Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On Discipline

Discipline is that exercise of the will, by which we attain mastery over the appetites and the selfishness of soul. Unfortunately, discipline is not a virtue I possess. I desire it, only God knows how much I desire it, but merely wanting is not enough. Discipline, as it is an exercise of the will, is not attained by desiring, but by being actively willed. I have heard it said that to love is to will the good of another. This at first seemed a very wishy-washy way of describing love, one which had no real force or implications behind it. But after thinking it over, I realized that willing the good of another has HUGE implications! Once again, I say that to will something is far more than just desiring. Will is a faculty of the soul which is greatly ignored these days, and in many cases it is passed off as "stubbornness". But it is in us, as sure as the intellect and as sure as emotions. Perhaps this is why discipline is so lacking in our culture, because we hardly even acknowledge the existence of this thing called "the will", let alone focus on strengthening it. I think, for myself anyway, the road to attaining discipline consists mostly in an active awareness of situations in which I could strengthen it. Like getting up early, just for the heck of it. Or denying myself desert. Sacrifice again, wow. Just can't get away from it, the road to paradise really is through sacrifice.

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