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gregsta

free will query

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Hi. I'm interested to hear other peoples opinions on free will. Do you think we all have free will for everything with no exceptions or do you think there are some things that are "pre determined" ?i.e you can't stop them from happening by your own free choice.

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Hi. I'm interested to hear other peoples opinions on free will. Do you think we all have free will for everything with no exceptions or do you think there are some things that are "pre determined" ?i.e you can't stop them from happening by your own free choice.

 

 

Yes... I do think we have free will for everything... I think... :unsure:

 

What about you?

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Yes... I do think we have free will for everything... I think... :unsure:

 

What about you?

I'm not sure..How about stuff that may happen to use like murder? One train of thought is that your major life events like death you decide on before incarnating but do we then have free will to change our mind?

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Ok maybe that wasn't very clear. What I mean to ask is you know how it is claimed that before we incarnate we are given a set of life scenarios to choose from and so we decide on one and then we are born. So for example a life scenario we may choose to be the victim of some type of crime in order to learn/experience from it. Now if that's the case do we still have free will to change that from happening or is it deadset going to happen to us once we decided on that before we were born?

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Guest Angel C

I dont really think we make choices before we are born, yet I do think some things are "meant to be". When you get that feeling that deep knowing feeling someone or something is right or wrong for you, or that you have met someone before I think it is because it/they will turn out to be influencial in your life, and not always in a positive way.

 

I think we are evolving each time we go through the universal cycle. I tend to see it more as a whole now than an individual cycle of life, death and rebirth.

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Guest charless

Ok maybe that wasn't very clear. What I mean to ask is you know how it is claimed that before we incarnate we are given a set of life scenarios to choose from and so we decide on one and then we are born. So for example a life scenario we may choose to be the victim of some type of crime in order to learn/experience from it. Now if that's the case do we still have free will to change that from happening or is it deadset going to happen to us once we decided on that before we were born?

 

I think there's an assumption behind the ideas you cite that we are and always will be individuals, separate and distinct from one another with particular personal agendas. The physical form of course makes this idea seem obvious but even here we are codependent. No two people can occupy the same space and time so if someone else is standing on a particular spot, it means I can't be there too. Assuming free will, that is that I get to make my own decisions, I am limited by the decisions others make. I may want to live in a particular house but maybe someone else is already there. So I have to choose to live somewhere else.

 

If you select a life scenario, for it to be fulfilled, it has to fit with choices made by probably a large number of others, otherwise maybe the murderer won't show up at the appointed hour and your plans will be frustrated. We may be making decisions but I don't believe they are based on our whims or pre-birth personal plans. We act as part of a much larger whole and I think for notions of free will to be useful they have to be set in this context.

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Setting scenarios aside, we all have free will, some use it, some don't. Some people love to be told what to do and are easily swayed into being submissive.

 

I am also one who doesn't think we are given forethoughts or get to pick our parents from heaven. That isn't, nor would it have anything to do with free will.

 

Depending on where you are born and to whom, is what sets up your first part of life, then once you have this part set up and you learn the right from wrong, you have what is call, choice in life. We make choices, some aren't always good, but some are better then others. We then have to live with them choices, now do them choices go with us into a next life???? I have no idea, I am on the fence with the whole reincarnation issue. I find it very hard to believe that if you did wrong in this life you are paid back for it in the next.

 

Now may I ask, what gave you the need to ask this question? I find it really fascinating, the whole Free Will ~V~ Predestination/Determinism.

 

Peace and Love :woofpup:

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I think there's an assumption behind the ideas you cite that we are and always will be individuals, separate and distinct from one another with particular personal agendas. The physical form of course makes this idea seem obvious but even here we are codependent. No two people can occupy the same space and time so if someone else is standing on a particular spot, it means I can't be there too. Assuming free will, that is that I get to make my own decisions, I am limited by the decisions others make. I may want to live in a particular house but maybe someone else is already there. So I have to choose to live somewhere else.

