self- will, Will & Surrender

joejo's picture



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As we said that it is possible to live a life without control. There then naturally arises the question of will. Not and I repeat Not "divine will" which implies a capricious God or at best someone that we want to reduce to human image of Deity.

Firstly is there a center. I don't want to address those that see this question from metaphysical heights, for even if they are as high as Himalayas they do not resonate with my daily living, a normal life in society.

Do I use will in my daily life. Of course I do choose and that's part of the will. It would not be unfair to say that most of the choice that we make is conditioned, yet the fact that we do exercise will is undeniable. So what is wrong with this "self - will". It seems fairly cool to have one and have clarity of mind that comes with knowledge acquired through our learning. If this knowledge has some factors of conditioning then so be it. This is the bare minimum essential for functioning in society. This is a part of my humanity that I need not torment myself with. "Self - will", though is the anathema of spirituality and we need to understand why.

What could be the difference between "Will" and "self will". Let us take the example of knife. It is indispensible at least in Indian kitchen which I regret at times when I have an argument with my wife and she brandishes with some flourish, I am sure not to scare me but to emphasize with all sorts of mannerisms her point of view. Yet a similar weapon would scare the hell out of me if used by a burglar.

So the knife in itself is not bad but its use. Similarly Will may be a good and indispensible thing but when applied to promote self interest and build psychological structure that it becomes evil. For one it artificially segregates us from the rest of mankind and life in general and distorts vision. Often one is so conditioned that his will is hardly under his conscious control and is like a tyrant that enslaves him. So if ever there was an evil this is it the "self- will".

One has to work to acquire "Will" that is in his conscious control and then Surrender it or not use it to build defenses and psychological structure whose center is the self image.