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Freewill and Deception


Ambrose Bierce defined “decide” as ‘to succumb to the preponderance of one set of influences over another.’ But let’s inquire further. What is it that is doing the “succumbing”? It may actually be — which many people will not care to face — that conditioned reactions help to constitute what one set of influences does over another… and that the knee-jerk concept of “I” or “me” is basically a conditioned protrusion of thought that occurs later (as it falsely appears to take the credit for “deciding”). Additionally, it may be that the conception of “I” or “me,” before any apparent “deciding” takes place, is also merely a learned social projection (of thinking) that is (essentially) unnecessary. Transcending this illusory “center” — that never truly was a center in the first place — takes the intelligence of wisdom. (Such wisdom is of an eternity beyond the falsity of a learned center.)

Are we merely at the mercy of inevitable conditioned responses that render us to be merely rather robotic and computer-like in nature? We say, “Not necessarily.” The (healthy and wise) mind can look holistically, in a manner that is more in-tune with the whole and not merely immersed in (and “as”) fragmentary parts and conditioned robotic reactions. However, there is no “green flag” that pops up in the mind, revealing that one is looking holistically. One cannot “know” that holistic mindfulness is happening. In truth, this may tie into the fact that holistic insight (as profound understanding) is beyond the field of the known.

Real compassion — not the phony kind set up for everyone to see — relies very little on the “I” or the “me.” The poor bloke who is in love with himself (i.e., in love with his “I” and “me”) cares little, for the most part, for others. The real jewel in life may not be what you were taught; it may not be what is construed as being your special center. There is, psychologically, no special center. Thank goodness!

Long-Legged Fly … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020

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My Blog primarily consists of close-up nature photos (that I've taken locally) combined with original holistic-truth oriented prose and/or poetry involving mindfulness/awareness. I love nature and I love understanding the whole (not merely the parts and the details). I'm a retired teacher of the multiply handicapped. I have a number of interesting hobbies, such as fossil collecting, sport-kite flying, 3D and 2D close-up photography, holography, and pets. Most of all, I am into holistic self-awareness, spontaneous insight, unconventional observation/direct perception, mindfulness, meditation, world peace, non-fragmentation, population control, vegetarianism, and green energy. To follow my unique Blog of "Nature Photos and Mindfulness Sayings" and for RSS feeds to my new posts, please access at: (On my regular Blog posting pages, for additional information and to follow, simply click on the "tack icon" at the upper right corner... or, on my profile page, you can click on the "Thomas Peace" icon.) Stay mindful, understanding, and caring!...

11 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Real compassion, authentic in nature seems to falter from whom we expect it to come from and merely succumbs to robotic-like conditioning that some may think is sincere, but is simply a spotlight on the “I’s” and “Me’s.” Nice piece my friend on mindfulness! 🙂


  2. Can humans think instinctively? Freedom of choice is precisely the state of not choosing. What is freedom of choice, when choice is the analytical act of hesitation while making a decision, ignoring the instinctive action that has the backing of evolution?

    On the other hand, being a decisive person is considered someone who doesn’t stop to decide, a paradox in the definition itself which pauses me to examine. Why do humans approach everything backwards, abandoning instinct when they seem to know better? Thinking has humanity hypnotized and words have us spellbound.
    Trying to do gods will is the hesitation, when we all really know instinctively what to do.


    • Analysis and postulating the will of God are all parts of a process that is not separate from evolutionary tendencies and patterns, be they right or wrong, primitive or evolved. Before we decide on what freewill might mean, we ought to investigate whether the analyzer is different or separate from the analyzed, whether the chooser is separate from the limitations of choice.
      Sorry about the late reply. Our internet has been out for days due to extremely bad storms in our area. Lots of trees are down with subsequent damage.


  3. Agreed – thinking holistically helps us move beyond the little self… My understanding is that compassion is a FEELING that erupts spontaneously when a person is exposed to suffering. Feelings/emotions are experienced in our bodies… we can’t THINK compassion –


    • Yes, we can’t ‘think’ compassion. This movement perceives that compassion is much more than a feeling. Feelings are limited — and, in one way or another, tied to thought — and that’s the problem.
      Sorry about the late reply. Our internet has been out for days due to extremely bad storms in our area. Lots of trees are down with subsequent damage.


      • Hopefully, no damage for you? I am confused by what you say about feeling because ou r feelings do arise in our bodies, and without access we are stuck – compassion is just a word… Feelings are translated/ processed into words through thinking but the emotion is just there – this is why animals are naturally compassionate… they imply feel… I love these conversations of ours – we have different perspectives and can learn from each other.

  4. I have chosen freewill, walked away from all I knew, no regrets.


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