The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

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Salem
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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by Salem » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:37 am

Yes, I have heard of this Benjamin fellow, and like 500 milliseconds before a the brain "makes" a decision, or something in that ballpark. I think I heard about him on Radiolab, and I think if God listens to a podcast it must surely be that one.

I have to be honest, most of what goes on I don't really understand, but the more I go into Awareness, the more I think I just have to sit back and enjoy the show.
"The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love." — Meister Eckhart

enigma
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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by enigma » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:50 am

Sighclone wrote: But it certainly appears that I can choose to touch my nose. (Enigma or somebody poked fun at this a few months ago.) All laws are based on the assumption that people can choose their behavior...the ones who choose "poorly" go to jail. Of course the cop-out is that there are no persons anyway (just these scripty fictions, body-mind-personalities as Mooji says.) And Ramesh Balsekar made a sort of weak argument when accused of sexual misbehavior that there is no doership, so nobody did anything. If the "little me" is a phony, but a thug rapes and murders a teenager, do we just toss the body in the river?
If somebody is a threat to society you lock him up to protect society. You might even be able to make an argument for punishment as a deterrent, but you really can't judge the person or say they could or should have done something else.
I think that the appearance of free will is necessary for the play to go on. I find there to be great divine comedy in our discovery that the observer affects the outcome of experiments. Even if there is no real decision-making, it's an important collective delusion that it seems to happen.
Strictly speaking, it's really not a collective decision, nor does the observer (individual) affect the outcome. All decisions and observations are an expression of Consciousness, as are the individuals themselves. As I keep saying here, perception and creation are the same, or in more scientific terms, observation collapses the field of probability.

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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by goldieflower » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:04 pm

:D
Last edited by goldieflower on Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by smiileyjen101 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:14 am

Salem in your original post on this thread you said:
we don't really have control over what we say, who we marry or befriend, whether we are self-disciplined or not, unless the impetus comes from within.
What now then would you call the impetus that comes from within?
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen

snowheight
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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by snowheight » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:01 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:
The issue is not whether or not a choice was declared. The issue is whether or not one had a choice about that. (Whether it was volitional)
I once tried to have a conversation with a bot (when I very first started going into a chat room). It didn't respond.... it had been programmed to say 'hello" and the person's name when anyone entered that room.

The bot had no volition. I would suggest you and me are not bots on any level.

Volition = the act of willing, choosing, or resolving; exercise of willing.
We have enacted our willingness, we have chosen to respond as we have, we have resolved to respond as we have, we have exercised willingness.

In the physical world (this topic is not in the outside the physical section of this forum) whether we acknowledge it or not we choose, we resolve, we act. We enact free will.
My understanding of it only stands for me and how I make my way in this world, but with the consciousness of it, I not only respect mine, but others' rights to exercise theirs within their personal circumstances. I also accept responsibility for mine, while at the same time accept that others may view it differently, may employ it differently, may unconsciously abdicate it and the responsibility for its use.

But likely again its a difference of views pitching our responses within levels of practicality and theories. We can argue the theories till the cows come home, but someone will likely have to use their free will to get up and put the cows in the shed, or not - no choice is wrong, it just brings a different experience. :roll:
Perhaps the only choice that "we" make is the one to identify with form to begin with. Perhaps we choose this separation, this life by identification and the rest is the "ride" so to speak.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by enigma » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:20 am

Who makes that choice? God....oneness?

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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by Salem » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:33 am

Hmm, I wrote a reply a few hours ago but I guess it didn't submit.

Anyway, Smileyjen, the impetus within I was referring to might be the Self, except for the Self doesn't do anything. I was talking about that growing within us that causes us to realize we aren't getting the fulfillment we are all seeking, and so we continue to seek elsewhere, eventually coming back to the Self.

