a first step, sternly refuse to indulge impulses, desires and tendencies not in consonance with the dictates of your Higher Self. You must actually go out of your way and “deny” yourself the little or great “comforts” to which you are or have been accustomed. The strongest-willed man is he who has the greatest control over his inclinations, and who can ‘force’ himself to do such things as he is naturally most inclined to do. This is a characteristic which cannot be developed in a day. There are some children and even grown-up men and women who mistake their ‘obstinacy’ for Will-Power. They want a thing and when they do not get it they tear their hair, gnash their teeth, stamp their feet and fly into a terrible passion. Since people think that these uncontrolled creatures are strong-willed while all that you could say about them is that they are utter slaves to their desires. You must practise self-denial in fifty different ways and force yourself to do certain things, ‘little and big,’ every day purely for developing this power of Resistance. No short-cut to this. Some children develop it unconsciously by ‘forcing’ themselves to study when they might play, and by applying themselves to such studies as are dry and uninteresting to them they thus practise voluntary Concentration. Practise self-denial in every possible way. Cut off such luxuries as you think “you must have.” “Take a cold bath when you would prefer a warm one. Arise promptly in the morning. Make yourself call upon people you have avoided. Stand up in a street car when you would prefer sitting; walk when it is convenient to ride. Make engagements with yourself and keep them. Promise yourself that when you see something to be done you will spring at once to it however strong may be the inclination to put it off awhile” and back of it all let there be the auto-suggestion: “I am doing all these hard things in order to build up my Will-Power and each time ‘I’ succeed in forcing ‘my mind’ to do a thing or not to do it I make the next victory easier and my Will-Power stronger.” Of course the above is only a hint as to your line of practise.
(b) You must not give yourself such hard tasks of Self-Development as might be too heavy and beyond the present strength of your Will. In denying yourself you develop self-control. In forcing yourself to do certain things you develop powers of Self-Expression. In one the Will moves along negative lines. In the other along positive lines. Both are necessary. The man who cannot control and command himself can never develop and express Himself. But be sure to begin with easy things and then as you gain in confidence you may attempt more difficult feats.
(c) The faculties of Courage and Confidence are essentially important. Nothing weakens the will so much as Fear and lack of Self-Confidence. Self-Confidence is not blustering self-conceit. That within you which says “I CAN” when calmly and doggedly backed by your “I Will” when deliberately translated into action develops Will-Force and commands startling results.
(d) Always hold these words before your passive Mind:
1. Earnestness. 2. Determination. 3. Courage. 4. Confidence. 5. Stick-to-it-ive-ness. 6. Patience. 7. I can and I will.
(e) The tendency of the Masculine function of your mind to “I” is towards giving, expressing or projecting energy; that of the Feminine is towards generating and creating mental progeny such as thoughts, mental energy, new habits, etc. It is why the Feminine Principle has been called the “mental womb” by ancient philosophers. It comprises also the faculty of Imagination. The Masculine function does the work of the ‘Will’ in its varied phases. The Feminine function receives impressions and generates mental offspring in the form of new thoughts, ideas, concepts, thought-habits and so forth. Its powers of creative energy are strikingly marvellous and have been proved and attested to in Psychological experiments conducted by the best known mental scientists of the day. But “positive” mental energy must be projected by the ‘I’ into the Passive Mind through concentration, suggestion and willing before the latter can be started to work along any line of creative effort. This suggestion may be given by you to your sub-conscious mind or it may come as an outer impression. Unless you control your Passive Mind, it is sure to be controlled by others. Then you are a slave. Now in cultivating the above seven qualities, you should take up one word at a time and let the outer form sink into your mind. Place yourself in a relaxed and passive condition. Close your eyes and picture the form of the word to yourself, for instance, D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N. Employ the Imagination and visualize mentally. This done, i.e., when the word-picture is well photographed upon your mind and fastened in place, your next step will be to picture yourself the Ideas, qualities, physical and mental characteristics, etc., associated with the word. Your third step is to calmly, concentratedly and confidently command your Passive Mind to generate that quality. Remember, your mind will at first rebel, but a very little persistence will lead to complete success. Repeat the auto-suggestions daily at the same time. See that it manifests in Action. Act it out as often as possible. Of course your efforts will be imperfect to begin with, but, never mind, go ahead, keeping firm hold on your “I can and I will” in spite of all things and success is quite certain. Once you have developed these seven qualities, you can do anything.
(f) Do not let your friends or anyone—no matter who!—deflect you from your resolutions. “Let not thy right hand know what thy left hand does.” Talk never. Let results show. The Lord has hidden himself best and His work is wonderful beyond compare! Your very friends and relatives will spit upon you for lacking any of these qualities. Do not ever impose your will upon others, but never let others to impose upon you against the sanction of your own judgment. In fact, none can unless you are a weakling and fickle-minded.
(g) Frequent the company of chaste, strong-willed men and you cannot but grow strong.
(h) Read Literature on this subject and obtain all possible aid through Knowledge.
(i) If your faculty of imagination and idealism are undeveloped, cultivate them, because it is these two that make a god of a man. Philosophers, scholars, poets and musicians have them well-developed. But where imagination is uncontrolled by higher reason and where idealism is not backed by a strong will, there you have the idle ‘dreamer of dreams’ and such a state of mind is reprehensible and pitiable indeed!
(j) Will-Power grows by faith in one’s ability by exercise; by devotion to the UNCONDITIONED SPIRIT.
(k) In your efforts to develop Will-Power, be not afraid that your health will break down. In fact, Perfect Health is the result of a perfect Will. Deny the power of disease and weakness over yourself. “I can never be ill. My body is my slave. It shall always manifest perfect health.” Convince your passive mind—which has charge of your body—of this by repeated commands, demands and assertions. Always think of your body as being as strong as adamant. Never talk of either health or disease or weakness. You must be above caring for these. They are your Natural rights. Only when you lower yourself they have power to trouble you. Go beyond the lower self. Your business is to care for the Higher-Self—that in which “You” live, move, and have your being. Also teach and train your Will to move along negative lines of self-repression as well as along positive lines of Self-Expression. Balance both. The former precedes the latter. Now I will pass on to the subject of SELF-CONTROL, with the distinct understanding that Self-Control and Will-Power are inextricably bound up in each other. You Get the real “practical work” in the endeavour for Self-Control.