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!
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