Friday, October 22, 2010

Will Exercises

by George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff


  • Plan do do something at a specific time or times and then endeavor to perform the planned action. You may use your powers of Imagination and Visualization to formulate the specific task.
  • Plan to do a specific Work Exercise at a specific time or in a specific situation.
  • Spend half the day agreeing with everyone and half the day disagreeing with everyone.

Pondering on Will
  • Where does our Will originate from?
  • Who Wills our actions?
  • What is Self-will?
  • Is Will different in the three centers?
  • Is there a difference between Will and desire?
  • Is there a difference between my Will and the Will of His Endlessness?
  • What is the Will of His Endlessness?
  • What has His Endlessness Willed for me?
  • Can Self-will coincide with the Will of His Endlessness?

Online References:

Developing Will Power and Self Discipline

by Remez Sasson

An effective method for developing and improving these abilities is to perform certain actions or activities, which you would rather avoid doing due to laziness, procrastination, weakness, shyness, etc. By doing something that you do not like doing or are too lazy to do, you overcome your subconscious resistance, train your mind to obey you, strengthen your inner powers and gain inner strength. Muscles get stronger by resisting the power of the barbells. Inner strength is attained by overcoming inner resistance.

Remember, strengthening one of these abilities, automatically strengthens the other one.


  1. You are sitting in a bus or train and an old man or woman, or a pregnant lady walks in. Stand up and give up your seat even if you prefer to stay seated. Do this not just because it is polite, but because you are doing something that you are reluctant to do. In this way you are overcoming the resistance of your body, mind and feelings.
  2. There are dishes in the sink that need washing, and you postpone washing them for later. Get up and wash them now. Do not let your laziness overcome you. When you know that in this way you are developing your will power, and if you are convinced of the importance of will power in your life, it will be easier for you to do whatever you have to do.
  3. You come home tired from work and sit in front of the T.V. because you feel too lazy and tired to go and wash. Do not obey the desire to just sit, but go and have a shower
  4. You may know your body needs some physical exercise, but instead you keep on sitting doing nothing or watching a movie. Get up and walk, run or do some other physical exercise.
  5. Do you like your coffee with sugar? Then for a whole week decide to drink it without sugar. You like to drink three cups of coffee each day? For a week drink only two.
  6. Sometimes, when you want to say something that is not important, decide not to say it.
  7. Don't read some unimportant gossip in the newspaper, even if you want to.
  8. You have a desire to eat something not too healthy. For the sake of the exercise refuse the desire.
  9. If you find yourself thinking unimportant, unnecessary, negative thoughts, try to develop lack of interest in them, by thinking about their futility.
  10. Overcome your laziness. Convince yourself of the importance of what is to be done. Convince your mind that you gain inner strength when you act and do things, in spite of laziness, reluctancy or senseless inner resistance.

Never say that you cannot follow the above exercises, because you certainly can. Be persistent no matter what. Motivate yourself by thinking about of the importance of performing the exercises, and the inner power and strength you will gain.

Trying to attempt too many exercises when you are still a beginner, might end in disappointment. It is better to start training yourself through easier exercises at first, and gradually increase the number and difficulty of the exercises. Practice will improve and increase your power, giving you a lot of satisfaction.

Most of these exercises can be practiced anywhere, anytime. You do not have to devote special times for them. Believe me, they are very effective. Practicing them enables you to be strong and exercise will power and self-discipline in everything you do. This power would become available whenever needed.

If you practice weight lifting, running or doing aerobics, you strengthen your body. When you need to move something heavy, you have the strength for it. By studying French each day, you will be able to talk French when you travel to France. The same thing happens with will power and self-discipline. By strengthening them, they become available whenever they are needed.

It is important to remember not to choose exercises that might affect adversely your body or health. Deny and give up what is not necessary, futile or is harmful, but not what is vital for your well being. Always use your reason and common sense, so that you do no damage to yourself.

If for the sake of an exercise, you stop doing something that you usually do, and overcome the inner resistance concerning it, you may resume doing it, if it is not harmful. For example, if you love drinking orange juice, and for the sake of an exercise you switch to drinking apple juice, after doing so for some time and after it makes no great difference to you, you may go back to drinking orange juice, if you still like it. The point here is to develop inner strength, not making life difficult for you or continue doing things you don't like to do.

Online References:

Training The Will

by Life Positive


  • Vividly visualize all the unfortunate incidents which have occurred in your  life as a result of your inadequate will. Examine each incident carefully, formulating them clearly and then make a list of them. Allow yourself to be affected by the feelings, which these recollections arouse—shame, dissatisfaction with yourself, regret, and the desire to change.

  • Visualize the advantages of a stronger will. Examine and formulate all the benefits and satisfactions and write them down. Allow yourself to feel the joy of these benefits, the intense desire to realize them and the strong impulse to begin at once.

  • Finally, visualize yourself as being possessed of a strong and persistent will. See yourself walking with a firm step, acting in various situations with decision, concentration of effort, persistence and self-control. Visualize yourself successfully attaining the desired ends.

