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February 20, 2012 / theslowblitz

An Examination of Will

The mind is a plaything of the body. This truth was only too clear to me yesterday. All the will I had accumulated before then, simply abandoned me. The ideals which had driven me lost their power, and I succumbed to temptation after temptation. First gluttony, then sloth, then I simply became an empty shell, staring mindlessly at my computer screen. So much for the pursuit of a meaningful life. 

Not long after I broke these taboos, I suffered. I was plagued by sleeplessness but I could not sleep. I could barely breathe, my nasal passages choked by sticky mucus. I tossed and turned in agitation, and in this agitation, I strengthened the association between temptation and suffering.

Contrast this with my experience but a few hours before, on the same day. Having sucessfully obyed my will for a week, I was at once tired of it, and complacent in its continued existence. Thus I feasted on satisfying self-delusion, shooting myself up with dreams of achievement, praising myself for genius I never showed.

In hindsight, this conclusion was obvious. To possess a ‘will’ as is commonly defined, would necessitate the supernatural, a ghost in the brain. The ‘will’ to supress base urges were based in the body, as were the urges themselves. But the possession of the will over the body is such that my mind serves as the mouthpiece for its mission.

‘I’ am but a spectator. Whether it is will or urge that proves dominant, I am obliged to comply. I do not know which side is winning, lacking awareness of the microscopic firings of my neurons. By will I am forced to resist my urges, even as its forts fall, until by a sudden sea change, I find myself defending my urges.

I labour to say so much as the last portion of my last sentence. You see, will possess me now, and is obliging me to defend it. I offers me a sense of aspiration and power that urge can never provide. I am not deceived; behind empowering will is dominating ideology. Still, I can not fight it.



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