I guess from what I can tell it depends almost exclusively on the moment and how much will you exert on that moment.
Let me explain...
If you're just sitting at the kitchen table and you want that plate to lift off and float to the sink that's going to take gobs of energy and gobs of will. I don't personally know people who can do that. (That is not to say that they aren't out there just that I don't know them.)
But instead suppose you just wanted to move that plate 1cm across the table. Not so much energy needed but still gobs of will.
Dropping down from that suppose you want to move a grain of rice on that plate. An order of magnitude less energy required there and considerably less will needed. (Still out of reach of most people.)
Now why are these things so hard? From my viewpoint there's two things in the way.
First - your will. For the most part we're weak willed creatures. We have a tendency to be unfocused, random, and flighty. Many of us are the mayflies of our species. Not all but a great portion. Most of us (myself included) do not have the will necessary to move that grain of rice.
Second - energy versus intertia. It takes a considerable amount of energy to overcome that inertia. And there are people out there who can do it no question but they are very very focused (see #1) and very very few and far between. (There are questions as to repeatability but if it takes as much energy and will as something like this would are you surprised that they can't do it a second time?) Is it any wonder why we use our bodies instead of just our spirits?
So here's the question: Why are you trying to move the grain of rice while it's sitting still? It takes a buttload less energy to shift the direction of something once it's moving than to get it moving in the first place if you do it right.
And the same is true of people.
You get people that will be so STATIC in regards to their life. You try and get them moving but all they do is just sit there. But once they get moving....
All it takes is picking the right moment in time. That one golden moment where you can push, prod, spin, or bump that person in a positive direction.
The problem is that from birth many of us are taught that this golden moment doesn't exist. That fate or the whims of a diety are all we have and all we should depend on.
I can't believe this any more than I can believe in finding a gold nugget in my toilet.
Could anyone who's reading this indulge me for a moment?
Go to a crowded shopping mall. Go to the food court or a bench or any other place where you'll be able to sit and observe people passing by. (You might want to mention to a local guard that you're doing observations for a personal paper so nobody thinks you're some horrible person.)
Watch for any moment where people make a decision. Watch the guy buying a watch or cellphone at the street vendor cart. Watch the lady buying something to eat for herself or her kids. Watch a couple decide on which store to go to next.
Believe me once you start seeing these decisions you won't be able to stop seeing them. And soon you'll start seeing other things.
Things like that split second before the person trips on the extension cord in the traffic path. That moment where the person drops a bag. That blink of time where the vase slips from the holder's hands.
Then, once you start seeing these things, make the decision. What's the decision? If you ever want to be there to help those people.
But be warned you can't stop helping once you start. It's not possible because once you see when people can be helped and knowing you can help them it becomes painful not to.
Can you help too often? Yes. Can you get very tired of helping? Yes. Is it worth it? I think so. But you have to make those decisions and pay the price for those actions if you're wrong. (And sometimes even if you're right.)
So once you've made the decision to help what do you do? Well first learn and understand that you can't help everyone. It's just not physically possible. But you can help a whole hell of a lot of people over the course of a lifetime.
Once you've come to grips with that concept then just start helping people. It doesn't take much. Be right there to catch that vase if it's possible. Point out the extension cord to the person walking or even catch them when they stumble. Little things.
Will there be big moments that you can help people with? Sure. But those moments are truly rare and take a supreme effort. Best to seek out the small moments to help people where you can. But yeah sometimes that big moment is what you have to do so do it.
So how does this relate to the discussion about energy and change in the universe? Well if you keep helping people over time that creates a thread in the universe of people you've helped. And that thread branches out over time as those people help more people. Not every person you've helped will go on to help someone else but a good enough portion will that it will branch out.
And when all those people helping other people branch out can you guess what has happened by then?
You've changed the universe.
With just your own will by changing things in motion you'll have made the universe a better place.
And isn't that what it's all about?
Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( http://nimitzbrood.dreamwidth.org/212892.html ) but feel free to comment here as well.