The Illusion of Free Will?

For all other chat which isn't directly related to lucid dreaming and the world of sleep and dreams.

Do you think we have free will?

No
16
50%
Yes
14
44%
Don't know
2
6%
 
Total votes: 32

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Peter
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Re: The Illusion of Free Will?

Postby Peter » 02 Aug 2014 09:47

Awesome, enjoy the coffee and it may have been driven by free will at another level so we are almost at the start again :D
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born

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Summerlander
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Re: The Illusion of Free Will?

Postby Summerlander » 02 Aug 2014 12:02

Thanks! It was delicious. If I had run out of coffee I'd hurting right now as I would be unable to decide not to want coffee. Saying "I don't want it" would be lying to myself. By the way, don't forget to vote, Peter! :-D

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Jack Reacher
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Re: The Illusion of Free Will?

Postby Jack Reacher » 02 Aug 2014 23:54

I think a huge part of this is breaking down identity. I think human beings have free will in the sense that they are a causal component of future events. The psychological/conscious component that Peter nodded towards is really just a puppet of the human being, it is a tool that we use. So when that part makes decisions, I agree it is really just being stringed along.

This is where it gets hard for me to illustrate my point in free will, because I still don't have a good grasp on what we truly are as human beings at an existential point. I sorta believe that we are always in a subconscious state, being guided by the vibrations of our body or our soul/spirit/ true human form.

Something I once did that I regret was look into a strangers eye as I walked past them and try to calculate exactly what they were experiencing at the time, and pinpoint it inside their head that I was staring at. It was like seeing spinning disks inside their eyes, disturbing stuff won't be doing that again.
"There is theoretical abstraction, and then there is true abstraction."

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Peter
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Re: The Illusion of Free Will?

Postby Peter » 03 Aug 2014 02:03

Looking into a strangers eye, I try to feel people and judge their bodies energy as a talk or meeting proceeds and it is one of the most powerful tools for negotiations in a business setting.

There is always discomfort when you start a deep process like that and that is a bias at the level of daily reality that is a major barrier to overcome but there is no reason to not overcome.

I think that our SC is no more or no less that an organic computer and will by nature respond to impute so the more pure (without bias) the information going in the better the output in the form of intuition and the more ofter leaps in understanding will occur.

Nothing mystical in the SC it has no agenda and will do its work with what it gets from our senses and tempered with our positive and negative bias. Both are as bad as each other.
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born

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HAGART
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Re: The Illusion of Free Will?

Postby HAGART » 03 Aug 2014 03:04

I felt like rambling... but hey... I have no free will anyway, so why should I worry? 8-)



Peter wrote:I think that our SC is no more or no less that an organic computer and will by nature respond to impute so the more pure (without bias) the information going in the better the output in the form of intuition and the more ofter leaps in understanding will occur.


We can put it in so many words, and I tried many times, but basically that's the way I see it too. It's what I believe.

It can be tough when you realize that your ego sense of self is a mere illusion, and the 'you' that you think you are, with all its emotions (what are emotions anyway? How are they quantified?), is just a small slice of the pie of the entire thing. Perhaps constructed out of evolutionary necessity. That's why I love listening to dream characters stemming from my subconscious self. They speak frankly, and just state the facts. (most of the time). To me, that is my 'higher self', and worth listening to. It has no bias, no reason to lie, love, or hate. It just, is. It would be nice to let that other part of you, and me, take over for a while during times of stress when you need it. (And it does during car accidents, natural disasters, and buildings on fire when people shut off and just act, often forgetting what they did, being in 'robot mode'). It might be the Amygdala Stress Response, but I don't know. I just feel it's true in my heart.

I sound like a spiritualist, with a lack of science, and you would hear the same words from a Californian Guru with a long beard, selling tickets to his Yoga Class. ;) But it's actually very logical when you think about it. Don't buy into the B.S. surrounding all this. Self discovery is free.

