How much "free will" do we *really* have?
05-15-2019, 01:44 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-15-2019, 03:45 PM by redchartreuse.)
#1
How much "free will" do we *really* have?
A central tenet of the LoO is that 3D beings are in possession of "free will" although, as a questioner in 2019_0330 points out, they actually refer more often to the first distortion as the "Law of Confusion" than the "Law of Free Will".

In any case, the general idea is that third density beings have been endowed with equal measures of the ability to "choose" their perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes, and that the exercise of this choosing ability is the driving force behind spiritual evolution.

This view is in stark contrast to other esoteric teachings that posit, for example, that the average human being is more like an automaton, relatively devoid of any true "free will" and that what appear to be "choices" are merely the result of unconscious programming, social conditioning, and various levels of biases and other cognitive distortions.   These teachings suggest that the will is something that needs to be developed in the aspiring seeker; that it is akin to a spiritual muscle that is strengthened in proportion that an entity actively resists their unconscious programming.  In this view, it is the resistance against this psychological inertia that causes the indwelling soul to grow and evolve.

Indeed, modern biopsychological research tends to support the second view.  It suggests that much of what a person might consider to be their "identity" is actually a mishmash of thought patterns and behaviors that have been imprinted onto them by their early caregivers, and later reinforced through various societal institutions.  Some research even suggest that up to 95% of what a typical person might consider to be expressions of identity and "free will" were actually programmed responses that were etched into our brains before reaching school age.

Modern psychological theory also suggests that these programmed thought patterns and behaviors *can* be changed, however it again takes a great deal of effort- first through bringing our unconscious attitudes and behaviors into light (thereby acknowledging that they really aren't conscious choices) and later by actively challenging and resisting our programs.  Through this ongoing, lifelong, process of self-reflection and challenging, we can actually learn to create new attitudes and behaviors, which are truly the result of our conscious choices.

And even beyond this- newer research is demonstrating that so much of what we might consider to be conscious actions- in particular our food selection and mating behaviors- are largely controlled by *microbes* living in and on our bodies.  This is at huge variance with what an average person would perhaps consider to be some of their most intimate and personal choice-making... what to eat and who to sleep with... instead suggesting that we are little more than marionettes, being pulled hither and fro by the wills of entities that we can't even see with our naked eye, or perhaps even know are present and influencing us.

To perhaps make this a little less abstract, we might consider an example of someone we know who exhibits the characteristic of capriciousness.  While to the internal perception of a capricious person, the near constant changing of their beliefs and the display of incongruent moods and inconsistent behavior patterns are often seen as an expression of free will (i.e. "I do what I want and don't answer to anybody!") And yet to a modern psychological view, these types of people are actually the least in control of themselves, and in reality are being puppeteered by forces outside their conscious awareness.  Perhaps paradoxical, but understandable, is the notion that the very people who often style themselves as having a "strong will" are the most prone to being manipulated by forces of which they are not aware, since their distorted self-view precludes admitting to themselves that they are not as fully in control of themselves as they imagine themselves to be.

I have to admit, this might be the final nail in the coffin for me in terms of this particular philosophy espoused in the Ra material.  I previously assumed that Ra (and by extension Q'uo) would know at least as much about human psychology as we do, ostensibly being millions of years ahead of us in evolution.  And yet, it would appear they understand no more or less than whatever psychological theory exists in the mind of the channel at the time of the question, and often simply parrot psychological "understandings" hailing from earth circa 1981.  Law of Confusion, indeed.

[As the reader may or may not recall, the second-to-last nail in the coffin was when I experienced near immediate and sustained relief from decades-long severe chronic pain patterns the moment I rejected the LoO trope suggesting that we choose to suffer, in order to learn how to be more loving and compassionate.]

Personally, I feel more love and compassion for others when looking through the lens of understanding that they are oftentimes not in control of their beliefs and behaviors.  Particularly when under a high degree of stress.  Taking the view that everybody is "choosing" to think and behave as they do leaves me feeling frustrated and resentful toward others.  Admittedly, I don't have the "typical" psychological makeup, but once again I have found that directly challenging, and ultimately rejecting, some of the teachings and philosophies espoused in the material has more positive results on my particular psychology, than the somewhat blind acceptance of the teachings which I embraced in the past.

