The will to live. It's a good thing, so we think. In fact, isn't there a judgment about people who do not have much of a will to live? I'm not just talking about people who are driven to suicide, but those who live carelessly and let themselves lapse into ill health, or who simply underutilize their resources and live less fully than perhaps they ought? It speaks to our own will to live, somehow offending the norm of the entire human community in which we find ourselves. We are all here equally under the circumscription of the body and the senses, and "the heart-ache and the thousand shocks that flesh is heir to." And we all have to daily exercise that will muscle in order to have the determination to stick with it. You can't get out of it that easily, we say to our less willful brethren. Suck it up already!
But the question I would pose is: whose will is it really? Who wants us to live? Is it even ourselves? How do we know some alien race has not bred us to inhabit this planet, and somehow needs our life force to exercise itself for a certain number of years in order to benefit them energetically somehow. Some variation of The Matrix, in other words. How do we know our will is our own? How do we know we are not simply being manipulated by some bioenergetic device to maintain our existence here, unthinking, unquestioning?
Of course, it could be God's will. In which case it would be all right to obey it. You don't want to piss off God, after all.
So whether it be God's will that we feel impelled to continue inhabiting this mortal frame, or that of some less benevolent force, we must acknowledge the possibility that this "free" will of ours is an illusion, even in the intimate matter of survival. We have been heavily conditioned, to be sure, to think that we have free will, because it is very useful for "Them" to have us think that way. What a con! We think that our will is our own, so of course we will follow it unquestioningly.
When Hamlet was ruminating about "to be or not to be," he might have been grappling with this very issue:
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered Country, from whose bourn
No Traveller returns, Puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.
Thus Conscience does make Cowards of us all...
It is generally agreed by Shakespeare experts that the "conscience" Hamlet refers to here is not our modern meaning of conscience, i.e. "doing what's right," but something more akin to consciousness. Specifically, consciousness of our unconsciousness, which we are afraid of. In the case of what is on "the other side," it could be worse than what we've got here. (Although that seems hard to believe, if you've listened to any of the Republican debates.)
They want us to think we have power and that the highest expression of it is our own "free" will to live. Never mind that we have no idea how we got here and generally have no concept of having consented to it. Did they drug us, cajole us with promises of lots of sex and sensual pleasures, or simply tell us everything and anything that we wanted to hear to get us to take out an 80-year mortgage on this big-ass piece of fleshly real estate?
Don't fear the unconscious. Fear what you know. Doubt how you know it. Question everything. If there's any reason we're here, it's to find the truth. Don't blow it.