Richard Bandler expressed a strong preference during his Neuro-Hypnotic Repatterning (NHR) seminar in 2015 in Brighton, U.K. for a stronger will. He showed the difference between “wanting something” and “willing something”.

The will – Every willing unites a multiplicity of feelings: the feeling of the state to be left, the feeling of the state to be reached, the feeling of this ‘leaving and reaching’ itself, the feeling of the duration of the process, then lastly an accompanying feeling of the muscles which begins its play through a kind of habit, even without our moving arms or legs, as soon as we ‘will’. Feeling, then, in fact many ways of feeling, must be recognized as an ingredient of the will, and so, secondly, must thinking. In every act of will, a thought commands – and it would be a great mistake to believe we could separate this thought off from the willing itself, as if willing would then remain behind. Thirdly, the will is not only a complex of feeling and thinking, but above all also an affect: that affect of command. What is called freedom of the will is essentially a feeling of superiority over the one who must obey: ‘I am free, he must obey’ – this consciousness is present in every will, and it’s that tense alertness, that clear gaze focused on one thing only, that exclusive valuation: ‘this and nothing else is now necessary’, that inner certainty of being obeyed, how all this belongs to the state of the one commanding. A man who wills- commands a something in himself which obeys, or which he believes will obey. Now, however, notice what is the most essential aspect of ‘will’, of this so complicated thing for which the common people have a single word. Because in a given case we are simultaneously the commanders and the obeyers, and as obeyers know the feelings of resisting, harassing, pushing, which usually begin immediately after the act of will; because, however, in using the synthetic concept ‘I’ we habitually disregard, disguise from ourselves this duality, willing has become encumbered with a whole chain of erroneous conclusions and consequently false valuations of will itself- so that the willer believes in all good faith that his will itself is the actual and sufficient motor for the whole action. And because, in almost every case, willing only happened where some effect of the command – obedience, thus some action – was to be expected, the appearance has translated itself into the feeling that there is a necessity of effect. Enough: the willer believes with a fair degree of certainty that will and action are somehow one – he ascribes the success of execution to the will itself, enjoying a growth in that feeling of power which all commanding brings with it. ‘Freedom of will’: this is the word for that very mixed state of the willer, who commands and at the same time, as the executor of the command, enjoys the triumph of superiority over resistance; who, however, judges that the will itself is what overcomes the resistance. He takes the pleasurable feelings of the successfully executing tool – the ministering will and sub-will- and adds them to his pleasurable feelings as the giver of the command. – This tangled nest of feelings, states and false assumptions, which the common people designate with one word and as one thing, because it is there suddenly and ‘at once’ and is among the very most frequent, consequently most ‘well-known’ experiences: the will, as I have described it here – who can credit that it has never been described before? That the common people’s clumsy prejudice has kept its validity and remained unexamined in every philosophy? That philosophers’ opinions have never differed on what ‘willing’ is, because they all believed that precisely here one had an immediate certainty, a fundamental fact, that precisely here there was no room for opinion? And that all logicians still teach the holy trinity of ‘thinking, feeling, willing’ as if ‘willing’ did not include feeling and thinking? – After all this, Schopenhauer’s great mistake of taking the will to be the best-known thing in the world, indeed as the genuinely and solely known thing, seems less crazed and arbitrary: he only adopted a tremendous prejudice of all previous philosophers, a prejudice of the common people- adopted it and, as philosophers generally do, exaggerated it.

Notebook 38, June – July 1885 paragraph 8

‘willing’ is not ‘desiring’, striving, wanting: it distinguishes itself from these by the affect of the command there is no ‘willing’, but only a willing-something: one must not uncouple the goal from the state, as the theorists of knowledge do. ‘Willing’ in the way they understand it occurs just as little as ‘thinking’; is pure fiction. that something is commanded is part of willing (this does not, of course, mean that the will is ‘executed’ …) That general state of tension by means of which a force strives to discharge itself- is not ‘willing’

Notebook 11, November 1887 – March 1888 paragraph 114


Any statement that expresses a wish but doesn’t mention whose wish it is, is a lost performative and as such a distortion of reality.

Very few people make it clear to themselves what is implied by the standpoint of desirability, by every ‘It ought to be so, but it is not’ or even ‘It ought to have been so’: a condemnation of the entire course of things. For in that course nothing is isolated, the smallest element carries the whole, upon your little injustice stands the whole edifice of the future, every criticism of the smallest part condemns the whole as well. Assuming even that the moral norm, as Kant himself supposed, has never been perfectly fulfilled and remains like a kind of beyond, hanging over reality without ever falling into it: then morality would imply a judgement of the whole, which would, however, permit the question: where does it get its right to this? How does the part come to sit in judgement on the whole? – And if this moral judging and discontent with the real were indeed, as has been claimed, an ineradicable instinct, might that instinct not then be one of the ineradicable stupidities or indeed presumptions of our species? – But by saying this we’re doing exactly what we rebuke: the standpoint of desirability, of unwarrantedly playing the judge, is part of the character of the course of things, as is every injustice and imperfection – it’s only our concept of ‘perfection’ which loses out. Every drive that wants to be satisfied expresses its dissatisfaction with the present state of things – what? Might the whole be composed entirely of dissatisfied parts, all of which have their heads full of what’s desirable? Might the ‘course of things’ be precisely the ‘Away from here! Away from reality!’, be eternal discontent itself? Might desirability itself be the driving force? Might it be – God? It seems to me important to get rid of the universe, unity, any force, anything unconditional; one could not avoid taking it as the highest agency and naming it God. The universe must be splintered apart; respect for the universe unlearned; what we have given the unknown and the whole must be taken back and given to the closest, what’s ours. Kant, e.g., said: “Two things remain forever worthy of admiration and awe”, – today we would rather say: ‘Digestion is more venerable.’ The universe would always bring with it the old problems, ‘How is evil possible?’, etc. Thus: there is no universe, there is no great sensorium, or inventory, or storehouse of forces.

Notebook 7, end of 1886 – spring 1887 paragraph 62