Our neural networks — much like a computer — are hardwired and conditioned to accept and fully believe in a central (free-will oriented) regulatory agent whom we call “I.” This “I” to each of us, seems very concrete, dependable (i.e., always there to control), and stable. We never deeply question whether such a “center” really exists in the first place. I maintain that there is no legitimate “I,” which, of course, seems contradictory, (due to the crude structure and barbaric evolutionary phase of our current language system).
When one talks to people about there being no “I” they tend to feel rather apprehensive, threatened, and psychologically uncomfortable. After all, to them, one is threatening the very core of their psychological framework. Our physical body, the organism, perceives largely through the eyes. The eye tends to be what focuses on and examines things. A similitude exists in us (mentally) between the physical “eye” and our concept of the “I” of the mind. We say that the “I” examines; we say that the “I” perceives; we say it was decided by “me.” The brain’s associative patterns are, in pretty much everyone, deeply hardwired and conditioned to constantly be referring to and depending upon this “I.” (The physiology of the brain is much like a walnut, and scientists have — repeatedly, in different human individuals — surgically divided the two halves, producing two separate fields of consciousness in each skull, each permanently existing with no clue as to what the other half is thinking.) Our conditioning for so many mental things is deeply pre-programmed in us, and many factors, including physical health, past education, brain chemistry, and genetic influences, pretty much nullify any real “free-will” completely, whether we like it or not. We must act — not react — carefully and diligently, and we cannot do that if we believe in a lot of crap that isn’t true. In 1932, Albert Einstein told the Spinoza society:
“Human beings in their thinking, feeling, and acting are not free
but are as causally bound as the stars in their motions.”
What we are saying is that this “I,” in a tremendous way, is fallacious and unnecessary. Clinging to it is like clinging to that childhood Raggy Ann Doll that was mentioned years ago in one of my earlier blogs… clinging to it as if it was real, alive, and a dependable pal. We could live perfectly, compassionately, and timelessly without clinging to our fallacious “I”s. Scientists, as was mentioned before in my blogging, have suggested that our universe likely operates in a totally different way than what we think is happening now… and they, the writer maintains, are correct. It was, many years ago, when i understood the fictitiousness of the “I” and the foolhardiness of the concept of “free-will,” when real security, profundity, insight into eternity, and real order came… (and not before).
This life is relatively short — in the few years that we have to live — and if you don’t get it right, via understanding and insight, if you (instead) continue to cling to a lot of rotten, crude fallacies, then the consequences are eternal (and not nearly as sweet as they could be). There is great beauty and timeless splendor in life if life is seen without much illusion.
Very profound, Tom. Do we have free will? When examined closely, it appears we that we do not. Interesting stuff. Great pic!
Much appreciated, Michael. 🙂
We do not have free-will. Every reaction that occurs in (and “as”) us is essentially conditioned. However, if we are very careful and extremely attentive — beyond mere reaction — that very attentiveness may allow for a wholeness which operates beyond mere conditioning. But most people perceive in fragments even when they think they are looking with a wholeness.
Understanding this gives us a limited free will, then.perhaps.
Referring to it as “free-will,” i think, would be rather erroneous. It is more like a living, holistic insight beyond the fragments; will and choice have nothing to do with it. One can’t choose to see the whole; it either happens or it does not, for instance.
“If you let go of all the idols of faith you will of course discover that what this unknown is precisely, the foundation of the universe, which is precisely you. It is not the you you think you are (it is not your opinion of yourself) it is not your idea or image of yourself, it is not the chronic sense of muscular strain which we usually call “I” You can’t grasp it, of course not, why would you need to? Suppose you could, what would you do with it? You could never get at it”—Alan Watts
“I”is simply a point of reference, a position, one of billions in the physical world collecting a physical perspective connected to all consciousness.
Never read much of Alan Watts… was never extremely fond of Alan Watts, though sometimes he said things that we were appreciative of.
Well, “I” can be simply a point of reference. However, to most people, it is obviously much more than that; it is what they see as a core (central) controller or “mental boss”… which it is not. 🙂
Often, when thinking is taking place (with me), the words “this movement” are used, instead of the more misleading word “I.” However, thinking, no matter how evolved it is (or isn’t) is always symbolic and fragmentary… and need not be what the mind is exclusively fixated upon.
Our mental conditioning is deeply programmed by external influences, as it drowns out the voice of our internal spirit. Challenging those influencers is too great of an undertaking to compete with and the network of conformity is sadly more comfortable. 😦
🙂 Most people, Kym, do not even consider that they are conditioned… do not even see that conditioning is operating in (and “as”) them. Before transcending an illusion, it has to be seen as what it is… an illusion… a fallacy.
Beautifully stated! 🙂
The concept of “I” is also an artifact of language. It’s interesting to learn how different languages create different mindsets. Some don’t have tenses to create past, present and future thinking, for example.
Yes, like the Australian aborigines as an example. You are very interested in ancestors, Eilene. We inherited a language from them that, in many ways, is structured on very ancient perspectives and primitive viewpoints. Are we evolving linguistically from this primitiveness? Not really. An upcoming blog will focus some on my meetings with Einstein’s protege, Professor David Bohm, and about his attempts to alter our language framework with the more evolved Rheomode. 🙂
Amazing capture, beautiful exótic flower! 🙂
Thank you, Marcela! 🙂
That Queen Anne’s Lace, reduced to no bloom against a dark background sure could pass for neural networks … you sure have a good eye Tom and your prose is spot on.
Thank you, Linda. 🙂
Henry the VIII was so cruel to Queen Ann (with her lace). The so-called king was just a pig who wanted another woman.
Thanks re the prose.
You’re welcome re: the prose. I didn’t know that story Tom. My great grandmother used to do tatting, making a lot of doilies. She started doing that after she was saddling the buggy horses to go to church and one of the horses reared up and then came down on the top of her foot. Her husband told her she was not going to be much help around the farm anymore – the poor women had 9 kids, worked in the fields, “put up” all the produce they raised, … no words. She started tatting as she was housebound more often as she could barely stand on that foot. I’d have given him a piece of my mind, but I wasn’t born yet. 🙂
Very interesting Tom …it made me think harder though about a lot of things…😁