 

If you select a life scenario, for it to be fulfilled, it has to fit with choices made by probably a large number of others, otherwise maybe the murderer won't show up at the appointed hour and your plans will be frustrated. We may be making decisions but I don't believe they are based on our whims or pre-birth personal plans. We act as part of a much larger whole and I think for notions of free will to be useful they have to be set in this context.

Ok so essentially you are saying rather than things being pre determined or destined to happen, every possible outcome is possible depending on the sum of all individual choices? That's an interesting theory and you may well be right. ALthough yes, it must make it difficult to achieve our life purposes and possibly the reason to explain the theory that we choose to reincarnate so much in order to achieve our purposes before going back to our source. Spirit guides and Council masters must have a heap of Patience!!??

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Setting scenarios aside, we all have free will, some use it, some don't. Some people love to be told what to do and are easily swayed into being submissive.

Absolutely although I believe being submissive is still a choice. You choose to be submissive.

 

I am also one who doesn't think we are given forethoughts or get to pick our parents from heaven. That isn't, nor would it have anything to do with free will.
I guess where I see free will coming into play in that scenario is being given the choice of a life scenario in the spirit worlds and so ultimately it is our decision to choose a life or maybe not choose to reincarnate.

 

Now may I ask, what gave you the need to ask this question? I find it really fascinating, the whole Free Will ~V~ Predestination/Determinism.

Conflicting information is what made me raise the question. I've done quite a bit of research on Dr Michael Newton's work on regression hynotherapy and his case studies tends to suggest certain life scenarios are setup for us pre birth(I could be mistaken on that).I've previously been a big believer in the free will theory for everything and this just raised a few doubts.

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I think our world is a mirror, what you truly believe gets reflected back to you - so if you believe you don't have free will , then you allow your life to be run by karma, but if you believe you do have free will then you do have it. I think its up to you to make t.he conscious choice to use your free will at any moment.

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Guest charless

Ok so essentially you are saying rather than things being pre determined or destined to happen, every possible outcome is possible depending on the sum of all individual choices? That's an interesting theory and you may well be right. ALthough yes, it must make it difficult to achieve our life purposes and possibly the reason to explain the theory that we choose to reincarnate so much in order to achieve our purposes before going back to our source. Spirit guides and Council masters must have a heap of Patience!!??

 

That's an interesting take on what I said but it's not quite how I see it.

 

Free will is one of those terms we have to be careful with because like the word love it means different things to different people. I think for pure free will to be possible you have to do what some existentialist do and say life has no purpose or meaning and therefore we can create our own purpose, meaning and identity. There is in fact a not very helpful self-help course that runs on this very premise.

 

If you believe that your life has an intrinsic purpose and meaning (even if you're not sure what it is) then you immediately have constraints - something has been defined perhaps by you, perhaps for you, that limits what you will and won't do.

 

Then there's the question of who and what you are. On the mundane level we all have different abilities. I can't choose to be a concert pianist because I don't have the talent. Neither can I choose to be an NBA basketball player because I'm not tall enough. So my physicality limits what I can and can't do.

 

Then, as I wrote in my previous post, what I can and can't do is constrained by what others do and don't do. Other people's actions can both limit and offer possibilities.

 

On a more abstract level I think we are all energy forms and we are connected to compatible energy forms that may take the form of what many people call guides and angels, and in turn those beings have their connections and so on. So the type of energy that we are and the connections we have limits us, but defines our possibilities.

 

I'd use free will only in the sense that we have the choice to die with our music in us or not. We can choose to give expression to who and what we are, or not.

 

Then again I have to accept the probability that we are not all here for the same sort of reasons and we don't all come from the same place - and that our lives don't all run along the same track.

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Free will is one of those terms we have to be careful with because like the word love it means different things to different people.

Yes I think that's an important point. My take on free will is that you have free will to try anything but not necessarily succeed.

 

If you believe that your life has an intrinsic purpose and meaning (even if you're not sure what it is) then you immediately have constraints - something has been defined perhaps by you, perhaps for you, that limits what you will and won't do.
So from your point of view, if one were to believe that each of us have a life purpose,it would restrict us to know that? or we would focus too much on finding out what our life purpose is? or believing we know what it is and just concentrating on that?

