Exercise 2 from the ReSurfacing® Workbook
Low willpower creates an addiction to directions, which is fed by truth-saying gurus, perpetuated by sign painters, and validated by courts. Personal responsibility is deposed without fuss by uniform codes of law. Freedom is replaced by governmentally managed choices (e.g.,You are free to pay your taxes by check or cash.)
For some, just encountering the idea of living deliberately begins to reawaken the will. Others are going to sleep through to the grave.
The ones who wake up look around and are amazed at the sleepwalker existence from which they have just emerged. The realization, “I decide,” frees them from their addiction to answers. Some awake so ashamed of their irresponsible behaviors that they become rebellious against all authority. Some even attack the source of their awakening.
A harmonic of this rebellious awakening is seen during late adolescence when inexperienced youths test their power of will over the smallest matters. Providing they escape complete indoctrination, responsibility matures and catches up with the will. They realize: the proper use of willpower is not conquest and subjugation, but the disciplined control of one's own attention.
Freedom is a measure of the number of decisions a person makes. As long as there is more pleasure than pain connected with making decisions, a person desires more freedom and less indoctrination. When it is reversed, and there is more pain than pleasure connected with making decisions, a person desires less freedom and welcomes indoctrination.
Awakening The Will
The will awakens slowly from sleep. At first it feels overwhelmed by the turbulence of thoughts that buffet it. Its initial attitude is: "Just tell me what you want, and I'll do it."
To strengthen the will by describing objects.
Insights, calming, increased awareness.
Take a walk, notice something, and decide how you would describe it. Continue, noticing different objects.
The group leader passes out cards that have the names of common objects. Without mentioning the object's name, each student describes what it feels like to be the object, and from the description the group tries to identify the object described. (Additional rules on how to play, score, etc., can be adopted by group agreement.)
Excerpted with permission from ReSurfacing: Techniques for Exploring Consciousness by Harry Palmer ©1994, 1997, 2002, 2006
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