…independent will, our self-stone…

“The star of the unconquered will, / He rises in my breast, / Serene, and resolute, and still, / And calm, and self-possessed.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Light of Stars (seventh stanza)

Yesterday, I summarized creative imagination and the containing well.  Today, I would like to do the same for independent will and the self-stone.

  • Independent will is one of four natural endowments.
  • Independent will is a measure of personal integrity; it measures the value we place in ourselves.
  • The self-stone builds on the idea of completeness, wholeness, health, and well-being.
  • The self-stone is considered unbreakable, completely natural is a bridge to the non-living inorganic world.
  • The self-stone is a representation for the individuation process, the process by which we develop and refine our unique individuality.  
  • The self-stone expresses the deeply held value we place in peace, equanimity and composure; the self-stone represents a unique point of stasis – centered, grounded, and immoveable. 
  • The self-stone harnesses one’s will to a purpose; we are disciples to a set of values, to a mission or to a specific goal.
  • The self-stone subordinates desire to direction, providing us with a burning “yes”that enables us to say “no.”
  • Independent will harnesses our capacity to learn by putting first things first; failures become learning opportunities because we place more value in ourselves than in any repercussions of failure.
  • Independent will executes and divides by deciding “what the first things” are; in the same way that a judge’s gavel announces a decision, the self-stone executes one’s capacity for self-determination.
  • The dynamics of independent will are around action, contribution, and position.
  • Integrity and decision-making are reflected in action, the crucible of character; independent will manifests itself as action.
  • Consequence and impact are measures of contribution, the achievement of one’s goals; independent will seeks after impact.
  • Authenticity and identity are expressions of one’s proactive capacity, independent will challenges us be real and authentically engaged.
  • The self-stone is ultimately an involuntary and unconscious attribute.  The unity and integration of self-hood cannot be bound by conscious activity alone; independent will expresses itself in the full range of our behavior – both good and bad.

The negative associations for the self-stone (and independent will) are blind action and blind wilfulness. 

  • The self-stone represents humanity’s first weapon;  a blind wilfulness that supports no regulation.
  • Independent will can be easily misguided if it losses touch with the center of integrity; blind certainty leads ultimately to tragedy; the inability to stay present in the moment.
  • Fearlessness and courage are not the same as blind wilfulness; fearlessness accepts the challenge of adversity with equanimity and composure, courage brings the fullness of love into the moment – if only for a short time – blind action however is the absence of these things: love, equanimity and composure.
  • Blind action is also the absence of fulfillment; it expresses the truth that we have forgotten who we are; blind action is the consequence of that forgetting.
  • Finally, wilfulness needs the containment of its own images,  without viable imagery it is rudderless and unable to contain the moment in any meaningful way.  There is a natural dependence on our containing well to offer up images which communicate fulfillment and meaning.

The self-stone and independent will are about keeping trust and engagement with integrity and direction.  The impact of life asserts itself upon us without our involvement.  Enabling fulfillment puts integrity and direction in the way we respond.  It brings us the capacity to be involved.  It also burdens us with responsibility.  To exercise “response-ability” means to have and to hold a willingness to respond.  And that, all by itself, makes abundance possible.

Thanks for listening!

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