FreeWill Vs Determinism


This is one topic that has intrigued me over the years. I have delved deeper and deeper into this as my own evolvement unfolded.

The reason why this topic intrigues me more than any other is that THIS IS THE principal question. Whether what we do is our doing or bigger forces are at play. Answer to this question has serious implications on your outlook and attitude towards life, spirituality and basic accountability.

It all started with the Neurologist Benjamin Libet’s now famous experiment.

What this experiment substantiated was that our decision to pull the trigger was taken 300 milliseconds before we were conscious of it. What it proves is that conscious mind is only the visible part of the iceberg and simply claims doer ship to an event which manifested in the sub-conscious.

The actual decision maker is a conditioned response. Conditioned by multiplication of upbringing, genes, life situation, past traumas and what not.

Experiment also concluded that while it appears that we don’t have Free will, we do have a free won’t. which is to say that we can put our foot down in saying I WON’T DO this . Use of VETO.

But remember, in a day, we take approximately a million decisions, and you would use the veto on 01 or 02 at max and therefore majority of your decisions are taken FOR YOU.

People who have had a psychedelic experience can vouch for this phenomena. Because the time perception is altered, you can really dig into a single second and observe your own mind making a decision or coming to a conclusion. What you realize is that the conclusions are formed much before the “Thinking” even starts.

This is a mind boggling revelation. We must have seen it in real life and ignored it. Here is an example.

Your wife comes to your room and declares, “ we need to talk”. You already have a feel that your day is going to get screwed.

She utters to tell you something about your mom. The game stands over even before it began. The decision that “SHE IS WRONG” is already made in your mind even before you have heard of the incident.

This was a crude example. The same procedure manifests in EVERY SINGLE decision of your life. Your sub conscious mind decides for you unless you use your veto which you use rarely. BTW- You cannot use your Veto on every decision, the bandwidth choke will render you insane.

Once you realize this, you see Ed Seykota’s statement in NEW LIGHT.

“Win or lose, everybody gets what they want out of the market. Some people seem to like to lose, so they win by losing money.”

At conscious plane, nobody likes to lose, But Seykota here is talking about the sub-conscious mind which is manifesting drama in your life.

The Only solution to the problem is that your sub-conscious should be in sync with your conscious mind. They should align. There should not be a GAP or else an unexpressed feeling or emotion will find its way to express itself in a way you would not like it.

Here is an long and interesting video by Ms Pravrajika Divyanandaprana on role of Vedanta in channelizing that WILL.

while what she is saying about Vedanta helping you in developing WILL is fine and dandy. What Ed Seykota is saying about his trading tribe process definitely works. What Ram Das said about psychedelic drugs is Also true.

The MOOT Question is whether A) someone will be exposed to these ideas in his lifetime and B) if he/she will follow up with these ideas is ALSO part of pre-programmed response.

Its a viscous cycle, you see. You can take the horse to the water but cannot make him drink it. Nisargata Maharaj in the book, ‘I am THAT’ expressed it beautifully when he said. That Grace of God is important ingredient for you to follow the path. It is by grace that your mind is engaged in search for Truth and it is by his Grace that you will find it.

and therefore EVERYTHING IS PREDESTINED. I will leave you with this amazing talk by Allan Watts where he takes it a step further and proclaims that it takes something trapped to make a trap.