 

 

Then again I have to accept the probability that we are not all here for the same sort of reasons and we don't all come from the same place - and that our lives don't all run along the same track.

When you say we don't all come from the same place, by "place" do you mean God?

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Guest charless
My take on free will is that you have free will to try anything but not necessarily succeed.

 

I don't agree. I think because of who and what you are you will try some things and not others. We don't seem to have the capacity to act randomly. By random I mean something that has no connection to another event or being.

 

So from your point of view, if one were to believe that each of us have a life purpose,it would restrict us to know that? or we would focus too much on finding out what our life purpose is? or believing we know what it is and just concentrating on that?

 

If we have a life purpose we are committed to something, by the nature of who and what we are. We can't just decide to be something and/or somebody else - although the existentialists would say otherwise.

 

When you say we don't all come from the same place, by "place" do you mean God?

 

You could call it God, I call it existence. It's very big and varied and those who originate from different parts of existence have different natures and purposes.

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I don't agree. I think because of who and what you are you will try some things and not others. We don't seem to have the capacity to act randomly. By random I mean something that has no connection to another event or being.

But I guess by not trying something you're still using your free will to choose not to do something. So when I said "try anything" I don't mean "do everything" but rather choose to try the things that you choose to try and not do the things you choose not to try. Do you subscribe to the theory that every event has a purpose and that there are no coincidences?

 

If we have a life purpose we are committed to something, by the nature of who and what we are. We can't just decide to be something and/or somebody else - although the existentialists would say otherwise.
Are you meaning after we're born? If yes well yes I agree with that as we can't change certain things like the mental and physical capabilities/restrictions we're born with. Although I do subscribe to the theory that pre birth we're given many choices and we receive assistance to choose the best life path and body that would help us progress.

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But I guess by not trying something you're still using your free will to choose not to do something... we're given many choices and we receive assistance to choose the best life path and body that would help us progress.

 

I am really enjoying reading your conversation charless and gregsta... I'd like to respond when I have finished my work for the day. :)

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Guest charless

But I guess by not trying something you're still using your free will to choose not to do something. So when I said "try anything" I don't mean "do everything" but rather choose to try the things that you choose to try and not do the things you choose not to try. Do you subscribe to the theory that every event has a purpose and that there are no coincidences?

 

If I had wings I could choose not to fly. But if I don't have wings where's the choice? I think we're all forms of energy and that we have the stamp of our origins on us. I could have become, theoretically, a high ranking manager in a multi-national company. But career, power etc. are of no interest to me so this didn't happen. You could say this was a choice. I'd say there was no choice involved because it never occurred to me to take that path, there was never even a vague temptation. It's the way I'm made and my actions come from who I am, not from the sifting of innumerable so-called choices.

 

I'd say every event has causes that can be determined if you have the information to do so. Every event is linked to other events. Nothing ever takes place in a vacuum. Again, the major factor in our different views here is that you seem to see us as autonomous individuals whereas I see us as distinct parts of a whole. You can identify the heart and lungs as separate organs or as codependent parts of the same organism. If the heart stops beating the lungs stop breathing. I think we're all part of the same being and we have certain functions and possibilities and duties.

 

Are you meaning after we're born? If yes well yes I agree with that as we can't change certain things like the mental and physical capabilities/restrictions we're born with. Although I do subscribe to the theory that pre birth we're given many choices and we receive assistance to choose the best life path and body that would help us progress.

 

This is very much framed by the Samsara view point that I don't share. I think we (or some of us at least) are here to serve the whole rather than pursue our own agendas and development. Although of course by doing so we will develop, but I doubt we'll undergo a qualitative transformation.

 

Do you believe in enlightenment?

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If I had wings I could choose not to fly. But if I don't have wings where's the choice? I think we're all forms of energy and that we have the stamp of our origins on us. I could have become, theoretically, a high ranking manager in a multi-national company. But career, power etc. are of no interest to me so this didn't happen. You could say this was a choice. I'd say there was no choice involved because it never occurred to me to take that path, there was never even a vague temptation. It's the way I'm made and my actions come from who I am, not from the sifting of innumerable so-called choices.

