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Some Questions are Hard to Answer….

30 Jan

I was perusing the internet for stuff and I ran into a post from some guy who, I think, comes up with solutions and approaches for human resource issues.  I assume that his blog is not focused on spirituality what-so-ever, but I ran into this post called “The Illusion of Free Will” and I could not help replying.

His claim was, in a nut shell, that if you feed a set of criteria to a computer and program it to choose one way this time and another way another time and allow it to choose randomly sometimes, it can do that…but does the computer have free will?…He compared this example to humans who have genetic coding as the criteria and if you study human behavior closely, human choices are predictable based on their genetic coding or personality of the person.  You can read the post here: The-illusion-of-free-will

I couldn’t help but reply.

I don’t define free will the same way that you do. I think “free will” is exactly the opposite – a byproduct of our spirit (as opposed to our ego). Our ego does not allow us to have free will, because we are busy serving it.

Our spirit, which is free of ego, has the potential to enjoy the essence of what free will is meant to be.
In other words, willpower is the power to control our will which should not be necessary, because our will wants the best for us – because it comes from our true selves -our spirit.
Accordingly, if we think that free will is the ability to make choices, I would agree that this is a fallacy….however, with true free will there are no choices to be made – because our spirit (the essence of who we are) knows exactly what we want and will always (without thinking or choosing) follow that path…..

To my surprise the guy answered a pretty long answer explaining that I have only redefined free will as opposed to refuting him and for him to fully accept my definition I would have to answer the following questions..

What happens when our spirit wants something we cannot have? Or, does it only want things we can have?
What happens when we take a path that is not in agreement with our spirit?
Our spirit may know what we want, but does it also know how to get it? How does it tell us?  The choices we make aren’t only about what we want but also how do we get it.

Here is my answer:

“…..Please be advised that I will answer the questions from the perspective of understanding that we are both ego and spirit, but we spend our lives trying (whether we know it or not) to overcome our egoic needs and connect with our higher selves – our spirit.

If you do not agree with this understanding, it will be very hard for me to present an answer that you will be able to accept as reasonable.

First of all, I believe that our spirit exists initially on a subconscious (or unconscious) level, but I believe that every time we take a moment and simply think about our collective existence, our spirit comes to a conscious level and is able to fill our minds with higher thinking making us more self aware, or self conscious.

In other words, if we go through life mindlessly, our ego will be in control of us. By mindlessly I mean focusing our thought on our own physical needs and how to fulfill them.

Which brings me to the next question….our spirit, accordingly, does not want what our ego wants and yes, our spirit wants what we can have – an understanding of what our purpose is, individual and collective. The problem comes when we are not aware that this is what we really want because our ego tell us we want something else – our physical needs to be satisfied.

When we choose a path (within your’s and everyone else’s definition of free will) that is not in agreement with our spirit, our ego is choosing that path and we will inevitably follow, despite the fact that it may not be our most ideal choice, but because we have not connected with our spirit by understanding that it is not beneficial to allow our ego to rule our thoughts, our spirit remains unconscious.

The last question is tricky because though I have already mentioned that by simply thinking about our collective existence we connect with our spirit, we must also understand that just as we put effort or work into the needs of our ego to fulfill them (i.e. gym to lose weight, job to make money etc…) we must put work into our spirit to get what we need from it – how to fulfill our purpose individually (which, in my opinion, is always a purpose that contributes to the entire human race collectively by optimally utilizing some specific unique feature of our spirit or our true self)

Whew……now back to the definition of free will…..

Based on this, I would like to end with saying that if we define free will according to the mind of our ego – free will does consist of choices that we think we are making and I would agree this is an illusion because the choices we are making are leading us no where and ultimately don’t even matter – and are predictable.

But…If we are connected spiritually, then free will is not defined as choices anymore. It is defined as the opportunity to do what ever you want to do because you will know (after much spiritual work) how you must go about fulfilling your purpose as an individual and there is no choice involved. You just do what you have to do, by being who you really are (your spirit and not your ego) and doing what you really love (your unique gift that is held within the spirit) – and you are doing for a purpose that has meaning and does make a difference (for the benefit of the collective evolution of humanity)

I am so sorry about the length of this answer, but you asked some pretty hefty questions – and I love the challenge (call it my spirit giving me some work to do :) !)”

If you have anything to add….please feel free.  I love the hearing different perspectives of spirituality because the topic is so personal and relative to experience.

Looking forward to your wisdom!

Other posts you might like:

The Double Slit Experiment Proving Reality is Relative

And The Truth Will Set You Free

Free Will is the Mother of all Blessings

What is Our Purpose?

My First Post – Introduction to My Blog

Why is Life Unfair?

Life is full of controversy so here is a thought to live by:
Why is life unfair?
Because there’s never going to be a system that is fair to everyone.
Shannon Miller
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4 responses to “Some Questions are Hard to Answer….

  1. Mike Lehr

    February 3, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Thank you, Shayna, for your response to my questions. I appreciate your thoroughness. I found it refreshing.

