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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 22,411,035  

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Reponses: 19

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Question of the Week: 53 - 8/6/2001

What is 'Will' or 'Willpower'?

Okay, now that you're all rested up from your fun festival experiences, time to stretch the ole brain cells once more: What do you think the human/spiritual/magickal 'will' may be? Where does it come from? How do you get it? Is it a function of the brain, of the spirit? Does it emerge from rational mind processes/training or is it an instinctual survival method? How might 'will' be used to produce good ends and/or how might it be abused? Do you believe that a person or persons with 'will' can affect the processes of the natural world or change the course of history? If decisions and the course of human/political/social events are determined every day by people and systems with an agenda, how could/would (or not) Pagans use their own 'willpower' to either aid or deter such agendas? Finally, do you believe- REALLY believe- that one person or a group of like-minded persons with sufficient will can change the world? If you do, then why does it seem that so few people are actually working at doing so?

 Reponses:   There are 19 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

Will Is... The True Voice Of The Soul. Much As The Desire... Aug 9th. at 11:42:26 pm EDT

Coyote (Clifton, New Jersey US) Age: 30 - Email

Will is... the true voice of the soul. Much as the desire to know itself caused the One to will forth existence, Will is what keeps us rooted in and directs our course in this universe. Sometimes distractions or obstacles can cause us to turn aside from our Will, but somewhere in the back of our heart & mind it is always there. You know what is true for you.
Through Will we can change ourselves. By changing ourselves we can change the way we interact with the world (ordinary & non-ordinary). By changing the way we interact, we can change the world. Even if it starts small, say by convincing your neighbor to turn down his radio at night. Your act lets everyone around get better sleep and they go through their next day perhaps a little more relaxed and interact with the people they meet as such.

Testing: Hello... Aug 10th. at 1:38:34 am EDT

nury (oz, North Carolina US) Age: 1

Testing: Hello

Gee Whiz, You Guys. This Stuff Really May Be A Matter Of... Aug 10th. at 1:53:19 am EDT

Dances with Shadows (Catalina, Arizona US) Age: 47 - Email

Gee whiz, you guys. This stuff really may be a matter of opinion to you, but it old and well covered ground in established occult circles. I think that most of you are trying to re-invent the wheel. Don't you ever study??????? or read the classics???????

First read Tarostar's response to this question. Next read some of the classics in Occult literature, try starting with Theosophy. Take a few years, maybe 7.

This stuff is so basic. To me, most of you sound like you are giving differing opinions on the spelling of cat.

What Do You Think The Magickal Will May Be? We Need To... Aug 10th. at 2:05:32 am EDT

David (OZ, North Carolina US) Age: 1

What do you think the magickal will may be? We need to ask some of the people on the site that shows that Carlos C. was scamming, I'm not sure the exact site ( The will comes from are desire, need to survive? How might the will be used to produce good ends or be abused? Some people want to control the occult com. so they offer a portal that limits knowledge that works, but increases a hodgepodge of things that do not or only work a little. Love those Healing Requests, why so few using them? Can people affect their will to change things. Have some posts up from Denessa Smith on in O&E section, clearly shows that Tempest was taunted way before she showed an interest in wicca. You are not going Fritz to make her into a call to arms for wicca and the occult com. the way it is said on your post earlier. Am having trouble getting posts through now. Denessa is a tough but kind women. How can Pagens aid or deter social events? Witches Voice is doing a excellent job in getting people in wicca to nibble on everything except wicca. People don't want to change the world because that means their life as they know it. Wren and Fritz play around at the corners and are the church in mask.

What Is Will Or Willpower ? I Have Asked Myself That Very Thing... Aug 10th. at 12:45:34 pm EDT

Rae (Tunbridge Wells, England UK) Age: 28

What is will or willpower ? I have asked myself that very thing a fair few times this last year.
Sometimes I have wondered if I actually had one - a "will", that is. I have sunk so low in my life (now happily on the climb up again) at times that it has seemed that my will has all but disappeared. Each day has seemed like utter torture. Yet I have slugged away still, existing, as so many lost and desolate people do.
And I suppose that *that* proves I didn't lose my will - I kept on keeping on, when even it seemed pointless. But where did that desire - or at least that ability - to keep on come from ?
Well, it certainly wasn't to do with hope - cos I had given up on that. Nor was it love related - love was the biggest of my problems, actually. Too much of it from me and not enough from other people, FWIW. It wasn't to do with responsibility to a family or dependants - haven't got any (or any that really would have noticed if I had dropped out of sight). It wasn't due to faith in the world being a better place somehow when I awoke the next morning. There was nothing, it seemed, in me worth keeping on keeping on *for*. Yet I still did it. Yet I don't know why.

