Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
The Netherlands

3th April 2017


“Do or Control”


Man believes that he has willpower and this is a common belief. Not to have willpower implies that man does not have a strong mind. To be a strong-willed person is considered an attribute worth having.

Everyone is advised to have willpower or to develop their willpower. This is accepted as logical advice to give, because everyone believes that a strong mind is essential to succeed in life. 

Willpower means a personal ability to do something or to control it. It also means it is the ability not to do something or to restrain from doing it. Man and woman also believe that they have a choice whether to impose their willpower or not to impose it.

But does a human being have the ability to do something or to control the doing in the moment is the question that needs to be pondered upon deeply. It should not be taken for granted that a human being does have the ability to do something and control the doing in the moment.

The moment in life is vital, because not only is everything done in the moment, the doing too is in the moment. Now to do or to be doing in the moment a man or a woman surely needs numerical time to do or to be doing. 

Numerical time, meaning the duration of time, is absent within a moment in life. Science is yet to inform man or woman of the time that is present in the moment in life.

This implies that it is impossible to do or to control any doing in the moment in life and, in life, only a moment happens every moment and one moment is followed by the next moment. 

Now it is possible for only a letter of any word to exist in a moment in life and the letter becomes the past to be replaced by the next letter of the word. This implies that any word is an illusion in the present, because all that is present in any moment in life is a letter, which is a phoneme meaning a unit of sound.

Similarly, what is possible to exist in the moment in life is only a part of an action, and it is impossible for an entire action to be present in the moment. Therefore, just as an entire word is an illusion in the moment, so too an entire action is an illusion in the moment.

The big picture is: the entire, manifested life is a singular movement and every personal life is included in this singular movement of entire life. This implies that neither is every personal life separate from other lives nor is any action in personal life separate from another action or is actual. 

Therefore, willpower either to do something or control it or to refrain from doing something or to control it is impossible. Thus willpower of a man or a woman is an illusion rather than a reality.

The enlightened have rightly proclaimed that personal lives are illusory and not real, which implies that willpower is illusory and neither an actuality nor a reality.

Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2017

Editor’s Note:

The belief in individuality has enshrouded man with a web of conflicting ambitions, each one declaring its own legitimacy. History is a tapestry of such declarations with their outcomes filling the shelves of libraries. Successful outcomes are regarded as the product of the application of willpower; failed outcomes the product of its lack. Outcomes, whatever their quality, are the gift of life. Understanding the illusion of individuality is the gift of life, albeit illusory.
Julian Capper,U.K

German Translator’s Note: 
Trust in the other depends on their willpower to do what they promise to do. If they fail to do what was promises, we think their willpower was too weak. Power to do something is always attributed to man or woman as a doer. Dr. Shankar in the article “Willpower“ once more reminds us how far from truth this superficial belief is!
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany. 

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