To be clear, not saying that everybody would or should agree with me.  However, I thought it might be helpful to share my experiences that they might be of some service to others who have faced similar struggles with putting these philosophies into practice.
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speedforce131
05-15-2019, 05:28 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-15-2019, 05:48 PM by krb. Edit Reason: grammar )
#2
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
This "Free Will" thing is a really complex subject. How much of our choices are influenced by:

Pre-Incarnate decisions made by Higher Self to bring about the desired outcome for the incarnation.
"Programming" by parents/teachers/society "pressure"/media
Biological microbes you mention, as well as chemicals in food/water/medications
State of mental health
4th Density entities offering their "service" to us, consisting of temptations.

Also:
(05-15-2019, 01:44 PM)redchartreuse Wrote:  ....  These teachings suggest that the will is something that needs to be developed in the aspiring seeker; that it is akin to a spiritual muscle that is strengthened in proportion that an entity actively resists their unconscious programming.  In this view, it is the resistance against this psychological inertia that causes the indwelling soul to grow and evolve.

I tend to agree with this. I've found the need to "fight" to overcome things in my life that were contrary to the highest version of myself that I wish to be. No one can/will fight this battle for me. I fight to overcome in total cooperation with Creator (having stated my intention to walk the Positive path). I disagree with philosophy that tells me not to oppose/resist what I don't wish to remain attached to my life. I wish to be "free" to choose, and can't be free if I continually allow some sort of "pressure" to overcome my personal goals.

I feel that I don't "own" myself if I can constantly be led away from my goal by whatever method the negative attempts to apply against me. If something/someone has control/influence over my inner self, how can I claim to ownership?

I will claim ownership to progress on the Positive path, not wishing to be separate from Unity, but to enjoy "being" at the higher levels of what the Positive path would have to offer once I'm done with 3D.
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speedforce131
05-15-2019, 06:21 PM,
#3
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
interesting conversation. Absolutely we live in a 3 D environment full of constraints, social rules, taboos, etc... and yet, and yet, at each moment we take the minimal decision to act in some way or the other. We shall act in a given situation from a mental decision based on fear or love or perhaps a precarious balance between both, and yet, still, we will make a decision to act or not act so in effect we have free will.

Even in a jail, we may decide that we are going to plan an escape. Or wait for our release. We make zillion decisions each day and each of these decisions will create a tapestry that will be our day of life. What seems the most lowest on the ground as decision, most minuscule, most crass, may end creating later the most incredible wondrous event due to a series of consequences. So we may not be free mentally in the absolute philosophical way but free will, yes we have. At least in my humble opinion Big Grin
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05-15-2019, 06:47 PM,
#4
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
(05-15-2019, 05:28 PM)krb Wrote:  Pre-Incarnate decisions made by Higher Self to bring about the desired outcome for the incarnation.
This one is huge for me. Higher self in this context is not the higher self in mid 6th density but rather your true self. I am hyper-aware of the decisions my higher self made after looking back at all the decisions I've made in the past, where that led me, and the current present moment and condition.

After I lost my 1st job, which was back when I was 18~19, I KNEW it was over. Contrast that with me losing my job this year, I knew it was over, but that wasn't the end. When I was younger, I KNEW it was over and that was IT! Furthermore, attempts to get out of the situation were met with failure, and subconsciously I did not want to get a job.

There was a period of 6 years give or take a year, where I stayed home and had various odd jobs that did not last more than a week or two. It was these experiences that taught me how cruel HR was, how the whole job system was, race discrimination, the value of what you own and choose to own, financial responsibility and so on.

Now in my 30's, I have a clear understanding of how employment works (including the seedy underbelly that's nepotism), I know the intricacies of race AND gender discrimination, and now I carefully select what I own and do not ever part with them for any reason. I ran into Law of One BECAUSE of my staying home and eventually working at home. I would not have found Law of One otherwise. If I had a steady job before 2016, all this spiritual progress would not have been made. It's not just Law of One content that I consumed but also the works of Dolores Cannon, Robert Monroe, a wider overview of the Bible and even Taoism.

Looking at it from the perspective of pre-incarnative decisions, my life HAD to have progressed in this way in order to reach the present moment. In that respect, we do not have free will. I am moving onto my next phase of life and in this next phase, I am fully equipped with spiritual knowledge and practical knowledge. It is a new journey, one I'm not quite sure how my true self planned it out, but I'm sure that there are things that I want in it.

