Will-less Peace

I’ve been thinking about the will lately, you know, that primal existential drive from which all of our desires, hungers, urges along with the accompanying passions originate. The Will is the very life-force that defines who we are beyond our physical existences in space and time; we are our will. Unfortunately, my will has been imposing extremely negative emotions on me lately: disgust and abstract hatred mostly. I think it may have something to do with current political occurrences.

So, I think it would be good, sometimes, to be able to transcend the insidious demands of my will. I do, of course, appreciate the occasional euphoric satisfaction, but what I get mostly are anxieties and disappointments. And, the way to do that (transcend the will, that is), I’m confidently reassured by that great thinker Arthur Schopenhauer, is to seek beauty. Not the kind of visual attractiveness that only feeds self-interests, but pure ideal beauty, or if that can’t be done then perhaps descent into the overwhelming awe of the sublime will suffice.

At any rate, I’m focusing on reaching beyond my willful self-interests by seeking the purity of the beautiful, visual or aural, perhaps both. I’ll keep the will at arm’s length, at least for a while; I’ll bask in the truth of the Ideal, the beauty within that transcends the physical here and now. It seems to me, as I think about it, that this is what religions should be about.



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