Yes I can see where you're coming from there. Although do you reckon other people have the ability to change your mind on something by persuasion. So in turn you may try something you had never considered before like Bungy Jumping (just as an example). And if you chose to take the plunge and do a Bungy Jump how would that sit with your thinking?

 

I'd say every event has causes that can be determined if you have the information to do so. Every event is linked to other events. Nothing ever takes place in a vacuum. Again, the major factor in our different views here is that you seem to see us as autonomous individuals whereas I see us as distinct parts of a whole. You can identify the heart and lungs as separate organs or as codependent parts of the same organism. If the heart stops beating the lungs stop breathing. I think we're all part of the same being and we have certain functions and possibilities and duties.
Do you belive that people can be born killers in that it is their function and duty?

 

 

 

This is very much framed by the Samsara view point that I don't share. I think we (or some of us at least) are here to serve the whole rather than pursue our own agendas and development. Although of course by doing so we will develop, but I doubt we'll undergo a qualitative transformation.
I see it more as Karma rather than Samsara in terms of our individual progression and overcoming previous choices but nothing all of us can't overcome either way

 

Do you believe in enlightenment?

It's a word that means many different things to different people and religions so I can't say I belive in all forms of enlightenment as I don't know them all but I believe in the Buddhist enlightenment.

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Guest charless
Yes I can see where you're coming from there. Although do you reckon other people have the ability to change your mind on something by persuasion. So in turn you may try something you had never considered before like Bungy Jumping (just as an example). And if you chose to take the plunge and do a Bungy Jump how would that sit with your thinking?

 

People can persuade me to do something I want to do but haven't thought of yet. Bungy Jumping isn't an option though! I think we are always influenced by the thoughts and feelings around us because the boundaries between one individual and another are less well defined than we like to think.

 

Do you belive that people can be born killers in that it is their function and duty?

 

I think people can be born killers but they come from a different place than I do. I am very much opposed to the amorality that eastern philosophies often imply. I doubt killers see themselves as serving the whole, it's more likely a gross form of self-indulgence.

 

I see it more as Karma rather than Samsara in terms of our individual progression and overcoming previous choices but nothing all of us can't overcome either way

 

How do you define 'individual progression'?

 

It's a word that means many different things to different people and religions so I can't say I belive in all forms of enlightenment as I don't know them all but I believe in the Buddhist enlightenment.

 

I used to believe in this but I never met a Buddhist who was even close to what they call enlightenment, or even any different from everybody else. I think enlightenment is a lie that's used to justify a social order.

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I have something unusual to introduce here which will doubtless prove a fruitful point of conversation.

 

First I will outline my personal view on the structure of the incarnate being, which may or may not be helpful to you.

 

An incarnate being is the sum of their predispositions. I believe this is true spiritually and genetically. How we will react and adapt to different stimuli is predetermined in a sense that we can only do what we can do with what we have. Determining what our will is, and how we can freely flex it, is all a question of drawing up a dividing line of what comes from where.

 

Most incarnate beings have a neat two sources that their "programming" comes from. The soul and the human. The human is genetic instruction; it is the body one inhabits, the mantle one assumes when they take on the human experience. Do not underestimate its influence. It is vast. Desire and fear as we know them are something that the human aspect is either the source of or, depending on the circumstances, tints with the colors of life.

 

The soul as I have come to know it is the ultimate self. It is the sum of those lives led, the experiences known, the knowledge retained of different states of being, and the knowledge of what it is to not be alive. I want all of you to take a step back from this thread for a moment and think about just how little we know of the state we were in prior to being born. We all *feel* it, and we know with fanatical certainty the truth of it, but its image and totality ultimately escapes us. This is important. It means that not everything we are has a direct correlation with the human being, and there are things our ultimate self knows that we, as incarnate beings, cannot know because the default human being is not capable of comprehending them, at least not yet.

