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

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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 11:14 am

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

Speaking of Will,
I prefer to call it one thing leading to another,
with an infinite history.
Then climbing a mountain is kind of the same as the falling of rain.
---ooOoo---

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

Post by snowheight » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:23 am

Ziendus,

There will be no reply to these from the mind.

Thank you and Namaste.
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 smiileyjen101 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:26 am

Salem said: 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.
I like the above Salem. It resonates of the ancient Chinese philosophy of Tzu Wei that brings in (and I'm sure I've mentioned it somewhere else) notions of energies of the Heavenly Stem - things your soul wishes to experience and Earthly Branch - things you 'may' experience dependent upon your and others' choices.

It's not 'what' happens, but how we (choose to) interact with it that makes any difference in our experience of it.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com

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

Post by Webwanderer » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:03 pm

Is learning possible?
If so, to what end?
And what is its mechanism?

If not, what is the point?
Why creation? Simply Divine masturbation?
What then is the focus of Love? With what is it shared? And why?

WW

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

Post by enigma » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:55 pm

Salem said: 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.
To be blunt, which seems to happen sometimes, you're torn because you don't want to surrender control. They cannot both be true, but it can be that neither is really true. We do not have free will on a practical level. Acting as though we have free will and ignoring the fact that we don't doesn't make it so on a practical level. If you flap your arms like a chicken, it doesn't mean you are a chicken on a practical level; it just means you think you are. Likewise, the fact that you declare choices doesn't actually make you a volitional chooser.

On the most fundamental level is creation, not allowing. Allowing implies getting out of the way so that something else can move, and that's what you're supposed to be doing instead of flapping your arms. :lol:

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

Post by Sighclone » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:16 pm

There is only a "litle me" from some other perspective. We hear that "larger" perspective as Pure Awareness, Brahman, Atman, Source, Being, Spirit, Unity Consciousness, etc.

Absent a larger perspective, most folks bumble around thinking they are making choices. Gary Weber reminds us that genetics, conditioning and family of origin play a part in limiting the "freedom" of choice. Pure Advaitists like Ramana say simply "Everything is Predetermined."

But I'm not Ramana. It still seems like I have infinite freedom to touch my nose or not. I may not have freedom to decide what sort of woman will be attractive to me, and not have much freedom to decide what I "like to do" (motorcycles, not Parcheesi, etc.). But it seems that in some things, I have great freedom. Jac O'Keefe's fine nondual book "Born To Be Free" talks about freedom "to" as well as freedom "from."

So does Adya in his new book "Falling Into Grace," in the chapter on True Autonomy. He speaks of hearing the "inner teacher," and of Spirit coming back to itself as a unique independent expression, but not separate (yup, another paradox.) "Our autonomy is discovered in each and every moment." He stresses the importance of "feeling" the right way to be -- "true surrender into the unknown" -- it is a nonegoic autonomy.

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 enigma » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:34 pm

A nonegoic autonomy??
It's been implied here that there is a risk in grasping the concept of nonvolition as a means of justification, and so many teachers will imply free will. Many others actually believe it, but there's also a risk in taking that implication to be factual when it comes time to notice it's an illusion.

The issue has to be investigated more deeply, and yet there is no motivation at all for folks to do so. What you know is that the thought occurs to touch your nose, and a hand reaches up to touch your nose, and that's all you know. You don't know where the thought to do that comes from. We could say it's conditioning or the universe scratching it's nose, or we can say it's God's thought, but we can't say Andy is the author of that thought. It's not an issue of levels or context or 'nonegoic autonomy', nor is it a paradox.

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

Post by Ananda » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:41 pm

Hello folks :)


The question of free will is pretty interesting, but I don't really think it's a relevant one in the context of all this. Quite a lot of modern teachers have spoken about it, but it was an issue that basically never appeared in traditional teachings. The reason for this is because of the way freedom and bondage were defined back then and how they are defined today. Nowadays we often associate freedom with individual freedom, with equal rights, creative expression, 'me being me', etc. It's become a big gray area in recent years, the whole issue of free will. Traditional teachers and teachings were much more black and white in their approach to what freedom meant.

The freedom to choose, to excercise individual will, depends on the existence of individuality itself. Individuality is taken for granted nowadays, and pretty much always has; but teachers of the past, and still some today, point out that individuality itself is an aspect (or cause) of bondage- therefore the question of individual freedom, a freedom of will, is an oxymoron. We can look at it in a very logical way;

If something is free then its nature doesn't depend on conditions, and it isn't limited or constrained by anything else. If I give you a car for free, then there are no conditions by which the gift won't be given freely; I won't charge you money for it or demand anything in exchange, and I won't stop you from having it on some discriminatory basis, and nor will there be any hidden factors or variables which take the car away from you afterwards. Free means free precisely because there are no conditions or restrictions, it is freedom from any imposed limitations.

If we apply that to the body, then we will quickly see that the body is never free from restrictions. The body is a product of previously existing conditions and objects, it doesn't exist independently of it's environment, is limited by dimensions in space, shape and form, and is conditioned constantly by external stimuli and the changes that happen to it over time. Strictly speaking, the body as an independent entity doesn't even exist. Why? Because the body is sustained and maintained solely by its environment. It's a product, or effect, that is entirely dependent upon the existence of its cause ie the Earth. The body needs food, it needs air, it needs to constantly adapt and respond to its immediate environment in order to survive. The body is determined by the fight for survival; all of its most primary functions and actions are simply for continuing existence, in this way the body is nothing but a microcosm of the Earth itself; a constantly changing phenomena that is bound by universal laws and subject to birth and death.

