(Â»aÂ«) Teach Thy Will to “Resist and Renounce.” Strengthen your Will-Power by Renunciation. By Resistance is not meant outer resistance or aggressiveness. I find that all the modern teachers of Hypnotism advise their students to develop Will-Power by exercising it upon others. This is placing the cart before the horse.
We Hindus know better. No; by Resistance to and Repression of your lower Desire-Nature is meant letting the more difficult choice exercise its compelling and restraining power over the easier one. Says Sister Nivedita: “The Indian ideal is that man whose lower mind is so perfectly under control that he can at any moment plunge into the thought-ocean and remain there at will without the least possibility of a sudden break and unexpected return to the life of the senses.” Yes, your interests should be within and not without. Â»You must rise above all personal impulseÂ«. Even in this world you find that men of distinction, fame and honour have achieved recognition by practising a little Â»self-denialÂ«, which is a “milder” form of absolute Renunciation as practised by true Sanyasis.
The man who can work at his aim with perseverance and denies himself the mess of pottage of present indulgence in view of some future gain develops Will-Power. So in training your Will to ‘resist’, you must, as a first step, sternly refuse to indulge impulses, desires and tendencies not in consonance with the dictates of your Higher Self. You must actually go out of your way and “deny” yourself the little or great “comforts” to which you are or have been accustomed. The strongest-willed man is he who has the greatest control over his inclinations, and who can ‘force’ himself to do such things as he is naturally most inclined to do. This is a characteristic which cannot be developed in a day.
There are some children and even grown-up men and women who mistake their ‘obstinacy’ for Will-Power. They want a thing and when they do not get it they tear their hair, gnash their teeth, stamp their feet and fly into a terrible passion. Since people think that these uncontrolled creatures are strong-willed while all that you could say about them is that Â»they are utter slaves to their desiresÂ«. You must practise self-denial in fifty different ways and force yourself to do certain things, ‘little and big,’ every day purely for developing this power of Resistance. No short-cut to this.
Some children develop it unconsciously by ‘forcing’ themselves to study when they might play, and by applying themselves to such studies as are dry and uninteresting to them they thus practise voluntary Concentration. Practise self-denial in every possible way. Cut off such luxuries as you think “you must have.” “Take a cold bath when you would prefer a warm one. Arise promptly in the morning. Make yourself call upon people you have avoided. Stand up in a street car when you would prefer sitting; walk when it is convenient to ride. Make engagements with yourself and keep them. Promise yourself that when you see something to be done you will spring at once to it however strong may be the inclination to put it off awhile” and back of it all let there be the auto-suggestion: “Â»I am doing all these hard things in order to build up my Will-Power and each time ‘I’ succeed in forcing ‘my mind’ to do a thing or not to do it I make the next victory easier and my Will-Power strongerÂ«.” Of course the above is only a hint as to your line of practise.
(Â»bÂ«) You must not give yourself such hard tasks of Self-Development as might be too heavy and beyond the present strength of your Will. In denying yourself you develop self-control. In forcing yourself to do certain things you develop powers of Self-Expression. In one the Will moves along negative lines. In the other along positive lines. Both are necessary. The man who cannot control and command himself can never develop and express Himself. But be sure to begin with easy things and then as you gain in confidence you may attempt more difficult feats.
(Â»cÂ«) The faculties of Courage and Confidence are essentially important. Nothing weakens the will so much as Fear and lack of Self-Confidence. Self-Confidence is not blustering self-conceit. That within you which says “I CAN” when calmly and doggedly backed by your “I Will” when deliberately translated into action develops Will-Force and commands startling results.
(Â»dÂ«) Always hold these words before your passive Mind:
1. Earnestness. 2. Determination. 3. Courage. 4. Confidence. 5. Stick-to-it-ive-ness. 6. Patience. 7. I can and I will.
(Â»eÂ«) The tendency of the Masculine function of your mind to “I” is towards giving, expressing or projecting energy; that of the Feminine is towards generating and creating mental progeny such as thoughts, mental energy, new habits, etc. It is why the Feminine Principle has been called the “mental womb” by ancient philosophers. It comprises also the faculty of Imagination. The Masculine function does the work of the ‘Will’ in its varied phases.
