I analyse my own acts of free will these days.
I do indeed see will but I do not see freedom.
As far as I look at what I do, I see decisions and acting on it and perseverance.
Decisions, planning and perseverance are what we call will.
But everything is part of cause and effect.
So there is a question of whether any act is coming out of a really free conscious decision,
or whether it was just hanging in a field of possibilities.
A field where my morality and conscious self chooses the most suitable option.
This depends on the mask I’m wearing while making the decision.
It depends on my conditioning in that field of mental operation
(thinking, concepts, memory, interpretation and opinions).
will is a long term desire
Will follows long term desires. Will makes a plan to reach the object of desire. Then tries to follow that plan.
Desire is an interrupt. (see below)
Will is a mental operator on an interrupt.
Who is the operator? Obviously, the operator is not different from self. Self is usually identifying with mind.
How ‘free’ is the operator? How free is your mind?
what is an interrupt?
things like Waking up …
… they operate almost all in the same way, as interrupting our regular processing, our thinking and reasoning, our sleeping, our doing. You might see inspiration and intuition as on a higher rung than desire or sensory attention, but they all seem to be using the same brain circuitry to get through to self.
So they all must be at least partly programmable, and they are probably already programmed. In other words, they operate according to the habits of who you are.
Your ‘free’ will is in fact nothing but your mental operator,
your mind, the google in your head, based on memory,
and most often selecting the first search result.
And this operator, bound to the past, is operating
on things popping up, called desire,
desire itself based on the experience of the past,
wanting pleasure and avoiding pain.
So your free will is almost entirely based on your past!
How free is that!
could this lead to a nihilist philosophy?
“No freedom!” “Circuits and scripts running all the time.”
“Processes in the physical brain.” “Memory and nothing but past”
“Physical laws in a physical world and universe.”
In the world of mind, this is nihilistic. The mental operator wants to feel important. Wants to be part of a higher ideal. And when it realizes that this operator is nothing more than a mental concept in itself, part of bio-circuitry, it wants to fight to be more important.
but does it matter?
I used to reject this kind of nihilistic insights, but slowly, opening up to things as they are, I have given up on rejecting. This is very liberating.
I have also given up on the gloominess that I initially felt from giving up my old metaphysical worlds. The gloominess of the groundless state.
the three keys to your freedom
There is more than mental operation.
And when we do not identify with this mental monitor in our head,
there is indeed freedom.
These three will lead you to less mind and more freedom:
being in the Present (and adapting your script(s) right here, right now).
Inspiration needs a calmed down mind. When mind is calmed down, the nihilistic view does not matter anymore. It matters that I am.
Creativity needs flow. Flow keeps the mind busy for the tasks it was designed for in the first place. In the zone, or in the flow, our mental operator has no time to think, and interpret, and whine over its present situation.
Present needs awareness. Being right here, right now. You cannot be here right now when your brain is scanning memory, and working like that constant ‘internet in your head’. Again, less mental operator, means more freedom.
freedom in not knowing
I realize that my experiences and experiencing are very limited,
and that what I pretend to see is still far from reality as it is.
I realize that I have no freedom in knowing,
I only have a freedom in not knowing.
Whether I have free will or not seems to become a useless question.
I am part of this huge Universe, and to some I make a difference, but to most I do not.