|11-07-2006, 06:54 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Who wants free will anyway?
I was reading the thread in here about what you'd ask God if you could ask Him one question. I thought to myself, I'd ask Him exactly what I'm supposed to do in my life here on earth to attain the greatest happiness and joy overall.
Never mind the fact that higher consciousness centers around God being in and of each and every one of us, not a separate entity. What I found disturbing about my own question is that in spite of the fact that I have complete control over what my purpose is and how my life goes, I was considering that I'd rather have an omniscient Other take the reins and show me exactly what to do--every single step. And this comes from a person for whom free will is quite possible the highest value in the universe!
It's amazing how effectively society has hypnotized the mass of people--to where even now, being a fairly conscious individual, I lean toward trusting the "wisdom" of authority over my own. Mere experience demonstrates that this is true for the majority of people in the world. They trust authority and common opinion rather than themselves, and thus allow those voices to usurp their free will. It's in this light that personal growth and higher consciousness truly stand out for the miracle that they are, freeing us from our slavery to popular ideas and charismatic leaders.
I think that when it comes to the hard choices and difficult questions that life poses--purpose, vocation, values, direction, etc.--it's important to remember that these things, as with all others, are governed by only one thing: our own free will and choice.
This is just an idea that I came upon suddenly and felt compelled to share. Comments, ideas, criticism?
|11-08-2006, 01:58 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
It's true. I occasionally find myself wishing something external would show me "the way," and I've been dismissive of authority since I was a kid -- even to my own detriment at times. So I think there's something universal about this. I think learning to trust oneself is one of the most important steps in raising consciousness.
Lately I've been exploring the idea lately that a great deal of power comes from the exercise of freewill. Sounds like a truism, but not if you look closer. You're still using the same muscles if you lift a pencil as a 100 lb. barbell, but they're not both exercise. The exercise of freewill has less to do with the difficulty or importance of the decisions, I'm thinking, and more to do with the degree to which we truly decide. Though both are probably factors.
What constitutes a degree of decision? I think it's the degree to which we fully accept the decision rather than just make it. I can make a decision and continue to second guess it, or get consumed by worrying about the outcome, or even regret it for years to come. The decision is never made in those cases, is it? A decision exists in a binary state: it's either made or unmade. If you don't fully make the decision, you're really just eliminating alternatives.
I think the Buddhist principle of non-attachment to outcome also comes into play here. A decision is fully made when you can walk away and allow the universe to act on your decision. At this point, it starts to dovetail with intention/manifestation because you also have to continue to act congruently with the decision you've made or the decision is not really made. Come to think of it, a decision fully made is probably no different from an intention activated -- or should be anyway.
What would life be like if we treated evey exercise of free will as an intention?
|11-08-2006, 03:14 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Self-Will is the mark of maturity
The desire to obey is one that is, in a way, forced on us. This is necessary, because rules do exist for a reason and not realizing this will undo a lot of historical solutions. I might be putting on my seatbelt because Mom said so, but there's a good reason for it. That's the strength of tradition and religion: it gives us guidelines without bothering us with the explanation. That's why children need to be inculcated with tradition and religion.
But that's for children. The mark of a mature mind is the ability to question, analyze, criticize, and best of all, come up with something better. Forget seatbelts; why not design inertial compensators in cars, so that there is never a risk a sudden stop sending you flying out the windshield?
This comes with a cost, of course, which is that if someone else isn't giving you the answers anymore, you're going to have to expend time and effort to find them yourself. And many times, it may indeed be wiser to let yourself be guided so that you don't reinvent the wheel unnecessarily. But you can't be sure until you're sure. It's a dilemma that can only be answered by experience or wisdom.
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