It is import to differentiate between bringing on thoughts with will, and bringing the will into the thoughts. Here is a pair of meditations coming from Rudolf Steiner.
In the morning, immediately after waking: Imagine a blue circular area with a red surrounding. Then change the colours: Imagine a red circular area with blue surrounding. Transform the imagine back into the first one and repeat the whole seven times. Then observe how thinking becomes mobile, free in itself, and how it is raised to a state that is free from the physical body. Concentrate on a spiritual sentence in this state and hold this for about 5 minutes. Then observe how different this inner activity is from a concentration without this preparation. (Loosely translated from GA 267, p. 395/396, April 1922).
'In the evening, before going to sleep:
First a review in reverse time-order for about 5 minutes.
Then the following sequence of imaginations:
- I am thinking things and facts.
Keep this imagination in mind for about a minute, with exclusion of all other thoughts.
Then concentration of the imagination:
- My thinking flows in time.
Again for about one minute.
This was preparation. Then the following imaginations one after the other, in about 3 - 4 minutes:
- I follow the flowing thinking
- I want to recognise my will in my thinking
- I want to find my I in my thinking-will
- I want to live as I in my thinking-will
- I await the resolving of the I by (from) the I.
Then a quiet inner mood of the soul.'
In the morning exercise, we can learn to observe and feel how the will carries on thinking and how this will intermingles with the content of thinking, of imagining,; otherwise there would be no difference between the first and the second imagination, it would be mere force, blind will. In this exercise lies a wonderful possibility to strengthen the will in thinking and to learn to form the images with will.
We can compare this observation with learning by heart what the text says. In this, we also need a kind of will, but this will is kept outside the being of blue and red, circle and surrounding, and outside the real motion of the change from the one image into the other. In such an observation of abstract thinking, where the will is only there to memorise, we would not need to actually form the images, we could simply repeat what is said and not do it. Then the will stays outside of thinking, it only functions as a kind of motor, to repeat the not-realised thoughts.
In the evening exercise, the beginning, the preparation is still configured as an observation of this abstract thinking. Thinking goes on and on, about things and facts, and it really is something to think the second thought: My thinking flows in time. This is a first becoming conscious of the motion of thinking that is taking time, that flows with time, that flows in time.
The next five imaginations bear a heightening in them. It is not intended that we simply repeat the sentences, but that we handle them as we handled the coloured circles: perform them!
Hermes / Mercurius