On the nature of choice I am torn, so I wonder if both are true: on a practical level we have free will and make choices, but on the most fundamental level there is only a spaciousness of sorts that "allows" things to happen, although it's an allowance more or less akin to the space in a playroom that "allows" kids to play.
"The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love." — Meister Eckhart

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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by snowheight » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:30 am

Salem wrote:I'm starting to think that in the big picture there is no free will, and that indeed we are all bound by the laws of the universe, but that it really doesn't matter a hell of a lot.
Now you are treading into waters relevant to this thread and others like it here.

Salem, it might not matter very much whether and when Andy touched his nose last Tuesday, what you had for lunch on Wednesday, the content of enigma's Thursday brainfart or the scent of air freshener you hung on your rearview on Friday.

On the other hand, the apparently illusory choices made by the guys and gals who invented fire, the wheel, relativity and the internet seem to have had some sort of impact on us.

In light of the consequences of Oswald's decision to climb the book depository steps the question of whether that decision "was his" or not is non-trivial. Given what most here have learned along the road of self-inquiry (that there apparently was no Lee Harvey Oswald ), I would take the next step and posit that the question of whether the lack of anyone or anyOne to make such earthshaking choices defines a paradox to be an as equally important successor-question.

Yeah, Salem, it does matter. It matters quite a bit.

Some claim that they act out of Presence or Awareness and it is not only not my place to question this it is something that I route for. I will point out two things, however:

1) By definition any act taken from this posture is the best that one can hope for but any act that is mistakenly taken from this posture has the potential to be more damaging than run-of-the mill unconsciousness. Think of the Crusades or McCarthyism or your namesake Witch Trials for instance. Unconscious acts done with the conviction and power of faith behind them are historically some of the most damaging.

2) Depending on the non-level of "spiritual advancement", not everynoone who is on a null-path is to a non-point yet where they can always act consciously at all psuedo-times.

So while we might not be Chapmans or Einsteins or even Al Gores I would respectfully suggest that for even us everyday folk who might cross their paths, just going with the flow before we've fully dropped our illusion of the center of that flow to be a mistake. It is as important for us to pretend that we actually have a choice, whether that pretension is "true" or not, as it is to pretend that the monitor on which you are reading this is really there.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by snowheight » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:39 am

Natalie wrote:“Human beings, in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free agents but are as causally bound as the stars in their motion.”
Albert Einstein :shock: :shock: :shock:
A somewhat more formal statement of his rejection of Quantum Mechanics with the quip: "God does not play dice!". The fact that General Relativity breaks down inside of a black hole is another way of stating the choice with no chooser or Chooser paradox -- we know where the Universe is going to end up (likely in heat death), but does the journey (steered by a countless collapses of Schrodinger's equation) matter to any degree?

Andy,

Thank you for taking the time and energy to weigh in on this thread.
Sighclone wrote:Enigma declined to mention the Benjamin Libet experiments and other who followed him -- quite convincing concerning the timing of "conscious decisions." Google him.

