Friday, January 30, 2009

free will

i do not think people are in control of themselves. when you talk about someone and how they behave, how they act, you talk about them as if everything they did was a matter of choice. As if they chose a certain attitude, a certain action, out of all or many possible alternatives. people just aren't like that. our actions and our perception are narrowly guided, shaped by our past and by our surroundings. often people who do terrible things find afterward that they do not know why they did them, become horrifed by themselves. i think many suicides come about because people realize that they have no control over their own minds - and ironically they take the last bit of free will they have to end their life (or do they? in many cases perhaps they had no control over their decision to kill themselves) - to be "stuck in hell" to feel "trapped"

i think maybe there are moments of free will, moments when one adequately perceives alternatives to the way you view the world or the possibilities of action. these come in moments of lull in the mind -when either one is sufficiently shocked or awakened to pause before committing, for a moment to hold one's head above the flood of thoughts and feelings that compose the inner world, and one can consider the eternal possibilities of life.

it must be remembered that we are half-machine, after all. half-living, half-awake, and half biological sculpture - half nature's plaything. probably more than half. nine-tenths, given the amount of unnecessary evil we inflict on ourselves and the world. We learn by having the same thing drilled into us, until it is a habit. This isn't just because education is primitive, its because we found that that works. People dont learn when you explain things to them once - they learn if they hear it 1000 times. And by learn, I mean adopt as their way of being. Maybe I shouldn't say learn, which implies something higher, let's say... they become.

We have a certain natural light turned on inside of us, and the only difference between us and animals or any other living thing is not that our light burns any brighter, but maybe that we have a higher wattage than they do. Maybe from now on we should say - that lizard is about 5 watts alive, and that person 40 watts alive. Some people I've met strike me as 5-watts alive. The purpose of that scale is to stop making value judgements about life and to see life as intrinsic.

But what I really want to say is that free will is a muscle, like anything else. Exercise it, and it grows. Ignore it, forsake it, and it atrophies. When one considers that for thousands of years humanity has lived under various forms of tyranny, I wonder what we were like before all this. and free will is not anything else, which i think is the most common delusion - free will is not being perfectly pious, free will is not being incredibly aggressive over yourself or the world: power is not freedom per se.

Monday, January 26, 2009

before i go, i would like to add

sometimes i understand i have spent most of my life just trying to slap myself awake, surrounded by a world of dreaming people, who keep telling me its sane to believe your dreams are real.

and on our deathbeds, we must look back at it all and say - yeah, it was just a long, strange dream. i try to imagine how i will feel on my deathbed alot - i wonder what i will feel most of all, if ill be mostly sad or accepting or scared or shocked or what. i feel like if i understand what itll be like on my deathbed, ill know how better to treat life now - like its the one point of view i will have where i will understand it all best, when its all done, when im about to leave (forever). christ i will miss everything, i will miss everything i know and everything i missed.

it seems so terrible to me how people are such monsters, knowing that life is already strange and sad and beautiful enough without adding any human bullshit to it - yet 99% of human life is preoccupied with human bullshit, and the barest sense of the non-human, Rest of Life - which consitutes some 99.9999999999999999999999999% of existence. people talk of finding meaning in other people, probably because they resent the silence of the real world of skies and trees and dirt and space. finding comfort in the babble of human voices is probably what made us feel safe in the dark nights of our early history, when we roamed in lonely little groups across the great spaces of the earth. the light and the noise that kept predators away, that kept evil away. that kept all fears and all cold away. but the warmth of babble was only that, and maybe was never intended as thing we should use to turn away from the world for. ok thats enough whiskey inspired horseshit for one evening.