    Yes, I do have a brain, and yes, I do use it . . . at least, I think I do. Yes, I do solve human resource situations either through advice or through being contracted to do so. I also speak and write. I use what I call an intuitive approach which orients itself by looking at emotions, personalities and relationships first. These drive virtually all decisions (rational thought does not). Most of my work focuses on helping people become better influencers and/or problem solvers using this approach. And yes, it is difficult to explain but not difficult to see the results. My personality is also conducive to solving people problems.

    Yes, as you define free will, we are in much more agreement than your original post suggested. In fact, I now consider your post as agreeing with the idea that free will is an illusion . . . as I define free will that is.

    You are certainly free to define “free will” however you want. Of course, in George Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother defined slavery as freedom and freedom as slavery. I guess, he too, was free to do that. This is only to suggest that while the use of words can be fun it also can be harmful. How we use words strongly influences people especially if we know how their definitions and connotations affects them. For example, I can call someone a jerk and offend him even if I tell him I define jerk as being a nice person. He will still feel kind of queasy about that.

    Nevertheless, here is my next question . . .

    You defined “free will” as “the opportunity to do what ever you want to do.” What I was unclear with is whether this was a conscious decision or an unconscious one? In other words, one driven by your spirit or by something else? Or, asked in another way, “How do you decide what you want?” Does your spirit tell you or is there another process?

    Again, I enjoyed your response and thank you for visiting my blog.

    Mike

     
    • Peaceful Controversy

      February 3, 2012 at 4:38 am

      Hey Mike-

      I hope I haven’t offended you in any way. My only intention was to defend my understanding of free will.

      You are right… I failed to answer one part of the question. There is actually one conscious choice that we have that we must use our brains for. We must consciously choose to open our minds to accept that there is a spiritual side to us. Once we consciously (using the thought in our brains) choose to accept another way of thinking (a spiritual way or a mindful way) than we will understand what our spirit – or our true selves – or our newly conscious (or aware) mind wants without having to choose between things that are irrelevant to fulfillment of purpose.

      So, in short, we have only one choice – the choice to continue to listen to our programmed brains (ego) or allow our mind (spirit) to open up and tell us what it really wants.
      I guess what I am ultimately saying is that free will is not an illusion because we must make that one single choice at some point in our lives…..and the rest is gravy.

      The subject of spirituality is not easy to convey in words. I am not challenging you to a duel. I just love the opportunity to debate with someone who may not have the same perspective as me but has the intelligence and logic enabling them to defend their own position. If you have read any of my other posts, you will understand very clearly what kind of person that I am. I hope that you have not read into anything I have said in response to your post – or in my own post as offensive. I definitely don’t know you personally and I could not possibly have any judgments about you.

      And as for 1984, I read it so long ago as a school assignment – before I was old enough to truly understand it’s implications. But, without reading it, I can understand how someone would dare to call slavery – freedom. Slavery also means that there are no choices. You are not bound by decisions. The decisions are made for you. Yes, a slave would not agree that they are “free”, but those that are “free” (ego motivated) are really enslaved by choices that mean nothing and have no purpose – and would not agree that they are enslaved.

      If I was speaking to you in person, we would probably be laughing the whole debate – I guarantee that is the way the I do things – with a smile and in peace.

      Please feel free to challenge me as much as you want – I have fun trying to put the words together in a way that someone can understand and even require me to expound on my thoughts.

       
  2. Peaceful Controversy

    February 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    This was the answer sent to me by Mr. Lehr:

    “So, in short, we have only one choice – the choice to continue to listen to our programmed brains (ego) or allow our mind (spirit) to open up and tell us what it really wants. I guess what I am ultimately saying is that free will is not an illusion because we must make that one single choice at some point in our lives…..and the rest is gravy.”

    My question to you is this: how can you be so sure everyone has that choice? You said people can come to believe what others tell them (i.e parents, friends, society, culture, religion). In effect, they could be “brainwashed.” The problem is that when you’re brainwashed, you don’t know it. To many, the kind of spirituality you describe is near to devil worshipping (consider the YinYang) or at minimum paganism. Yes, there is a spirit: its home is in the unconscious. Yes, there is an ego, its home is in the conscious. However, in both respects the spirit and ego do not reside in these places alone; there are other things going on that impact both. For instance, emotions and thoughts run around in both places. You have thoughts and feelings you aren’t aware of.

    I would also tell you that people have different capabilities when it comes to introspection: what is conscious to one person can be unconscious to another. Therefore, some people cannot connect to their spirit in a spiritual sense. Now, yes, you did say, “There is actually one conscious choice that we have that we must use our brains for. We must consciously choose to open our minds to accept that there is a spiritual side to us.” My question to you is this: What’s the point of accepting that there is a spirit if you can’t connect with it? Accepting and appreciating your spirit is done on an unconscious, emotional level. It’s similar to the difference between “thinking love” and “feeling love,” “playing the music” and “feeling the music,” “knowing someone is happy,” and “feeling her happiness.”

