Erle Frayne D. Argonza
In this article, I will stress the need for filling up another important ‘glass’ in one’s Path: the ‘glass of Will’. As I have repeatedly echoed in previous articles, faith alone does not suffice to make one ascend the Path towards liberation or salvation. One must fill up other ‘glasses’ of life as well, one of which is the ‘glass of will’.
If life were likened to war, then one must have both lance & sword to be able to gain mileage in many battles to fight. This kill weaponry tandem is equivalent to the Will, a trait that one can’t do without in life. It is Will that keeps one moving in life, and so is it Will that will propel one to climb the Heights of inner transformation. For it is truly a matter of climbing mountains, this task of moving ahead in the Path.
The need for Will-bearers in society led the Hierarchs to evolve a particular class of humans to perform this role: the Warrior or ksattriya class. From among the warriors came a special class, the King, who wasn’t only endowed with Will but was also with extraordinary occult powers like unto the shamans’ or magicians’. The Warrior class, being the embodiment of Will, became the models for developing the traits that were subsidiary to a strong Will.
Weak will leads to stagnation and death, while strong will leads to greater life and liberation. Subsidiary to Will are the following traits: Courage, Audacity, Decisiveness, Self-Determination, and Organizational Ability. Without these traits, human society will flounder and self-destruct. Mutual faith/devotion is as good a pasting material as we can ever imagine, but without Will to enforce the norms of mutual devotion, human associations will self-destruct and society fragment altogether.
Gone may be the Warrior as a class, but in its stead had evolved the ‘Leader Class’. In all sectors of society, there is that high expectation to exercise leadership. Necessarily, the exercise of leadership would require leaders. In political society, we have the Political Class as a subclass of the Leader Class. In the military/police organizations, there is the Officers’ Corps. Among the various professions, we have the Executive Class. Among civil society groups, there is the Mass Leader. Within the Priesthood, there are the Bishops, Patriarchs, and Imams.
There simply isn’t any sector today that doesn’t manifest a need for leaders. And no one sector will ever enforce a lesson of “be weak, remain lowly and weakly in esteem, for thou art of the weakest types.” No Sir, the lesson is for one to follow the leaders and, in due time, for one to emerge among the leadership of the organization, group, or sector. And various discourses have emerged to articulate the need for leadership, the traits of a leader, the concomitant need for organization, and determination as a core ingredient in achieving success in business, professional life, and financial life.
Warriorship—and the Kingly class that it spawned—was originally a response to the need for Rulership. The Rulership principle, being a universal/cosmic principle, must be forged in all the dimensions of human life. Rulership begins first of all with one’s individual life: one must be Ruler unto one’s Self. The philosophers Plato and Aristotle were so adroit at their observation of this principle, that both contended for the need to be King unto one’s Self without reserve. Without the capability to be King unto one’s self, it will be futile to be King or leader unto others.
Rulership then moves on to the lifeworld, where the need for leadership and role models among diverse “In-groups” must be exhibited. Sociologists have done enormous studies on the lifeworld, using the scientific tools of sociometrics to examine the elements of social distance and leadership. Max Weber theorized about the ideal types of authority to explicate leadership types in various contexts: traditional, charismatic, rational-legal. The principles and elements discovered and articulated by sociologists eventually overflowed into the new science of management.
Within the context of formal organizations, the principles and practice of management have already developed to a very highly complex, sophisticated level today. In the evolving context of Information Society, new principles are being innovated on which were largely absent during the time of Weber, Taylor and Fayol, the fathers of the science of bureaucracy. Ouichi’s Theory Z, for instance, elaborates on the trend towards more decentralized, autonomous, participative leaderships. The excitement in the sciences of organization and management is a never ending story, and I myself wish to continuously get updated about them as a sociologist and practitioner of organizations and institution-building.
Onwards to the highest levels of expression of social organization, the need for Rulership remains invariable although the forms for those at the national, regional and global/international ones do manifest their own peculiarity. At this juncture, we have reached the point where the need for a global state has become irreversible, and sooner or later we will have such a polity at hand. ‘Political Will’ shall then be exercised with greater resolve, and international fiats executed with more teeth than before. Otherwise, in this continuing situation of ‘anarchy of nation-states’, we might end up blowing each other apart and destroying the planet through weapons of mass destruction due to our stubborn intolerance towards differences.
