Einstein was fond of Schopenhauer’s observation that we can surely desire what we will but we can not will what we desire. Desire, be it for fig or flame, is a state of Being. And if we are quick to condemn the fruit of flame is it not because we have never truly known fire?
Nietzsche the fervent prophet of Will was also its greatest detractor:
We laugh at him who steps out of his room at the moment when the sun steps out of its room, and then says: ‘I will that the sun shall rise’; and at him who cannot stop a wheel, and says: ‘I will that it shall roll’; and at him who is thrown down wrestling, and says: ‘here I lie, but I will lie here!’ But, all laughter aside, are we ourselves ever acting any differently whenever we employ the expression ‘I will’?