Will, the Necessary Impetus for Change,
is Leadership in Action

by Jef Bartow


The above title may seem to have come from a business article, but it applies to everything in life including spiritual growth. I have heard many times that all you need in spiritual growth is love. The reality is that most all of spiritual growth requires Will lovingly applied. As a principle, Will is at the center of living a spiritual life.

Will originates in the Plane of Spirit from the influence of Integrity.  In Isis Unveiled, H. P. Blavatsky placed Will in the Aether (1st Plane) "which becomes Force, and creates or organizes matter."  Will "spiritualizes every thing."  This everything is both "body and matter."  Further relating Will to Force, she affirms to her readers "that every exertion of will results in force,... the manifestations of atomic forces are individual actions of will." 

The Tibetan provides another metaphysical definition of Will.  "That which affects a change is a discharge (to use a totally inadequate phrase) of directed and focused will-energy."  In describing Will, The Tibetan relates it to various processes or end results.  "The Will ever implements the purpose."  Will is the "energy which brings about synthesis."  This divine will is the "Shambhala Force" or "life force" which "implements divine intention." Finally, Will is the "guarantee of our ultimate and inevitable attainment of perfection, illumination and divine consummation." 

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The unfolding of Will engenders specific characteristics related to each specific Plane or Realm it encounters.  As examples, Will affecting change from the 4th Unity Plane implements purpose. From the 4th Realm Will implements intent.  In the 5th Spiritual Plane, Will becomes will-to-be and from there brings everything into synthesis. Finally, in the lower Planes, Will becomes intention mentally and volition emotionally.

Philosophically regarding will, Aristotle concluded that "the ultimate source of all movement is Will."  He defined two types of will: "the capricious will of human beings and animals" and "in heaven the unchanging will of the Supreme Artificer."  He equated acts of will with "choosing rightly among possible courses of action."

Later, St. Aquinas focused on the will which "produces effects."  Will is "an impulse and urge towards something."  In relating God's will to Man, he outlined "a natural tendency to seek whatever they understand as good, not resting till they possess it; and this tendency we call will."  He also held to the idea that "everything derives from God's will."

Spinoza seems to take from a number of philosophers in defining various aspects of will.  Similar to Aquinas, he equated will with "the inclination which the soul has towards something which he chooses as a good."  As a student of Descartes, Spinoza also defined an aspect of will as "the power to affirm and to deny" (i.e. freedom of choice).  Finally, he also defined will as the "efficient cause thereof."
Another valuable perspective here comes in the teachings of don Juan. Consistent with Western theology, don Juan defined will as "something very clear and powerful which can direct our acts."  He also defined "the will" as intent.  Finally, he equates will with "the energy of alignment." 

Unsurprising to me at this point, a source within science provides a definition for will which I believe goes to the essence of Will.  David Bohm identified a "force of necessity."  He traced the root of the word necessary to necesse which means "it doesn't yield."  Bohm defined this force of necessity as the "force producing movement."  It is the "power to breakthrough mechanical life." Bohm finally concluded that this will is the "force of absolute necessity" which he relates to freedom.

I have come to the same conclusion as Bohm.  I define his force of absolute necessity as Will.  For me, the essence of Will is necessary impetus for change.  From the Plane of Spirit, the Force of Will produces movement within all of Objectivity.  It is the driving force of change behind all activity within Matter.  Will is the impulse or urge within all manifestation toward creating and fulfilling God's Integrity.  It is the efficient cause of change which is essential if active intelligent Matter is to fully express Love. 

It’s fairly easy to see how that Will (defined above) is a powerful part of the spiritualizing process. It is fundamental in the transformation of our consciousness and transmutation of our bodies. But this does not complete the principle here. The key here is that Will is leadership in action. That makes perfect sense in business, but how does it relate to spiritual growth?

Let’s begin by defining leadership. Webster’s Dictionary’s first definition of lead (the root of leadership) is “to show the way to, or direct the course of, by going before or along with." If even a significant minority of humanity were taking major steps in spiritual growth, we wouldn't lead leaders to show the way. What today are the small group of gurus, masters and teachers showing the way needs to become a large group as role models for the rest of humanity.

In A Passion for Excellence, Tom Peters devotes an entire section to leadership. To him, our leaders need to become cheerleaders, enthusiasts, nurturers of champions, hero finders, wanderers, dramatists, coaches, facilitators and builders. These leaders need to demonstrate passion, care, intensity, consistency, attention, drama and the implicit and explicit use of symbols. His attention here is "symbolic behavior."

In business, this involves "preaching the Vision... and Love." "You have to have a vision, and you have to care -- passionately... That is, you gotta love what you do, you gotta care." Love is what creates teamwork and “respects the dignity of the individual." In addition, Peters suggests that the "best leaders were comfortable moving back and forth between (or working simultaneously with) the highest abstractions (visions, ideas) and the most mundane details (minute-to-minute actions)." I conclude that he considers the primary objective of leadership as "transformations and enhancements, small wins, debureaucratizing and pockets of excellence."

Everything he discusses applies directly to spiritual growth. Isn't it true that those leaders we recognize in spirituality are the cheerleaders, coaches, etc. identified above. Beyond love, they preach the vision while respecting all individuals. And the best of the best in history have lived their highest ideals while managing to deal with certain realities of day-to-day life. The became role models of transformation through small enhancements and wins along the way. They changed the bureaucracies of life through the consistent focus on excellence, their own and others.

Creating excellence in anything, including spiritual growth, requires leadership.  In spiritual growth, it is living a role model of leadership (integrity and change with love) that is this spiritual principle. Will is the vehicle in becoming this role model of excellence in spiritual growth. Many, like myself, begin the Spiritual Path with a personal desire to do what it takes to leave this hell of human existence. Living Will in action brings everyone to a point of selfless service in fulfilling one’s purpose here on Earth. Once beyond personality life, that purpose involves the helping of others on their path in spiritual growth. Many times that includes the sacrifice of staying in this environment as a job, not a place to live a human existence.

This Aquarian Age we are now in provides the impetus for change (Will) so that each individual can become responsible for their own spiritual growth. Our gurus, masters and teachers of the past will need to become mentors as well as leaders by example over the next few thousand years. This is the primary way in which humanity can accelerate, beyond evolution, in making this planet of ours a spiritual force within our systemic universe.

What humanity needs are not just those isolated leaders we've seen in the past, but a growing group of role models leading by example in their own way and demonstrating that spiritual growth can come through a variety of venues in all walks of life. Will is the way that each of us can become leaders in spiritual growth for all.