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free will ? destiny? or something else completely?
December 9, 2003
10:05 am
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eve
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Hi there. I'm thinking about free will. Sounds like hybris to me, to assume that our mind would be "free" enough to be really independent of outer influences. But destiny feels sticky and uncomfortable to me.

If somebody asks me "do you believe in free will or do you think everything is destined" I'd like to answer "No" or maybe "Yes" or rather "how come you seem to think that this question makes sense?". Neither of the alternatives seem to fit. And usually that means that this is the wrong kind of question. But feeling like I have a free will sure is fun sometimes.

Hmmm, anybody understand what I'm talking about?

December 9, 2003
12:04 pm
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mj
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I learned about free will in my religious upbringing. I learned about destiny in my research of the occult sciences.

One thing I realize is that I have a choice in my life. Its like the Robert Frost poem (another influence) Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took the one less travelled on and that has made all the difference.

Kahil Gibran....the prophet has influenced my thinking as well. I believe that our environments and society can influence our thinking.

The good news...we are free to think and explore....Keep it UP Eve 🙂

December 10, 2003
12:30 am
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Cici
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This is assumng that there is a an individual self that exists to have a free will...but then there is the idea that everything is as it is because it is and nothing more, right?

December 10, 2003
11:04 am
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eve
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Hey, but if everything just *is* - does this *being* leave space for playing through our lifes? I like to feel as if I had a free will. And I like to understand what drives my will, making it not so free at all.

December 10, 2003
11:34 am
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mj
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Reminds me of the conversations with Don Juan and Carlos Castanada...back in his books in my 70's.....

Why is a table a table? Because we chose to call it a table based on what we had learned to call it.

Free will is free will because we learned it was called free will?

December 10, 2003
12:10 pm
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eve
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😉 mj!

So it's propably a table if it has a horizontal plate, some legs or other means of support, and you can eat from it.

It's propably free will if?

December 10, 2003
5:45 pm
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mj
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It's probably free will if it flows from our core without any implications or hidden agenda's....Wow...maybe its not free will...Just Will.

December 10, 2003
9:53 pm
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Desiny does not exist. people who think it does, they think because time is irreversible and they think whatever happened was meant to me. Its not like that, life is random, just that. you can control some stuff, you can control all the important stuff infact, the rest is is uncontrollable and random (i'm gonna reply to the marraige thread soon, just got time)

December 10, 2003
9:59 pm
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was meant to BE. ARGH damn it.

December 12, 2003
10:54 am
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arwen
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Perhaps free will and destiny co-exist quite nicely...

Arwen

December 12, 2003
4:08 pm
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Cici
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Ok, here's the sticking point. We as humans are bound by our own minds - those are the main limitations we have to perceiving the infinite.
That which is vast, boundless - some religions use this to describe their deity, and in Christianity they use this to describe the conscious experience of God.

But humans think in a linear sense, beginning, middle, end - because that is how our lives proceed.

But I have this feeling that everything just is as it is, being and becoming in one breath. I just can't perceive it as such.

That's why we feel the sticky conundrum, the pull between destiny and free will - because both are in play, depending on the limitations of your own perception...maybe...

December 13, 2003
6:44 pm
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Hmmmm. I wondered just how long I could keep my snout out of this trough. 🙂

Cici made a powerful point here when she said:

"... humans think in a linear sense, beginning, middle, end - because that is how our lives proceed."

Yet fundamental calculus puts paid to the existence of any independent existence of time. The well known and often used phrase in describing mathematically what happens in the 'physical' world, "in the limit as time approaches zero ..." hints at the non-existence of the 'present' as we know it.

What we know as the 'present instant', is in fact our very precarious notion of the junction of the 'past' meeting the 'future'. Since neither the past nor the future exist outside of our mind, and in the limit neither does the mathematical 'limit' of zero time between past and future exist except as a mind construct then the complete notion of time is itself also a fabrication of the mind.
The concept of 'destiny' entails some'one' going some 'where' as some function of 'time'. Would time exist if the big-bang never happened?

