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Regarding Free will…

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Many people believe that they have free will. Others do not think that that is the case. I say that free will is — for the most part — patently false. Reacting according to “thought/thinking,” as all of us do, depends upon the physiological processes of the brain. These physiological processes are complicated and are not what we can easily regulate. And the controller is not necessarily separate from the controlled. Of course, many things can be done to better help the organ of the brain function healthfully and properly… such as eating whole, healthy foods, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and avoiding recreational drugs, alcohol, and smoking. However, there exist genetic, environmental, and unseen forces that are beyond what we can easily regulate.

Then too, the majority of us are heavily conditioned by society. Such conditioning runs very deep within our psyches. Much of such conditioning is so ingrained in (and “as”) us that we are very unaware that it is taking place; we are unaware that it exists at all. Thought/thinking, by its very nature, is essentially very robotic, residual, mechanical, fragmentary, symbolic, second-hand, and sequential. (By the way, perceiving that we do not — for the most part — have free will does not mean that one can do whatever one likes, haphazardly; that would be ludicrous.)

Things like insight, true premonitions, deep compassion, and holistic perception can — and do — transcend conditioned, run-of-the-mill, second-hand thinking and conditioning. Still, most of us are primarily trapped in thought and (for the most part) function in (and “as”) thought. In rare moments — for humanity — during actual nirvana, for instance, a mind does go deeply beyond conditioning wherein (during such visitations/episodes) thought/thinking (temporarily) becomes very difficult… but that (so far) has been a rare occurrence and most of us primarily function in the very limited domain of thought/thinking. It may be prudent not to put all our eggs in one basket.

Excerpt from the poet E.E. Cummings:

A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling — not knowing or believing or thinking.

Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.

Dining Out … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2023

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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: tom8pie.com (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!...

20 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Oh my goodness Tom, this resonates so vividly with me. I suppose my renewed perspective, after getting a little older, I better understand life, living, and ruminations as new lessons renewed my heightened connection and awareness. Thanks for breaking this down so thoughtfully and methodically. Cheers my friend. 🤔💖🥰

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  2. Tom, I agree, free will is a form of delusion and you give us good reason’s why… I would add patterning – but the idea is already there…
    Regarding feeling – I couldn’t agree more – feeling is authentic.
    great post

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    • Yes, Sara, it is interesting how, even in the same family, siblings can turn out to be so contrastingly different. Far too many of us are robotically shaped; far too many of us react according to how we were programmed. And yes, feeling (i.e., compassion) goes far beyond our education and molding; it is authentic… not second-hand! 😊

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  3. Tom, I agree with E.E. Cummings and I have to believe we are not taught how to feel … it is something within ourselves, otherwise “feeling” becomes almost cult-like if we have to rely on others to know how we feel. We’re like the lemmings then. This week’s gems … the woke M&Ms. The world has gone too far sometimes and once again I wish I could be transported back to an era that made more sense than this one. Your Swallowtail on the Coneflower is beautiful, such a delicate little creature. I’m looking forward to the return of the butterflies.

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  4. STUNNING Photo! Free will? Not when my mind is running the show. You are right about it all. Love the except from E.E. Cummings. We were raised to not feel or express feelings. Identifying them took practice.

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  5. Stunning words tbh. There is something magical about a feeling isn’t there. Until it becomes an emotion it is unseen so quite individual and private too

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