As I read these ancient texts now, the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching, Zen Buddhism, I’m flummoxed by how stupid they sound once one accepts that free will is baloney.
Not only is the concept of free will nonsensical, but it can actually be harmful to one’s mental health.
When one falsely believes they are in control of their actions, then when they fail to carry through with their plans they will berate themselves.
I’m penning these words for you, dear reader, so that the delusion of free will can be lifted from your soul and you can awaken to life rather than be tied up inside your head.
These words flowing from my pen come not from me, but from the whole of existence.
There is no way to make distinctions between “you” and “me” unless we buy into the idea that the mind and body are separate: dualism.
Given that if someone gets hit in the head with a rock their personality can change, I find it very difficult to accept such a dichotomy.
So where does that leave us? It certainly feels as if we have control over our lives and bodies. However that illusion of control is likely just an evolutionary holdover from when division between the physical and mental was more necessary and apparent.
These days we know of people who get iron rods to the head and change, ones who have magnetic pulses transcranially applied to treat depression, and of course all the ones that use drugs — both licit and illicit — to create a shift in consciousness.
Doesn’t this damn the idea of a separate of mind and body? What sense does dualism have in the 21st century?
If we accept nondualism, where we are one with the universe, how do we as self-aware animals fit into it?
I believe it’s like this: Quantum mechanics shows the universe is probabilistic and unpredictable.
So by accepting the fallacy of free will into your life, you subject yourself to mental torture.
You are not made free, you are imprisoned.
When you accept the mind is an evolving pattern of information, out of your control yet using you as an instrument, the challenges of life become more interesting in the sense that you can watch them unfold rather than being trapped inside them.
When one accepts that control over life is impossible, one becomes less tied to the imaginary worries that cause suffering.
Pain still occurs, as yet, but one realizes that it is neither good nor evil: it simply Is.
This is like the man who finds many horses, which then break his son’s leg, which then prevents his son from being drafted into the army. The man continues to say “We’ll see.” to every comment that he is blessed or cursed.
Doesn’t a division between good and evil violate Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems, which show a system of math that can refer back on itself can be either complete or consistent, but never both?
No axiom, no first principle, no matter how obvious, is provably true.
If we have no basis for Truth, then we can only assume, never know.
And thus the concept of absolute morality becomes at once nonsensical, for there can be no basis that is not assumed.
So where does that leave us, as self-aware animals?
If our awareness is an output of a probabilistic reality, then we are big balls of math that happen to know we are.
Cutting away the cruft of free will and especially the ideas of identity and control, we are free to more fully experience the world, as it is Now.
Is that not a blessing? Is our attachment to free will really that helpful? It seems not.
If we let go of who we think we should be, we can experience the awe inspiring naturalism of our bodies and minds.
In realizing that we have no choice over what we think or feel, we actually can give ourselves more leeway, instead of trying to fit into a little box.
This helps prevent suffering.