We are indeed much like robots, who only feel they are making choices, when in actuality it can all be predicted just like the weather. Why are forecasters always wrong, you may ask? It's because there are so many variables. Just because there are too many for our meager monkey minds to understand, doesn't mean all the variables aren't there. They are! Absolutely EVERYTHING is predictable given the variables.

That's why free will is an illusion.

About Jack Reacher's experience staring into a stranger's eye:
Sometimes I'll be in a public place, and just start to wonder what everyone else is thinking and it can almost lead to a panic attack! It's too much to take in. Not exactly the same as looking at someone in the eyes and wondering how their 'gears are turning', but I feel I can relate. I think too much sometimes.
If we all lucid dreamed this world would be a better place.

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Karin
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Re: The Illusion of Free Will?

Postby Karin » 03 Aug 2014 03:38

Jack Reacher wrote:This is where it gets hard for me to illustrate my point in free will, because I still don't have a good grasp on what we truly are as human beings at an existential point. I sorta believe that we are always in a subconscious state, being guided by the vibrations of our body or our soul/spirit/ true human form.


I agree with this statement, Jack Reacher. It resonates with me.

Another thought (the following is not a scientific statement or any evidence-based reasoning, just some brainstorming):

Let's assume as a hypothesis and as a very simplified symbolic picture, that our life is a non-lucid dream that our 'soul/spirit' is having, and that we are the main dream character is this dream. The dream character thinks it has free will, but in fact it does not because it is just a dream character. Now if the soul/spirit would become lucid in the dream, it would realize it is dreaming and it might start to control the reactions of the dream character. For example, instead of the dream character running away from recurrent challenges/problems/drama/monsters/fears/illnesses/accidents (which look like they exist outside of the dream character but in fact are just other aspects of the soul/spirit), the lucid dream character would realize it is dreaming, and start reacting differently to all this challenges, as if they are just reflections of its own soul/spirit unconscious fears, unconscious beliefs, etc... (just as in a dream) and maybe the dream (real life) would start changing for the better.

In other words, if the soul/spirit would become lucid in the life of the physical being (its dream), maybe it could start using its free will to transform the dream (improve everything from the body to the physical mind to the outer events).

To push this image further, maybe this life on Earth is some kind of shared dream. Maybe 8 billions spirit/souls are having a shared dream, each one having a slightly different dream but shared, at least shared with the people we are directly interacting with (the rest of the 8 billions that we hear of or see on TV might be just props).

And by the way, this shared dream is more like a gigantic nightmare. Maybe if more and more souls/spirits would start becoming lucid in this shared dream, the whole world could start changing for the better and there would be less need for all these wars, drama and diseases.

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HAGART
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Re: The Illusion of Free Will?

Postby HAGART » 03 Aug 2014 07:17

Given an illusion of choice in my head right now, beyond my free will, I want to say something, due to an urge:
I want Jackson to chime in, one way or another.
How can they just sit back, after starting this, and just watch us all bicker? :D

I think that's the most important question ever asked in this entire thread! 8-)

(Who's the real puppet master!) ;)
If we all lucid dreamed this world would be a better place.

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Summerlander
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Re: The Illusion of Free Will?

Postby Summerlander » 03 Aug 2014 17:47

I very much agree with Hagart about the unknown variables. Imagine if we knew all of them. How would human behaviour then appear to us.

And here's just a clarification I would like to append to Karin's posted analogy: lucid dreaming does not equate with suddenly acquiring free will in dreams. To lucid dream is simply to be aware of the true nature (that of a dream) of one's surroundings. Such realisation, which is simply a mere modification of understanding what is being perceived, will then influence the emotions, thoughts, and feelings of the dreamer in a particular way. The stimulus of lucidity, depending on the physiology of the brain at the time, will then determine whether the lucid dreamer will feel like flying over the Himalayas or desire sexual intercourse with a Hollywood celebrity.

Where is free will?

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Karin
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Re: The Illusion of Free Will?