The body cannot exceed its limitations because its very nature is limited; all it can do is try to reduce those limitations. So when we talk of free will, of freedom to choose, we don't really mean freedom in the truest sense of the word; we simply mean 'the availability of more choices'. If one body is less limited than another body, if one body, for example, has more wealth than another body, then that body has more choices available to it in life, it has more 'freedom' of will. Why? Because it's limitations are comparably less than that of a poor person. One who is starving has much less freedom to choose what it wants than one who never goes hungry; why? Because a starving person must prioritize the search for food because the body is dependent on an external factor ie food for its survival. A person who wants for no food has many more options available to him in life, he has more freedom to live as he wills- so he has overcome, temporarily, the limitation imposed upon him by nature; that of the dependency on food.

Is this freedom, then, inherent in people? No, it is entirely dependent upon the external environment, and the actions that result in it. The availability of choice is a commodity, it's brought about by actions, by force, not by any inherent trait or characteristic that each person possesses. The choice of one man to kill another man removes the victim's 'freedom' to live. The 'freedom' of one man to destroy the home of another deprives the other man of the 'freedom' of living in his house. There's not really such a thing as freedom in any of these scenarios, there is simply the increased availability of choice due to the reduction of restrictions one is bound by. Limitations are reduced, but not removed, through action- yes, through choice. But those actions in turn effect the freedom of choice for others, be it to their benefit or to their detriment.

In order for there to be free will, there would have to be no relationship of cause and effect in the world. No choice is ultimately free, all are determined by a range of factors; from the environment and conditions the body is shaped by, to the actions and reactions of others. Individual free will is nothing but a fight over whose will is enforced on others; who has the most choices available to them as a result of all these greater forces.

So we can say there is will, there is choice, but it's not free; it comes at a price- both in terms of how expensive it is, how difficult it is to obtain and enforce, and how it effects the world and others. We can choose, but the options are given to us, determined outside of our will, and we cannot choose otherwise.

Looking at it from the bigger picture, however, this kind of will isn't desirable, nor necessary. A large prison cell is still a prison cell; limitations are still limitations. Real freedom is freedom from limitations, and thus also freedom from individual free will.

The Self has no limitations, so it cannot have free will. Why? Because there is nothing other than the Self, this existence, there is no second Self or object- nothing else to act on or interact with. Free will implies two things; action and volition. Action requires a)An agent of action, possessing a body with which to act ie possessing parts, b)the action itself and c)something different the agent upon which the action is performed. Volition implies choice, that is, the cognitive ability to choose between two or more things- and that in turn requires a brain, a mind, and therefore a body.

Reality, as such, is non-dual. It does not have two different things that can act on each other- nor does it have a body, a mind, a brain, intention, will, choice, limbs or parts. If Reality had action, then it would be bound by space, requiring a body, therefore it would no longer be free, but instead limited. If Reality had volition, will, then it would again require a body and mind, and would also be limited by a range of choices outside of its control- which would in turn mean limitations. Reality alone can be described as free, as all else depends upon that for its existence, and all else is seen as the unreality of duality which appears in that. The Self, what one is, is that Reality, so free will is neither needed nor desirable, it being a limitation on one's essentially free, secondless, fearless nature.



:)

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

Post by Webwanderer » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:21 pm

Is learning possible?
If so, to what end?
And what is its mechanism?

If not, what is the point?
Why creation? Simply Divine masturbation?
What then is the focus of Love? With what is it shared? And why?

WW

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

Post by enigma » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:31 am

Webwanderer wrote:Is learning possible?
Apparently, you learned how to type.
If so, to what end?
Typing.
And what is its mechanism?
Applying finger pressure to keys in such a way as to form words. :P

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

Post by Webwanderer » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:52 am

enigma wrote:
Webwanderer wrote:Is learning possible?
Apparently, you learned how to type.
If so, to what end?
Typing.
And what is its mechanism?
Applying finger pressure to keys in such a way as to form words. :P
Did this response have to happen this way? Or was there a choice? Can learning result from it?
If so what might be seen? :mrgreen:

WW

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

Post by enigma » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:55 am

Webwanderer wrote:
enigma wrote:
Webwanderer wrote:Is learning possible?
Apparently, you learned how to type.
If so, to what end?
Typing.
And what is its mechanism?
Applying finger pressure to keys in such a way as to form words. :P
Did this response have to happen this way? Or was there a choice? Can learning result from it?
If so what might be seen? :mrgreen:

WW
It could have happened many different ways, but how it DID happen was determined by the spontaneous unfolding of the totality of unified Consciousness and not a separate chooser, who is part of that spontaneous unfolding.
I don't understand the relevance of learning in this case. Learning happens just as choices happen and duck quacking happens. You may need to explain what it means to you rather than just repeating the question.

Learning and seeing might be different things.

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

Post by smiileyjen101 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:31 am

Let's ask ET....
According to Eckhart Tolle, giving in to the now is the only path that leads to actual free will. “Most people live in the delusion that they make decisions out of free will. In reality their actions are completely determined by their past. How you think, what you want and what you consider important are all determined by your upbringing, your culture, your religion – in short, by your concepts. As long as you still think you are your mind, you have no free will. Spiritually you are unconscious. You may think you know what you want, but you don’t. It is only the conditioning of your mind that says: “This is what you need to have”. That’s not a choice, it’s mechanical.

Some people escape from this. Then it is suddenly as if there is more consciousness, which means that for the first time they truly experience free will. Only then can you take responsibility.”

aha... response-ability... 8)
More of this article here - http://www.inner-growth.info/power_of_n ... de_mag.htm
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com

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

Post by Webwanderer » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:50 am

Well done Smiileyjen.

Maybe there's more to this free will thing than meets the mind.

WW

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

Post by smiileyjen101 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:00 am

But in fairness, you can only know that which you are experiencing, looking at or standing under (understanding the experience of NOW).
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com

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