A Universal Will
Schopenhauer uses the word ‘will’ to indicate a pure energy that has no driving direction. Yet it has a control over everything that manifests in the phenomenal world.
Space and time are concepts within our minds and the Universal Will does not consider mark time or follow casual or spatial laws as such. This timeless, indivisible Will and the will of individuals are one and the same.
Some see his will as a positive force but Schopenhauer felt that we are all at the mercy of this mindless, aimless universal Will. Many a time when you find life to be meaningless, remember he felt the same as you and thought of even expounding his feelings of disillusionment as a theory.
The universal Will according to him lies behind all our urges and even the basic ones. These impulses create lives of constant disappointment and frustration. No wonder we attempt to relieve our cravings knowing full well that they are never-ending.
We all struggle to find happiness and at best succeed in immediate gratification. But pain and suffering are inevitable.
The only escape from this Universal Will is non-existence or through aesthetic contemplation such as music.
But even someone who is a pessimist like Schopenhauer says that once you realise that it’s your perceived separateness from the universe that makes you feel alone and lacking spirit, moral goodness arises.
Universal compassion is nothing but being empathetic with all around you. You as an individual isn’t separate from the universe rather you are one with all.
There is immense hope lurking somewhere deep within all the pessimism of the Universal Will. Maybe the universe wants you to see the true aspect of all phenomena. It wants you to get rid of the illusion that you have create all the time.