Free will vs Determinism

Free will vs Determinism

The question of free will vs determinism and destiny is an old debate. Earlier, I had a post about how ones position on this spectrum can influence moral choices. I say spectrum as its a variable. We may consider our philosophic choice to be one or the other. But most people move back and forth according to circumstances. And most people spend most of their time on the low end of the scale. In the victim version of determinism.

This variability is simply because our consciousness is variable. We can be sleepy, fearful, uncertain, happy, or clear and settled. Each of these will affect how we perceive the world. And that affects if we perceive if we have choices. For example, when we are fearful and contracted we are much less likely to see choices.

If you have some idea that you live in the “land of the free”, you may be in for a rude awakening. You have to realize that real freedom is not freedom to choose, its freedom to know we can choose. To feel we can choose. If we are not free inside, no amount of external freedom will make much difference. (Of course, I’m speaking in the context of someone with basic rights.) We see that in any number of examples with both animals and humans. We can be comfortable in our captivity.

If you don’t agree, just watch the evening news. Count the number of times they blame. Who’s fault was this? The government, nature, the dastardly crook, the police, and on and on. Why do people watch this stuff? Much of it is not news at all, just filler. So count the number of times they speculate or project, they drift from fact. Its supposed to be news, not weather. People watch it because it supports their story. Making things wrong so it can make itself right. Even making ourselves wrong to make it right. This is the ego at work. The very structure of our language is built around this victim thinking. We are awash with it.

Much as you may state you believe in free will, its pretty likely thats only slightly true in practice. Simply because you live in our culture. Its very hard to escape it. This is why stuff on success and law of attraction and wealth is so popular. Most people have no clue how to be self-driven. How to actually express free will in productive ways. It’s simply because they are not free inside so they have no experience to go by.

So back to the question at hand – which is true, free will or determinism? The answer – it depends. (laughs)
In the evolutionary process of growing perspective, the dominant position on this debate alternates. In the early perspectives, we evolve through tribal and group thinking. This is dominated by determinism. We see the gods, the stars, the government, or some other agency as responsible for our well being. As we grow forward, if we get stuck, we tend to fall into the negative side of this, into victim thinking. Not only is our life determined by others, but we have no control.

When the individual rises fully, free will becomes more dominant. We see this in leaders of all types, typically with very large egos. As the study on the previous post observed, the negative side of this is the loss of moral compass*. The “I” becomes central.

When the seeker becomes more dominant, there is usually a struggle or debate on destiny. A confusion of free will and destiny. A stronger sense of determinism arises when we more clearly see we are not in control. Yet choice is seen to make a difference.

As we awaken, it no longer seems to be “I” that is doing. Events of the world seem to take care of themselves and we remain within, undisturbed, a witness to the play. Some can get stuck close to waking with ideas of grandeur. Some experience of supreme Self, but then attributing it to their individuality.

Through the further process of refinement, more and more seems to be about the flow, the hand of God. A growing sense of rightness and perfection dawns. We are back in a dominant deterministic perspective, but in a much higher value. We are not the victim but rather the expression.

Then comes the second waking and the discovery that that which is determining is the same as that which wills. All is one. We are both the determinism and the the determined. Thus the paradox is resolved.

In the end, it is not free will vs determinism, it is free will creating determinism. They are 2 aspects of the one.


*added note – “remembered” a logic error in the above point. The point of the prior post was that if we don’t believe in free will, we lose the ‘reason’ of doing right. In the above, I comment that the negative side of free will, the opposite, is the same effect. Thats not what the other post said. But really, its the negative side of either a belief in being powerless or a belief in self above other that causes a loss of morals. It is either extreme that causes us to lose compass.

Last Updated on November 11, 2017 by Davidya

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  1. Davidya

    Over on Free free will, there is a discussion on that post and this. Here is a further comment to clarify I also posted there:

    I’m not saying either side is wrong. I’m saying that there is an evolution of perspective that leads to a changing sense of the world. That leads to an evolving sense of the nature of destiny.

    Within either free will or determinism is a negative aspect that can lead to a loss of morals or purpose. This is true of almost anything really – there is a dark side. Being aware of it makes it easier to avoid it.

    I’m not saying anyone should or shouldn’t believe in this or that. Only that a move from victim thinking to self determination is a very positive one. As you say, if its pretend or mood making and not an actual change, then its false.

    If free will is your reality, great. It is not false or wrong. It is one side of the coin. An incomplete picture. Thats all.

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  16. There’s another way to look at this debate from a karmic perspective.

    Essentially – our choices of the past are our destiny in the present. Our choices in the present are our future destiny.

    Thus, the difference between free will and determinism is simply time. The same thing from different points.

  17. Lynette

    This post resonates with me. My understanding of free will, even after reading this, and I will read it again, is that all of us humans have freedom to choose. And whatever choice we make has a consequence. So maybe the consequence is predetermined. That’s why free will and determinism are in each side of the coin. Did I understand it correctly?

    1. Right, Lynette
      We have enough awareness to see choices. But that also means, when we’re motivated my unresolved desires, we can make poor choices.

      It’s not so much that the consequence is predetermined. That would mean choice is an illusion. But the choice of today is the fate of tomorrow. And the fate of today is from yesterdays choices.

      Nature seeks balance so action has a response that will restore balance. Physical actions have physical consequences, emotions emotional consequences, thoughts mental consequences. Usually its a mixture.

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