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March 31, 2020

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"However, if we had the superhuman vision invoked earlier and were able to analyze everyday reality at the level of its fundamental constituents, we would recognize that our thoughts and behaviors amount to complex processes of shifting particles that yield a powerful sense of free will but are fully governed by physical law."

If we had that vision we wouldn't have to analyze anything. We would simply see it. We would see whatever those laws turn out to be as we discover them. Including all the ways we are interconnected in real time that we have no knowledge of today.

It's one thing to see dots on a page of different colors.

It's another to stand back and see a print of the Mona Lisa.

Which tells us there is more here than we thought.

But no one needs to tell us she is there. All the little dots are painting her picture.

We don't even need to see the dots.

But if we see both then we understand what all the fuss is about by folks claiming there is no picture, just dots.

Little secret : The dots' only function is painting the picture.

Interesting stuff ''free will"
Maharaji always said also ''we do'nt have free will''
We seem to have that,but we have not.
Nobody wants to be ill..forinstance..
No body wants depression
Nobody ''wants'' devorce,illness,accidents.
Nobody choose their appearance..
We can know that our ''will'' is not so free as it seems..
Even in detailles we are not free..

The strange thing is,that we have' to keep on going..'
Sometimes talk to ourselves come on do this and that..
It's a weird strange ''thing'' life..
We can't help to feel,see undergo lots of things..also very subtle..

It's very interesting and also comforting at times that we have free will..,but it is not ''ours'' ;)''

https://youtu.be/R_fqcruPL30

This is my take on free will:-

Believing in free will tends to substantiate the view that we are separate, autonomous beings capable of living our lives in a self-directed manner. If this were so we perhaps wouldn't slavishly follow the 'religion of our fathers', the various political leaders, spiritual leaders or those who offer opinions and beliefs that appeal to our particular conditioning.

Investigation shows that to have such a thing as free will we need to posses an internal agent completely separate from from our physical brain/body. Religion calls this agent a soul; for the rest of us we automatically believe in or assume a self. On inquiry neither soul or self can be found, only assumed.

Just like free will the self is a concept although the concept of a self is very persistent in that it is constructed from the very experiences, knowledge, thoughts and memories that we believe is 'me'. It takes many years to construct a self and so we have a great investment in maintaining it. The idea of free will is just one of the miss-conceptions that help maintain the illusion.

We do though make choices, although such choices are automatically derived from the life-time of information we have accrued. It would be more apt to say that via the accumulated information elicited through thought and memory - and depending on the situation, choices arise.

Interestingly Turan when you say'' choices arise..''so it works idd.
Just like thoughts arise..
Where does that come from..??
We really do'nt know,it seems it comes from ''us''.
But what is ''us,or''I''...?

What is soul?
Some bhuddist even say that there is no soul..
It's strange we live here on this planet while we do not know..anything really.
It's fine that there are good philosophers and some wise people who can tell a little bit
about how ''everything really works..
Maybe ''Masters or Holy men''..I can't control that,because I am not so wise that I can know..
I know that I do'nt know..that is my sort of wisdom..
But I also know that I have no free will,although it seems we do our best..etc..

“I love the idea that free will is an illusion.”

“Sure, for each of us it feels like we can freely choose what to do. But as I've observed numerous times before, it also feels like the earth stands still and the sun sets, which is another illusion.”

“So if we want to know reality as it is, not as how we consider it to be, it's important to not overly trust our subjective perceptions, because that can lead us astray.”


Yes, I believe that our 'subjective perceptions can lead us astray' though I'd say that what are called subjective perceptions are actually subjective conceptions. Perceiving the sun setting is just that, to overlay that with a belief that the Earth is the centre of all things (for instance) is an idea, a concept.

We perceive a bird – just that – then thought and memory comes in and possibly emotion and describes the bird as a particular species, perhaps a pest or a thief or something from our past experience or conditioning – and the bird no longer exists, just an idea of the bird. We can perceive a sun set or a bird – or anything – for what they are (or as Alan Watts describes as 'What Is', until thought arrives cutting us off from the direct experience of what is.

Not knowing is, for us, a scary thing. Perhaps this is why we cover up this fear by converting what we perceive into a concept. Forming concepts happens almost instantaneously. To think that we know or understand something enables a certain security. And this knowing comes in the form of naming. By naming something we believe we have understood it. If you give someone a glass of water they might ask “What is it?” You could describe the molecules, atoms and so on that it is comprised of, but the only way to experience the reality of it is to drink it – a direct perception.

Generally, through our senses we all perceive trees, mountains, streams, rivers, flowers, seas etc. as trees mountains etc. etc. That is unless we conceptualise what we are experiencing and then a thousand interpretations arise – and a wedge is inserted between the experience and reality. Reality is not too difficult to perceive when the 'I', – we','me' or 'us' – is out of the way.

@ Reality is not too difficult to perceive when the 'I', – we','me' or 'us' – is out of
@ the way.

