What you're seeking for is where you're seeking from.
In short, together and not apart. Recall that Will means one’s strength to keep the Awareness fixed on a point of focus, the strength to not allow distractions to take place and to allow the light of Awareness to fall into thoughts, emotions or actions. It is a point of observation capable of uniting with what is observed.
What is observed? The sensations in one’s Awareness, energy, the Vitality existing in one’s ability to sense it. How does this union take place? First, through an invariably held Will. Second, through the strength of one’s Intention.
Intention, then, is the intensity of one’s yearning and how one directs it. Will our Intention be for the thoughts of the mind, the emotions or the body, or for the energy that inspires our existence itself? We should become consciously aware of this energy existing within us, then constantly turn the light of our Awareness towards It with the Intention to deepen our Awareness of it, holding this state through our strength of Will.
That is how they function together. The Will is our force of overcoming influences of mind, emotions and body and holding the Awareness one-pointedly. Our Intention is the intensity and direction of our yearning. Both must be present in order for any deepening of one’s sensation of energy to occur. The application is also Universal; you can apply these two tools towards anything: an external object or the space between you and an object, a location within your body, or in a subtle space beyond the physical, etc.
The result is the same, but the experience and details of how the energy manifests in the space of one’s held Will and Intention can differ in Its expression. Thus, it can be difficult to discuss qualitatively, since it is experienced individually; however, it can be discussed functionally, which is what we are doing here.
Everyone is at different stages of developing their Will and Intention. Some people have a sharp and clear Will, but no Intention. We say that such people are ‘dry’; i.e. they lack the sweetness and depth of Intention. Others have no Will but a very high Intention. We say such people are ‘flamboyant’ or ‘eccentric,’ but they are alive. However, that energy has no focus to it, and hence
goes all over the place. Other people have neither Will or Intention. We say such people are ‘dull’, lacking focus and brightness in their way of being. Best is to have a strong Will and Intention. Such people seem both focused, sharp, and very much exuberant.
We also go through different rhythms in our lives, due to influences. Some days we may be ‘dry’, other times ‘dull’,
sometimes exuberant but with no focus, etc. However, the development of our Will and Intention is a permanent attainment; nothing ‘leaves’ us in our ability, although various influences can temporarily affect how effective we are at applying our Will and Intention, until at a certain point, we gain the strength sufficient to render any and all such influences impotent.
Consciously learning how to develop and work with our Will and Intention is the key not only to living better, but to deeply penetrating the mysteries of our very existence. A strong Will and Intention is capable of penetrating the moment with depth and clarity to reveal sensations and experiences of reality before unknown to us. So how does this process work?
If we have a situation where we want to set fire to something, we need three things: fuel, a source of fire, and sufficient time to bring those two together. So, if, on a sunny day, I have a magnifying glass and want to burn a piece of wood, I have all three tools necessary to produce fire and burn the wood: the magnifying glass (my Will), the wood (my Vitality), and the sun (my Intention). We didn’t talk about Vitality in detail here, but it can be developed as well, and is experienced as the energy which we’re capable of working with in the body.
If my magnifying glass is occluded or I can’t hold it for very long, this constitutes the deficiencies in my Will. An occluded magnifying glass lacks the clarity to focus the light; this is like our lack of depth in concentrating our Will. If I cannot hold the magnifying glass stably, this is like lack of concentrating power; my Will is weak and unstable, unable to sit and focus on one thing for very long at all and preferring or drawn in by distractions. A clear magnifying glass and a stable hand constitute all I need to focus the sun’s rays; this is the depth and stability of our Will.
Next, if no wood is present, or very little, I can make no or very little fire. This is like the Vitality in the body, which lends us the capability to devote our efforts to concentration. It is also currently sitting there in potential; the flame in the wood is not produced or ‘realized’ until the other two forces – Will and Intention, the magnifying glass and the sun – are present and brought together to act on it.
Lastly, if the sun is shining behind the clouds or has set, I cannot make effective use of it for the purpose in mind. This is like shallow or no Intention; if the sun has set, we must wait for it to rise. But if we have no Intention, we cannot ‘wait’ for it to rise, we have to be involved in increasing its intensity. If the sun is out but it is cloudy, it’s very doubtful I would produce any fire until the clouds part and the sun shines directly.
This is like using our Will when Intention is low; i.e. ‘dry’; no matter how long we sit or how well-focused, we have to ‘penetrate’ into this focus and deepen it constantly. The magnifying glass can’t do that without the presence of the sun’s intense rays. But if the sun is out, and I focus its rays onto the wood, fire erupts. There can be no other result.
In our example, we see that the conditions depend on us. We cannot control the sun, but we can know when it is out; i.e. when our Intention is high. We must have the magnifying glass – our Will – to produce fire, along with the potentiality of the wood – our Vitality – to provide the fuel to be combusted.
Intention is very much like the sun, except we are responsible for when it shines. Will is very much like a magnifying glass, concentrating what’s available for stimulating Vitality. Vitality is very much like wood, energy sitting in potential until it is activated and stimulated to express. The focal point itself doesn’t matter when we talk about Vitality being present; since this action is coming from us, all three tools come from us as well, and bringing them together results in success – a blaze.
In fact, the studious will notice that these three things appear separate, but their result – the fire – depends on all three. So, when they are brought together, the result is unified. Does fire come from the magnifying glass, the wood, or the sun? The sun shines on everything without producing fire by itself. A magnifying glass has no such power by itself to produce rays capable of fire. And wood, sitting alone, though it contains the potential for fire, never reveals this potential by itself. So the fire – our success – never comes from just one of these tools; Will, Intention and Vitality must all be present in order for a result to occur.
What is that result? Clarity of Will magnifying intense yearning of our Intention to reveal the potential of our Vitality creates a connection and deeper penetrating revelation of our own inner energy. Without experiencing this occurrence, we may not feel its need or understand the reasoning behind it. But the energy that sustains us is pleasurable. When I receive something I like, it pleases me, but as soon as I am satisfied, it leaves. This occurs with all the pleasures in this world, which is actually just a stimulation of some energy inside us that we experience as pleasure.
Right application of Will and Intention and high Vitality create in us a sensation of this energy – pleasure – far greater than those in the world, because we’re in control of the tap and we are going right to its source, not some outward phenomenon that we would depend on in order to receive pleasure. All that is required is the Will to do it and hold the state of calm abiding upon the object of concentration, the Intention to deepen this observation into a unification of the observer and object, and sufficient Vitality present for me to perceive, experience and work with it.
This is how the tools of Will and Intention work. Now that we have explained their function and application, the question remains: how do I increase my Will and Intention? Like any skills or abilities, they must be exercised in order to develop. Will exercise is a successive development of overcoming Mindstream, the incessant chatter and turbulence of the mind.