The Will versus Will-Power
William Arkle's Geography of Consciousness (1974) is so densely written that it is extremely difficult to understand - so it was only yesterday that I grasped the meaning of Chapter Sixteen The Will - and recognised that (without mentioning the term) it provided an explanation for a phenomenon which so interests me: Synchronicity.
My previous understanding was very general and external - that synchronicity was an indirect form of evidence for the reality of a personal God since it implied that 'the universe' was being 'arranged' such that I experienced certain events of special significance.
Arkle's explanation is related to a contrast between The Will versus Will Power.
Will Power is taken in its usual secular and common sense definition, and interpreted as the use of normal psychological disciplines to attain a particular goal.
Will power is a matter of 'getting what we want or believe we need'; it is a matter of strategically using our mind, understanding, predictive ability, force and manipulations to attain an objective.
Will Power may or may not achieve what it sets out to achieve - but it is essentially an attempt to impose ourselves upon the world; and therefore extremely prone to be evil in motivation and effect.
The Will is something altogether different in its nature and operation. It is our true, higher, individual Self; that contains an element of, and is in communication with, God.
Therefore The Will is a source of the power strength, and purpose of God as this specifically applies to our (real) selves.
The Will is therefore necessarily good, and (being divine) this good is harmonised with the good of all other things.
We have no conscious power to influence The Will by a strategic decision - any more than we could change God's will; we can only recognise The Will, and choose either to accept or to reject it.
Mostly we choose to ignore or reject The Will, and instead attempt to impose our false selves upon the world by Will Power.
And mostly this is un-successful - and this failure is both necessary and fortunate as the results of success would be disastrous to ourselves and to others (including the whole environment).
When (as is usual) the Will Power goes against The Will; The Will 'sabotages' our plans, by all kinds of means including psychological sabotage, but not confined to that - since The Will is divine it has power to influence other things in the environment - leading to what may be termed 'bad luck' but is actually a necessary failure to get what we want, because what we want is opposed to what God wants, and therefore creation is 'weighted against us'.
But a person who knows, accepts and lives by The Will (in however brief and incomplete a fashion) finds the opposite - he finds that not only his own mind (mental powers) but also 'things in general' cooperate in ways that are good.
This includes genuine synchronicity - which is a consequence of harmony between ourselves and our environment working towards the good, caused by The Will spontaneously (over time) reproducing in our surroundings 'a drama which represents the significance of our being': i.e. synchronicity, or 'meaningful coincidence' (as we interpret it).
By this account synchronicity is mostly an operation of God-within-us, rather than a situation created by God's power external to us. It is evidence of a truly vast and intrinsically good power - a divine power of subtle harmonisation that we may recognise (or reject); but which it is impossible for us to control, exploit or 'use' to achieve our personal desires.
This also explains divine providence, that sense of God's Will working in the world (but only with our chosen cooperation) can make situations that seem like a near-incredible 'good fortune' by a sequence of apparent 'luck'.
This may be the explanation for Great Men (in religion, theology, politics, arts, sciences etc.) who are (who 'happen to be') in the right place at the right time, and whose (small) decisions and acts are amplified (by invisible processes) to have vast consequences.
Arkle's example is Winston Churchill; whose personal qualities in the role of Prime Minister during the Battle of Britain were a consequence of extraordinary sequences of 'luck' - with world historical consequences.
"If you are a Churchill, you make a few small noises into a microphone, and you set forces in motion in people's natures which make all the difference..."
The lesson is that if we want real power in life, like Churchill, or the Greats in other domains of life; then this can be had only by renouncing Will Power, and embracing The Will.
We tend to suppose that the 'main problem' of life is 'amplifying our voices' - using force, cunning, chance to make the world take notice of what we think is important; but this is the false self at work deploying Will Power.
When the true self, The Will, is at work comes a recognition that our proper main problem, something that only we can do, is to recognise and nurture our true self, our highest consciousness which contains and harmonises with the divine.
And insofar as this achieved (and whether we know this is happening or not, and whether we are personally credited with it or not) the goodness of a true self in higher consciousness will quite easily and quite naturally be 'amplified' and propagated by innumerable instances of 'luck', sequences of meaningful coincidences: synchronicities.
Repost from 2014: http://williamarkle.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/william-arkle.html