 

This leads me to my first main point - that these two aspects fit together to form what is uniquely us for the duration of our life. We, as individuals, the people reading and typing here, are neither the soul nor the human being, but a temporary relationship between the two. We have the properties and the motivations of both. We want spiritual knowledge, we want to be free, we want to be pure, and we want life, and good food, and sexual satisfaction. We are neither, and we are both. This is an unavoidable conclusion.

 

What does this mean for our will? I submit to you a simple thought experiment - imagine a soul, or ultimate self who, as their primary spiritual motivation, was compelled to do good, and to help others. Now imagine them incarnate in a body that was genetically inclined to aggression, and territorial dominance, two advantageous traits for most beasts. It is easy enough to imagine how this particular genetic programming would conflict with their ultimate compulsion. And yet this kind of thing happens all the time, to anyone who has a soul possessed of history and character. Spiritual will decides how successfully an incarnate soul can resist, understand and reprogram traits that are harmful to the perceived development of the ultimate self.

 

In that sense, it is free, in that its strength enables a soul to change the relationship they have with the human being they are incarnate in to suit their needs. This is not necessarily a process we are even conscious of, normally. We often don't think out our spiritual compulsions rationally, and they come upon us like psychological compulsions, in a sudden rush of a distinctly different and sometimes uncomfortable insight. It can be difficult to tell the difference. I imagine much internal conflict arises from discrepancies such as the situation I have described before in my thought experiment.

 

To further drive home my point, imagine a human being without a soul. They follow the directions of their genetic programming unerringly. They adapt to and are shaped by the circumstances of their lives with only the directions of their blood. Such a creature cannot possess a free will, because it is the sum of its human parts, which are not within its control. It did not ask to be born, and it did not choose who to be born as. Free will requires the soul. Free will IS the soul.

 

---

 

And now comes the confusing part, as if being two things at once and neither of them wasn't confusing in itself!

 

Precognition. Prophecy. Knowing an effect without a cause. Every facet of discussion that has been employed in this conversation has been rooted in casual, comfortable, linear temporal thinking. Human thinking. And yet, we have all had our moments of foreknowing. We have all seen what will come to pass without any context or information to prod our subconscious minds into speculation - we have all defied time as we know it. And this information has always come from the depths, from the other side - from our souls. From us as we really are. How the human being perceives causality and how the soul perceives causality may prove to be dramatically different in a way that affords the soul an incredible advantage in understanding how our universe behaves - an understanding so improved and so dramatically different that even I do not have so much as a theory on how it might work beyond knowing that it must be there.

 

Does the soul of the victim know they are to die when the hour of their murder comes? Why do some individuals forestall events such as these sometimes, through prophetic dreams and visions of danger, while others go unknowing to their departure from this world? Psychic ability changes everything we know about cause and effect, and when we have been debating the nature and origin of free will by cause and effect, action and reaction, motivation and execution, I think we have been chasing our tails. That is to say; the answer eludes our satisfaction because it requires an understanding of the self and the universe that is radically different from what we have now.

 

Looking up at this yawning expanse of knowledge so alien to me, so impermeable to my thoughts, but unavoidably there, I feel very small. I am open to suggestions.

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Guest Angel C

Hi Armado

 

I was reading this thread earlier and the last comment by Charless made me think of you and I wondered what you thought about this, then 5 minutes later I saw you were logged on.

 

I used to believe in this but I never met a Buddhist who was even close to what they call enlightenment, or even any different from everybody else. I think enlightenment is a lie that's used to justify a social order.

 

Charless, by this do you mean there is no enlightenment in life, or no enlightenment at all? What do you believe happens when we die?

 

We, as individuals, the people reading and typing here, are neither the soul nor the human being, but a temporary relationship between the two.

 

Are you saying that is not what all human beings are? That some human beings do not have souls? Do you mean that some people are like machines? How would there be human beings with souls and human beings without souls?

 

I know this is one way to explain the wrong in this world, but another is lack of nurture.

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Guest Angel C

Charless and Armado, I hope you dont mind me asking, but your theories seem to overlap at times - do you share the same religion/spiritual beliefs? If so is there something I can look up to find out more?

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I think people can be born killers but they come from a different place than I do. I am very much opposed to the amorality that eastern philosophies often imply.