When it comes to interactions with others, including relationships, those are decided pre-incarnatively as well. So I'm absolutely clueless as to which new relationships are going to be a part of my new life, I only know how I want it to be. I journey on the path that's set by my true self and along the way is when the pre-incarnative arrangements trigger.
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05-15-2019, 07:04 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-15-2019, 07:06 PM by Minyatur.)
#5
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
The thing with free will is that it does not make you what you are not. In the more global sense, free will is the first distortion or illusion. In the paradox of without it, there would only the void of yourself left empty and without love or light, no awareness nor manifestation. All that there is in Creation is the product of will.

In the 3D extended sense, free will also does not allow you to be what you are not, like separate from everything else and so you remain one with it all. Instead though, it offers an impression of it (Law of Confusion). In our density the veil creates separation between spirit mind and body, allowing for a more focused ego to form which in turns creates a vividity of experience and yields the ability for the formed ego to make choice.

You are a mind/body/spirit complex really.

There is no self in the sense of separate individuality, yet there is one prevailing identity.
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flofrog
05-16-2019, 11:53 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-16-2019, 11:57 AM by redchartreuse.)
#6
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
(05-15-2019, 05:28 PM)krb Wrote:  Pre-Incarnate decisions made by Higher Self to bring about the desired outcome for the incarnation.
"Programming" by parents/teachers/society "pressure"/media
Biological microbes you mention, as well as chemicals in food/water/medications
State of mental health
4th Density entities offering their "service" to us, consisting of temptations.

Right, exactly.  All this, and more.  So in consideration of all these other (often unseen and unacknowledged) influences on our beliefs and behavior, how much actual "free will" do we really have?  Seems like not much to me.

Quote:I tend to agree with this. I've found the need to "fight" to overcome things in my life that were contrary to the highest version of myself that I wish to be. No one can/will fight this battle for me. I fight to overcome in total cooperation with Creator (having stated my intention to walk the Positive path). I disagree with philosophy that tells me not to oppose/resist what I don't wish to remain attached to my life. I wish to be "free" to choose, and can't be free if I continually allow some sort of "pressure" to overcome my personal goals.

Yes.  I can't really speak for others, but in my own experience some of my greatest gains in growth were earned by actively resisting those beliefs and behaviors which were automatic.  Which leads me to wonder if so many of us have drunk a highly watered-down "Kool-Aid" version of Ra's philosophy of growth through acceptance, or if even perhaps Ra themselves have persisted in their grand naivety even to this day.

I tend to think it's the former, but I'm really not so sure.  To my read, Ra's touting of "acceptance" is much more akin to "acknowledgment" rather than "approval" but I don't feel that I am anywhere in the majority with this view among LoO students.  In other words, I can "accept" that feeling anger is a part of my emotional makeup as a human being, but that doesn't mean I will achieve growth by simply succumbing to it, and taking whatever actions my anger suggests in the heat of the moment.

And yet, it seems that so many people appear to believe that permitting themselves to be yanked around the playing field by their capricious and incongruent emotional natures is the same thing as exercising their free will.

Quote:I feel that I don't "own" myself if I can constantly be led away from my goal by whatever method the negative attempts to apply against me. If something/someone has control/influence over my inner self, how can I claim to ownership?

Me too.  Where this often gets sticky is in situations where somebody else is allowing themselves to be constantly led astray from their own goals (or oftentimes goals that we both share and have discussed) and yet tend to view me as their adversary when attempting to steer them back toward their/our own previously stated desires.

The yellow-ray blockages in human societies are so thick that they sometimes seem nearly impervious to me.  It often seems easier to herd a clowder of cats, than to get a group of human beings to work together toward even the simplest of goals.  In my experience, often times the most unifying thing I see in group behavior is how people are so willing to set their differences aside and attack somebody the moment it is brought into question whether or not the group is actually progressing toward their stated goal, or whether they are just spinning their wheels patting each other on the backs, while actually accomplishing very little.
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05-16-2019, 12:09 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-16-2019, 12:25 PM by redchartreuse.)
#7
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
(05-15-2019, 06:47 PM)speedforce131 Wrote:  
(05-15-2019, 05:28 PM)krb Wrote:  Pre-Incarnate decisions made by Higher Self to bring about the desired outcome for the incarnation.
This one is huge for me. Higher self in this context is not the higher self in mid 6th density but rather your true self. I am hyper-aware of the decisions my higher self made after looking back at all the decisions I've made in the past, where that led me, and the current present moment and condition.

