The Gentle Will: Guidelines for Creative Consciousness
The Gentle Will
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The Gentle Will

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From what is thought to Thinking
From what is felt to Feeling
From what is willed to Willing

Every spiritual practice, every exercise of consciousness, all meditation—indeed, every moment of true awareness—we do with the “gentle will,” even if we are unaware of it initially and cannot fully activate it yet. In the course of practice, however, the gentle will begins to shine, and we gradually gain the ability to access it in our ordinary, daily activities, allowing our lives to become infinitely richer, meaningful, and creative.

The gentle will is relaxed, receptive, expressive, creative, soft, light, and playful. It is not rigid or cramped. We use the gentle will in artistic activities such as playing a musical instrument, writing a poem, or painting a picture. It is the original will of the human being, the will of the “I.” The gentle will is not the determined, useful, goal-oriented, egoistic, working will of Sisyphus, who will never be able to roll his boulder up the mountain. The gentle will is free of me-feeling and egoism. In this way, it differs from the “hard will,” which works through egoism.

Today, however, all life is governed by the principle of usefulness, utility, comfort, and efficiency—the hard will of egoism. This approach has brought the world to the brink of catastrophe, regardless of what technocrats say or think about it.

Georg Kühlewind writes in this book that the only hope he sees of avoiding destruction is a change in human consciousness; the “hard will” must become the “gentle will.” To this end, he provides exercises through which we may transform the hard will into the gentle will.

C O N T E N T S:

Introduction: The Story of this Book

First Prelude
From Thoughts to Thinking
Thoughts about Language…
Second Prelude
From Thinking to Feeling
Third Prelude
From Feeling to Willing
Fourth Prelude
The Spiritual Nature of Human Beings

Sentence and Image Meditations
Reversal of the Will and Encountering the Power of the Logos
Art and Knowledge


About the Author

Georg Kühlewind (1924–2006) was a Hungarian philosopher, writer, lecturer, and meditation teacher who worked from the tradition of Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual science. Setting aside his early interest in music and psychology, he pursued a successful professional career as a physical chemist. Meanwhile, he continued to deepen his spiritual practice and insights. A prolific author (most of whose works are still only in German), Georg Kühlewind spent much time traveling the world, lecturing and leading workshops and seminars in meditation, psychology, epistemology, child development, anthroposophy, and esoteric Christianity. He was the author of numerous books. Kühlewind died January 15, 2006 at the age of 83.

Michael Lipson, PhD, the author of Stairway of Surprise: Six Steps to a Creative Life (2002) and Group Meditation (2011), is also the translator of Rudolf Steiner’s Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom and of numerous books by Georg Kühlewind. After working with children with HIV/AIDS for nine years in New York City’s Harlem Hospital, he moved with his wife and two children to the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts. Dr. Lipson conducts a practice in Clinical Psychology and teaches meditation internationally. He is a frequent host of the radio call-in show Vox Pop on WAMC, a local NPR affiliate station in Upstate New York.

Additional information

Weight 5.5 oz
Dimensions 5 × 0.3 × 8 in


Michael Lipson




March 2011






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