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August 19, 2019 / Congau

Freeish Will

The will is not free. We can’t do whatever we want and choose what we like. We can only take the next step from where we are already standing; we are bound by the circumstances and our previous actions. Complete freedom would require new and clean sheets of paper where you could write your life afresh every day untainted by anything recorded in the past. A free will would necessitate an unlimited imagination as to what could be done at any given moment, but the only options that occur to us are those that our habits and routines have narrowly defined.

You could go wild at this very moment. You could fly off to the Amazons and hunt for crocodiles or perform a step dance show in the town square, but you are not likely to do that. Instead you act safely within the limits of what is expected of you and what you have come to expect of yourself. Our will is tied up by our constrained perspective.

But still, even our bondage has its limits. Within our narrow minded range of possibility there is something that has a semblance of freedom. Sometimes we actually make a choice between coffee and tea and you could decide to raise your left hand at this moment. The choice is certainly biased and if you did raise your hand right now it was because I reminded you of that possibility, but in spite of that you are not quite a puppet.

There is a tiny piece of free will in us and although it can never grow big it can be expanded. You may feel compelled to go with the flow, but you don’t have to add your force to that irresistible current. You must perhaps bow your will to the circumstances, but you don’t always have to do it willingly. At least once in a while you can try: Disobey the tyranny of expectations and feel the tiny sparks of your freeish will.

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