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Will (Personal Will)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Will (Personal Will)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Will (Personal Will)

Feeling that All that Happens in the Universe Happens Through Our Personal Will and Intelligence

One specific characteristic of the personal Being is that it includes in its coemergence the logos dimension. This dimension of creative dynamism gives our experience of personal Being the sense that it personally acts and responds. Being is what creates and sustains everything, through its logos dimension. It is what makes anything happen, what moves and transforms all manifest forms. It is the only doer. However, since it is now personalized we experience it as personal doing. In other words, personal Being acts in a personal manner, where this action is nothing but the creative display of the logos, now integrated with the personal quality of essence. In the self-realization of personal Being, we experience ourselves as the wholeness of Reality, so we do not only feel personal but realize we are a dynamic and active cosmic presence. We can actually experience ourselves, as this cosmic dynamic presence, moving the winds and the stars. We feel that all that happens in the universe happens through our personal will and intelligence. This is not the will and intelligence of the individual soul, but of the cosmic Being, the personal boundless and infinite Being. Such cosmic personal functioning has a sense of being integrated and organized. In other words, it has a sense of self-organization that makes us feel that all the cosmic action is integrated into an interconnected coherent whole. This is due to the integration of the personal essence into the wholeness of Being.

Personal Will Can Emerge and Fill Us from Inside

As we remain with the lack of will and understand the circumstances that cut us off from it, the lack shows itself as a particular state of deficiency. This deficiency generally manifests as an emptiness, an empty hole in the solar plexus or an emptiness in the belly indicating a castrated or absent will. Yet, staying present with a curious mind and having the courage to be with the direct experience of the deficient emptiness will tend to dissolve the sense of deficiency and reveal the emptiness as a clear spaciousness. From within that spacious emptiness—which is transparent and clean, without any ideas or beliefs or expectations of what might happen next—the presence of personal will can emerge and fill us from inside. It might descend into us or well up inside us. The point is that the true will arises now that the obstacles preventing it have been cleared. It can be the full moon of will, the white light presence of will, or the metallic silver of will, whether solid or liquid. It can arise in the solar plexus or in the belly or fill the whole body. As it arises, we feel erect and tall, present and solid, secure and confident, and definite in knowing we are embodying our authentic being.

Personal Will is Called Upon when We Commit to Aligning with the Truth of Our Inquiry

The first journey I call the journey to presence. Our inquiry is primarily in our familiar conventional reality, exploring the beliefs and barriers that keep us from resting in the immediacy of our present experience. In this journey, the functioning of the essential aspects, the various qualities of our beingness, serves to motivate our inquiry. For example, the presence of compassion is what allows us to tolerate our hurt enough to open to it and explore its origins. Strength gives us the capacity to defend our vulnerability against self-criticism, and personal will is called upon when we commit to aligning with the truth in our inquiry. These are three of the five essential aspects known as the lataif, which we will look at in detail in Part Four. These five qualities are basic supports in the first journey for keeping us on track in the inquiry process. We may not know these manifestations of Being in a direct way as essential presence, but they are operative in our soul and instrumental in our travel. Though they arise from a different dimension, the essential qualities are still recognizable within our conventional reality, for we can appreciate their importance through their impact on our soul. Thus the power drive gets its energy from these aspects of Being, as Being calls us toward the knowing of our own presence.

Real Personal Will, as Opposed to the Willfulness of the Personality, has this 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. However, when shaped by the ego, our inner process flows in a very limited way that is constrained and made to conform to our conditioned beliefs about what is acceptable to experience. Our inner life then follows the rigid and predictable pathways of the ennea-types, and we are trapped in our own virtual realities. Only through being present with what is manifesting within us without judgments and the resulting inner manipulations, can we talk about true unfoldment. Then our experience ceases to be a predictable revisiting of familiar territory, and becomes truly an exploration and an adventure taking us into depths and dimensions of reality that reveal more and more of the richness and profundity of what is here.

Facets of Unity, pg. 132

The Problem of Personal Will Versus Predestination

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.

The Quality of Malleable Silver Solidity that is Distinctive to the Presence of Personal Will

The most characteristic and frequent e experience of personal will is as the presence of silver, either liquid or solid. This level is more substantial than the white latifa. Silver reflects the fact that it is softer and hence more flexible than the hard rigidity of iron. Here the sense of presence is most clear; it is a density of subtle presence, usually a concentrated mass of pure silver consciousness filling the belly or lower body. When silver is solid it is usually stationary and localized in the body, but when it is flowing as a liquid, it can go anywhere in the body according to the functional need or inner state. In addition to a solid silver ball in the solar plexus or belly, the presence can also be sensed as a column that fills the spine, giving us the feeling that we “have a backbone,” as the expression goes. Or it may appear as a solid mass filling the lower body with the sense of immensity and solidity of a mountain. In fact, this experience of silver is the living presence of solidity. Presence often reveals itself as some kind of spacious expanse but here it manifests as a solid mass with its own perception and knowing of itself. It is a mass that is sensitive and aware throughout its entire field, whether solid or liquid. This sensitivity recognizes its own presence and the quality of malleable silver solidity that is distinctive to the presence of personal will. This essential silver will is shimmering and luminous in contrast to the iron will, which tends to feel dark and heavy—sometimes even rusty and old—like cast iron.

We Cannot Truly Commit to a Course of Action or a Relationship If We Do Not Have Our Own Personal Will

The steadfastness or persistence can also manifest as resoluteness and at some point as a true dedicated commitment. In fact, we cannot truly commit to a course of action or to a relationship if we do not have our own personal will, because without it we are uncertain and suspicious, insecure and untrusting of ourselves. We doubt our perceptions and insights and engage in imaginary threats and projections of outside dangers. A good example of this from literature is the character of Don Quixote created by Cervantes. This does not mean having true will eradicates external dangers but that we see them and assess them realistically rather than from fear or paranoia. We will be solid and confident even if our life is threatened. Because will provides the capacity for commitment, we are steady in our course of action; we do not sway and vacillate in our relationship to individuals, organizations, or causes. The grounding of will, which brings a freedom from fantasy and projections, facilitates clarity and objectivity in all situations and relationships. Our resulting behavior is secure and unhesitating, concrete and certain. We experience a definiteness in our perception, observations, and understanding, for will supports us in seeing the truth as it is, free of fear or imagination.

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