But the mystic would argue it is difficult. The mind's filter has
already told you what you're seeing. Absent that, you don't
see at all.

In a dream, an observer sees a dark shadow pass over the
sky. He shakes his companion and says "Did you see that!?"
The companion answers "Yep, darkest damn shadow I've
ever seen.".

Then the observer wakes and sees there was no shadow...
only a dark bedroom. There is no companion either.

Observation shows the mind to simply be the accumulation of information absorbed from birth – which includes the 'I', 'me', 'self' construct. Without the mind-chatter (the filter) which is the replaying of its information (thought and memory) the 'what is' of the moment is seen.

The mystic may say it is difficult, perhaps because our deeply ingrained conditioning cannot see or rejects the reality of the moment which is dominated by the illusory – though persistent – self construct. The self ('me', 'I' or ego) to exist, must maintain its illusory structure through its beliefs. Reality – the 'what is' – is there before mind with its judgements, valuations, opinions and knowledge arrive.

@ Observation shows the mind to simply be the accumulation of information
@ absorbed from birth – which includes the 'I', 'me', 'self' construct. Without the mind-
@ chatter (the filter) which is the replaying of its information (thought and memory)
@ the 'what is' of the moment is seen.

Yes, but how do you jettison that pesky mind with its sidekick "me".
It's active 24x7 ginning up thoughts, retorts, dreams, nightmares,
plans and doing it relentlessly, indefatigably. It can run circles
around your feeble determination to outwit it. When you foolishly
think you've succeeded, it's simply fled to another channel. You
can't hold it for a second or even a nano-second.

No, you can't. Not easily. Certainly not by force of intellect or prayer
beads or various hobbyist practices. It takes expert guidance and
a lifetime of discipline the mystics say.

@ The mystic may say it is difficult, perhaps because our deeply ingrained
@ conditioning cannot see or rejects the reality of the moment which is dominated
@ by the illusory – though persistent – self construct. The self ('me', 'I' or ego) to exist,
@ must maintain its illusory structure through its beliefs. Reality – the 'what is' – is
@ there before mind with its judgements, valuations, opinions and knowledge arrive.

Once the journey inside is complete, you're right. But the mystics say it's
difficult because, well, until then, it is. Unmasking the "illusory self-construct"
is the work of a lifetime. The difficulty can't --and shouldn't-- be minimized.
To do so is self-deception.

How the hell do mystics know? Because they've made the journey (or
are in the process of doing so) and have experienced the real power
of mind. They know from practice how easy it is to intellectualize about
mind and living in the "moment" free of that pesky "me".

They know how easily it becomes wishful thinking. How could it be
anything else without actively following a discipline to understand and
master the mind itself. Otherwise it's another game leading nowhere.
A toy to distract a child prattling in its crib.

A glitch in the Matrix...

The Truman Show Deleted Scene - Growing Suspicious (1998) - Jim Carrey - (4:23mins)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDGmZ1VQtsw

Particle interconnection throughout the universe, I guess that means there really is no free will, fair enough. At the human level, it has always seemed fairly clear to me that we have no real autonomy or free-will. We are so bound by our conditioning that until we can see how our mind works/reacts and intercede before it does it’s thing we’ll be subject to cause and effect that we can’t ‘own’.

To describe this in terms of ‘shifting particles’ as Greene describes is sort of interesting but I find it hard to get to grips with given it’s just a snippet from a book. One reason is because I wasn't sure of the connection between Greene’s quotes, e.g. he says ‘if we had the superhuman vision invoked earlier’ - was he referring to an ability to witness how natural laws affect particles?

Last night I read a few pages from ‘Coming to Our Senses’ by Jon Kabat-Zinn where he mentioned ‘The Elegant Universe’ - another book by Brian Greene, that (as I interpret JKZ) talks of the big bang coming out of ‘nothing’ and that it (the universe) comprises eleven dimensions and only 4 have unfurled - can't remember hearing that before! JKZ then starts talking about scale, from dimensions of cosmic primordial potentiality right through to particles.

What sort of particles is Greene on about? Bits of dirt, molecules, atoms, quarks? I assume he means atoms. If so, are not these particles 99% space? The remaining 1% a tiny mass and something that flies around in zones of probability, itself made of things that seem to behave not just as a particle but also wave like?
Break all this down and what’s left - the energy of nothing? No-thing?

Jon Kabat Zinn alludes to meditational practice (perhaps Greene’s superhuman vision?) where we can look into and experience this. In the writings of Nisargadatta he was often talking of the primeval atom, the first cause - and the need to get familiar with that.
As Dungeness says this is what the Mystics do.
I enjoyed what Zabbat-Zinn says as his story continues :
‘But because it all seems to “originate” at the moment of the big bang, we are still faced with something coming out of nothing, space coming out of “before space”and time beginning at a certain point, before which there was none, and all matter coming out of nowhere as infinite pure energy…..Another way to look at things says that something cannot come out of nothing, and especially that consciousness cannot come out of matter. That is more of a Buddhist view”
(Coming to Our Senses p. 601).