This Amorality you refer to in Eastern Philiosphies I can't say I've struck personally. Are you defining Amorality as a complete lack of Moral beliefs? If so you must have had some interesting experiences with your foray into Easterm Philosophy.

 

 

 

How do you define 'individual progression'?
I believe in the concept of soul advancement in both the Physical and Spiritual Realms wherby we seek to return to our source whether that be called "God" or "pure Being" or "Existence" I'm not sure. And so in order to get back to our source we endeavour to progress initially though incarnating and achieving pre defined goals to the point where incarnation is no longer necessary and then we continue our progression solely in the spirit realm.

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I want all of you to take a step back from this thread for a moment and think about just how little we know of the state we were in prior to being born.

My thoughts are this Amnesia if you can call it that after we're born is done on purpose in order to see what choices we make during our lifetimes with our free will.So if we went through life with all the knowledge in advance we would know the right choices and so not learn from our mistakes. But I guess the slight uncertainty or conflict I have is that why then is it possible to gain a certain level of understanding through either Psychics or Hynotherapists and the like?
This leads me to my first main point - that these two aspects fit together to form what is uniquely us for the duration of our life. We, as individuals, the people reading and typing here, are neither the soul nor the human being, but a temporary relationship between the two. We have the properties and the motivations of both. We want spiritual knowledge, we want to be free, we want to be pure, and we want life, and good food, and sexual satisfaction. We are neither, and we are both. This is an unavoidable conclusion.

 

What does this mean for our will? I submit to you a simple thought experiment - imagine a soul, or ultimate self who, as their primary spiritual motivation, was compelled to do good, and to help others. Now imagine them incarnate in a body that was genetically inclined to aggression, and territorial dominance, two advantageous traits for most beasts. It is easy enough to imagine how this particular genetic programming would conflict with their ultimate compulsion. And yet this kind of thing happens all the time, to anyone who has a soul possessed of history and character. Spiritual will decides how successfully an incarnate soul can resist, understand and reprogram traits that are harmful to the perceived development of the ultimate self.

 

In that sense, it is free, in that its strength enables a soul to change the relationship they have with the human being they are incarnate in to suit their needs. This is not necessarily a process we are even conscious of, normally. We often don't think out our spiritual compulsions rationally, and they come upon us like psychological compulsions, in a sudden rush of a distinctly different and sometimes uncomfortable insight. It can be difficult to tell the difference. I imagine much internal conflict arises from discrepancies such as the situation I have described before in my thought experiment.

 

To further drive home my point, imagine a human being without a soul. They follow the directions of their genetic programming unerringly. They adapt to and are shaped by the circumstances of their lives with only the directions of their blood. Such a creature cannot possess a free will, because it is the sum of its human parts, which are not within its control. It did not ask to be born, and it did not choose who to be born as. Free will requires the soul. Free will IS the soul.

 

---

 

And now comes the confusing part, as if being two things at once and neither of them wasn't confusing in itself!

 

Precognition. Prophecy. Knowing an effect without a cause. Every facet of discussion that has been employed in this conversation has been rooted in casual, comfortable, linear temporal thinking. Human thinking. And yet, we have all had our moments of foreknowing. We have all seen what will come to pass without any context or information to prod our subconscious minds into speculation - we have all defied time as we know it. And this information has always come from the depths, from the other side - from our souls. From us as we really are. How the human being perceives causality and how the soul perceives causality may prove to be dramatically different in a way that affords the soul an incredible advantage in understanding how our universe behaves - an understanding so improved and so dramatically different that even I do not have so much as a theory on how it might work beyond knowing that it must be there.

 

Does the soul of the victim know they are to die when the hour of their murder comes? Why do some individuals forestall events such as these sometimes, through prophetic dreams and visions of danger, while others go unknowing to their departure from this world? Psychic ability changes everything we know about cause and effect, and when we have been debating the nature and origin of free will by cause and effect, action and reaction, motivation and execution, I think we have been chasing our tails. That is to say; the answer eludes our satisfaction because it requires an understanding of the self and the universe that is radically different from what we have now.

