On "Free Will"

Submitted by Ryan on
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Marnia posted a comment on my previous blog with a link to a NY Times article about Free Will and how Free Will just might be an illusion after all. I find Free Will (capitalized for emphasis) to be a fundamental concept for addiction and more importantly addiction recovery. It's always easy for a non-smoker to look at the hideous smoker and say, "Just stop smoking!" The smoker hangs his head in shame and says, "I know, I want to, and I've tried with all my might --- but I just can't". As we know, this shame and guilt inevitably leads the addict to value his/her "drug" even more as a means to "feel better" - albeit falsely and temporarily.

And that whole story reeks of the notion of Free Will. "I have the power to choose - and because of cause and effect - I am fully responsible for the consequences that will come from those choices."

Makes sense.

However, both Marnia's "Recovery" and Allan Carr's "Easyway" methods for addiction recover (orgasm and nicotine, respectfully) seem to take Free Will out of the equation. They both do this by illuminating the physical, chemical, mental (and spiritual) effects that addictive drugs are having on our bodies. Then, only through that knowledge (and not necessarily by any will of our own) do we stop the addiction cycle and move on with our lives.

Personally, I am obsessed with phrases that start with "I should/could/would/will (not)..."

- stop smoking
- get more exercise
- be smarter
- be nicer
- have more confidence
- be more humble
- chew my food more
- listen to my body
- think more
- think less
- stop with all my negative self talk
- stop watching porn
- stop surfing the web when I should be...working/sleeping/playing/sharing
- stop reading self-help books and instead live them
- stand up for myself
- when you're at work - WORK
- be more reliable - especially at work
- find passion in your work
- quit your job because you hate it
- be more organized
- be more like….this person or that person

The list goes on and on. And if you visit www.43things.com you'll see that I am not alone. We are suffering beings - all looking to become happy and content.

I am finding that the deeper I dig to understand my own suffering - often the more I suffer (because I see all that I am not...) Could this just be part of the birthing process of transformation? That sounds nice, but I'm not so sure.

So far, my path has lead me to leaders present and past that have taken this journey before me and have made it out to the other side - alive and free. I tried the black and white world of Catholicism and decided that it was not what I needed. I needed the EXPERIENCE of freedom from within - not from a dogmatic boxed-in God. Lately, I have been turning to the eastern ways of life through Yoga and Buddhism which certainly line up with the spiritual practice which is offered in Marnia’s Peace.

Wow --- I just stopped writing to chastise myself that "This blog is too long...no one will want to read it...you've gone off topic...blah blah blah."

This is no way to live.

My thoughts, my love, my prayers go out to all the people who are suffering the way I am suffering right now. Our tears are one...


Free Will

Will, from my perspective is closely tied to WHO we are rather than what we try to do (quiting this and that). It is our unique individuality that we have a chance to nourish when we let our will free. Experiencing the freeing, doing what our soul urges us to or simply doing what we want when not driven by wounds, is my definition of joy. Joy is on the other side of anger: the response to encountering obsticles to our will (just look at a small kid wanting get down from the lap and explore). Anger is a crucial survival emotion since without it we would never overcome obstacles big or small -- the adrenalin cycle is not just fight and flight but something we have built in to point us in a "better" direction. We get dopeamin release from having "green lights" for our will, urging us to find more paths that give us the opportunity for making our lives "better" (truer to our will). As Candice Pert puts it, we are primarily wired for pleasure. So when we get "false" pleasure signals from drugs, there is no wonder that we get confused and sometimes stuck at the crossroads. Then again, if we have found the profound pleasure of setting our own agenda we are less susceptible to false positives ... it may look like strong will to say no to drugs like nikotine and booze but I see it more as the natural choice once we have experienced the coherent attraction of real joy. Then the time taken by a drug-high keeps us from doing more of what we want -- it is just time wasted ...

Thank you Ragnar

I appreciate your comments and find your words to be true. I want to write more about the subject of will a little later on. But not now. Right now, I am enjoying my current experience of freedom. More on that later.......


Couldn't agree more

Ragnar, I think your comments are dead on. I think once we have arrive at the point in life where we can set our own agenda it is much easier to distinguish between what is truly good for us long term and what is merely a cheap short-term thrill. Life at that point becomes self-directed.

How we arrive at that point is a unique individual experience. I suppose at some time there has to be an inner strength developed in each of us which enables us to treat ourselves with self-respect.

Take care

On Free Will

Thanks markesq97 -- I think you are right that self-dirctedness is growing easier with age -- authority increasingly show weaknesses, interest in hierarchy fades away (especially after years of Bush Smile
and mutualty grows more attractive as a relational platform.

You are right about the individual, unique path to it -- absolutely, no one can prescribe that. But there are things that help, like finacial freedom and being able to find lots of time for one's self ... and yes sailing !

On the Free will

Good Ryan,
I'll look for your writing ... joy from experiencing freedom is highly contagious and I want to hear about that too.

"Love is my response to safe, attractive, dependability -- could be a Porsche 911 but most likely a trusted friendship"

www.astroved.com look into

www.astroved.com look into your vedic sign, it may be different than your regular. look into planetary mantras and sign up for the newsletter.
They say that every hour of the day is ruled by another planet, and our relationship with that planet may be negative, positive, or neutral. it's all very interesting, you can reverse them by keeping a log and by doing planetary mantra's.
So far,
I think i've done a great job sounding luny! :D

I'm sorry I wasn't that descriptive here. Let me tell you a bit more about astroved.
I found it after I started listening to a lot of the many teaching's Guru Siva baba
gives on youtube.com one of his sights is astroved, which is basically ancient
vedic astrology, very very rare that anyone actually knows about it to be honest..
they give you many free tools and mantra's to learn about yourself and your nature,
( according to the planets ). I can give you many examples but I think it's best if you just
went on the site, and kind of flowed with what you found interesting, and if not,
then just click out of it! :)

Here's an enlightening topic about "sounds"

I'll leave it at that.