Will is the Path of Consciousness.

Will is impersonal, self-moving, free; the source of power, but not itself a power. Through all the countless ages the Great Sacrifice is Will.

—The Zodiac.



Vol. 2 MARCH, 1906. No. 6

Copyright, 1906, by H. W. PERCIVAL.


WILL (pisces) is the twelfth sign of the Zodiac.

From the primordial unmanifested into manifestation the order of involution is: motion (taurus) causes homogeneous substance (gemini) to express duality as spirit-matter; spirit-matter is acted on by the great breath (cancer) which breathes it into the ocean of life (leo); the ocean of life germinates and precipitates into form (virgo); and form develops into sex (libra). With the development of sex the involution of spirit-matter is complete. When sex is developed, the mind (cancer) incarnates. The order of evolution is: the spirit-matter of sex (libra) develops desire (scorpio) through form (virgo); desire develops into thought (sagittary) through life (leo); thought develops into individuality (capricorn) through breath (cancer); individuality develops into soul (aquarius) through substance (gemini); soul develops into will (pisces) through motion (taurus). Will becomes Consciousness (aries).

Will is colorless. Will is universal. Will is dispassionate, unbound. It is the source and origin of all power. Will is all-knowing, all-wise, all-intelligent, ever-present.

Will empowers all beings according to their capacity to use it, but will is not a power.

Will is free from all bonds, ties, limitations, or entanglements. Will is free.

Will is impersonal, unattached, unlimited, self-moving, silent, alone. Will is present on all planes, and empowers every entity according and in proportion to its nature and ability to use power. Though will gives to beings power to act according to their inherent qualities, properties, desires, thoughts, knowledge, and wisdom, yet will ever remains free and uncolored by the character of any action.

Without will nothing is possible. Will lends itself to any and every operation. Will is not confined, limited, attached, or interested in, any motive, cause, operation, or effect. Will is most occult and mysterious.

Will is as free as sunlight and as necessary to all action as sunlight is to growth, but will does not select the one whom it empowers any more than sunlight decides on what object it shall fall. The sun shines on all we call good and bad, but the sun does not shine with the intention of being either good or bad. The sun will cause a carcass to spread pestilence and death, and will also cause the sweet-smelling earth to produce life-giving food for her children. Sunstroke and ruddy health, arid desert and fertile valley, deadly nightshades and wholesome fruits, are alike the gifts of the sun.

Will is the source of power that enables the murderer to strike the fatal blow, and also the source of power that enables one to do any act of kindness, mental or bodily exercise, or of self-sacrifice. Lending itself to the one who calls it into use, will itself is nevertheless free from the action which it impowers. It is neither restricted to the action nor the motive of the action, but lends itself to both in order that through the experience, and as the result of the action, the actor may come to final knowledge of right and wrong action.

It is as great a mistake to say that will can be strengthened as it would be to say that we can give light to the sun. Will is the source of strength as the sun is of light. Man uses will as freely as he uses sunlight, but man knows how to use will wisely in even a less degree than he knows how to use sunlight. All that man can do is to know how to prepare, and then to prepare instruments for the use of sunlight or of will. Sunlight distributes vast quantities of force of which man uses a meager portion only, because he has not nor does he know how to prepare the instruments for its use, and because he does not know how to use it wisely. Will is the great source of all power, but man uses it in a very limited degree because he has not good instruments, because he does not know how to use will, nor how to prepare the instruments for its use.

On its own plane and the plane of motion, will is colorless and impersonal; on the plane of substance and universal soul (gemini—aquarius), will enables substance to differentiate into spirit-matter, and soul to protect, unite, and sacrifice itself for all things; on the plane of breath and individuality (cancer—capricorn), it is the power of breath to bring all things into manifestation, and empowers individuality to become self-knowing and immortal; on the plane of life and thought (leo—sagittary), it enables life to build and break down forms, and empowers thought to procure desired results according to the objects of his choice; on the plane of form and desire (virgo—scorpio), it enables form to maintain body, color, and figure, and empowers desire to act according to its blind impulse; on the plane of sex (libra), will empowers it to reproduce forms, to combine, adjust, balance, transmute, and sublimate all the principles of man and of the universe.

Man has therefore in his physical body the material and powers necessary to obtain any object, and to become any being, power, or god, all by the use of the magical action of will.

Each human being is not one single man, but one combination of seven men. Each of these men has his roots in one of the seven constituents of the physical man. The physical man is the lowest and grossest of the seven. The seven men are: The gross physical man; the man of form; the man of life; the man of desire; the man of mind; the man of soul; the man of will. The material aspect of the man of will is the seminal principle in the physical body. The seminal principle is as free and unattached to the uses to which it is put as is the intelligent principle of will from which its power comes.

At each inbreathing (cancer), the breath stimulates, by way of the blood, the desire (scorpio) to action. When this center is stimulated, with the ordinary person, thought is induced by desire, which usually controls thought, and will (pisces), following the thought, empowers the desire to action. Thus we get the hermetic saying: “Behind will stands desire,” which is based on the fact that will is colorless and impersonal, and that, although uninterested in the results of any action, will is the source of the power of action; and that to induce the action of will, man in his present state must desire. If, however, the thought does not follow the suggestion of the desire, but instead appeals in aspiration to a higher ideal, the force of desire must then follow the thought, and it is raised to will. The triad of breath-desire-will (cancer-scorpio-pisces), is from the lungs, to the organs of sex, to the head, by way of the spine. The zodiac is indeed the plan of the construction and development of the universe and any or all of the seven men.