Postby Karin » 03 Aug 2014 21:56

Summerlander, for example:

In a non-lucid recurrent nightmare, I keep running away from a monster, screaming and frightened. These are conditioned behaviors: I am not really exercising free-will when I run away, I can't help it because I am so afraid. However, if I become lucid in the dream, I can CHOOSE to REACT DIFFERENTLY: instead of running away screaming (which I can still choose if I want), I can also choose to go against the conditioning and instead of running away, I can face the monster and hug it. To me, this is exercising free will instead of conditioned reaction: I could choose to keep running away, or to face the monster.

Another example, in a recurrent nightmare I keep strangling that elderly lady because I hate her. I can't help it because I am so enraged, and after she's dead, I feel so guilty. If I could become lucid in the dream, I might choose differently, and hug her in spite of my rage, instead of killing her (or talk to her and ask her why I hate her so much, etc...).

To extend the analogy: in real life, every choice I make is conditioned by my brain chemistry (e.g. if my neurotransmitters are low I'll be depressed and react negatively to everything), and/or by social conditioning, how I was raised, things I believe in, etc... So even though it feels like I am exercising free will when I choose to react one way or another, in fact I react out of conditioned response based on my brain chemistry and my mind programming (brain wiring, whatever). Now in my hypothesis, if there is an unconscious source of us, beyond the brain and the mind, let's call it soul/spirit, that is outside of matter and thus not subject to brain wiring and mind conditioning constraints, and if that soul/spirit 'becomes lucid' in real life, the human being might take decisions from that part of himself that is beyond the brain and mind, from the soul/spirit part (which normally we are unconscious of, just like a DC normally has no clue it is being dreamed by a real self), and in this way it is BYPASSING all the conditioning, brain wiring, brain chemistry, etc...

For example: someone might get out of the vicious cycle of depression, by recognizing at a higher level that there are unconscious thoughts that keep perpetuating: I hate myself so much, I'll never get better, everything hurts, etc... and then being able to exercise free will and CHOOSE to short-circuit these thoughts and CHOOSE to give myself a chance, and love myself no matter what, and allow myself to know that can get better. And see what happens.

In other words: What is free will? Maybe the ability to make a choice from a perspective beyond the conditionings?

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HAGART
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Re: The Illusion of Free Will?

Postby HAGART » 04 Aug 2014 03:32

There's certainly WILL POWER, and it's a powerful thing to improve ones life, but it's not free will. If you take a step back and look at this question, one can see that every single choice you ever made was predictable given the myriad of variables.

I was daydreaming of a bumble bee today, and what choices it makes when deciding on a flower to land on or whether to zig left or zag right. It too makes choices, and can be predicted. Although a much simpler life form than us, it is still extremely complicated. They certainly seem robotic don't they in their behavior? We are no different, just more complex, and can't see the forest for the trees. You would have to literally think faster than your own thoughts to recognize it, which is a paradox.

Speaking of dreams I had a lucid one this morning. I saw a wall with shelves and many odd items on it, like a phone, fax machine, printer, and electronics like that all with a similar theme. I chose to look around and see what else was there, but I found nothing so I looked back. Now it was completely different! (Common for lucid dreams). Now it was filled with different food items, corn, raisins, apples, a package of cheese etc. (Still all with a common theme coincidentally, which is interesting for another topic).

I chose to turn my head and look elsewhere and back again, but I had no choice whatsoever what changed and filled those shelves so quickly. My sense of self identity and self awareness (lucid dreaming is like becoming self aware) made decisions, which I still think are coming subliminally under the radar so to speak, but after that experience it further reinforces my belief that our subconscious self is like a program with it's own agenda running in the background of our self aware selves.

Does your subconscious have free will? If not, why do you think 'you', a concept created by it, has free will either?

This can drive people nuts if they think about it too much. I don't live my life thinking I'm a robot, but only think about it from time to time when a question like this is posed and I'm in the mood. If we indeed have no free will, then just buckle up and enjoy the ride of life and feel confident about every decision you ever made without second guessing and putting yourself down! You can even change the program with positive thinking and make it a habit. Some good can come from this way of thinking, and improve everyone's lives :D

But that takes WILL POWER, not free will.
If we all lucid dreamed this world would be a better place.


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