 

Looking up at this yawning expanse of knowledge so alien to me, so impermeable to my thoughts, but unavoidably there, I feel very small. I am open to suggestions.

Some very interesting and well put thoughts. May I ask how you have come these understandings that you have?

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Guest charless

Charless and Armado, I hope you dont mind me asking, but your theories seem to overlap at times - do you share the same religion/spiritual beliefs? If so is there something I can look up to find out more?

 

Angel, I don't think I and Arma do see things in the same way - as I'm about to explain B) But, I am currently writing some stories that illustrate how I do see things. I think this is better than theoretical explanation. They will be available at a website near you in a few months time!

 

Arma - thank you for throwing your rock into the pool. Of course the conversation was at the fringe of the question. I think this is because radically different starting points make it difficult to get to the root of things on a message board. However I'll try.

 

My first point is that I don't accept the soul/human dualist idea. It just doesn't match my experience or perception and the fact that it is so alien to me is perhaps a reflection of how who and what we are conditions how we view existence. The materialist world view says what you see is what you get. Reality is what you can bang your elbows against, you are a separate and distinct human being (and nothing more). The dualist view duplicates this model but creates a new dimension for it, the supernatural, where entities called souls or spirits retain a distinct identity. And for some reason this supernatural world revolves around the natural world with souls incarnating, leaving the body and reincarnating. It's a view that puts the human experience at the centre of existence. I really can't make any sense of this at all or find a way in which it can throw any light on what we're doing here.

 

My starting point is that we are part of a larger awareness or intelligence. Our separate identities are formed by seeing existence through a particular form of consciousness. If the form of consciousness shifts we see things in radically different ways. Many people have had the sense of oneness that sometimes occurs during meditation. This I think is just the tip of the iceberg. Our physicality and sense of solidity is the product how we see the world. It is no more (and no less) real than what we call dreams, fantasies, thoughts, ideas and so on.

 

Our physical existence is spread out like ripples in a pool (which some call parallel lives) where our consciousness acts out its part in circumstances similar to this one, but with the furniture rearranged. All of these realities overlap and events in one can influence events in another.

 

We occupy an existential realm where a different form of our consciousness encounters beings we meet here. The dramas that occur in this existential realm can radically affect events here. We are usually only dimly aware of this, it's like something you catch brief sight of in your peripheral vision.

 

Below the physical ripples are forms of awareness where we can float and fly and do all sort of cool things, and yes, time does not exist. But in these altered states we also encounter hostile beings who, in my experience, mean to do harm but lack the means.

 

I think there is local spirit world, local to the earth where those beings who are truly of this world hang out, but this is just a small part of the whole. I think a lot of the ideas such as soul contracts etc. come from this realm. Probably the astral plane is here too.

 

So yes, free will starts to get complicated at this point. But it gets worse. I think we are energy that can take on many different forms and this means we can overlap or even merge with others. A word, a sound, an idea, a thought are other energy forms that can and do merge with us. Other peoples' utterances can become our own and at this point it starts to become difficult to see where one person ends and another begins. I do believe that there are different qualities of energy and not all mix well together, but it's misleading to regard our ideas, for example, as simply our own.

 

Put this another way - when Bob Dylan was asked where the words for some of his early songs came from he replied, from that great pool of creativity that we can sometimes access.

 

You see why I prefer to write stories :lol: I think I'll leave it at that for now.

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Do you recognize a difference between your humanity and you, Charles?

 

Some very interesting and well put thoughts. May I ask how you have come these understandings that you have?

They have been largely the result of my attempting to reconcile traditional, dualistic spiritual philosophy with what modern psychology and neurobiology teach us about the nature of man. My own situation is a struggle that parallels that attempt towards reconciliation in that I possess a tremendous disparity between my spiritual motivations and my worldly motivations as a man. The overall philosophy could be described as learning what one Is by establishing with solidarity what one is Not, by attempting to determine which elements of an individual precede their birth and will remain when they die, and which elements were introduced in the act of incarnation and have no use beyond the span of the life being led.

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