A ramble – as I have no idea what ‘I’ am going to write, but I wanted to touch base as I know I haven’t written so much this week. I hope you like the Sam Harris posts. It was Tony Parsons who mentioned him, and looking him up I have to say that I was quite pleasantly surprised to see someone say that scientifically, it is proven that the brain makes decisions a moment or two BEFORE the thought comes to us about the decision in question. In other words, no free will whatsoever. Quite incredible, don’t you think? I’m adding a video of Sam Harris speaking about the fact that free will is an illusion. Wow, I just love it when human arrogance is brought down a notch or two.
🙂
Sam Harris on “Free Will”

[youtube]pCofmZlC72g[/youtube] It’s not actually true that I have not been writing, for I have. I am trying to finally organize and edit over 100 pages of a book I’ve been writing over the last few years. We’ll see how far life lets me get with it….Seen as we don’t have free will, it won’t be my fault if I don’t finish it – LOL!
So if I go a bit quieter it’s the book that’s going on probably, but I’ll endeavour to post other people’s interesting words and videos.
So how’s the collapse of ‘your’ story going? I trust it is going. It’s the only way.
To what? To what you’ve been waiting for.
Comments, as always, welcome.
Love,
Reena
PS. One other quickie. Someone asked me yesterday what I thought would happen in Dec 2012. My answer was – Nothing. That’s the truth – Nothing is always happening and will be happening then! Actually what will happen is the western world will still be shopping for christmas crackers on 22nd Dec. Because all of that golden age stuff, whether or not it happens in the ephemeral world or not, is STORY. 🙂

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Reena Gagneja
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  • Denis Jurminschi
    Oct 17, 2012 12:51 am

    I think there is also no scientific proof that one’s desires are actually one’s desires, as something originating in our own mind. Or it’s biased and fabricated. Since where do they come from BEFORE they appear in our mind.
    As everything in material world appearing and disappearing in the void of never before and no longer, same way are one’s desires, coming from the void, which could be anything or anyone.
    And observing them as they appear in your mind, there is no logical way to confirm that it’s actually your desire and not something that is fed into your consciousness from an external source that you know nothing about.
    That is an issue of a system that is built on perception of the moment. It may lack the coherence of the whole picture as in what may lie behind the margin of that moment.
    A mind may be taught to believe that if a message, e.g. desire, is dispatched into it, it’s for a reason. Ego centric minds will usually tend to treat everything as theirs even if it does them no good. Like, “ah, I want a bit more of that”. That’s the lack of a coherent picture in a sequence of motions of a soul that can say, “oh, that was good”, then get afraid and say “hey, and what if I never will be able to try it again”, and the ego will preprocess that fear based question into an answer of “ah, I want a bit more of that”, which a clouded mind will accept as its own desire and will go for more. Even when it could be better to have no fear to start with or put that desire aside and say, “I’ll leave it for later or let someone else enjoy it too”.
    A clear mind sees reason in everything and sees the reason behind everything. And thus questions everything that gets dispatched into its mind as in “why and for what reason do I get all this stuff”, which creates a loop of inquiries that can restore the coherent picture as in where from does everything come and for what reason.
    And some stuff can come simply for the reason to teach one to stay away from that stuff. That is an example of the separation between desire of the moment and that in the long run.
    Since, essentially, everything comes from the long run. Every spirit has its long term desire, written on the timeless scale as in where it wants to get and where it wants to be in the long run.
    Thus, it’s possible to say that everything is sort of predefined to some degree because at some point we take time to predefine it. And when the moment comes, our mind may either fail to see the reason and go through another spiritual lesson, or see the reason and recognize it as something it agreed with long time ago, which may come as a realization or an impulse to it.
    But it doesn’t mean that we have no free will. We have will to choose our desires in the long run. And have option to fall for momentary desires emitted by imperfection and weaknesses of our bodies and souls.
    Scientists like to find something in a microscope, fail to recognize how it connects with everything else, but hurry up to make a story out of it.
    God’s only will for us was to let us have our free will and that’s the only thing we have. The rest are just mechanics of how our free will works.
    And in our free will we can have long time commitments which may be fed into our consciousness bit by bit, creating karmic loops if necessary when we fail to recognize that we let our egos and ignorance loose and fell off the course of self realization in time and fulfillment of our purpose in life.
    Peace,
    @djurminschi

