Sunday Thoughts 010

Willpower and Individuality

Part 2

The closing words of Part 1:
“… does not mean less ego or less will or trance-like consciousness. It means more.”

Now, the gentle irony is that the most penetrating insights into the condition of individual freedom come not from those who have it but those from whom it has been taken away. In short, those we oppress; those we lock up or threaten to.

I cite, among others, Mandela, Solzhenitsyn, Albert Woodfox (44 years in solitary confinement, “I wasn’t sure whether I would ever be physically free, but I knew that I could become mentally and emotionally free”), Assata Shakur, John Henry Mackay. There are many, many others.

And so, perhaps, through all our technological advances, life has become too easy. That the effort required to engage our will and therefore our individuality is out of step with the effortlessness of our lives. The foremost challenge for Western folk in the 20th and 21st Centuries.

And the failure to do so? As individuals, in terms of unfulfilled lives? Being caught in jobs we don’t enjoy but cannot leave.



Sunday Thoughts is a weekly series of sometimes incomplete thought pieces to stimulate thinking, and possibly annoy you.

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