But it certainly appears that I can choose to touch my nose. (Enigma or somebody poked fun at this a few months ago.) All laws are based on the assumption that people can choose their behavior...the ones who choose "poorly" go to jail. Of course the cop-out is that there are no persons anyway (just these scripty fictions, body-mind-personalities as Mooji says.) And Ramesh Balsekar made a sort of weak argument when accused of sexual misbehavior that there is no doership, so nobody did anything. If the "little me" is a phony, but a thug rapes and murders a teenager, do we just toss the body in the river?
The debate about the ultimate impetus for you channeling Paul Newman in the Sting is an old one and quite fascinating and rich. I'm only passingly familiar with the arguments against volition applied to your example and Libet's work (one argument being the Laplacian causal chain "part of the plan was to tap your nose as a signal and when that condition arose the program played itself out" ... or ... "a speck of dust too small to see lighted on the tip of your nose and it had a skin irritant on it so..."). I find those arguments out of date in the context of Quantum Mechanics.
Sighclone wrote:I find there to be great divine comedy in our discovery that the observer affects the outcome of experiments. Even if there is no real decision-making, it's an important collective delusion that it seems to happen.
Bohr, Heisenberg, Dirac, Schrodinger and the others when they met in Copenhagen were quite embarrassed about the fact that the result of 300+ years of theory and experiment, instead of disproving God, revealed the Observer. As such they agreed on an interpretation with as little metaphysics as possible, hence no mention of will, volition or choice. But one does not need to understand Schrodinger's equation to see where these concepts are implied: Prior to the observation of an event there are multiple probable outcomes which are resolved into a single outcome when observation occurs. Choice is implied by the condition of a single outcome arising from multiple possibilities. Even a choice that is always, sometimes or never random is still a selection, one out of many. Even if you posit many-worlds and take it to the extreme of every possible quantum event actually occurring in some version of he Universe, no matter how improbable, you wind up with timelines which are identical to the point where they may as well be the same, truly diverging only when Truman either does, or does not order the Enola Gay to fly.
Sighclone wrote: I'm actually more interested in predetermination vs. the appearance of volition. The life of a leaf is pretty well predetermined, from the macro level. It's going to emerge, live, turn brown, fall down and be resorbed into the soil. Or maybe get eaten by a giraffe. No capacity for a glimmer of volition.
A single leaf is unlikely to cause the kind of volitional branch in reality alluded to above. But carry your projection of the inevitable to a more extreme case. We know what the fate of the Earth is. We are pretty certain what the fate of the Universe is. Does it matter if some descendants of the human race survive these events? In the case of the Universe, does it matter if anything survives? If nothing does, did any of this happen? Here we come to a question which perhaps reveals why it might be important for us to answer our alarm clocks in the morning. Far-fetched, but I think, interesting.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by Sighclone » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:09 am

It is as important for us to pretend that we actually have a choice, whether that pretension is "true" or not, as it is to pretend that the monitor on which you are reading this is really there.
Yup. And it's more fun, too.

Thanks for the lengthy post above, snowheight -- it is always a treat when a member with a fine mind who can also write well and with a flair joins and stays with us. There are those who think that intellectual skills are the death-knell of awakening, because the mind is so self-absorbed, so strong and is such a deep part of the individual ego-identity. Hogwash. Gary Weber ("Happiness Beyond Thought") is another example.

It is truly divine comedy to discover a pointer to Consciousness in the recent discoveries of science. In a way, for me, it is the universe's way of saying "if you dig really deep, you might be very surprised...but remember to Keep The Aspisdistra Flying anyway!"

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by snowheight » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:58 am

Sighclone wrote:There are those who think that intellectual skills are the death-knell of awakening, because the mind is so self-absorbed, so strong and is such a deep part of the individual ego-identity.
Perhaps they are overthinking things ... as long as it is watched the mind is a great and even necessary tool!
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Ziendus
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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by Ziendus » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:41 am

If will is dependent on choice,
how can it be free ?
---ooOoo---

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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by snowheight » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:47 am

Ziendus wrote:If will is dependent on choice,
how can it be free ?
ahh yes .. If I understand correctly your statement is that a constrained choice is not free ... isn't this just a matter of definition?
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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by HandfullaMinerals » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:56 am

I can't find the post on here, but I liked an idea that one of the guys shared on here previously, he said that once something has happened it was meant to happen that way so in that way it's determined. But as the future unfolds, as this typing happens it is free will, it's driven by the space, time and resources available at this point of awareness.

What would be interesting is to see to what degree all our actions are through free will. Going upto my previous point, space, time and resources. Add on skills, dexterity, etc. Now they are not mine, they were kind of morphed into this body.

But anyway, where I'm at I'd say a mixture of determined and free will.
It is the ego which raises difficulties, creating obstacles and then suffers from the perplexity of apparent paradoxes. Find out who makes the enquiries and the Self will be found.

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Re: The Nature of the Mind: Where is the Free Will?

Post by Ziendus » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:02 am

Snowh:
> isn't this just a matter of definition?

Yes, can be.
Then it is combining words in a slightly proverbial way,
which gives the phrase (an)other meaning(s) than the exact words ?

But that which is free, cannot be dependent.
---ooOoo---

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