Best wishes

Brian,

Didn't you write a book entitled "Break Free of the Dogma"?
Well I can't think of anything more dogmatic than Brian Greene's proclamation that you and I are nothing but constellations of particles whose behavior is fully governed by physical law.

Good luck breaking free of this dogma (by the way I love Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry but I am not chained to their presumptions).

Whenever there is talk of no free will or limited free will, I inevitably want to start slapping people.

If there’s limited free will then there must be some sort of Adjustment Bureau (like the movie).

If there’s NO free will then fuckety fuck. It doesn’t matter what I say or think or do because I have no free will and no control over what I say or think or do anyway. As a matter of fact, that would mean everything I do is “right”. It would mean I don’t really have a choice in anything and it would also mean I can’t be “wrong”.

The truth is, One thought by one person is enough to change all future events (Butterfly Effect). So, unless there is an Adjustment Bureau of some sort, please do elaborate as to how and when and why I should care.

A ripple in time...

I quite like Brian's statement:-

“Emotionally, it just is so much more appealing to know that I, and you, and everybody, am not an isolated independent actor who writes my own lines in the play of life. Rather, we are parts of a unified whole, the universe. What we do isn't up to us, but to an amazingly vast interconnected web of causes and effects”.


Yes, the mind/self we have constructed over the years does convey the impression that we are 'isolated independent actors' – perhaps the best we can do then is to be aware of the processes that maintain this illusion.

This would reflect the Zen Buddhist's practice – and the raison d'etre of mindfulness. They would say that you cannot jettison the mind with its me – as the me is the mind. Their practice is to watch and understand how this mind/self operates. And there is no magic or mystery about it, no question of forcing it through intellect or prayer, just boring old awareness as to what's arising.

It would seem that there is no question of banishing the mind/me, after all, who/what is doing the banishing? The mind is a valuable ally, its just that it does tend to obscure reality by habitually overshadowing it through names and opinions.

Other creatures are obviously 'at one' with nature, with reality, and perhaps what separates us is how we habitually think the direct experience away. There are people who merely point this out to us, though we need to be cautious of 'the one who knows', the spiritual business man.


Sonia: We do though make choices, although such choices are automatically derived from the life-time of information we have accrued. It would be more apt to say that via the accumulated information elicited through thought and memory - and depending on the situation, choices arise - free will though is an illusion.

Sonia: We do though make choices, although such choices are automatically derived from the life-time of information we have accrued. It would be more apt to say that via the accumulated information elicited through thought and memory - and depending on the situation, choices arise - free will though is an illusion.

Posted by: Turan | April 04, 2020 at 11:32 AM

Well, then maybe we’re not on the same page with the definition of free will. To me, free will implies you have a certain amount of responsibilities.

To believe we have no free will is to believe in fate—a conscious universe that has already made up its mind about what you are and aren’t going to do.

It’s like, I’m the great world of Science, biologists can examine your genome and tell you if and when you are going to have a heart attack based on certain genes “turning on” at certain periods in your life. However, with this knowledge you have the ability to avoid having a heart attack or diabetes or a number of avoidable diseases by drastically changing your habits—incorporating best types of exercises, following specific diets.

They have found that certain people who were made aware of their genetic predispositions were able to avoid such serious consequences when those genes “turned on”. And in some cases, able to avoid triggering those genes.

Personally, I’m going to go with The Adjustment Bureau belief. I’ve exercised my free will religiously (ha, that’s almost funny) and almost get away with it until some guy in the sky decides to start playing chess.

I’ve pretty much surrendered at this point. Because He has proven to be even more stubborn and relentless than myself and I’m just simply exhausted. However, I’m still not on board with his “Math”. But not like that really matters to him.

@ To believe we have no free will is to believe in fate—a conscious universe that has
@ already made up its mind about what you are and aren’t going to do.

Hm, sadly I think Turan is right... "It would be more apt to say that via the
accumulated information elicited through thought and memory - and
depending on the situation, choices arise - free will though is an illusion."

So. you really have no free will. Bummer! But... there's that tantalizing
consolation prize of "feeling that you're making choices" (otherwise
better known as the "illusion of free will").

Use it responsibly though. Any guilt you feel will tether you to a new
karmic chain according to the mystic manual. Thou shalt atone for
thy bad choice. Shame on you!

But you protest "The damn thing was pre-destined. The game was
rigged!". "Now, now," the gentle voices explain with a sigh. "You
were in your True Home when this scheme was hatched. I tried to
warn you but, no, you wanted a thrill ride through duality. So I gave
you a little slack and look who's come crawling back..."

A few more years of meditation mindfulness and youll find the exit
ramp, grasshopper. Now, don't you feel better...

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