    Reply
  • This is a debate that has been raging for a good few years now. One side uses God as an argument, and the other pure science. Neither side will compromise enough to see the simple explanation, or at least simple by analogy.
    I see the brain as analogous to a computer. Maybe it was made and programmed by God, or maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it will never have enough resources to pick apart it’s own algorithms, or maybe it will happen in time. Both are red herrings for this debate.
    Consider a traditional computer – a base unit (the CPU) that runs the algorithms, and the screen that displays the results. Those results have to be translated from raw binary numbers into something that can be read on the screen, and that takes a very small, but finite time. Special test instruments, connected directly to the CPU can see those results before then screen can display them. So by analogy what we can actually say is that it is the screen, the interface to the outside world, that has no free will, but the CPU has.
    I realise the flaw in that argument – that the CPU is following a set of predetermined instructions. On the surface that is true, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. In advanced systems those very instructions can be modified by themselves in response to an infinite variety of inputs. Plus anyone who has ever played with generating fractal images will know that even very simple rules can generate almost infinite variations.
    Maybe there is no free will, but by the time you have worked out every single input stimulus, and how they would interact together, you, and maybe even the Earth, perhaps even the universe will have died of old age. So it’s hardly worth losing any sleep over.
    Of course if you want to lose sleep you could always worry that the equations that have been derived to explain how time and space work together don’t actually say what direction time should be, or could be running in. Maybe cause and effect work the other way round because time is actually running backwards compared to how we perceive it. To relieve the stress of that trying doing a Google image search for fractal images, and wonder at how a few simple lines of computer code can generate such infinitely beautiful images.

    Reply
  • Wonderful replies, Reena. One can never grasp non-dualities by using duality to get there, although there is really no where to get to. It makes for a great time filler, but not much beyond that.
    Is there an individual at play or not?
    Is there free-will or is everything predestined?
    Does any of it really matter? I don’t think so but it’s fun playing until it’s no longer fun, then on to a new game.
    Round and round we go. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee :^)

    Reply
  • Oh dear Reena you seem to have strayed far.
    Only the other week you were poo-pooing the gurus (rightly so) but now you are making science your god. I do not disagree with what Harris says but I do disagree with the perspective he is coming from. He is an unconscious human describing the unconscious human condition. He is describing the box from inside the box. He reminds me of a caveman trying to describe to his audience how the internal combustion engine works. Truly the blind leading the blind.
    Of course we have free will. This is a most basic God given right. Unfortunately living in this dualistic world which currently is an ego-fear-based reality-phase, we have given over to ego and its incessant chatter and as a consequence we live in a conceptualised world held in place by the constant re-affirmation of our ego. IF and its a big IF, humans could divorce themselves from their constant ego-fuelled mind chatter they would be able to live in the present moment. By living in the present moment there would be no judgements based on past conceptions and every action would be imbued with freshness. In such an environment we would be able to listen to our inner self and make appropriate choices – our free will would be working in a healthy uncluttered fashion.
    What I object to is that Harris is so in his box that he cant see that he is a slave to science and doesn’t truly understand the soul although he mentions it on several occasions. Yes this has all been proven by science, agreed, but our scientists are also working from within the same box. Soul isnt science so whilst begrudgingly acknowledging it, in the next breath they dismiss it. He is totally right in saying that if he had exactly the same DNA, life experiences and soul as the murderer he would also commit that murder-yes true. BUT and it’s a huge BUT, we DO NOT all have the same soul and that is why no two lives are the same and why therefore his argument is meaningless.
    And by echoing his ‘its scientifically proven’ you immediately make science your god as well. Free will is coming from something higher than the brain itself. Its coming from something they cant observe or measure, the soul. Yes the scientists measure the choice sometimes seconds prior to the apparent moment of choice but do they then take that step further and ask ‘What then is making the decision prior to the visible measurable indications’? No, that a bit too large for them to get their collective minds around. And they wont ever until they step outside the box.
    At least the so called gurus can give us an inkling of what living in the present may be like although they cannot take us there. We have to do that for ourselves. Again, what I find negative about Harris’ theories is that they are trying to impose (by conditioned rationalised argument) that we have no free will. Rubbish! We are slaves to no-one, not even our own egos unless we choose to be and that in itself is also a choice even though it might negate or discolour subsequent ones. It may appear that we had no choice in the matter, being birthed into this ‘cruel’ world and making the mistakes as we went along. However my soul/intuition tells me that we chose to come here, chose to have these experiences even if the reasons are not apparent as yet because we are still all closed in our perceptual boxes.
    If you buy into this ‘we have no choice’ story you merely limit your future options and slow-down you spiritual evolution. Mind you its all part of your own unique journey so maybe its something you need to believe in for a while.
    Much love
    L