Online References:

Irresistible force versus immovable object

from Will Project Wiki

A physical formulation of the Irresistible force paradox: "What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?"


To test and increase participants' determination by giving them an impossible task, whereby only one person can meet the objective.


The exercise involves one person running from a start point towards a set goal point (a wall, a marked line, or a placed object such as cone or piece of cloth) a short distance away. Another person will stand in front of the goal and attempt to stop them by tackling, grappling, and restraining them. Rules and protective equipment can be varied depending on the nature of the training. It is possible for there to be one runner and a multiple people trying to stop them, similar to Bullrush, although without the group in the middle choosing who runs - everyone takes a turn.

  • Person organising the exercise will state the to runner, "You will make it to the other side/goal" and to the person opposing this, "You will stop him/her."
  • Runner will charge as fast as they can towards the goal, which will be guarded by an opponent or opponents. They will use all means and skills within the rules they have been given, but rely primarily on a singled-minded determination that they will reach their goal. They may use affirmation while running, such as "I will make it", "I will reach my goal", etc.
  • The person or group attempting to stop the runner will use all means within the rules of the game to stop the runner, such as tackling, grappling, and restraining. As with the runner this person may repeat affirmations, such as "I will stop him/her" etc.
  • The turn only ends under the following conditions:
  1. the runner reaches the goal
  2. the runner gives up
  3. the runner is successfully restrained for a period of time without being able to move
  4. the runner is dragged back to the starting point (meaning they were unable to continue their forward travel)
  • Roles are reversed, or the next pair take their turn.

  • It is possible to ritualise this exercise more. Both participants can be given time to formulate their goal, visualize it, and essentially 'psyche' themselves up before the run.
  • Remember though that this is more a rugged physical test of determination than of skill, so a predetermined plan is not necessary.

Online References:

Cultivación de la voluntad

from Sendero Magico

El siguiente ejercicio está basado en las descripciones dadas en dos Roles de Vuelo dado por la Orden Hermética de la Aurora Dorada. El concepto principal fue dado por V.H. Soror S.S.D.D. (Florence Farr) en Rol de Vuelo Nº II, bajo el título Tres sugerencias sobre la  fuerza de voluntad. Comentarios y sugerencias adicionales fueron dadas por G.H. Frater D.D.C.F. (Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers) en Rol de Vuelo Nº  VI, y titulado simplemente Concerniente al Rol Vuelo Nº II.


  1. Siéntese silenciosamente en una posición cómoda.
  2. Cierre sus ojos, y tome algunas respiraciones profundas, relajandose cuando exhale.
  3. Imagine un centro de atracción, ligeramente ubicado sobre su cabeza, con pensamientos radiando hacia afuera, tales como rayos, en un gran globo.
  4. “Querer o desear una cosa es el primer paso en el ejercicio de la Voluntad.”
  5. Obtener una imagen detallada de la cosa que usted desea.
  6. Eleve esta imagen a la contemplación de la Luz Divina al punto ligeramente por encima de la corona de su cabeza.
  7. Imagínese bajando un rayo desde este punto hasta el centro de su pecho (aproximadamente la ubicación de su corazón).
  8. Concentre todos sus rayos errantes de pensamiento en esta imagen hasta que usted sienta que esto es un bola escarlata brillante de fuerza compacta.
  9. Proyecte esta fuerza concentrada en el sujeto o cosa que se desea afectar.
  10. Tome algunos momentos para retomar su atención a la conciencia de vigilia tome unos momentos para llamar su atención.

Simbolismo cabalístico

En cábala, el punto en la corona de la cabeza es Kéter. Usted querrá hacer del centro de atracción la corona real de su cabeza, en lugar de un punto ligeramente arriba (véase la nota abajo con respecto a la ubicación de el chakra Sahasrara). Baje el rayo desde la Luz Divina en Kéter hasta Tiféret, el corazón. Esto sigue el camino de Gimel en el Árbol de Vida.

Tradiciones yóguico hindúes y tántricas (Shakta)

En las tradiciones orientales, el centro de atracción en la parte superior de la cabeza es el chakra Sahasrara (loto de mil pétalos). Algunas fuentes lo ubican en la parte superior (corona) de la cabeza, mientras que otros lo localizan ligeramente sobre la parte superior de la cabeza, como en el ejercicio anterior. El punto en el centro del pecho es el Anahata chakra, el chakra del corazón.

Ambos, el Sahasrara chakra y Kéter, se refieren a la Divinidad, una unión arquetipal con Dios, a menudo descrita como el Yo Mismo Superior (La ‘Divina y ‘Máxima parte de tu alma / conciencia). El Anahata ha sido descrito como “siguiendo su corazón” sobre la base de la orientación de su Yo Mismo Superior.

Otras enseñanzas plantean que kalpa taru (el árbol de los deseos) esta localizado aquí, simbolizando la habilidad de usted para manifestar sus deseos. Compare esto con la Indo-europea etimología de voluntad, que se dice se deriva de la raíz wel-, que significa “desear.”

