Here’s an important quote by William Walker Atkinson:
“We hear much of the development of the Will, and we realize the importance of the process which is designated by the term. But we do not stop to consider that the Will, in its essential nature, is a form of mental energy which is already developed and which needs but the proper mental attitude on our part to bring it into manifestation.
It is like the universal store of electricity which pervades all space, and which needs but the proper mechanism to apply it. We talk of generating electricity, but not a single particle of electricity is ever manufactured — the generation of electricity is simply the gathering together in one place of a portion of the store of the universally diffused electricity. Thus is it with Will.
Will is closely connected with the innate power of the Ego, and, in all probability, is a something which is diffused universally, each Ego acting as a centre of Will. At any rate, the experience of the race has shown that each and every individual contains a sufficient supply of latent and dormant will which if aroused will accomplish all that is necessary for him to accomplish.
And it is this training and cultivation of the use of the Will, that we mean when we speak of Will Development. We do not need to develop the Will—but we do need to develop our mental machinery that we may use the Will to the best advantage.
That the development of the Will is a task worthy of the best individuals of the race is acknowledged by the highest authorities. In fact, the best advice of the race has been based upon this fundamental idea. As Emerson said: “The education of the Will is the object of our existence.” John Stuart Mill said: “A character is a completely fashioned Will.”
The best writers on the subject of psychology strongly urge upon all the importance of the cultivation of the Will. As one writer says: “Not infrequently a strong volitional power originally exists, but lies dormant for want of being called into exercise, and here it is that judicious training can work its greatest wonders.” And again: “It is of the utmost importance that attention should be directed to the improvement and strengthening of the Will; for without this there can be neither independence nor firmness, nor individuality of character. Without it we cannot give truthits proper force, nor morals their proper direction, nor save ourselves from being machines in the hands of worthless men.”
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