442. The Paradox of 'Freedom of Will'

The notion of 'free will' is a semantic paradox because the concept of 'will' signifies a determination, a boundary and direction of intention, that can never be called 'free' in the sense of a 'random choice'. If it would be 'free', a will would not succeed: the will would not be a will anymore if it would change randomly.

What is most often meant by 'free will' is therefore rather the ability to have or create a will that is not subject to otherdetermined events - the 'freedom TO will', the 'freedom FROM will', or the 'freedom OF will'.

While 'free will' is just a semantic paradox, 'freedom of will' contains a functional paradox. And a dangerous one, as will be shown in the following.

The Paradox of 'Freedom of Will'

The average human is bound into a tight web of imposed rules and standards.

In order to maintain a minimum level of self-respect as well as the illusion of an adequate degree of personal freedom, the vast majority of people will adopt some of the imposed standards and then pretend they would be their own.

From the remaining standards, most of them will be justified as necessary compromises in order to get along with other people.

Only very few standards will be classified as debatable and these will then be discussed as 'important political issues'.

Even this discussion is not 'free' since it is superimposed by the double-speak and rhetorical truth-bending of the media. The latter is being owned by an extremely small group of people and the claim that the media would be independent is so  utterly ridiculous that it takes either a completely ignorant person or a bold-faced liar to seriously assert such a claim.

In the end, the question that was being discussed with vigor and heroic rightness of all involved parties, will be decided by a few people in the government, irregardless of the results of the prior public discussion. Or, if the issue was voted upon by the people in a public referendum and the result of this vote is not to the liking of the current rulers, the judges will take care of this matter by either ruling the issue out of existence  or by adding so many other new rules that the voter's wish will be rendered point- and forceless.

The average 'citizen' is blissfully ignoring this obvious pattern.

Because the web of imposed rules and standards is so dense and so overwhelming that the mere thought of 'living according to one's own will alone' will frighten the average human to death and s/he will do everything to fight any such thought in
whichever form it may appear.

As a consequence, following 'one's will' for most people does not mean what it says. Unable to perceive the possibility of 'freedom of will' as such, they are typically associating it with 'breaking existing rules'.

In short, instead of searching for their own potential of acting according to their own will, they will go around and try to damage or destroy whatever they associate with 'existing rules or standards'.

This is like a prisoner who, given the choice to leave the prison, would put fire to the furniture of his own cell.

Thus it seems impossible to be able to talk about 'freedom of will' with most people.

Yet, at a certain stage of spiritual development it becomes necessary to confront this issue.

This happens when the integrity of a Being becomes reestablished beyond the threshold at which it cannot any more uphold the illusion of a freedom of choice within the 'conventional wisdom'.

At this point 'freedom of will' is taking the form of a paradox.

But, far away from a smooth morphing from one paradigm into another, the person is torn between the prison of his old thought- and belief systems and the incredible and breathtaking vista of true freedom of will.

This paradox is impossible to understand for a person who is a slave of his or her own sub- and superconscious standards, many of which will be completely hidden from the awareness of the person.

In order to reach this threshold of development, a person must have already developed a significant level of genuine respect, love, caring, and delight for the manifestations and creations of other Beings.

As a result, a person at this point is enjoying diversities of cultures instead of objecting to differences in thoughts or lifestyles.

Such a person _witnesses events_, no matter what shape and density they may have.  Such a person leaves the attitude of 'tolerance', the perception of enduring or suffering from the actions of others, to the slaves who pretend to be heroes.

And while the Being gains a larger degree of freedom, the personality, 'valence', or 'ego' it uses to present itself in the game of life, is becoming more and more unimportant or even distractive and unwanted.

To gain even more freedom, this process must be accelerated, thus granting all emanations of other Beings an ever increasing range of acknowledged existence.

The person encountering the paradox of 'freedom of will' discovers that a raising level of individual freedom is coupled directly to the acknowledgement of the creations of other Beings.

This relation implies non-interference with the creations of others as well.

In other words, the more 'freedom of will' one has, the less one's own will could be possibly imposed onto others.

This direct relationship is boosted by the circumstance that a Being has a mechanism of self-granted powers. It will restrict itself if the harm that it could be doing to others is exceeding the specific level of destruction it could confront.

This mechanism is so strong that a Being, which in itself is indestructible and beyond time, may end up destroying its own creations or immobilizing itself for eternities.

From these thoughts, a truly ethical definition of ethics may derive: that a person acts in a way to respect the creations of others _not_ because of other-determined laws, regulations, rules, or standards, but only and only because such a person _cannot_ possibly act in a destructive way any more.

Ethics, for a person in the process of liberated itself, becomes more and more a property rather than a precept.

For the masses of people who are enslaved by their own belief systems, such an approach is not only suspect but unthinkable.

Their 'logical' reaction, therefore, is not only rejection but persecution. This genuine and honest approach to Ethics provides a good and plausible reason to drop their faked attitude of tolerance and to attack those very few who truly love, respect, and honor them in the first place.

For these reasons, it seems not wise to bring up the issue of the 'paradox of freedom of will'.

But the 'Little Purple Notebook Of How To Escape From This Universe' would lack substance if it wouldn't be brought up at all.

Because the discovery of one's own freedom of will goes hand in hand with the re-integration of a Being. Whoever is bound by rules cannot possibly transcend this Universe.

It is not what the enslaved mind pretends it to be.

It is an incredible adventure.

At times, it is extraordinarily scary.

The reward is a vista that exceeds any expectations.

A vista that does not have a name and cannot be named.

Copyleft © 1998 by Maximilian J. Sandor, Ph.D.