Qualities of the Will

Energy – Dynamic Power – Intensity

The following is from The Act of Will, Chapter 3, pages 20-22

This quality is naturally the natural outstanding characteristic of the strong will.

This quality, taken by itself, can have harmful and even disastrous effects on both the willer himself and on the targets of his “”willful” actions. Such effects occur when the will is used in a domineering, oppressive, forbidding way; it has been called the “Victorian” will, because it was widely used in that period.

… a proper understanding of the will includes a clear and balanced view of its dual nature: two different but not contradictory poles. On one hand the :power element: needs to be recognized, appreciated, if necessary strengthened, and then wisely applied. At ht same time it must be recognized that there are volitional acts which do not necessarily require effort. It can be said that particularly the stages of intention, evaluation, and choice can be effortless. Morever, there is another and higher condition in which the personal will is effortless; it occurs when the willer is so identified with the Transpersonal Will, or, at a still higher and more inclusive level, with the Universal Will, that his activities are accomplished with free spontaneity, a state in which he feels himself to be a willing channel into and through which powerful energies flow and operate. This is wu-wei, or the “taoistic state,” mentioned by Maslow in The Farther Reaches of Human Nature (ISBN 0140194703).

Mastery – Control – Discipline

The following is from The Act of Will, Chapter 3, pages 22-24

This quality of the will is closely connected with the first, both because mastery and control require energy and effort and because one of the chief uses of the energy of the will is to exercise control over the other psychological function. Control and discipline are qualities which, at present, often arouse diffidence and antagonism. Again, this is due to an extreme reaction against their previously excessive and mistaken enforcement. Control does not men repression or suppression. … Right control, however, means the regulation of expression, aiming at a guided, constructive utilization of the biological and psychological energies.

“And then too, what has to be repeated again and again is that the healthy person is not only expressive. He must be able to be expressive when he wishes to be. He must be able to let himself go. He must be able to drop controls, inhibitions, defenses when he deems this desirable. But equally, he must have the ability to control himself, to delay his pleasures, to be polite avoid hurting, to keep his mouth shut, and rein his impulses. He must be able to be either Dionysian or Apollonian, Stoic or Epicurean, expressive or coping, controlled or uncontrolled, self-disclosing of self-concealing, able to have fun and able to give up fun, able to think of the future as well as the present. The healthy self-actualizing person is essentially versatile; he has lost fewer of the human capabilities than the average man has. He has a larger armamentarium of responses and moves toward full humanness as a limit; that is, he has all the human capacities. (from Maslow)

Concentration – Attention – One-Pointedness – Focus

The following is from The Act of Will, Chapter 3, pages 24-27

Concentration of attention can be exercised in three fields or spheres of reality. It can be outward-directed, … inner-directed, … or upward-directed … toward higher, superconcious processes and the Transpersonal Self.

While concentration generally, and especially at first, requires a definite act of will, after some time it can persist on its own without any effort or tension of the will itself. This is the case when one is absorbed in the contemplation of the beauty of some natural object or scenery, or is in the state called by the mystics “passive contemplation” or “orison of quiet.”

Determination – Decisiveness – Resoluteness – Promptness

The following is from The Act of Will, Chapter 3, pages 27-28

This quality of will is demonstrated chiefly in the stage of Deliberation.

But one must be careful not to confuse promptness and rapidity with impulsiveness. Impulsiveness doesn’t stop to deliberate at all; it jumps over, so to speak, the stage of deliberation, sometimes with fatal consequences. Therefore, it is important to have deliberation, but without too much lingering; no to decide is also a decision, and may turn out to be the worst one.

Persistence – Endurance – Patience

The following is from The Act of Will, Chapter 3, pages 29-31

… technique of “little and often.” … tenacity … repetition … Another form of persistence is that of endurance .. also patience

Initiative – Courage – Daring

The following is from The Act of Will, Chapter 3, page 31

This quality has two roots: one is the recognition that full and lasting security is fundamentally an illusion.

The other incentive toward courage is the enhancement and simulation given by danger, by risk. This often brings a feeling of intense aliveness and clarity and can create a true expansion of consciousness and even an ecstatic state.

Organization – Integration – Synthesis

The following is from The Act of Will, Chapter 3, pages 31-34

According to the mathematician Luigi Fantappie, this principle is one of the manifestations of the general law of syntropy, or negative entropy, of which he has given a precise mathematical formulation verified by observations. Syntropy is beginning to be recognized as a fundamental principle of nature, one having far-reaching, universal implications. Buckminster Fuller states, “My continuing philosophy is predicated, firs, on the assumption that in counterbalance to the expanding universe of entropically increasing random disorderliness there must be a universal pattern of omnicontracting, convergent, progressive orderliness, and that man is that anti-entropic recording function …” Teilhard de Chardin gives ample evidence of this law, which is at the basis of all evolution-biological, psychological, and spiritual-and produces what he calls “complexification” and “convergence.” He describes the various stages of this process of synthesis-which in humanity becomes conscious-toward and including a superindividual and cosmic center which he calls the omega point.

If we consider this process “from within,” we find that we can have a conscious existential experience of it. We can experience it as an intelligent energy, directed toward a definite aim, having a purpose.

Finally, there is the planetary and cosmic synergy which-by analogy-can be surmised to be the expression of the deliberate action of the will of corresponding transhuman principles or entities, as Teilhard de Chardin asserts. This according to him, is the logical, necessary goal of the whole evolutionary process.

Co-creative Group Suggestions

The following is based on work carried out by the co-creative group on the Will Project during the International Congress of Psychosynthesis in Canada from 11 to 15 September 1998. Initially this is provided to give some form of structure to pages. Please edit freely.

  1. Develop marketable products such as meditation cards (“Quality of the Day”) and games
  2. Develop physical meditations (mudras or stances) for each quality in order to bring the qualities to conscious awareness (see Methods for the Development and Training of the Will)
  3. Develop a marketable video of the physical meditations
  4. Develop a workshop on the qualities of the will
    1. Emphasizing the different vibrations of the same energy
    2. Employing various approaches to form a “network” of experiences to appeal to different learning styles
  5. Develop new exercises for exploring the qualities of the will


The Act of Will, Chapter 3 – The Qualities of the Will

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