As we step into the third week of Advent, we can turn our attention to the third aspect of our soul, the will. Will is the least understood of our three soul faculties because it is a work in progress. Our task is to bring it into a conscious state so that it is no longer instinctive.
We have in fact two kinds of will, one that is embedded in the physical ensuring that life is tenable, the other that is purely spiritual. In the body, this will is unconscious and ensures that we survive as earthly beings, digesting our food and taking care of all the bodily processes necessary for life.
The other will we could call ‘spiritual will’ which, like ‘physical will’ operates automatically until we take control. At first we become aware of the ways in which we confuse wish with will. Wishing for something is an astral activity, a lower soul activity, while true spiritual will is purposeful and self-directed.
Edgar Cayce said, “Will is the factor that makes the human individual different from all other creatures in the earth – a little lower than angels with all the abilities to become one with God – yet conscious of being himself.”
Rudolf Steiner spoke often, and in various ways, about the will and he gave exercises to assist our awareness of our will.
“We strengthened our will by freeing our thinking from the natural sequence. Reviewing the events of the day in reverse order exercises our will.” The Sun Mystery
He also said in “Old and New Methods of Initiation” that the aim of will exercises is to see through the physical body into the spiritual worlds. Our body becomes the eye of our soul and spirit. Most importantly he said in “Earthly Knowledge and Heavenly Wisdom” that the I must stream into our dead thoughts & bring them to life. We have to bring our dead thoughts to life through inner creative will.
There is no better time of the year than Christmas and Easter to contemplate the ways in which we can become aware of our will, strengthening it to break through the bondage of the physical world. While we give thanks for the gifts of the physical, we do not want it to imprison us. Both aspects of our will must work together for our health and well-being, benefiting the cosmos and all who dwell there.
“When we can observe the spiritual worlds, strength and certainty flow into our will from the spiritual worlds.” Rudolf Steiner, Occult Science
Painting: Inner Strength By Sharon Cummings