Since no one can define the 'limits' of time, let alone the 'limits' of the 'perceived self' or the limits of either macroscopic or microscopic 'space', and all is in a state of flux and change, the concept of a 'fixed destiny' is fundamentally flawed!

As for "freewill", given the constraints of any ignorance of alternatives then freewill is highly restricted and no longer truly "free". For example, given that they are supposedly driven by the constraints of this notion of "instincts" and their limited intelligence, how free do we consider the "wills" of animals to be?

Thus the concept of "freewill", like "destiny", presupposes the existence of a some 'one', who, from a mind state of omniscience, is free to choose from an infinite number of alternatives.

Perhaps this some 'One' is freely choosing. But perhaps this some 'One' is really the 'All' - a sub-process of which involves inherently hiving off into an infinite number of 'egos', each with the delusion of having both 'freewill and a destiny'. Ignorance would then be a prerequisite in maintaining this illusion and thus the human experience.

What do we want? The 'ego' wants to be both differentiated and integrated both at the same time!! Hmmm - no wonder we suffer!

December 14, 2003
5:43 am
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vegas
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I don't know...nor will I even try to make it seem like I could even understand.

But, as a Christian, I am to think that God gave us freewill cuz He wanted us to love him out of our own willingness.

okay, fine. This also allows that we can choose anything else of our own willingness. Make this choice. Do this action. But, I like what Tez brought up about "reactions," those instinctal responses...by having them, how free are we if we cannot choose to react any another way?

ANd, then there's that, "Everything happens for a reason." or the "God has a purpose for you." hmmmph. That whole destiny thing. God had everything planned out for everyone way way back in time. So, does that mean to say that no matter what choices we make, what actions we do, it all really doesn't make any difference cuz God already had our itineraries? Time will happen then...you're going to do this then...This or that will happen in your life cuz that's what was already set down.

I don't know. That doesn't sit well with me. ANd then, as a Christian, I've got to consider the devil, the enemy. He plays into all this, I'm sure. [shrug] My brain is beginning to shut down with all this...

But, I wonder if God can change his mind. Can He go to His book, erase whatever passage He had planned for somebody and rewrite it. ah! What thoughts.

December 17, 2003
3:57 pm
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Cici
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So, as a chrisitian, you can ignore the questions posed to you by modern physics and the space-time continuum?

December 17, 2003
4:31 pm
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vegas
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To be honest...I CAN ignore them cuz I don't really know much about them.

I don't know...like I said, I'm not an expert in this matter. Nor will I ever assume that I know what God is thinking. Plus, I'm not all that smart/intelligent. But, this is what my simple minds thinks: time is something that man created. MAthematics is another thing man created. Both, however, systematically establish ways for us to define what already is...what already was long before we came around.

December 17, 2003
5:26 pm
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arwen
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My theory is that time exists in this physical realm only because in these bodies we need to process information in bits and pieces. It's rather like the difference between eating a grape by chewing it up vs. swallowing it whole like a pill. If you just swallow it, you don't understand the flavor, the textures, etc. Time is a tool to help us digest experiences on the physical plane in order that our spirits can digest them...

I know--I'm insane.

Arwen

December 18, 2003
3:21 pm
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Cici
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The coolest thing about math is that it's applicable throughout the universe. I remember debating this with my sister when I was a math major in college before I switched to psych. Mathematics is the universal language - we could communicate with aliens using mathematics. we DO communicate with computers using math!

Brain filters information. that is what creates time.

December 18, 2003
4:39 pm
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vegas
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So, is math proof of Destiny? Can math explain free will?

shrug...I'd like to know what you think.

December 19, 2003
4:29 pm
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arwen
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Math is proof that even the calmest person can go ape-shit!

Okay. Just kidding...

It can be frustrating, though. One of the hardest things to get your mind around, at times.

I don't think math can prove destiny or explain free will. I think it can only be used as a tool to understand certain mechanisms of the world we live in--this universe--in its vastness, certainly won't be completely understood through the application of only one set of tools, theories, and/or ideas. And maybe, for myself anyway, all the answers aren't that important...

Arwen

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