Re: Free will (was: Re: Nucleus Accumbens Transplant)

christophe delriviere (
Sun, 06 Dec 1998 01:48:12 +0100

> Anyone who is an amnesiac has absolute free will with no constraints.
> Each of us
> has free will. Our willfullness to use it is tempered by our past.

;)))... how can you will something if you have no memory, no influence from the past, as short in the time as this influence could be ? have you already seen a total amnesiac ? I think total amnesia is death.

> > Come to think of it, the term /free will/ may qualify as one of the
> oldest
> > oxymorons in the language, because either a man has freedom from
> will, or he
> > remains the slave of will. The idea of free will comes from the ego.
> The ego
> > likes to flatter itself that it can live willfully, and yet enjoy
> freedom
> > simultaneously. The ego likes to believe that it can perform this
> miraculous
> > feat despite all immediate evidence to the contrary. A man of will
> has no
> > freedom, and a man of freedom has nothing to do with will.
> >
> > The ego/mind jumps to opposites very easily. It invents dichotomies:
> either
> > you live as a free agent, or you exist as a slave. Neither idea
> coincides
> > with the truth, because the ego/mind itself exists only as an idea.
> (See,
> > for example The Myth of The Mind.)
> On the contrary. One can be free in body but enslaved in the mind, or
> free in
> mind but enslaved in body. The abolition movement of the 19th century
> only
> worked to end the second sort of slavery. Unfortuanately, most of the
> descendants of those slaves tend to still be enslaved in the mind.

the mind is only one part of the body as a whole.

> > In the vast interdependence of life, individual humans do not exist
> > separately. Ergo freedom and slavery do not exist except as
> inventions of
> > the human brain, which tries to enforce its view of reality by
> popular
> > consesnsus.
> >
> > Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the elephant and the fly. A very
> large
> > elephant walked across a bridge. The old bridge shook tremendously,
> and a
> > fly sat on the head of the elephant, near his ear. When they had
> gone over
> > the bridge (they had almost destroyed it in crossing), the fly said
> to the
> > elephant, “Wow! Did we shake that thing!” But the elephant didn’t
> hear, of
> > course.
> >
> > The vast interconnections of life make a human very tiny. The
> proportion
> > outstrips that of a fly to an elephant. Compared to life entire, a
> human
> > seems almost nothing. Yet we go on insisting that the bridge shakes
> because
> > of us.
> This is the classic eastern justification for not respecting
> individual rights.
> Try telling that story to someone like Jody Williams, who lives across
> the river
> a bit from me. She was a virtual cyclone in organizing and leading the
> Coalition
> to Ban Landmines, for which she received the Nobel Peace Prize this
> past year.
> Beyond that, she has been a virtual nobody. She had no title, no
> family name or
> money. She held no elected office, yet she accomplished this much.

Yes, the human culture can evolve toward more bad attractors. That such things are used as justifications for not respecting individual rights does absolutelly not means they are false ;)

> > A man says that he has “free will.” Such hubris! Some argue for free
> will,
> > and some argue against it, saying that no one really has freedom,
> that we
> > all live as meat puppets, the strings in some unknown hands. But
> this also
> > misses. Both arguments fail, because in reality the distinction
> between the
> > individual and the universe has no validity.
> > If you identify with the whole, then you feel like a master. If you
> set
> > yourself against the whole, then you feel like a slave.
> On the contrary. When I set myself against the rest of the universe I
> know I am
> alive, that I am a free man, for I am resisting everything placed
> against me.
> Those that identify with the whole are bricks in the wall, cogs in the
> machine.
> Mere automatons, slaves in the mind.

you are just, as everybody, a function of yourself and your surrounding.

> > If you understand
> > that the brain invents these distinctions, then you can experience
> freedom
> > from the entire entanglement.
> > We people the world with interdependent symbiosis, with neither
> mastery nor
> > slavery. Understanding that brings freedom. The West finds it
> difficult to
> > accept this because when Occidentals think about freedom, they think
> of free
> > will, and when Orientals think about freedom, they think of freedom
> from
> > the will. Freedom in the contemplative sense means freedom from the
> ego, the
> > will, the mind, the memory. In the West it means freedom from every
> barrier,
> > limitation, constraint, but the ego remains – the “I” remains. The
> ego wants
> > to own that freedom. In the East, when contemplatives speak of
> freedom, the
> > “I” does not remain in it, because the I exists as part and parcel
> of the
> > bondage, and the ego goes with the bondage. Freedom remains, not
> “I” --
> > that freedom they call /moksha/. Not that “you” or “I” become free.
> On the
> > contrary, we become free of ourselves, and no separate selves exist.
> Self
> > simply disappears, it existed only as a dream anyway, a false
> concept, an
> > arbitrary viewpoint. Useful, but not true.
> Use of the metaphor of the cosmic unconcious is merely a means to
> enslave the
> mind of the individual to the will of the whole. Useful, but not true.

No need to have a means to enslave the mind of the individual to the will of the whole. It's de facto done.

There is a lot of different ways to do pain to peoples.

I'm not sure we are talking of the same things.