So, as one can see from above, it is sacrosanct an expectation to develop Will and its subsidiary traits to be able to climb the Heights to the ‘mountain of salvation’. To be able to forge a strong Will requires intense studies on the subject, intense focus on modeling one’s behavior from the mentors of Strong Will (executives, leaders of professions, high political leaders, etc), and practicing leadership in real life contexts when opportunities for such present themselves. One must also develop the sharpness at recognizing when a context is filled with opportunities for exercising leadership. In both normal and contingent situations, such opportunities present themselves.
As to the study of the subject, it pays to get some formal studies on leadership, organization and management in whatever form. Even when one had already accomplished a program degree or special course on leadership, one must go on and continuously update oneself about new developments in the field. As many leaders (officials, managers, supervisors) have found out, refresher courses make such strong dent that the practitioner gets to be reminded of both flaws and appropriateness in one’s supervisory behavior after a management workshop.
It is also very enlightening to do self-assessments about one’s own weaknesses and strengths regarding Rulership or leadership principles and practice. Many of the weaknesses and strengths are results of one’s own socializations in previous lives which overflow into the present embodiment. Some others are results of socialization processes in the present embodiment. The lesson, which the 2nd Ray shares unto us in our learnings of the 1st Ray, is to sustain our strengths and overcome our weaknesses.
Overcoming weaknesses, through diverse methods of learning and unlearning, is no easy process. But it is a possible undertaking nonetheless. Overcoming the Fear complex is at the core of ironing out weaknesses, and this begins with identifying one’s various fears. A listing of fears could result to a long list, and one should better be honest about them. Honesty about fears will facilitate one’s unlearning of the said traits, while dishonesty will only lead to possible scorn from observers. No one can ever fake Will when one lacks them in certain contexts, since other people are there to observe you. So better be honest, recognize your weaknesses and gradually work out to deprogram them.
Those fears that are learned complexes from out of traumas in life, both past and present embodiments, are the hardest to unlearn. For instance, the habit of obese eating, which could make one mightily overweight, could be traced to a previous life of starvation and death. And so, in this present life, the unconscious fear of starvation leads to indulgent eating habits and obsessive food storage. Therefore, no matter what weight reduction and slimming programs one goes through, the same obese habits would come back and weight lose efforts fail. One must then go through a healing process to be able to solve the problem.
As already mentioned in the previous articles, self-development tools and applications are exploding today. Addressing Rulership-related problems can gain much headway from using such tools. What I wish to emphasize here is for you to add the tool of yoga meditation (and prayers too) to unlock the causes of fears and related problems and take out the dense energies from one’s Unconscious Self. If the fear complex is very deep-seated, schedule at least a week to meditate on a particular fear trait. If the fear complex borders the abnormal or dysfunctional, then better consult a psychiatrist in addition to practicing meditation and prayers.
In my own experience, joining the radical mass movement, at a time of Martial Law, demolished my wimpy or low risk-taking attitude. At age 19 I was initiated via the ‘baptism of fire’, by being posted at the frontline of an Anti-Dictatorship protest rally in Manila’s Rizal Avenue, and was cruelly truncheoned by cops. I admittedly almost urinated with fear and terror on that occasion. But things changed as I joined and led mobilizations against the dictatorship and post-dictatorship regimes. By the time I became a national leader of civil society groups, I no longer had the goose bumps when I faced cops in protest rallies. Many of my warrior traits acquired in previous embodiments that remained dormant in my Unconscious were released along the way, strengths that have since been with me as professional and leader.
Not only that, even my disdain for cops disappeared, a disdain that developed during the terror times of Marial Law (1972-86). I was already a yogi and mystic in the mid-90s when I led national mobilizations by teachers against unjust economic and educational policies. At that time, when I looked at the cops in front of my mass formation, I could only see people who were doing their own duties, many of whom feared the mass in front of them. Yoga had changed the way I look at duty. I hope that both the activists and cops learn to meditate and face each other as people doing their own duties respectively.
For a final recommendation, please don’t miss out on the Bhagavad-Gita among your readings on leadership and organization. The sublime thoughts of Sri Krishna are compressed in this book. It is one exquisite piece that integrates High Wisdom into the practice of warriorship. It begins with being possibly struck by the ailment of indecisiveness while one is already in the midst of battles, and what wisdom lessons to practice to overcome the ailment and win the war eventually. The lesson says: win the war within one’s self first, in order to win the greater war ahead of you. What discourse can possibly deconstruct such a recondite principle, if ever?