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What is the general, philosophical outlook on willpower and life, physically and/or spiritually?

I get the general argument: "Willpower cannot stop death because everyone dies; therefore, given varying willpower, no one has proven willpower can prevent death."

But consider this: Maybe willpower can prevent death, if and only IF willpower is accompanied by other factors within a person? Maybe the degree of willpower must always match the energy of a person?

People are essentially like electromes -- cell-powered machines. Varying things -- including mental state -- have their role in degenerative diseases. The mind indirectly plays a balancing act between excited/unexcited states of neurosteroids, cell energy and feedback systems. People who remain "sharp" mentally usually do not suffer degenerative diseases. Depressed and sick people tend to lose willpower -- therefore they are bound to die. The catch 22 is: as people get older they're more likely to keep getting sicker and thus keep losing willpower and energy. The mind is underestimated -- it can play a role in everything from psychosomatic chronic pain and mental suffering beyond your comprehension to an immeasurable state of eternal calmness and happiness/solitude with no bounds. Really, the mind is simply amazing -- it indirectly "powers" our bodies cell-to-cell and plays a role in mood like the happenstance of "luck" or element of convolution that is a player in this game of life.

I find it implausible that people reject that mindset can be the difference from pain and death and living and thriving. The sayings even go, "Life's what you make it; you see what you see and everyone does."

So much attributed to the mind -- yet we assume death must be inevitable regardless of anything. Maybe our life system is the way of destruction -- to reduce the willpower to a point where it cannot fight past death or bodily decay; to regenerate and continue. The environment is built in a way where decay and a gradual loss of willpower is imminent. Would people die if willpower never faded at all?

There's no evidence that anyone with mighty willpower has died -- after all you cannot measure will. Given this it's clearly plausible that everyone who dies -- at the time of death -- had low willpower. It's all too common that older folks begin to lose confidence and willpower -- become their own enemies. Stress and a long life of decay instills the acceptance of death in the face of surmounting misery.

If people kept aging but kept living and feeling perfectly, would they lose willlpower or get sick? Die? Or do people that get sick and die only do so because life has made them that way, marking their "time" down on them innately? It's like life slowly steals your health and will until you cannot fight it anymore.

Every person I've known to die has brought upon circumstances that led to their demise: ill health; depression; unresolved demons; and sadly even acceptance of decay. People who die reached a point in which they couldn't withstand (i.e., will is lost) -- or they accept the dark path of decay and follow suit, neglecting serious health changes. Either way both instances show a compromised will to live in effect -- giving up/accepting/"letting go" -- or a circumstantial-basis of choices driven by carelessness that brings upon earlier death due to ego-driven poor choices, and low will power possibly.

Given this, shouldn't we assure life cannot reduce our will? Our energy? Age and sickness happen -- it isn't acceptable in my view. I believe life ends when the will ends, regardless of the circumstances. The will is not only circumstantial to a particular condition in which one will survive, but how one endures and lives while also maintaining said being and wellness of oneself. We need eternal will.

  • Hi Fox, welcome to Phil.SE! Honestly, asking something like "What is the general, philosophical outlook on [subject X]" is misunderstanding philosophy. Generally, there is no "general philosophical outlook" on anything, philosophy has many positions on almost every topic; thus asking for a general "philosophical opinion" on a subject will never yearn you an honest answer. – Yechiam Weiss Oct 13 '19 at 11:44
  • Nisargadatta Maharaj had a quote [unfortunately right now google is not cooperating with finding the exact reference 😊]. So from memory: "Meditation means having death in control". – Rusi-packing-up Oct 13 '19 at 13:03
  • Will power can overcome anything, it's all about believing! – MathematicalPhysicist Oct 13 '19 at 19:00
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    This is a very substantive and uncommon post, and should be let through. The problems are among the most crucial and urgent for everyone today. – Joseph Lutz Oct 13 '19 at 22:19
  • Our thoughts are exactly coincident on this point @JosephLutz . A profound thank you Fox for this question – Rusi-packing-up Oct 15 '19 at 13:13

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