Monday, March 14, 2005

Mastering the will

"Our freedom requires no defense. There is no need to fight for something that is in fact part of the essense of who we are. We need instead to master our will." In the last entry, I made these statements which must seem greatly at odds with commonplace understandings in our culture. That's because they are in fact at odds with our culture! Our culture expends vast energies "defending freedom" and lifts nary a finger to master the will. This energy commitment should be reversed. We need not expend an ounce of energy defending freedom because true freedom is essential to our nature. It may be forgotten, but it is never lost. Our work is rather to master the will, so that in our exercise of freedom, we grow in maturity and strength of character, rather then reduce ourselves to "libertines." Free will is a source of all sorts of problems, to be sure. The untrained will is like a neophyte rider on a horse named desire. Wherever desire chooses to graze, romp or mate, so follows the untrained will. But when the will is trained, the rider directs the horse with intention, and it gladly obeys its master and is subservient to hi/r. I must master my will, because I am free. I must train my will, because the law of cause and effect is not suspended in deference to my every foolish desire. If with my free will I indulge my desires in any old topsy-turvy fasion, I can fully expect to generate life experiences which are similarly topsy-turvy. If I use my free will to toss a ball over my head, I should fully expect to get hit on the head by a ball. This happens not as a judgement or punishment. Not at all. It is merely the effect (getting bonked) of a cause (tossing the ball overhead) in a free will universe. When we forget our essential freedom, we tend to assign other causes to our life experiences, and play the role of victim with our eyes firmly shut to the manner in which we exercise our will. When we step up to the task of self mastery, we gladly study the effects of our choices in an effort to increase the maturity of our will. When we exercise our free will with mastery, we will see the effects immediately in the improved quality of our life experiences. However, the "lower self" clings to the premise that it should be able to choose whatever it likes without any repercussions. That would require the suspension of the structure of our universe, however. Although the source of all is incredibly indulgent of our desires, (the fact of our free will testifies to this), we have been placed in a micro-container (our bodies) and a macro-container (the physical universe) as a system of checks and balances relative to our exercise of free will. So we are free to beat the hornets' nest all we want, but we will not be excused from getting stung. After a long enough time creating painful life experiences, a soul will generally get around to desiring to master the will more than anything else, and that's when the training can begin in earnest. Are you ready for that? I am!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Patrick said...

Our culture expends energy defending values, one of which is "freedom". We are really defending the power to choose our values. Your abilty to say that "freedom needs no defending" came at the cost of many peoples lives.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Gil :-) said...

The freedom I speak of is a quality of the will, an essential characteristic of my immortal soul. The freedom of speech which you notice me exercising, while it may represent a temporal and "accidental" expression of freedom, is a political right, or value, as you suggest, which comes and goes. Whether I live in the USA or one of Stalin's gulags, my free will remains, though my expression may be circumscribed in either circumstance. The freedom of which I speak is not a spoil of war. It is the ability to recognize my choices from within my circumstances, whether my mouth is open or shut.

8:27 PM  

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