John Locke once believed that the human conscious mind is like a blank slate (tabula rasa) at birth and all our knowledge is essentially an accumulated sum of experiences and learned concepts. While other philosophers believed human minds were born as imperfect yet complete, David Hume rejected this notion and put forth the view that experience and observation as empirical methods were the only way true knowledge could be acquired leading the mind to collect a sum of impressions and ideas.

To him, impressions appeal directly to the senses whereas ideas are vague recollections of impressions. Immanuel Kant, however, disagreed with the previous philosophies that we are passive recipients of knowledge or that only our senses and experiences form our knowledge and claimed that the fundamentals of the human mind are inherent providing us with the means to actively use our senses to create personal perceptions based on “a priori” concepts. He asserted that beyond the limits of our mind (the phenomena of appearances as we make them), exists the “thing-in-itself” (noumena of true understanding), a second “world” beyond the constraints of space and time in which a common subjectivity transcend.

In his book,”The World as Will and Representation ”, Arthur Schopenhauer, one of the most well-known the German philosophers, critiqued the works of Immanuel Kant stating that the distinction between intuitive knowledge and abstract concepts needed to be made because perceptions can be made without conceptual thought and that perceived representations are necessary for concepts to be had. Rather, he postulated that Kant’s “thing-in-itself” is what should be referred to as the Will. According to Schopenhauer, the Will is a universal metaphysical principle that does not follow the convention of space and time or obey our conscious requests.

We currently live in a realm of impulses, instincts and desires; a sea of possibility waves and intensions unleashed by our subconscious and the subconscious of those around us. We are therefore living in an often contradictory world where the Will of the subconscious (Will) does not correspond with the will of the conscious (Willpower).

To better distinguish these two concepts, Schopenhauer examines the notion of free will:

* We can do as we will, not will as we will
* Character is determined by one’s NATURE and not by one’s NURTURE
* No single action can be made before being driven by a motive of will

First, we are driven by a force that is much stronger than our own conscious Willpower. We can act as we will but are often driven by impulses, instincts and desires of the subconscious Will. Second, the true essence of a person is identifiable by the Will and not by the learned social rules, beliefs or memes of our conscious mind. Finally, what we see in the world around us, how our body functions, how we processes new information or how we interact with people are all examples of how the Will is expressed.

The instinct for power acquisition or control is one of the fundamental eight pulsions that humans own. The Will to live by avoiding death and procreating is not enough to express human nature. Knowledge, reason, skills, achievements and strength are all means of obtaining a non-individual state of being. In regard to the eight fundamental gestaltic instincts , we can see that this drive for more than individual power would not be true for all living beings nonetheless, philosophers have conceptualised what scientists are now proving: that the pre-programmed subconscious mind accurately perceives most of the world (much more than what we consciously recognize) and stimulates behaviours that correspond with our deep-seated self through reflexes, drives, and emotions. Our conscious mind confabulates justifications for our actions using the 5% logical yet relatively erroneous reconstruction of reality.

Please also see Part 2 of "How Self Determination and Will Power will get you Further" where I discuss how the conscious and subconscious minds can work together to create a blueprint for subconscious directives.

Author's Bio: 

Albert Garoli is a proficient health practitioner, medical researcher, and educator. He is a specialist in Ayurvedic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Herbology, Biophysics, and Homotoxicology. Currently, he is teaching in the Italian College of Osteopathy (C.I.O) as well as the Italian School for Oriental Medicine (ScuolaTao), in convention with University Sapienza of Rome. He is also the director of the Holonomics cooperative project. His many years of experience have brought him to a revolutionary understanding of human neurobiology which is clearly explained in his new book: The Evolutionary Glitch.