The True Will and the Mind

It has often been said that one’s true opponent exists within their own mind. Doubtlessly, the illusion of the ego-concept allows all manner of psychological patterns and residues to masquerade as one’s true self, and the path of any seeker is thus as a perilous trail along a steep mountainside. To quote Jake Green from Guy Ritchie’s revolver,

“The greatest enemy will hide in the last place you would ever look. “

Erwin Hessle has posted a rigorous investigation of one of the most common deceptions the aspirant may fall prey to here.

Excerpt from Hessle’s “The path of least resistance”

What really happens here is that the mind seduces one with thoughts such as “wouldn’t life be so much nicer if you didn’t have to struggle like this to achieve your goals? Why not just let it go?” The mind seduces the self into something resembling a financial loan, where a significant amount of resistance is avoided up front but it ultimately paid for, with interest, by many cumulative small amounts of resistance in the days to come. Accomplishing the task, on the other hand, might require an upfront investment of effort, but this investment frees one of having to incur the greater cost of meeting those repayments, with interest, into perpetuity.

On a practical level, then, “discovering the will” involves discerning these genuine “urges” from the false urges presented by the mind. The mind tries to tell you that life would be better if you avoided this effort, but the mind’s misrepresentation can be discovered by simply observing the ongoing commitment of resistance that remains present after the decision to refrain from action. If one acts and finds that such residual resistance is no longer present, however, then one knows one is ahead. It is equally possible, of course, that one does not really want to create a masterpiece – to continue the example – at all, and that this is merely a phantasm created by the mind. In such a case, the accomplishment – if it is even possible – will not remove this residual resistance. Thus, by observing critically the effects of one’s actions on the amount of residual resistance – or restriction – remains, one can infer something about the will. If one is on the right track, then one would expect that, over time, the overall level of resistance and restriction in one’s life would decrease, even if physical and practical difficulties in accomplishing one’s tasks remain. It is the difference between the joyous exercise of energies, and the grudging exercise of them; even if the actual exercise of those energies does not seem particularly pleasant at the time, the satisfaction – or lack of it – which comes from completion will reveal the difference.


~ by ethmgallagher on April 20, 2010.

One Response to “The True Will and the Mind”

  1. You have a really nice blog here. I agree with you on this post. One’s biggest enemy is in their own mind. I think finding the balance within yourself is very important.

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