    Finally, I would also contend that we can touch people’s spirit without their conscious knowledge. In other words, they don’t need to accept the concept of the spirit mentally in order for us to do this. Moreover, their spirit can express itself without the person’s knowledge; it will even get upset and is a root cause of many emotional and physical ailments. Spiritualism is not a head thing; it’s a heart thing.

    So, I would close with a personal, spiritual question: Do you feel your spirit deep down, or does it only exist in your head as mental image?

    Again, thoughts to ponder as that is my purpose in lifeJ.

     
  3. Peaceful Controversy

    February 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    And this was my response:
    Hey Mike!

    I have to admit, you are making me think here….
    The good news is that I do think about the points that you have made because they are very valid points to consider. To be clearer…
    “how can you be so sure everyone has that choice?……In effect, they could be “brainwashed.”
    Yes, I agree, not everyone realizes that there is a choice….and, yes, they may be brainwashed – but…..now, I might wander to new areas here…..this point that you make and that I agree with is the dividing factor between a person who will be able to use their spiritual self (or the piece of G-d within) to It’s greatest potential, or not.
    With that being said, I can further discuss the idea of emotions and thoughts that may operate on an unconscious level vs. a conscious level and the idea of individual introspection.
    First I want to tackle the suggestion that people have different abilities (as far as how conscious they are) and therefore different access to spirituality (some have more and some have less)..I would like to suggest that this is not necessarily true. Yes, I understand that emotions are most of the time unconscious and that decisions and reactions are involuntary based on (sometimes) unconscious emotional identification…however, I do believe there is a way to become conscious of emotions – not just sometimes, but all of the time – and to be able to feel emotions consciously in order to better serve the purpose of your spirit (or the piece of G-d within).
    In other words, rather than then trying to control our emotions we should learn to direct our emotions. If we are able to direct our emotions by being so closely in touch with them on a conscious level, our emotions can provide us with the ability to KNOW something is true or not true – and we can trust them enough to decide and react accordingly….and we will be correct and appropriate and therefore effective.
    Unfortunately, even the brightest of us cannot direct their emotions effectively….which is what I think is the ultimate downfall of man (individually and collectively)
    Unconscious emotions do rule us – especially when emotions are withheld, ignored and dismissed. Emotions are a part of our thought process and to deny this or not understand that this is true, would be foolish, as emotions inevitably take over…if ignored for too long.
    So instead of ignoring the emotions, we need to learn how to use them to our advantage.
    Now…getting back to the point…
    What about those people who supposedly don’t have the ability to consciously choose between connecting with their spirit and emotions (which, of course, impact our spirit) and must live life within the basic reality that their brain was programmed to understand and accept – which, ultimately limits their ability to introspect. Based on this problem – you have asked a good question —
    “What’s the point of accepting that there is a spirit if you can’t connect with it?….”
    This is precisely the problem….there is no point in accepting that there is a spirit if you can’t connect with it. Yes, there may be hints of our spirit that seep out of us unsuspectingly through our thoughts and our emotions…but if we don’t “feel love” consciously – in other words, if we can’t identify the feeling that is love and we only “think love” then as you say….there is no point in accepting something higher about ourselves because we will not truly appreciate it anyway.
    To bring everything together clearer I am going to answer you by saying that yes, I agree that emotions rule our thoughts unconsciously and we must consider that our spirit is part of an our unconscious emotional body that every once in a while shows It’s face. I also agree that some people disregard spirituality as nonsense because they are not able to connect with the concept…..but, what I don’t agree with is this…if you are a human being created by a the First or the Creator (this is the part that has been missing from this conversation until now) you have been given the ability to connect with your spirit (or the piece of G-d within) and you must first accept that you have this piece and then must set out to find it. If you accept only the version of reality that you have been brainwashed to accept and basically refuse to even step in the direction of moving towards your higher self (the piece of G-d within), then you are simply doing yourself a disservice and allowing your unconscious emotions to control you. In this case, you will never have the opportunity to truly find your greatest potential, and, yes, you will not enjoy the power of introspection.
    In other words, you will become your own greatest enemy and that is your choice – because there are many sources that offer an alternative way of thinking.
    But there is a choice….and, not to try and push myself on anyone, that is why I have decided to blog…..so that I fulfill what I believe is my spiritual purpose (based on conscious introspection and direction of emotions)…”to touch people’s spirit without their conscious knowledge” and maybe, eventually I will successfully open the minds of some allowing them to live life emotionally and mentally consciously (freely or with free will) as opposed to allowing brainwash and what self proclaimed “experts” claim to know rule their thoughts and actions.
    And…in answer to your final question as to whether I feel spirit deep down or does it exist in my head as a mental image I will say this….
    Spiritualism is definitely a heart thing. I sit everyday and try and communicate this concept from my heart….but since my spiritual self (my higher self – or the piece of G-d within me) is conscious, my heart and my mind can work together effectively allowing me to potentially change people’s perspective. This is free will. I only want to do this and my life revolves around this and I get to!

     

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