The Will to Life

Ah, now what have we here. Can it be?

It can.

Yes indeed, we have an actual written blog with essay and all. In celebration of this momentous occasion, I thought we could talk about a nice, light topic.

Namely: “The Will to Life”

What is the Will to Life? Well, to put it bluntly, it’s the reason you’re sitting where you are right now. It’s the reason you’re reading these words. It’s the reason you’re going to go back to the start to figure out what the reason you’re trying to find the reason is.

The Will to Life is the base desire of all living thing, a primal and instinctual need to survive that surpasses all others.

In essence, the Will to Life lies at the center of a tree diagram. It is the will from which all motivations, wants and desires are resultant from. The primary goal of every living creature is to survive. Are we agreed?


Accepting this as fact, the Will to Life is synonymous with the Will to Survive (I personally like the sound of Will to Life better though, don’t you?)

If you’ll indulge me for a moment, think of any event in your life. The last bowl of ice cream you had. The last time you didn’t make that trip out to the gym the day after. The last time you didn’t go to the doctor, knowing he’d be disappointed with you.


The point is, all those actions derived from the same source. The seed of the tree. Maybe they were only a few branches down, maybe they were leaves that had blown away to another land in the wind. Some were borne of the will to be happy, some of the fear of being judged, but all owe their existence to the Will to Life.

Now, there was a guy who talked about the “Will to Live”.


This looker

That’s Arthur Schopenhauer, a German (of course) philosopher. However, from the little reading I’ve done, his definition is too narrow. According to the only real website, “To Schopenhauer, the Will is a malignant, metaphysical existence which controls not only the actions of individual, intelligent agents, but ultimately all observable phenomena; an evil to be terminated via mankind’s duties: asceticism and chastity”.

This seems a little crazy to me. Will is not a malignant force,in the same way that it is not a benevolent force. It is A force; in fact, for living creatures, the Will to Life is THE force, but it has no inherent moral value. It is.

Here’s the kicker. What is the one thing humans will never be able to do?

(If you said fly, please leave the room now.)

The correct answer is avoid death. Can we prolong life? Sure. In the future, is it possible that humans will have created technology that will cause the retirement age to be raised to 565? Sure. But in the end, no one lives forever. (Even if it takes til the heat death of the universe.)

So, really, what are you doing right now? Still reading this? What’s the point? You’re going to lose. The one will that drives your life, the Will to Life, is destined to meet it’s end with no fulfillment. And yet, there still exists that most illogical of human emotions.


We’re all dust in the end, yet we keep pressing onwards, driven by a will that is indomitable, existing as it does at the very base of all other functions of the mind and heart, until the day when the inevitable reaper comes knocking on your door, the knell sounds, and the last ravens fly off to a different window.

Hmm, that got heavy. I thought this was supposed to be a celebration?

That’s better.

1 thought on “The Will to Life

  1. Pingback: Musings on Love | The Stuffed Man

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