Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Thinking on yesterday's post, and Hirschfield quote, I am musing and trying to understand "will."

Here it is again: 
"Attentiveness, and even craft, are not the same as will. Knowing and not knowing are equal parents to a poem [practicing yoga]; to learn from what lies outside the self requires stepping beyond what lies within."

What is the "within you/without you" of will?

Try to realize it's all within yourself
No one else can make you change
And to see you're really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you...

— George Harrison on lyrics there.

Ravindra would say that we are not small, that we need to step out of our smallness. But that is for
 another moment of contemplation.

Will: The mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action

Okay, so choosing to do something purposefully. That sounds like the within of practice. What lies outside the self here? Stepping into what? Or is that the not knowing?

Diligent purposefulness; determination

Again, the within is clear, the without, not so much.
A desire, purpose, or determination, especially of one in authority

That "authority" would be me, or whichever practitioner ... 

Deliberate intention or wish

The doing of it. Okay, I get all the within of it. But the without of it eludes me entirely. Maybe I'm tired. Would love to know what others might think.

Here's what Cicero said about motive that might relate:

"Of all motives, none is better adapted to secure influence and hold it fast than love; nothing is more foreign to that end than fear."

— De officiis, 2.7, trans. Walter Miller, 1913.

Again, I get the "within" which might include self-love and esteem and that could keep one on the path, but what is the "without"?



  1. When your presence of self is stronger than your will, the outside will reflect the inside. The "without" is without ego, without limitations. If you condense the line of the song to "And life flows on ...... without you..." you see that everything is seamlessly connected.

  2. I'm going to need some coffee to really absorb that. But thanks so much, Dreamfarmer, for the quick insight. I was at a loss there.

  3. Will is the stick we use to draw in the sandbox.

    Will is a force, like electricity, that works on the ether of existence.

    Will is the bridge between what we imagine and what we realize.

  4. Hmm..Obviously I am but a simple minded one and am feeling like I might regret trying to respond here, but I well, it isn't like I can really pretend to be smart. but just based on the original quote and inspired by your Aretha references. "Attentiveness, and even craft is not the same as will." will is "Soul" Attentiveness is hitting the right note, craft is implementing style, but soul/Will is that deeper thing that drives one, like rebusB said electricity, bridge..etc For me the outside the self that we need to learn from is what we deliver to others. Aretha connects with all those things from within to express her soul to us and how we receive it and deliver it back is the beyond with in.. The cyclical patterns of life..