The Yogi Philosophy teaches of the existence of a Universal Creative Will, emanating from the Absolute–infilled with the power of the Absolute and acting under established natural laws, which performs the active work of creation in the world, similar to that performed by “Cudsworth’s Plastic Nature,” just mentioned. This Creative Will is not Schopenhauer’s Will-to-Live. It is not a Thing-in-itself, but a vehicle or instrument of the Absolute. It is an emanation of the mind of the Absolute–a manifestation in action of its Will–a mental product rather than a physical, and, of course, saturated with the life-energy of its projector.
This Creative Will is not a mere blind, mechanical energy or force–it is far more than this. We can explain it only by referring you to the manifestation of the Will in yourself. You wish to move your arm, and it moves. The immediate force may seem to be a mechanical force, but what is back of that force–what is the essence of the force? The Will! All manifestations of energy–all the causes of motion–all forces–are forms of the action of the Will of the One–the Creative Will–acting under natural laws established by the One, ever moving, acting, forcing, urging, driving, leading. We do not mean that every little act is a thought of the moment on the part of the Absolute, and a reaching out of the Will in obedience to that thought. On the contrary, we mean that the One set the Will into operation as a whole, conceiving of laws and limitations in its action, the Will constantly operating in obedience to that conception, the results manifesting in what we call natural law; natural forces, etc. Besides this, the Absolute is believed to manifest its Will specially upon occasions; and moreover permits its Will to be applied and used by the individual wills of individual Egos, under the general Law and laws, and plan of the One. But you must not suppose that the Will is manifested only in the form of mechanical forces, cohesion, chemical attraction, electricity, gravitation, etc.
It does more than this. It is in full operation in all forms of life, and living things. It is present everywhere. Back of all forms of movement and action, we find a moving cause–usually a Pressure. This is true of that which we have been calling mechanical forces, and of all forms of that which we call Life Energy. Now, note this, this great Pressure that you will observe in all Life Action, is the Creative Will–the Will Principle of the One–bending toward the carrying out of the Great Plan of Life.
Look where we will, on living forms, and we may begin to recognize the presence of a certain creative energy at work–building up; moulding, directing; tearing down; replacing, etc.–always active in its efforts to create, preserve and conserve life. This visible creative energy is what the Yogi Philosophy calls “the Creative Will,” and which forms the subject of this lesson. The Creative Will is that striving, longing, pressing forward, unfolding, progressing evolutionary effort, that all thoughtful people see in operation in all forms of life–throughout all Nature. From the lowest to the highest forms of life, the Effort, Energy, Pressure, may be recognized in action, creating, preserving, nourishing, and improving its forms. It is that Something that we recognize when we speak of “Nature’s Forces” at work in plant growth and animal functioning. If you will but keep the word and idea–“NATURE”–before you, you will be able to more clearly form the mental concept of the Creative Will. The Creative Will is that which you have been calling “Nature at Work” in the growth of the plant; the sprouting of the seed; the curling and reaching of the tendril; the fertilization of the blossoms, etc. You have seen this Will at work, if you have watched growing things.
We call this energy “the Creative Will,” because it is the objective manifestation of the Creative Energy of the Absolute–Its visible Will manifested in the direction of physical life. It is as much Will in action, as the Will that causes your arm to move in response to its power. It is no mere chance thing, or mechanical law–it is life action in operation.
This Creative Will not only causes movement in completed life, but all movement and action in life independent of the personal will of its individual forms. All the phenomena of the so-called Unconscious belong to it. It causes the body to grow; attends to the details of nourishment, assimilation, digestion, elimination, and all of the rest. It builds up bodies, organs, and parts, and keeps them in operation and function.
The Creative Will is directed to the outward expression of Life–to the objectification of Life. You may call this energy the “Universal Life Energy” if you wish, but, to those who know it, it is a Will–an active, living Will, in full operation and power, pressing forward toward the manifestation of objective life.
The Creative Will seems to be filled with a strong Desire to manifest. It longs to express itself, and to give birth to forms of activity. Desire lies under and in all forms of its manifestations. The ever present Desire of the Creative Will causes lower forms to be succeeded by higher forms–and is the moving cause of evolution–it is the Evolutionary Urge itself, which ever cries to its manifestations, “Move on; move upward.”