After I lost my 1st job, which was back when I was 18~19, I KNEW it was over. Contrast that with me losing my job this year, I knew it was over, but that wasn't the end. When I was younger, I KNEW it was over and that was IT! Furthermore, attempts to get out of the situation were met with failure, and subconsciously I did not want to get a job.

There was a period of 6 years give or take a year, where I stayed home and had various odd jobs that did not last more than a week or two. It was these experiences that taught me how cruel HR was, how the whole job system was, race discrimination, the value of what you own and choose to own, financial responsibility and so on.

Now in my 30's, I have a clear understanding of how employment works (including the seedy underbelly that's nepotism), I know the intricacies of race AND gender discrimination, and now I carefully select what I own and do not ever part with them for any reason. I ran into Law of One BECAUSE of my staying home and eventually working at home. I would not have found Law of One otherwise. If I had a steady job before 2016, all this spiritual progress would not have been made. It's not just Law of One content that I consumed but also the works of Dolores Cannon, Robert Monroe, a wider overview of the Bible and even Taoism.

Looking at it from the perspective of pre-incarnative decisions, my life HAD to have progressed in this way in order to reach the present moment. In that respect, we do not have free will. I am moving onto my next phase of life and in this next phase, I am fully equipped with spiritual knowledge and practical knowledge. It is a new journey, one I'm not quite sure how my true self planned it out, but I'm sure that there are things that I want in it.

When it comes to interactions with others, including relationships, those are decided pre-incarnatively as well. So I'm absolutely clueless as to which new relationships are going to be a part of my new life, I only know how I want it to be. I journey on the path that's set by my true self and along the way is when the pre-incarnative arrangements trigger.

So here's the million dollar question.  Throughout all of these experiences, at the time you were going through them, didn't it truly feel in your "heart of hearts" that you were making choices?

After all, you decided to apply for "this" job instead of "that" one.  And you decided to do or not do whatever it was that got you fired.  Yes?  

Or then again maybe not.  If this was all just a grand setup by your "higher self" in order to maneuver you into a position where you could take a certain perspective on things, then as you suggested, you didn't really have much free will at all.

One one level, it seems like such a confusing subject to navigate.  But on another- if we step back and take a look at at all- it seems clearer that the development of "free will" (aka power) is more or less equivalent to "spiritual growth" which then makes it pretty obvious that if we have moved from a state of lesser power (less free will) to a state of greater power (more free will) then we obviously weren't endowed with unfettered free will to begin with.

Perhaps it would be more correct to say that the Creator has endowed us with the seed of free will, and then left it up to us to decide whether or not to give it water and space to grow.
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05-16-2019, 01:23 PM,
#8
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
Hard to say from my view.

We are the sum of what we came in with, our experiences, biases taught or taken on, fears, drives and everything that happens with or around us.

I see it as math. 1+1 will always equal 2.
The moment of awakening where we start to not be driven by everything of the ego and chose is that free will starting?

Or is that just more math and finally 1+1 added up enough times to = the start of awakening whatever number that would be represented by. Is the rest free will or is it just more math? All thoughts, things learned plus the new understandings gained through awakening = the rest of the choices?

I may not have a popular perception, but I think “free will” is coming here and making all these “decisions” as if we are separate. Doesn’t mean it’s still not predetermined because 1+1 will always equal 2. Lots of cause and effect in 3D.

It may not be a popular way to see it but it sure helps one forgive. If all we are is a sum of distortions and experiences we(any of us) can only be/act as we do at any time until we know better. Can’t blame anyone for being exactly where they are in the flow of evolution.
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05-16-2019, 01:50 PM,
#9
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
(05-16-2019, 01:23 PM)Glow Wrote:  It may not be a popular way to see it but it sure helps one forgive. If all we are is a sum of distortions and experiences we(any of us) can only be/act as we do at any time until we know better. Can’t blame anyone for being exactly where they are in the flow of evolution.

