Archive for August, 2014

NoetiTaoism™ and Free Will

August 19, 2014

Are you an autonomous person capable of making choices? Most people will answer in the affirmative. Yet some philosophers argue that, despite appearance and belief, “free will” is nothing but an illusion—that all of our thoughts and intentions either arise from out of background causes beyond our awareness and control or they emerge as a matter of chance. Evidence is presented in support of their assertion; for example: an EEG reveals that the brain’s motor cortex initiates activity before a person has a sense of deciding to make a move.

In general, philosophers take one of three approaches in addressing the matter: determinist, compatibilist, or libertarianist. Without attempting to define, compare, and contrast these approaches here, the end-of-day fact is that none of the three holds human behavior to be free of background causes, nor under individual control. Scientific evidence is interpreted and cited in support of the conclusion that our thoughts and actions are governed by unconscious neural events shaped by prior causes beyond subjective awareness—not by free will. The problem for these philosophers is that they lack an understanding of what consciousness is, what humans are, and how consciousness operates through our metaphysical and physical structure.

Our NoetiTaoist™ approach understands each human being to be an extension of Source Energy Awareness (SEA), a free agent of the Creator although never “free” of connection with SEA or from other individuals because all are of the One. The core purpose of the One centers on liberation, so freedom is SEA’s primary intention in the creation of Consciousness and in the creation of all other dimensions of Omniverse designed to carry forth that intention in every imaginable way. Free will is of the One and of every multidimensional creature in Omniverse. Will, willpower, and “free will” are same. This quality is in every individual, while all individuals are also “entangled”—as the word is used in quantum physics—by virtue of common origin.

We are gods, children of the One. It says so even in the Judeo-Christian scriptures (John 10:34, for example) although theologians have taken great pains to twist the plain-truth meaning of that to serve the idea that everyone who seeks deliberate connection with higher reality must submit to certain doctrines and a mediator-priesthood. But, to return to the matter at hand before further digressing: Do gods, in anyone’s imagination, lack will/willpower/free will? No. At the same time, can we say that in ground-level embodiment we are not being steered? Again, we must say no. As much as we have the feeling of free will we also have the feeling, at least at times, that something else is ultimately in charge: a higher Self, or Muse, or Guardian Angel—whatever.

The illusional-free-will philosopher’s argument hinges on misperceiving that the lowest level of conscious processing—what I call ground-level free will operation—is the totality of our real consciousness and that the other levels are: “sub,” “un,” “pre,” or “semi,” as if all such seemingly separate levels or modes of mental processing are less than fully connected, integrated. Let me give an example based on one of numerous personal experiences when I have been vividly aware that all of my brain centers (as listed in the previous post: “Practical Transcendence”) were aligned and cooperating for the purpose of preserving my life in this body:

Riding motorcycle late at night, the air was cool and I was focused on the narrow and winding macadam road. I entered a tight s-turn. Suddenly I saw a huge and unavoidable puddle of what I instantly recognized as motor oil. The highest level of my consciousness immediately took over; made split-second assessments; directed the smallest movements of every muscle; blocked my instinct to touch brakes, downshift, and decelerate; and brought me and the machine to a perfect point of balance in a perfect trajectory that allowed the soon oil-covered tires to carry me to a point just inches past the farthest guardrail post and onto raw dirt that neutralized the slipperiness enough to allow me to stop. As I climbed off the bike I was barely able to lower the kickstand before collapsing like a puppet whose strings had been dropped.

The point at which I relinquished “conscious” control that night is an indelibly memorable time when I handed-over my ground-level will which was incapable of making and weaving together the myriad stacked millisecond micro-decisions necessary to save me. Armchair academics can pontificate all day with clever arguments and call that luck or the power of the subconscious and involuntary action, but that experience left me with a very clear visceral sense of the contrast between what can rightly be called ground-level free will and the will of the Higher Self and One. Yet, no matter how I may label whatever took over the reins, I never felt it was an entity separate and apart from me. It felt exactly like shifting transmission gears. I had shifted-up, automatically, to a more advantageous level of my ever-present consciousness.

Free will involves more than Beta brainwave mental processing.