"Will", I think (amongst other things), is the ability to carry on when nothing else is left. It can take care of us (for want of a better expression) when times are very bad, just the same as it can sustain us and level us when times are very good. It is the knowledge that we are a sentient being in the world, and that even if we feel we have no control over our destinies or our current situations or our future, we really *do*, because in our hearts, we still have "will". The will to live, or the will to die. Or the will to just carry on. Is this part of our soul, or part of our hearts or part of our instinct ? - Who can say. Will is utterly personal to each and every one of us - we use it how we please, for good or bad or just to survive. We can certainly change ourselves with it - whether we can change the world, as such, is purely down to personal opinion. If you live your life by saying "The world will be as thus within the reach of my arm" then you *have* changed - or at least maintained - the world - your world, at least. But what effect does that have on someone else and their world ?
It's all a matter of perspective, I feel. Like so many things !

The Fact That People Even Have To Ask What Will Is Shows... Aug 10th. at 11:15:38 pm EDT

gnothi (Jacksonville, Florida US) Age: 39

The fact that people even have to ask what Will is shows that they don't really know what they are.

Will's just desire. Simple.

Action takes place when three things fall into place:
1. an Idea of how things could be
2. a Plan for how to make them that way
3. Will (desire) to do the things in the plan.

Life's not that simple, as I'm sure you've noticed. Will gets conflicted. You have lots of Ideas and Plans, and the strength of desire (Will) behind each one is different. Sometimes you have to choose in this moment between two plans that you desire about equally in this moment. Sometimes you have a clear strong Will to do a plan and afterward you have a Will not to have done it (regret).

The more benefit you picture yourself getting from a plan and the less cost, the stronger your Will to do the things in that plan.

Usually, the closer you are to your reward, the more real it seems to you and the stronger your will to do that plan. That means you have to specifically hype yourself up to build will (desire) to take action today on your long-term plans. You have to pay attention to your future today or else it won't be there when you're ready for it. This is called "wisdom" and it's way different from "knowledge".

You're composed of three things (maybe more, I dunno) 1. a "window" on infinity - your ideas come from somewhere. If they were all just rehashes of things you've already experienced, there would be no such things as imagination, invention or creativity. Some people seem to see farther into infinity than others, maybe they have more ability, maybe they have more desire, maybe they have fewer inhibitions, I dunno. These are your geniuses and people who train their creativity. From here comes your ability to picture how things could be.

2. a "planner" that can figure out (based on past experience) how to get things done.

3. a "spark" - this is your Will, your sense of self, the part of you that cares about stuff, that has preferences. Seems to be stronger in some folks than others.

A word to folks who are in mental distress because they think they can't control their behavior: Funny thing about "unwise" behavior - Those who have a lot of stress and pain over their unwise behavior are the ones who do have a lot of Will. If you didn't have Will to do the right thing, you wouldn't care that it's not getting done. Notice that sometimes you want to do the unwise behavior and sometimes you want to do (or wish you had done) the wise behavior. The times when you want to do the unwise behavior, I'll bet you a dollar, are when the immediate reward from the unwise behaviors are staring you in the face. Later on you think about the long-term consequences and you do definitely care about them - you do definitely have Will to do the right thing. One of the tricks to getting through those moments of temptation is to put some effort into thinking about the costs of the unwise behavior and the benefits of the wise behavior. Use your imagination and build up some emotional steam behind it. I'll bet you another dollar that in those times when you were tempted and chose to do the right thing instead, you had a strong picture of the costs of the unwise option and/or the benefits of the wise option.

I've Been Reading Things About And By Aleister Crowley Lately. From This... Aug 11th. at 11:51:33 pm EDT

Brightarrow (San Leandro, California US) Age: 46

I've been reading things about and by Aleister Crowley lately. From this source I get the impression that "Will" is not simply your own impulses; it's more like your purpose -- the reason the universe produced you. When he says "Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law, " he means (apparently) that you have a right to let NOTHING get in the way of your reason for existing in the universe -- of being your most honest authentic self.

(Wait, though. What if it is your "will" to be Hitler? Well, it is other people's "will" to be the Allied Forces. And I'm not sure that it's a very good analogy, anyhow; I keep coming back to the belief that if Hitler had figured out how to live by "love under Will, " the Shoah [Hebrew: "outrage"] would not have happened.)

But this isn't defining Will, is it? Only describing its ideal effects. Let me try again: Will is the discovery of your purpose. It is the drive to living authentically. It is the hunt for the place or places that turn you into a fountain of life from which anyone in need may drink WITHOUT robbing or diminishing you.

"Will" is, in short, "la chasse spirituelle." Excuse me, folks, I have to go write an epic poem now. Damn.

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