Very good Glow Smile I can sure relate to the above.
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Glow
05-16-2019, 04:02 PM,
#10
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
(05-16-2019, 12:09 PM)redchartreuse Wrote:  So here's the million dollar question.  Throughout all of these experiences, at the time you were going through them, didn't it truly feel in your "heart of hearts" that you were making choices?
Depends on which side of the equation. When I lost my job, it was actually a set of circumstances that triggered the next. I had no choice in triggering the event because it was someone else who intruded on my conversation. It was me being myself (as I'm awful with people, esp back then at age 18) then they intruded in my conversation and after that I reacted in the way that I would react at that time. After this event, I tried getting another job however each experience led me to one where I was ostracized. It wasn't until I moved back home where I made a conscious decision that I was done w/ the system. That was the most "choice" I've ever got to make and even THAT choice led to where I am today.
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05-19-2019, 01:58 PM,
#11
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
redchartreuse, there are two meanings of "free will". One is the conventional meaning: you are free to choose.
The second meaning of free will, as used in the Ra material, is: not knowing the truth of the oneness of all, which enables entities to make choices which would not be made if the oneness of all had been self-evident (as it is when we are not veiled).

You seem to be speaking about the first meaning, so let's focus on that. You are correct that free will is always constrained: we are Infinite Creator bound within an enormous number of conceptual "shells", which include everything we perceive around us, as well as our bodies, minds, emotions. We exist within a world designed by our Logos. It comes with laws, including spiritual laws, emotional laws, laws of physics. He created this game, and we are playing as characters in it. This is infinitely more interesting than if we had been left to stare at a blank screen and use our free will to doodle on it as we wished.

However, within the game, we are absolutely free to choose how to respond to all the stimuli presented to our awareness. Yes, of course we have impulses and biases - most obviously, the biological drives for food, water, sex, etc, and a myriad psychological drives and biases, many of which come from our unconscious as a result of unresolved trauma (old unprocessed catalyst). As a result, we can find ourselves experiencing strong anger, or sadness, or fear and anxiety, etc., and various personality configurations and traits; and each of these will "pull" us toward (or away from) particular choices. This seems to be what you're describing when you argue that we do not have free will.

The most important thing to understand here is none of that is deterministic. When a true second-density animal experiences an impulse, it has no capacity to reflect on that and choose to go against it; we do. We can have very strong lust, or fear, or sadness, and yet force ourselves to act against them: ie, refrain from cheating on our spouse; march forward into the line of enemy fire in a war; force ourselves to get up and get dressed and go to work, etc. We can work "smarter, not harder" and, instead of choosing to use willpower, find love in the situation, find peace, work on changing our emotional state.

This is free will. It is the capacity to go along with, or against the various pushes and pulls on our various natures (physical, emotional, mental). Adding in the second meaning of free will: with the help of the veil, it is the capacity to either become part of the harmonious original plan created by the Logos, or go against it into hate, aggression, further separation. It is up to us. Our impulses do not drive us. They make very compelling suggestions.
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05-19-2019, 02:28 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-19-2019, 02:46 PM by redchartreuse.)
#12
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
(05-19-2019, 01:58 PM)Stranger Wrote:  redchartreuse, there are two meanings of "free will".  One is the conventional meaning: you are free to choose.
The second meaning of free will, as used in the Ra material, is: not knowing the truth of the oneness of all, which enables entities to make choices which would not be made if the oneness of all had been self-evident (as it is when we are not veiled).

You seem to be speaking about the first meaning, so let's focus on that.  You are correct that free will is always constrained: we are Infinite Creator bound within an enormous number of conceptual "shells", which include everything we perceive around us, as well as our bodies, minds, emotions.  We exist within a world designed by our Logos.  It comes with laws, including spiritual laws, emotional laws, laws of physics.  He created this game, and we are playing as characters in it.  This is infinitely more interesting than if we had been left to stare at a blank screen and use our free will to doodle on it as we wished.  

However, within the game, we are absolutely free to choose how to respond to all the stimuli presented to our awareness.  Yes, of course we have impulses and biases - most obviously, the biological drives for food, water, sex, etc, and a myriad psychological drives and biases, many of which come from our unconscious as a result of unresolved trauma (old unprocessed catalyst).  As a result, we can find ourselves experiencing strong anger, or sadness, or fear and anxiety, etc., and various personality configurations and traits; and each of these will "pull" us toward (or away from) particular choices.  This seems to be what you're describing when you argue that we do not have free will.

