Once, some time ago, someone asked me, “How much free will do we have?” My answer shocked the questioner. Have you every pondered about how much of what we do and think is conditioned, is essentially reaction? Obviously, the mind is based on and heavily dependent upon the physiology of the brain; the physiology of the brain involves biochemical processes that directly influence thought, awareness, and insight. Of the last three things mentioned in the aforementioned sentence, one of them (i.e., thought) is definitely of a residual quality, in the realm of reaction. Thought is always a reaction “about” something, and (being in, and of, the realm of reaction) it is always secondary in one way or another. All thought is inherently reactionary and symbolic, and as such it is what follows actual occurrences as a result or as a series of reactions. Shadows are secondary.
Most of us function mainly — because of the way we were educated — by (and “as”) thought/thinking. We view the world and react to it via thoughts. Most of us do not realize the profound significance regarding the possibility that thought — by its very intrinsic nature — is essentially totally conditioned. The thought of “I” or “myself” is (as we have suggested many times before) a part of all this. This “I,” for most of us, continues to act (actually react) as if it is “in control” of the “other” thoughts and mental processes. However, this is basically a totally fallacious process — whether we like it or not — as has been shown in previous posts concerning such things as the surgical severing of the corpus callosum in humans, thus producing two separate fields of consciousness. (Do not be overly perturbed about all this… as eternity still exists if one just takes the time to intelligently discover.)
As this movement has said before (and more elaborately in a previous posting), when one was very young, as a child, one had a very precious Raggedy Ann (type) doll that one kept as a close, dear friend. As time went by, one came to the sudden realization that the doll was in no way a friend or “feeling.” It was rather shocking, but maturity and intelligence adjusted to the realization just fine. Later, one went through a similar kind of thing… only this time is wasn’t a doll; it was the central ego, or “I,” or “me.” It took a certain degree of maturity regarding the realization about the doll; similarly, it took a certain degree of maturity regarding the realization concerning the supposed central ego or “I.” Most people have not yet reached that second realm of maturity… from what has been seen by this movement. Even people who say that they are one with everything and who claim to meditate haven’t really done it. Perhaps this is one the reasons why real enlightenment (in the profound sense) is so elusive for them. So many of us depend on (and think we exist as) this supposed central “I” or “me.” Another point: the self cannot decide to meditate any more that it can decide to be instantly enlightened. Most of us do not realize the deep implications regarding conditioning, the self, control, and time.
Thought — all thought — takes time. Deep insight is spontaneous and is essentially what does not take time. Few of us live in (and “as”) deep insight because we were educated to exist in (and “as”) a certain way, and we have never fully seen the immaturity of it. Why change? True insight is order beyond the influence of man, is compassion, is love, is immense and of integrity. Thought is symbolic; steadfastly remaining in (and “as”) mere symbols (especially a non-central, illusory one) is — whether we agree to this or not — suffering. We can do better.
This involves a primary essence of what we are. If we don’t understand it, what do we understand?
here now simple brain of monkey share little article with tom.
I read it. Interesting! Thank you, simple brain of monkey!
Thoughts are a residual part of the physiological and reactionary parts of the brain in all of us primates.
You always make me think, Tom, which is a good thing, even on a Sunday! 🙂
Love the little squirrel photo, tho they are not my favourite animal at the moment, as they have taken up residence in the roof of our house and keep me awake at night!
So glad to make you think. Most people don’t!
I didn’t know that there were squirrels in South Africa. Please take some pictures of them sometime when you get a chance. They must be rather global like we are. (Ear plugs?)
We have lots of grey squirrels, and I’ve written quite a series of posts on them – with photos. (Not as good as yours!)
If you visit my blog and type in “Sparky the squirrel” in the Search Box, these posts should come up, including a Red squirrel from Berlin last June.
And yes to the ear plugs, but I still get woken up! 🙂
I’m thinking, too, Tom. I like your intelligent posts. Greets to Tweetie, Mitza
You are, Mitza, one of the few who reads them and cares enough to understand! I told Tweetie to eat some Zupreem pellets (an additional type that i give her) and she said, “Yes, i will.” Indicative of projecting into the future, it seems, which is pretty cool! 🙂
In a way its funny how we have to think more in order to get past our thinking. I love how you tackle … and embrace this Tom 💛
Very appreciative of your comments, Val! 🙂 Presenting this to people is sometimes tricky and difficult. If people take this wrong, they may become sullen and depressed; but there is no depression or sorrow in this (really) whatsoever!
I hear you 🙏
Wonderful post and fantastic photo!
Thanks, HJ! Much appreciated! 🙂
Most of us function mainly — because of the way we were educated… Sometimes, it’s due to our life experience.
We probably can rationale better with the education we have had. Thank you for sharing your insights, Tom.
Yes, Amy, our education and experiences are what we function from. However, functioning from them is functioning from the past; we can go beyond the dead past if we are perceptive enough.
Thank you, Amy! 🙂
Beautiful squirrel picture I love squirrels.
Your articles are more philosophical. It is true, since the moment we are born we are conditioned by people/society and environment around us. In general our reflexes and reactions are based on this learning. It is not easy to unlearn and relearn and condition ourselves.