The seminal principle is the medium in the body through which the universal will may operate, and the possibilities and attainments of a man depend on the uses to which this principle is put. Immortality is attained in the body. Only while living in his body, only before death, can man become immortal. After the death of the body no one becomes immortal, but he must reincarnate on this earth in a new human physical body.

Now, in order to become immortal, a man must drink of the “elixir of life,” the “water of immortality,” the “nectar of the gods,” “Amrita’s sweet waters,” the “soma juice,” as it is called in the various literatures. He must, as the alchemists put it, have found “the philosopher’s stone,” by which the baser metals are transmuted into pure gold. All this refers to one thing: to the mind-man, and the seminal principle which nourishes him. This is the magical agent by which all results are produced. The seminal principle is the self-moving, soul-quickening, mind-strengthening, desire-burning, life-building, form-giving, procreative power in the body.

There is alchemized from the fourth round of the quintessence of the four foods taken into the body (see editorial “Food,” The Word, Vol. I, No. 6), the mind-man. He is nourished and built up by the seminal principle, which is will. To accomplish this result of building up the mind-man, which is magic, all other things have to be subservient to the seminal principle; all acts of life, to the purpose of sublimating the quintessence; and, therefore, no call should be made on the seminal principle to lend its power to indulgence or excess. Then the universal will will make of the quintessence through the will, that mind body which becomes self-conscious; deathless; before the death of the body. A practical method for students is to think with each inbreathing of the upper centers in the body, until the thoughts are there centred habitually. Whenever the thoughts are attracted through desire to the lower centres, the thoughts should be raised immediately. This builds up the mind-man and calls directly on the will from above, instead of letting the will be moved by desire from below. Behind will stands desire, but above desire stands will. The aspirant on the Path of Consciousness makes a new rule; for him the order changes; for him: above desire stands will.

The prerequisite of all real progress is a firm conviction that each human being has the right and power of choice, to act according to his intelligence, and that the only limit to his action is ignorance.

With little wisdom and apparently no clear notion as to what they actually know, people speak about free will and destiny. Some say that man has free will, while others claim that the will is not free, that will is a faculty or quality of mind. Many assert that mind and all else is the working out of destiny; that all things are as they are because they are so destined to be; that all things will in the future be only what they are predetermined and destined to become by a superior will, power, providence, destiny, or God; and that, having no voice or choice in the matter, man must submit.

Freedom can never be attained by one who does not intuitively feel that the will is free. He who believes that all are impelled to commit actions by a predestined will other than his own, is governed and controlled by natural impulse arising through desire which enfolds and holds him in bondage. While a man believes that he has not the power of choice or of “free will,” there is no possibility of his stepping out of his immediate treadmill of habit under the control and domination of desire.

If it is true that will is free; that man can will; that all men have the right and power of choice; how do we reconcile the statements? The question hinges, of course, on what man is; what will is; and what destiny is. What man and what will is, we have seen. Now, what is destiny?

The motion which causes the first differentiation from homogeneous substance in the noumenal unmanifested world to be breathed into manifestation in any evolutionary period, is determined by the combined desire and thought and knowledge and wisdom and will of the preceding evolutionary period, and this motion is absolute and unchangeable in its action until approximately the same degree or stage of development has been reached as was in the previous evolutionary period. This is fate or destiny. It is the balance sheet of our account and the account of the past cycle of evolution. This applies to the universe or to the birth of a man.

Time and place of birth; circumstances of environment; breeding, and the inherent faculties and tendencies of the body; are the destiny, record or account of the character, which is the inheritance of the character from its past efforts and experiences. The total may be favorable or unfavorable. It has a balance sheet to begin with and must settle for old accounts. The tendencies and faculties of the body are destiny in that they limit the action of the mind, until the accounts are settled. Then, is there no escape, is there no choice? There is. The choice lies in the manner in which he accepts and uses his destiny.

Man may give up entirely and abandon himself to the suggestions of his inheritance, or he may accept them as suggestions for what they are worth, and determine to change them. Little progress may be seen at first, but he will begin to shape his future as he has in the past shaped the present.

The moment of choice is every moment of thinking. The sum total of a life time’s thoughts is the destiny or inheritance of the future incarnation.

Man cannot have or use will freely who is not himself free, and no one is free who is attached to his actions or the results of his actions. Man is free only to the degree that he acts without attachment to his actions. A free man is one who always acts with reason, but who is neither attached to his acts nor the results of his actions.

Will, itself, decides and chooses when it wills to become consciousness, but never under any other circumstance or condition does will become interested in, or choose, or decide, what it will do, although it is the only source of power which empowers all motives to action and brings about the effects of actions.

In the editorial on Form (The Word, Vol. I, No. 12) it was said that there are only two paths: the path of consciousness and the path of forms. To this should now be added: desire is the path of forms; will is the path of consciousness.

Will is the desireless creator preserver and re-creator of all things. It is the silent source of all the power of all the gods in all ages of the infinite harmony of time. At the close of every evolution or great period of manifestation, will is the mover in universal motion which resolves all matter into primal substance, impressing on each particle the records of its actions in manifestation; and substance retains these impressions even as the frozen earth preserves the latent germs. It is will also, at the beginning of each great manifestation, that as self-motion, causes the first motion in substance and all germs to spring into life and action.

Will is the Great Sacrifice through all the countless eternities. It has the power to identify itself with and to become Consciousness, but it remains through the eternities to be the ladder up which every particle of matter may pass through all stages of experience and knowledge and wisdom and power and, finally, self-willing, to become Consciousness.