The most important thing to understand here is none of that is deterministic.  When a true second-density animal experiences an impulse, it has no capacity to reflect on that and choose to go against it; we do.  We can have very strong lust, or fear, or sadness, and yet force ourselves to act against them: ie, refrain from cheating on our spouse; march forward into the line of enemy fire in a war; force ourselves to get up and get dressed and go to work, etc.    We can work "smarter, not harder" and, instead of choosing to use willpower, find love in the situation, find peace, work on changing our emotional state.

This is free will.  It is the capacity to go along with, or against the various pushes and pulls on our various natures (physical, emotional, mental).  Adding in the second meaning of free will: with the help of the veil, it is the capacity to either become part of the harmonious original plan created by the Logos, or go against it into hate, aggression, further separation.  It is up to us.  Our impulses do not drive us.  They make very compelling suggestions.

Hiya stranger!

I'm actually breaking my word responding to you here, as I said I would only make one more post here, as the torches and pitchforks have won the day once again, and it's time for me to rejoin my actual life, already in progress, which has become infinitely more joyous and harmonious since I began rooting out the many erroneous and self-serving interpretations of the Ra material that get passed around as incontrovertible truths in communities, such as this one.

You are 100% right, and have succeeded in restating the OP much more eloquently than I did.  Thank you.

The issue I am raising is how so many LoO students, and "new agers" (for lack of a better term) in general, read "free will" in terms of the conventional meaning you suggest.

This, in turn, is used to justify all manner of heartless and selfish actions, not the least of which is the constant reinforcement that anybody who is suffering "chose" to suffer, and needs to "learn how to love" by simply rolling over and accepting any suffering which comes their way.  This type of attitude, by ANY human definition, is abusive.  Plain and simple.  It is extremely damaging for people to treat each other this way, and bordering on psychotic.

I know, because I did it for 20 years before coming around to the error of my ways.  And if I sound broken and angry and pained for it, that's because I still have some healing to do.  My bad.  Wink

It plays right into the negative agenda, and directly feeds beings who have denied their direct connection to the Creator, and must instead feed on the energies of suffering.

Another equally, if not more harmful, result is how so many think they are "being spiritual" when they turn the other cheek on those who are committing harmful acts toward themselves and others.  So the trope goes, those people "have chosen at the soul level" to behave that way, and therefore it is not our place to try and intervene because that would supposedly be an abrogation of free will.  Of course, it is nothing more than sloth and cowardice.  And I would know because I have been that too.

The only thing I might counter from your post is that people who are not aware that they are being led around by their impulses, and who have come to believe that blindly following impulses and subconsious biases IS THE SAME THING as exercising their free will, effectively have none.   And more importantly, they are us.  And it is our honor and duty to do our very best to help them see the light.  It often is not pretty, and they often go kicking and screaming just like a drug addict who is called out on their addiction.  But we are here to serve their indwelling souls, and not their personality shells.  And that's how the cookie crumbles.

Cheers to you.  And hello and goodbye.

[EDIT:  This WAS my last post.  Glow, there really isn't much more for me to say in this forum.  I could list some of the other negative programs I rooted out, but there's something I once heard that a very wise man said about casting pearls before swine, and have decided this just isn't the right forum for me.  Cheers to you as well, and to everyone else who genuinely contributed some truy value to the discussions I have been attempting to have here. I am sorry we are not going to be able to continue our chats any longer.  Buh bye now.]
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05-19-2019, 07:41 PM,
#13
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
Sorry to see you leave but, since I do *not* see it as my duty to drag anyone kicking and screaming into anything (I think there are other websites for that sort of thing!), I shall not attempt to dissuade you Smile

I do hear the pain you're in from your words, and I do hope that you find healing.

Adonai.
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05-20-2019, 04:14 AM,
#14
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
@redchartreuse

Sorry to hear that. I'll miss your critical thinking. God bless you.
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Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
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05-20-2019, 04:49 AM,
#15
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
I believe we have much determinism but still we have free will. It can be weak or strong, enabled or disabled yet we have it. Free will is not in what you get but what you make out of it. Compare the story of Job vs. Caine in the Bible. Or remember Ra's metaphor about a game of cards or catalyst of war/rumours of war?

