A “Universal” Will

The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening.  When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people?  Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”
Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will.  Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”
Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good.  You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out.  The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.

  • Exodus 18:13-18

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!  Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

  • Mark 3:33-35

“Schopenhauer uses the word ‘will’ to express a pure energy that has no driving direction, and yet is responsible for everything that manifests itself in the phenomenal World.  He believes, like Kant, that space and time belong in the phenomenal world – they are concepts within our minds, not things outside of them—so the Will of the world does not mark time, or follow causal or spatial laws.  This means it must be timeless and indivisible, and so must our individual wills.  It follows then, that the Will of the universe and individual will are one and the same thing, and the phenomenal world is controlled by this vast, timeless, motiveless Will.”

  • Sam Atkinson (senior editor), The Philosophy Book, Big Ideas Simply Explained

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was my subject of a philosophy discussion before I started the regularly scheduled Tuesday morning posts.  The title is Mere Windbags.  Schopenhauer was about twenty years younger than Georg Hegel.  They taught at the same university, but while Hegel’s classes were standing room only, Schopenhauer’s class had only a few faithful students.  He made a claim that all other philosophers, with the possible exception of Immanuel Kant and himself, were “mere windbags.”  Thus, the post title.

But, this concept of an undirected Will was starting to form in the intellectual circles of his day.  Nine years his junior, Charles Lyell, a lawyer who took interest in geology, wrote a geology book that is still quoted as “proof” that the world is millions of years old, although everything Charles Lyell wrote was speculation.  As a statement of his motivation, Lyell wanted to rid the world of the Biblical way of looking at things.  A person who read Lyell’s geology text and was enthralled was a young student, Charles Darwin.  Whether Schopenhauer knew Lyell is uncertain, but the concept of undirected change by an undirected “Will” was a concept that gained root in that era.

With the philosophy that God is the directing “Will,” and at times it looks undirected because He allow us free will…  Now we can reenter the Schopenhauer philosophy and modify it a bit.

Schopenhauer could have found God in his philosophy if he only left his mind open to see the direction that God was pointing.

We may think of ourselves as wonderful people and all others as mere windbags from time to time.  But when those concepts are both proven false, I have learned that a fresh focus upon God is in order.  He is my directed Will, and I find comfort in His direction.

If you like these Tuesday morning essays about philosophy and other “heavy topics,” but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Tuesday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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