Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Personal Will
An Actual, Pure Aspect of Essence
But personal will and the Divine will are two distinct aspects of essence at the beginning. First the individual needs to realize his personal will which is an actual, pure aspect of essence. Only then can he surrender or align his personal will to the divine will. Until then, he has no will to surrender.
Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment, pg. 32 (Elixir)
From the Perspective of Dynamic Presence there is Only One Will and Only One Doer, Always and Eternally
This then confronts us with the thorny theological problem of free will and divine will, and the possibility of conflicts between them. It is easy to see from the perspective of dynamic presence that there is only one will, and only one doer, always and eternally. The question of free personal will arises only when our realization of true nature is limited and we do not see the unity of being and its holy will. (See Facets of Unity for a fuller discussion of holy will and its relation to personal will and choice.) More precisely, the problem of personal will versus predestination arises only when we are aware of a universal will but still experience a personal will due to our limited understanding. We do not know yet that it is our understanding and realization that is limited, and hence experience a conflict between two wills. We cannot resolve this dilemma from this limited perspective, for it is the result of this limitation, but we can make a practical resolution that may lead to a fuller realization and understanding of true nature. The usual resolution taught by these traditions is that we need to recognize the free will that God gave us, and use it to follow His will, instead of going against it. In this way we harmonize our personal will with the divine will, and union with God’s presence. This is a valid practical solution, for by denying our free will we deny the truth of the situation, which is that we have a limited understanding, the necessary result of which is the experience of having a free will and personal choice. In other words, we need to start from the state we find ourselves in and move from there, otherwise we will be merely parroting mental ideas. Irrespective of the fact that our state is due to not recognizing the limitations of our understanding, we must start from a place we understand if we are going to move deeper into the truth. As discussed in chapter 22, this insight is part of the wisdom of one of the diamond vehicles of the journey of descent.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 668
Personal Will has a Sense of Effortlessness About It
When we first experience real personal Will, as opposed to the willfulness of the personality, we see that it has this sense of effortlessness about it. It does involve action, but not trying. When you experience this, you begin to get the intimation that essential Will doesn’t mean choosing or controlling whatever situation you are in. Because you feel supported by the universe when you are in contact with Being, you don’t need to try to make things happen in a premeditated kind of way, and so your action becomes effortless and spontaneous. Experiencing this sense of effortlessness indicates that true surrender is taking place and that essential Will is present. As we have said, actualizing the Will requires practice in being present with whatever is arising without rejection, without acceptance, without attachment, and without preference. This practice constitutes the foundation of the Diamond Approach. The Diamond Approach is basically a matter of going along with the unfoldment of the whole universe as it is manifesting in your experience in the present moment. Just as the universe is unfolding in the sense that the weather changes, earthquakes occur, the sun sets, and the moon rises over the horizon, the universe is also unfolding inside of you. If you stay with, and surrender to, your inner process, it will unfold in the same way.