Bad situation (when our free will seems more restricted) can be an opportunity to manifest great will, hope and responsibility. Some examples of people from Peterson's book (12 rules):

Quote:One of the most vengeful murderers of the twentieth century, the terrible Carl Panzram, was raped, brutalized and betrayed in the Minnesota institution responsible for his “rehabilitation” when he was a delinquent juvenile. He emerged, enraged beyond measure, as burglar, arsonist, rapist and serial killer. He aimed consciously and consistently at destruction, even keeping track of the dollar value of the property he burned. He started by hating the individuals who had hurt him. His resentment grew, until his hatred encompassed all of mankind, and he didn’t stop there. His destructiveness was aimed in some fundamental manner at God Himself. There is no other way of phrasing it. Panzram raped, murdered and burned to express his outrage at Being. He acted as if Someone was responsible. The same thing happens in the story of Cain and Abel /.../

Panzram’s response was (and this is what was so terrible) perfectly understandable. The details of his autobiography reveal that he was one of Tolstoy’s strong and logically consistent people. He was a powerful, consistent, fearless actor. He had the courage of his convictions. How could someone like him be expected to forgive and forget, given what had happened to him? Truly terrible things happen to people. It’s no wonder they’re out for revenge. Under such conditions, vengeance seems a moral necessity. How can it be distinguished from the demand for justice? After the experience of terrible atrocity, isn’t forgiveness just cowardice, or lack of willpower? Such questions torment me. But people emerge from terrible pasts to do good, and not evil, although such an accomplishment can seem superhuman.

I have met people who managed to do it. I know a man, a great artist, who emerged from just such a “school” as the one described by Panzram—only this man was thrown into it as an innocent five-year-old, fresh from a long stretch in a hospital, where he had suffered measles, mumps and chicken pox, simultaneously. Incapable of speaking the language of the school, deliberately isolated from his family, abused, starved and otherwise tormented, he emerged an angry, broken young man. He hurt himself badly in the aftermath with drugs and alcohol and other forms of self-destructive behaviour. He detested everyone—God, himself and blind fate included. But he put an end to all of that. He stopped drinking. He stopped hating (although it still emerges in flashes). He revitalized the artistic culture of his Native tradition, and trained young men to continue in his footsteps. He produced a fifty-foot totem pole memorializing the events of his life, and a canoe, forty feet long, from a single log, of a kind rarely if ever produced now. He brought his family together, and held a great potlatch, with sixteen hours of dancing and hundreds of people in attendance, to express his grief, and make peace with the past. He decided to be a good person, and then did the impossible things required to live that way.

I had a client who did not have good parents. Her mother died when she was very young. Her grandmother, who raised her, was a harridan, bitter and over-concerned with appearances. She mistreated her granddaughter, punishing her for her virtues: creativity, sensitivity, intelligence—unable to resist acting out her resentment for an admittedly hard life on her granddaughter. She had a better relationship with her father, but he was an addict who died, badly, while she cared for him. My client had a son. She perpetuated none of this with him. He grew up truthful, and independent, and hard-working, and smart. Instead of widening the tear in the cultural fabric she inherited, and transmitting it, she sewed it up. She rejected the sins of her forefathers. Such things can be done.
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05-20-2019, 10:24 AM,
#16
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
   “Free will” is extremely important.
   It seems to me what happens “to” us depends mostly on the free will of others.  They can be kind to cruel.
   Our responses to events in our lives depends on “our” free will choices.  Many of the situations in our lives result from the consequences of our choices.
   But, I am convinced the Creator “rigged” the universe in our favor, so that even the person who chooses the service-to-self path eventually in the far future turns back toward the light because there can be no spiritual progress resulting from separation.
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05-21-2019, 12:19 PM,
#17
RE: How much "free will" do we *really* have?
Well...

At point infinity, aka above the creator where entire creation joins into a mysterious infinite whole, there is no free will.

Because, everything that could/would/did happen, already happened/will happen/happening.

So it is an entire snapshot of intelligent infinity before it becomes infinity.

If you look from that perspective, there is no free will. Because the individual stills of the film is there, sitting inside the film rolls.

......

But, if you look from the point of the finite entity in a lower stage, there is free will - the film is still rolling, and the individual stills are coming in one after another. The viewer can move in different directions inside the large movie, and explore different moments of the movie...
can reach me@ unity100-gmail
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