Florence Farr - Tres sugerencias sobre la fuerza de voluntad (Rol de Vuelo Nº II).
Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers - Concerniente al Rol Vuelo Nº II (Rol de Vuelo Nº  VI)

Online References:

Cultivation of Will

from Magical Path


The following exercise is based on descriptions in two of the Flying Rolls issues by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The main concept was given by V.H. Soror S.S.D.D. (Florence Farr) in Flying Roll No. II under the heading Three Suggestions on Will Power. Additional comments and suggestions where given by G.H. Frater D.D.C.F. (Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers) in Flying Roll No. VI, and simply entitled Concerning Flying Roll No. II.


  1. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths, relaxing as you exhale.
  3. Imagine a centre of attraction, slightly above your head, with thoughts radiating out, like rays, in a vast globe.
  4. “To want or desire a thing is the first step in the exercise of Will.”
  5. Get a distinct image of the thing you desire.
  6. Elevate this image to the contemplation of Divine Light at the point slightly above the crown of your head.
  7. Imagine bringing down a ray from this point to the centre of your chest (approximately the location of your heart).
  8. Concentrate all your wandering rays of thought upon this image until you feel it to be one glowing scarlet ball of compacted force.
  9. Project this concentrated force onto the subject you wish to affect.
  10. Take a few moments to bring your attention

Qabalistic Symbolism

In Qabala, the point at the crown of the head is Kether. You may want to make the centre of attraction the actual crown of your head, rather than a point slightly above (see the note below regarding the location of the Sahasrara chakra). You bring down the ray from the Divine Light in Kether to Tiphereth, the heart. This follows the path of Gimel on the Tree of Life.

Hindu Yogic and Tantric (Shakta) Traditions

In Eastern traditions, the centre of attraction at the top of the head is the Sahasrara chakra (thousand petaled lotus). Some sources place the location at the top (crown) of head, while others locate it slightly above the top of the head, as in the exercise above. The point at the centre of the chest is the Anahata chakra, the heart chakra.

Both the Sahasrara chakra and Kether relate to the Godhead, an archetypal union with God, often described as the Higher Self (the ‘Divine’ and ‘Highest’ part of your soul / consciousness). Anahata has been described as “following your heart” based on the guidance of your Higher Self.

Additional teachings state that kalpa taru (the wish-fulfilling tree) is located here, symbolising your ability to manifest your desires. Compare this with the Indo-European etymology for will, which is said to derive from the root wel-, meaning “to wish.”

Florence Farr - Three Suggestions on Will Power (Flying Roll No. II)
Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers - Concerning Flying Roll No. II (Flying Roll No. VI)

Online References:

Saying Will

from Thelemapedia

Saying Will is a short ritual practiced by many Thelemites before meals, serving a similar purpose as saying Grace does for many Christians. Its earliest appearance in print is in Aleister Crowley’s novel Moonchild.

The ritual of Saying Will is intended to maintain the focus of those who practice it on The Great Work by reminding them that even so mundane an act as eating a meal is an essential part of that Work. In this reminding function, it is similar to the four daily solar adorations of Liber Resh.

Expanding on the practice of Saying Will in Book 4 (Ch. XIII, footnote), Crowley writes:

One may also add the inquiry “What is the Great Work?” and answer appropriately, when it seems useful to specify the nature of the Operation in progress at the time. The point is to seize every occasion of bringing every available force to bear upon the objective of the assault. It does not matter what the force is (by any standard of judgment) so long as it plays its proper part in securing the success of the general purpose.

On a more esoteric level, comparison may be made to a tenet of the Creed of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica: “And forasmuch as meat and drink are transmuted in us daily into spiritual substance, I believe in the miracle of the Mass.”

There are several variant forms of this ritual. In the simplest and most common, the leader begins, the participants call out the questions, and the leader provides the answers and closes. This form is suitable for use even when the participants are unfamiliar with the ritual. The type of knock used and wording may be varied according to local custom or particular purposes.

The Common Form

Leader: (knocks 3-5-3) Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
All: What is thy will?
Leader: It is my will to eat and to drink.
All: To what end?
Leader: That I may fortify my body thereby.
All: To what end?
Leader: That I may accomplish the Great Work.
All: Love is the law, love under will.
Leader: (knocks once) Fall to!

An Alternate Method

When all present are familiar with the ritual, it is possible to have the leader ask the questions and the participants give the answers:

Leader: (knocks 3-5-3)
All: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Leader: What is thy will?
All: It is my will to eat and to drink.
Leader: To what end?
All: That I may fortify my body thereby.
Leader: To what end?
All: That I may accomplish the Great Work.
All: Love is the law, love under will.
Leader: (knocks once) Fall to!

Crowley, Aleister. Liber XV, The Gnostic Mass
Crowley, Aleister. Magick: Book 4, second edition. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1997

Online References: