Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A healing path (4) relationships - lack of will power

There are many people who say they "lack will power".  They appear as weak personalities with little assertiveness and an all-pervading sense of helplessness.  Reflection on this reveals that a “lack of will power” is an illusion, based on two assumptions:
1. The assumption that the person has no will, or wish or want in a given situation.
2. The assumption that, should a wish, will or want appear in the consciousness, it would be a difficult, wrong, dangerous or fearful thing for that person to express.
For some, one of these assumptions is more powerful than the other. If the first assumption is dominant, then where they may have expressed their free will, instead they will make statements such as:
  • I have/had no choice
  • I have no rights
If the second assumption is dominant, then they may make statements such as like:
  • I don’t mind
  • I have no idea

Like every other human person, someone with a lack of will power has free will. He was born with it and nothing can take it away from him.  In fact it is impossible not to have a free will.  The decision to assume that you have no will is made out of an act of will.   Deciding that expressing your free will is wrong is a moral choice made out of free will.  This so called "lack of will power" is therefore not so much a lack of will as a disorder of the will.  The problem of a will disorder arises out of denial that free will is constantly being implemented. The denial creates a helpless, powerless feeling which inhibits action to implement the will and exercise personal power.

The cure for someone with a will disorder is this: for them to fully acknowledge that they are freely expressing and implementing their will in a thousand daily choices, simply as part of the process of being a person.

Making sense of nonsense
If free will is being denied this is nonsense and if it is confronted, it somehow must be rationalised. To do this the person adopts a series of beliefs that are an attempt to make sense of the nonsensical notion that he has no free will.  Confronting these beliefs or questioning their bases generates great resistance in the individual concerned.  Beliefs associated with a disorder of the will tend to be illogical, irrational, contradictory and rigid.  For example if someone believes he "does not know what he wants" then he will always let others decide what he will do, even when the others insist upon him making a choice for himself. But then:
  • He may pass the act of will over to another person:
  • He may deny having any wishes at all:
  • He may resent the questioning
  • He may emphasize his feelings of helplessness
(This not an exhaustive list, but answers of this kind are revealing.)

The belief that there is no free will makes it very difficult if an occasion arises where a conscious decision must be made.  In extreme cases he will not even notice that someone else has exercised their own free will on his behalf.  He may wait for a long time, even an entire lifetime, for the thing that will bring him joy. He will not at any time attempt to influence events, because he has decided to assume that he has no right to act.

In short, someone who claims he or she has " no will power" is living in their Beta space, living out the life of their weak and helpless lost twin.   Deciding to relinquish  their own power and autonomy is an act of will in itself,  for this is how to keep the Dream alive.

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