The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
- Matthew 13: 44-45
Straight and narrow is the path … Waste no time. Gloria in Excelsis Deo!
- book dedication, Discovery of the Presence of God: Devotional Nonduality,
David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.
Our exploration and study of humanity now moves beyond the maps of functions and processes represented by centers to the vast topic of will and its potentiality in those on the Way. Because we are focusing on humanity, this session will not be addressing the cosmological aspects and energies of will – the will imbued within all creation and the evolutionary process itself.
In the ordinary state of sleeping humanity, each of us can verify through self-observation that we will many things, often contradictory. Like the multiplicity of I's, the will is not one but many. This is one of the ways of understanding the Work aphorism, "man cannot do." In a state of zero attention, we swing on the pendulum of life in mechanicalness and reaction.
What is will?
Different from self-will, which is made of small desires, it is Master, at the level of Real I, and is above life and all its desires and events. This will so expressed in the Work is known as Real Will.
It comes from above and is full of new meaning, with new ways of seeing and feeling. It is closely related to faith.
It is not effortful; it is infinitely flexible and receptive; it is delight.
It works in conjunction with our level of being because our level of being is that which eventually decides what we do and then our functions (centers) carry it out.
"I asked him, 'Is it possible to describe what Real Will is like?' [Ouspensky] said, 'It is like suddenly seeing the solution to a mathematical problem.' … Usually we associate the concept of will with a set jaw, a dogged resolve, etc. This is a negative view of will [willfulness] … But you will see that Mr. O. refers to a different idea of will. It is something that finds right solutions. It unites separate things, it arranges in right order, and so creates something new. It contains the idea of new possibilities. It is not mere denial, mere negation, mere stopping of everything, but the reaching to a new combination, or a new attainment. It has to do with the certainty that a solution is possible, and with a certain kind of active patience towards the at-present unsolved situation, where one does not as yet see the next connection. I say a certain kind of active patience because it has nothing to do with resignation. Very often Mr. O. used to say to us in our difficulties, 'The Work will find a way.' This is the patience required. … G. once said that 'patience is the mother of will.' …
"When we begin to realize that will is delight rather than privation, we begin to realize what aim might mean – as something worth attaining."
- Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "Commentary on Will," July 22, 1944, Vol. 2, pp. 481-2
J.G. Bennett adds:
"Will does not do things; it is that which decides the action. The man in the room has to decide what to do and then the rest is a functional process. … We see thoughts like 'I will do this thing,' but that is just a function, something happening, and more often than not the thought fails to be actualized. …
"While function is altogether knowable, will is altogether unknowable, altogether out of range. It is the affirming force behind things, that which uses the instruments. As long as we identify with functions in ourselves, we remain blind to will and look for who we are in the world of machines. I is the will, but no one has ever seen their own I. … Every part of us has its own will and it is a great thing when all of these parts come under one law. Then we can speak of 'having I.' …
"Energies are the bridge between will and function … Having control over oneself is far less a matter of 'keeping a stiff upper lip' than of concentrating energies in their right place. Then our instruments can work rightly. …
"Where there is one vessel in us for the concentration of energy, there can be one will and we can be whole. The unification of our being is a practical undertaking, consisting of struggle with ourselves and sacrifice. …
"If man is to transform himself, the three worlds of will, being and function must combine in him. … This is the real meaning of the phrase 'three-centered being': the wholeness of a man derives from each of the three worlds, and in the man who is transformed they are no longer separate but work synergistically 'as one.' …" (Deeper Man)
"… When 'wish' and 'can' are harmonized, then only 'I am.' … I is the union of 'I can' and 'I wish.'" (A Spiritual Psychology)
How can we increase will?
Learning and practicing the Work and Centering Prayer keep us in place until Real Will is established. "Real Will is made possible by accepting the way to it." (Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "Commentary on Will, Part II," July 29, 1944, Vol. 2, p. 490)
Will what you have to do. This is related to the Work aphorism "If you can't help it, will it!" and Dr. Jung's comment to Nicoll when he was going to give a lecture that nobody cared about: "We have to do a job – let's go to it!" This is a form of Self-remembering. It is moving out of resistance into an affirmative "moving-toward" disposition.
"The will side is strengthened in us whenever we work from our own initiative, uninfluenced by the likes and dislikes, pleasures or pains, associations and so on of our machines; and regardless of the reactions we have toward other people. Until we have learned to work in this manner, whatever exercises we know and whatever results we seem to be achieving, we have not actually crossed the threshold of work on the will." (Bennett, Deeper Man)
"Mr. O. said that before you can have will in a real sense you must feel your own nothingness – that is, the nothingness of your own personal and vanity-aims. He was asked, 'How can you feel your own nothingness?' He said, 'Apart from many other things, there is one way: 'Like what you dislike.' Is it not strange that Real Will depends on going in a direction that has nothing to do with one's own wishes?" (Nicoll, "Commentary on Will," p. 484)
Practicing external consideration.
"To see a thing only and always in one light is [seeing] in terms of buffers and prejudices. … There is no real thought. … Differentiation – that is, seeing many differences where one saw none, or where one saw only opposites, is the beginning of the growth of will." (Nicoll, "Commentary on Will, Part II," p. 491)
By saving force and not leaking energy through identification and fragmentation. Conservation of energy allows for the concentration of energy needed for patience and the union of "I can" and "I wish."
Likewise, attention is a manifestation of will. (Bennett, A Spiritual Psychology). Take care where you pay attention.
"If you begin to will in a new way, new being will result, and new being in turn will result in new willing."
- Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "Notes on Will, Being and Structure," September 21, 1951, Vol 4, p. 1496
"The ultimate act of choice that can open up for a man, in which man chooses his final destiny, is whether to be himself or to be God. He can choose to be separate or he can choose to be united; to live and act for himself or to become one with the Will which governs the whole world. Ultimately, the moment comes when he is able to see that either God must disappear for him or he must disappear for God. That is how it is, even though we have no means of understanding what it means."
- J.G. Bennett, Deeper Man
"Spiritual commitment is energized by the alignment of the spiritual will (calibration level 850), with the attributes of Divine, which are truth, love, compassion, wisdom and non-partiality. Devotion prioritizes one's life and attracts that which is of assistance. To be a servant of God is a dedication whereby the goal takes precedence over all other positionalities, attractions or distractions. By devotion and commitment, the path unfolds and revelation supplants presumptive cause-and-effect acquisition. It could be languaged that the dedication is quite powerfully 'Yang' by intent, but 'Yin' by fulfillment as a process."
- David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., Discovery of the Presence of God: Devotional Nonduality
To thee O Lord
do I devote my life!
Practice any one of the tools mentioned above for increasing will.
All are encouraged and welcome to attend tonight's class for a review of these teachings and how they are landing in you: 7pm Central Time via Zoom only.