    Reply
    • lawrence, same format “—>
      Oh dear Reena you seem to have strayed far. —> Strayed from what and how far is ‘far’? And who judges? You? And who are you? I mean that as a very objective question. Who is the judge and who is the judged? And what is the journey from which I have strayed? Have I failed the test? Oh dear indeed 🙂 Then so be it! That’s also Divine! (But pretty please, give me another chance won’t you….;) )
      It seems to me that the basic disagreement between us here is that I do not see an individual at play, you do. I do not see that free will needs defending because there isn’t a sense of a ‘me’ that needs to defend it, and free will is to do with someone having it, someone being the master of it, someone controlling it (making free will choices). It’s really an irrelevant discussion, it’s simply an idea and no more. Best of all though, it provides an enjoyable debate (which may be why Sam Harris debates such things). I have no need to prove free will one way or the other. It has just been interesting to hear Sam Harris talk about it from a scientific point of view, because when story fell away the first time for ‘me’, what was shown was that Source Energy is very logical, intelligent and orderly, so I fully expect science to eventually uphold the truths that realized beings see because Reality is one, not multiple versions (this, only in the individual’s story).
      In such an environment we would be able to listen to our inner self and make appropriate choices – our free will would be working in a healthy uncluttered fashion. —> I would rather say that in such an environment there would be no ‘inner self’ nor free will, there would be just beingness, what is, and choices would just get made – but no person to claim credit for them (aka free will). Life would just get lived without the drama. To seek a badge and say ‘It was me that did that!’ ‘I’m the one that accomplished that!’ ‘I made that choice!’ is to further the me-story that has one so far embedded in it that one can’t see the Wonderful Wood for the trees. Freedom is freedom from beliefs, one of them being that there is such a thing as free will. Beliefs are a compensation mechanism for a world that is experienced as separate, and what we most want is the wholeness we were in as babies when there was nothing that was separate and there was no ‘me.’
      …what I find negative about Harris’ theories is that they are trying to impose (by conditioned rationalised argument) that we have no free will. Rubbish! We are slaves to no-one —> You unquestioningly equate free will with freedom. But freedom is freedom, and is not dependent upon an attachment to an idea about free will. In fact, the two are diametrically opposed – the slavery is the buying in to the thought that free will exists – or, for that matter (maybe like Sam Harris, who knows), doesn’t exist. Free will is a fascinating subject, but a subject only. In truth, all there is is what is, being, right here, right now, and if what is right now, is this debate then that too is the All. Who really cares if one can say or prove in language – ‘free will exists’ or it doesn’t? Beliefs, or discussions about them, are just a good source for debate, but not for believing. Reality is reality, it cannot be changed just because one needs it be one way or t’other. The reality here is that we are having a debate about free will. This will not change the fact of free will existing or not existing. As for which of those two statements is true, well I’m not interested in convincing anyone, I am simply responding to your comments. If you believe free will exists, as you no doubt do, then you are right.
      If you buy into this ‘we have no choice’ story you merely limit your future options and slow-down you spiritual evolution. Mind you its all part of your own unique journey so maybe its something you need to believe in for a while. —> I don’t ‘buy into’ it, but I do know that as story falls away so does the concept of free will. As for spiritual evolution – this is a dream or fantasy of the ‘me’ to justify all the efforts and frustrations, or believing what has been said in spiritual schools of thought about a process. ‘spiritual’ is here and now, in exactly what is, thus ‘evolution’ is a subtle paradox, for how can you search for what you already are? Or put it another way, your search is ALWAYS giving you the answer but the story of me is preventing you from seeing the obvious. So as you can see I no longer go along with the ‘spiritual evolution’ rigmarole. There can be no slowing down, or quickening – there can be only seeing or not seeing. ‘Unique journey’ is another concept divorced from that which is realized here and now. It is an idea of a ‘me’ that needs to evolve and travel a journey. But there is no path, and when that is seen, all journeys end. This is the eternal dilemma of the spiritual seeker – they are never going to get to what they are looking for through seeking, because they are stuck in the energy of seeking! It’s so clear – when it’s clear. Belief, well I won’t even say too much about that – been there, done that, got the t-shirt (but don’t wear it much anymore, except maybe some deep-held cultural stuff that may be there still).
      A final word (for this comment) – when our ‘me’ is in place firmly in our psyche, we believe (unconsciously) that others also have their ‘me’ firmly in their own psyches. When we hold many beliefs, we look at others as also holding many beliefs. The point is that this ‘me energy’ and ‘belief energy’ is like a veil through which we see life and everything, and as long as there is this energy, we will not be able to see beyond the ‘me’. And until we do see beyond the ‘me’ these sorts of topics can be debated till the cows home but there will be a going round the houses, on and on, saying the same things over and over.
      And yet, such are the exquisite paradoxes of Life Itself, that even such going round the houses, is God.