The Feminine function receives impressions and generates mental offspring in the form of new thoughts, ideas, concepts, thought-habits and so forth. Its powers of creative energy are strikingly marvellous and have been proved and attested to in Psychological experiments conducted by the best known mental scientists of the day. Â»But “positive” mental energy must be projected by the ‘I’ into the Passive Mind through concentration, suggestion and willing before the latter can be started to work along any line of creative effort.Â« This suggestion may be given by you to your sub-conscious mind or it may come as an outer impression. Unless you control your Passive Mind, it is sure to be controlled by others. Then you are a slave. Now in cultivating the above seven qualities, you should take up Â»oneÂ« word at a time and let the outer form sink into your mind. Place yourself in a relaxed and passive condition.
Close your eyes and picture the Â»formÂ« of the word to yourself, for instance, D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N. Employ the Imagination and visualize mentally. This done, Â»i.e.Â«, when the word-picture is well photographed upon your mind and fastened in place, your next step will be to picture yourself the Ideas, qualities, physical and mental characteristics, etc., associated with the word. Your third step is to calmly, concentratedly and confidently command your Passive Mind to generate that quality. Remember, your mind will at first rebel, but a very little persistence will lead to complete success. Repeat the auto-suggestions daily at the same time. See that it manifests in Action. Act it out as often as possible. Of course your efforts will be imperfect to begin with, but, never mind, go ahead, keeping firm hold on your “I can and I will” in spite of all things and success is quite certain. Once you have developed these seven qualities, you can do anything.
(Â»fÂ«) Do not let your friends or anyone–no matter who!–deflect you from your resolutions. “Let not thy right hand know what thy left hand does.” Talk never. Let results show. The Lord has hidden himself best and His work is wonderful beyond compare! Your very friends and relatives will spit upon you for lacking any of these qualities. Do not ever impose your will upon others, but never let others to impose upon you against the sanction of your own judgment. In fact, none can unless you are a weakling and fickle-minded.
(Â»gÂ«) Frequent the company of chaste, strong-willed men and you cannot but grow strong.
(Â»hÂ«) Read Literature on this subject and obtain all possible aid through Knowledge.
(Â»iÂ«) If your faculty of imagination and idealism are undeveloped, cultivate them, because it is these two that make a god of a man. Philosophers, scholars, poets and musicians have them well-developed. But where imagination is uncontrolled by higher reason and where idealism is not backed by a strong will, there you have the idle ‘dreamer of dreams’ and such a state of mind is reprehensible and pitiable indeed!
(Â»jÂ«) Will-Power grows by faith in one’s ability by exercise; by devotion to the UNCONDITIONED SPIRIT.
(Â»kÂ«) In your efforts to develop Will-Power, be not afraid that your health will break down. In fact, Perfect Health is the result of a perfect Will. Deny the power of disease and weakness over yourself. “Â»I can never be ill. My body is my slave. It shall always manifest perfect healthÂ«.” Convince your passive mind–which has charge of your body–of this by repeated commands, demands and assertions. Always think of your body as being as strong as adamant. Never talk of either health or disease or weakness. You must be above caring for these. They are your Natural rights.
Only when you lower yourself they have power to trouble you. Go beyond the lower self. Your business is to care for the Higher-Self–that in which “You” live, move, and have your being. Also teach and train your Will to move along negative lines of self-repression as well as along positive lines of Self-Expression. Balance both. The former precedes the latter. Now I will pass on to the subject of SELF-CONTROL, with the distinct understanding that Self-Control and Will-Power are inextricably bound up in each other. You Get the real “practical work” in the endeavour for Self-Control.