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October 18, 2023


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There's this kid I know who grew up in a racist nation and had a racist father who constantly berated him. His father also impregnated his own stepdaughter and is a conspiracy theorist. His mother wasn't anywhere near as bad as Dad but was in no way exceptional. His parents divorced when he was 11. This boy was constantly beaten up by other young people. He hated school. He wasn't good-looking or athletic.

And yet today, he's by all accounts a great dad, a once-in-a-millennium visionary, and the richest man in the world.

So much for the genes determine our destiny argument.

Sapolsky says he does not believe in the existence of free will. According to him, human actions and will are determined by biology, hormones, childhood, and life circumstances; generally: nature and nurture.

So how does Sapolsky explain Elon Musk? Or the many people like Elon who succeeded despite nature and nurture being stacked against them? I won't be reading his book to find out.

@ Sant65

>>So how does Sapolsky explain Elon Musk? <<

What is there so difficult?
You are human, as of os us are; before you, now and for eternity to come after you.

BUT ... there has never neen a "sant64" but YOU. There has never been one before you nor will there ever be one in eternity after you.

More general:
Whatever exist, exists as a unique variation of the SAME

So we ALL conditioned by the same vARiables but not allo in the same way
We all have hands, but be do not all operate them in the same way.

I'm just really puzzled by this one. Everyone in the modern age knows that culture, education, motivation intelligence, and networking are factors of worldly success or the lack thereof.

It's a gross oversimplification to claim that genes determine one's destiny.

Of course, this is true in some cases. For example, if you were born into British royalty. Or if you were born a Dalit in Tamil Nadu. Or make a living trading on the name of your dad with foreign nations.

But the example we're supposed to get teary about is apparently a vignette from a university graduation ceremony in the contemporary United States.

Genes determine (are not just one factor in, but actually *determine*) the success or failure of everyone born in America? Really?

Seems more like a not so clever argument for socialism.

Sant64, you should read a blog post before you comment on it, because when you don't do this, you demonstrate your ignorance. If you'd actually read this blog post rather than spouting off about what Sapolsky DIDN'T say, then maybe you would have made an intelligent comment. Instead, you're flat out wrong. Below is what I quoted Sapolsky as writing. He clearly said that genes are just one of many, many factors that determine a person's makeup. On Sapolsky's behalf, I accept your apology for writing a marvelously ignorant comment about his book.
"Randomly pick any of the graduates. Do some magic so that this garbage collector started life with the graduate's genes. Likewise for getting the womb in which nine months were spent and the lifelong epigenetic consequences of that.

Get the graduate's childhood as well -- one filled with, say, piano lessons and family game nights, instead of, say, threats of going to bed hungry, becoming homeless, or being deported for lack of papers. Let's go all the way so that, in addition to the garbage collector having gotten all that of the graduate's past, the graduate would have gotten the garbage collector's past.

Trade every factor over which they had no control, and you will switch who would be in the graduation robe and who would be hauling garbage cans. This is what I mean by determinism."

I mentioned this book in the last post as I reckoned it would make a good – perhaps an enlightening - read. I might buy it myself later but meanwhile I look forward to Brian’s future posts.

Sant64’s comments show how perplexing this matter of free will can be. It is regularly con-fused with choice, choice that is determined by both nature and nurture. The nature/nurture issue can be understood by the fact that we basically inherit strong natural motivating forces such as self-survival, seeking security, a good degree of curiosity etc. These can override one’s upbringing to quite an extent to the point of branching out to rise above initial traumas of childhood – although it is said that such traumas never actually leave and perhaps, may be the driving force of change.

But none-the-less, none of this requires a will that is free, a will that can independently make decisions uninfluenced by past events.

Of course, the illusion of free will emanates from the primary illusion of the self, the bedrock of much of how we view ourselves, our thought and actions and our environment. It has been pointed out that once the self-structure is understood then all else falls into place!

I suppose that all living creatures seek "happiness" and avoid "misery.

If will is not abel to make a human being feel permanently happy irrespective of the circumstances, what will does he have?

I feel free to make myself coffee but i have never been able to change the inner "weather" at will and have to accept that the inwards the weather changes as does the weather outwards. I enjoy the warmth of the sun, outward and inward but i never could stop the outward or inward rain and cold.

"Because we all know that the graduate and the garbage collector would switch places. And because, nevertheless, we rarely reflect on that sort of fact; we congratulate the graduate on all she's accomplished and move out of the way of the garbage guy without glancing at him."

Hard work, effort and achievement should be honored wherever it takes place.

But the first place should be within ourselves. We should start there and acknowldge where we have worked hard and where we have not; where we have made some progress and where we have not or may have backslid. And then apply some creative effort to solving the challenges of our next step forward.

Because all we can manage is a very limited window of attention and effort. And focusing on our own shortcomings, accomplishments, next steps and struggles to get there makes us humble, creative, reaching out for new alternatives, humbling ourselves to ask for and humbly accept the help of others, and appreciative of the work and effort of others.

Life is difficult. We should work to appreciate one another, especially for our unique differences and what we choose to do with them.

Even noble failures are worthy of great respect. Maybe more so than great accomplishments. The decision to move ahead in the midst of utter defeat, devastation and tragedy, however incremental our steps, is nothing short of epic. Just standing still, but facing forward is a victory. Even falling, but with our face to the sun, is a victory.

Those epic victories are all around us.

You are born with free will. A life to do what ever you want to do. However, if you are really unlucky, you can be emotionally tricked and lured to a wolf in sheep clothing - driven by life circumstances. A so called baba, miraculously appears such as as gurinder singh dhillon - who is a dog that barks nothings on a stage. He locks your free will in a cage , tells you you can't have fun, you can't look at a women, you can't have too much money, you must sacrifice your time from your loved ones, yet gurinder dhillon can literally get away with murder (eg of his wife shabnam) ; siphon billions from his own nephew's so he and his sons can live in luxury and freedom - this wrenks of double standards and total hypocrisy. He locks your mind in satanic head banging meditation, your body in slavery seva, and soul in a prison of his web where you could be traped for eons. Gurinder your days are numbered, true god will get his justice on you and those that have abused the innocent sangat. Karma will get you

Quote of the Day
"For what is liberty but the unhampered translation of will into act?"
— Dante —


UM said :
'but i have never been able to change the inner "weather" at will"

but you can :
do Simran double speed, . . . . .
with a tiny pepper spray of Love (remembrance)


@ 777

You must remember him saying time and again:
"it is all in his hands"

Prof. B sitting next to him when we were talking to one another said:
The pull must come from within
if it is not there, there is NOTHING you can do about it

Let alone what he had to say about grace.

Yes they say that once initiated one has to do simran but they also say time and again that nobody can move even an inch by simran.

The door must be openend from the inside and it cannot be openend from the outside.
those that think or tell others that they can do so by using the key of simran, have never listened properly to what mystics say.

They also say that simran must be done with LOVE and DEVOTION and they say so for a good reason but they never make it clear where and how to get that love and devotion ...Nobody has ever been able to create in himself love and devotion at will

If that would be possible by now the whole of humanity would live in peace with one another.

You have what you call YOUR love and devotion for him, but you did not make it.
It was not in your hands.

I have come to accept my fate as not having that love and devotion .

@ 777
Since when are humans able to create love??

Huzur said::
Love = God
God = love

Can the "I " de "IK" scheppen ... ik dacht van niet ...hahahaha
Maar je bedoeld het ongetwijfeld goed.

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