This universe, in truth, in the beginning was nothing at all. There was no heaven,
no earth, and no atmosphere. This being, that was solely non-being, conceived a wish…
'May I Be?"
Whether you accept or reject the content of this cosmogony, one truth comes out of it…
that behind all creative efforts in all spheres of life IS an act of will. But what is will?
Where from does it originate? Will is a compound of the self and mind" says Swami Vivekananda. By the word SELF is meant here the Atman or the real soul of man. Atman is beyond causation. It is undifferentiated consciousness. In that consciousness there is
no will. Because will presupposes reaction to something external or other. In undifferentiated consciousness there is no such thing. Though Atman is free in its pure essential nature when identified with mind and body, it is in the state of bondage. In other words, in that state Atman is not free. The will is the first manifestation of the real self caught in phenomena or Maya. It is a compound of Atman and mind and mind is subtle matter. Therefore in the will there are two strands…one of the spirit and the other of matter—a strand of light and a strand of darkness.
In the ultimate analysis, however, this compound is bound to be unreal, for it is based
on the unreality of Maya. But as long as we are in the realm of Maya, that is to say, as long as we remain spiritually unillumined it is very real for all practical purposes. And it moves things in the way which nothing else does in the world except the powerful forces of nature.
Even these great forces are surmounted by the force of human will. Imagine what was the face of America in the days of Columbus or even what are Pilgrim Fathers saw and compare it with the face of America today. These vast and stupendous changes were all brought about by human will. All the actions we see in the world, all the movements and achievements of man are manifestations of the will of man. What we are proud of and what we deplore in human civilization, what amazes us in the spheres of science and what makes us speechless in the domain of religion are all manifestations of the will of man. As Swami Vivekananda says…."This will is caused by character is manufactured by Karma or work. As is the Karma so are the manifestations of the will."