In the Hindu classic, the “Mahabarata,” Brahma created the most beautiful female being ever known, and called her Tillotama. He presented her in turn to all the gods, in order to witness their wonder and admiration. Siva’s desire to behold her was so great that it developed in him four faces, in succession, as she made the tour of the assembly; and Indra’s longing was so intense that his body became all eyes. In this myth may be seen exemplified the effect of Desire and Will in the forms of life, function and shape–all following Desire and Need, as in the case of the long neck of the giraffe which enables him to reach for the high branches of the trees in his native land; and in the long neck and high legs of the fisher birds, the crane, stork, ibis, etc.
The Creative Will finds within itself a desire to create suns, and they are formed. It desired planets to revolve around the suns, and they were thrown off in obedience to the law. It desired plant life, and plant life appeared, working from higher to lower form. Then came animal life, from nomad to man. Some of the animal forms yielded to the desire to fly, and wings appeared gradually, and we called it bird-life. Some felt a desire to burrow in the ground, and lo! came the moles, gophers, etc. It wanted a thinking creature, and Man with his wonderful brain was evolved. Evolution is more than a mere survival of the fittest; natural selection, etc. Although it uses these laws as tools and instruments, still back of them is that insistent urge–that ever-impelling desire–that ever-active Creative Will. Lamark was nearer right than Darwin when he claimed that Desire was back of it all, and preceded function and form. Desire wanted form and function, and produced them by the activity of the Creative Will.
This Creative Will acts like a living force–and so it is indeed–but it does not act as a reasoning, intellectual Something, in one sense–instead it manifests rather the “feeling,” wanting, longing, instinctive phase of mind, akin to those “feelings” and resulting actions that we find within our natures. The Will acts on the Instinctive Plane.
Evolution shows us Life constantly pressing forward toward higher and still higher forms of expression. The urge is constantly upward and onward. It is true that some species sink out of sight their work in the world having been done, but they are succeeded by other species more in harmony with their environment and the needs of their times. Some races of men decay, but others build on their foundations, and reach still greater heights.
The Creative Will is something different from Reason or Intellect. But it underlies these. In the lower forms of life, in which mind is in but small evidence, the Will is in active operation, manifesting in Instinct and Automatic Life Action, so called. It does not depend upon brains for manifestation–for these lowly forms of life have no brains–but is in operation through every part of the body of the living thing.
Evidences of the existence of the Creative Will acting independently of the brains of animal and plant life may be had in overwhelming quantity if we will but examine the life action in the lower forms of life.
The testimony of the investigators along the lines of the Evolutionary school of thought, show us that the Life Principle was in active operation in lowly animal and plant life millions of years before brains capable of manifesting Thought were produced. Haekel informs us that during more than half of the enormous time that has elapsed since organic life first became evident, no animal sufficiently advanced to have a brain was in existence. Brains were evolved according to the law of desire or necessity, in accordance with the Great Plan, but they were not needed for carrying on the wonderful work of the creation and preservation of the living forms. And they are not today. The tiny infant, and the senseless idiot are not able to think intelligently, but still their life functions go on regularly and according to law, in spite of the absence of thinking brains. And the life work of the plants, and of the lowly forms of animal life, is carried on likewise. This wonderful thing that we call Instinct is but another name for the manifestation of the Creative Will which flows from the One Life, or the Absolute.
Even as far down the scale of life as the Monera, we may see the Creative Will in action. The Monera are but tiny bits of slimy, jelly-like substances–mere specks of glue without organs of any kind, and yet they exercise the organic phenomena of life, such as nutrition, reproduction, sensation and movement, all of which are usually associated with an organized structure. These creatures are incapable of thought in themselves, and the phenomenon is due to the action of the Will through them. This Instinctive impulse and action is seen everywhere, manifesting upon Higher and still higher lines, as higher forms of organisms are built up.
Scientists have used the term, “Appetency,” defining it as, “the instinctive tendency of living organisms to perform certain actions; the tendency of an unorganized body to seek that which satisfies the wants of its organism.” Now what is this tendency? It cannot be an effort of reason, for the low form of life has nothing with which to reason. And it is impossible to think of “purposive tendency” without assuming the existence of mental power of some kind. And where can such a power be located if not in the form itself? When we consider that the Will is acting in and through all forms of Life, from highest to lowest–from Moneron to Man–we can at once recognize the source of the power and activity. It is the Great Life Principle–the Creative Will, manifesting itself.