      Reply
  • No free will indeed? This is spurious claptrap from an ant’s perspective. This line of thinking, yes thinking, denigrates our intelligence which lies outside of the realm of mere thoughts. Our free will is fully functioning on levels that the thinking mind is at a loss to comprehend because it, the mind, functions from within its own box. Were it able to view the process from the elevated perspective of the higher self it/we would percieve that our divine plan is unfolding exactly as it should and what we percieve as lifes obstacles are exactly the ingredients required to achieve our destination. We are all travelling a million winding paths but they all lead to exactly the same point – full awareness and self realisation. Not even a single snowflake falls without God’s divine intention!

    Reply
    • lawrence, comments to your comments below after “—>
      This is spurious claptrap from an ant’s perspective. —> No, it is scientifically proven. Moreover, an ant cannot have this debate. It is the brain that makes the decisions based upon innumerable factors and conditioning, then we take claim for that decision believing we made a free-will choice. This is what we think is free will. But it is not really free.
      This line of thinking, yes thinking, denigrates our intelligence which lies outside of the realm of mere thoughts. —> Intelligence is an absence of denial of facts and yes, not bound by conditioned thinking.
      Our free will is fully functioning on levels that the thinking mind is at a loss to comprehend because it, the mind, functions from within its own box. —> Hmm, many questions are raised by your statement. If science has now proven that the brain actually knows the decisions you make a moment before you think the decision, then where is the free in that? What do you call mind? Where is it located? Can you prove the untenable existence of your mind? If you have free will, why can’t you control this mind to not think inside it’s own box? Are you saying free will is free but it cannot control this mind? If so, where, again, is the free will in that?
      Were it able to view the process from the elevated perspective of the higher self… —> Are you saying that free will is limited since this statement raises the same issue as the previous one – that it is not able to overcome the mind which is not able to see from this higher self? One again, where is the free will in that?
      …we would percieve that our divine plan is unfolding exactly as it should and what we percieve as lifes obstacles are exactly the ingredients required to achieve our destination. —> Which divine plan is that? Where is the proof that the Divine has a plan apart from what people say or write? Where is the empirical evidence that the Divine has any plan for us? As for life’s obstacles, this does not come into it per se, we are talking about free will, as opposed to life’s obstacles…As for destination, this raises the same question as for the ‘divine plan.’
      We are all travelling a million winding paths but they all lead to exactly the same point – full awareness and self realisation. —> This is the vicious circle of searching for or waiting for something in the future. Realization is not realization unless it is here right now. There is no other realization to get. And it needs no free will or divine plan to be so. It just is, and it always has been, and always will be, because It is eternal. Thus the concept of a winding path leading to the same point is an anathema – there is nothing to wait for. God is here right now, right where you are, and in this debate.
      Not even a single snowflake falls without God’s divine intention! —> Indeed. Though I would say there is no specific intention on the part of God. God is not so interested in the specifics, because it is all God anyway. Could there possibly be ANYTHING that is not God? Could God actually give rise to anything that is not That?
      To say we have no real free will is an affront to probably most people’s sense of self. It is this self-story that gives rise to indignation at some ideas posed, even where these can be scientifically proven. And that too is just fine, for all these ideas and disagreements are in the end just words, and all of this is God – That – anyway.
      Thanks for the debate!

      Reply

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