Hmm tough question and I know you are probably going off course we do. “I make my choices, there’s nothing that determines my fate”. That’s perhaps the collective thought and would appear the most likely answer to the question. Maybe for some, they feel there is some intervention, be it from a religious or spiritual perspective. This question I raise is not to challenge the later, it is to question if we personally indeed have personal free will.
Are we really choosing, moment to moment out of conscious awareness, or are we acting out of unconsciousness?
Tough question, right?
I think there are several key components to determine how we act out within the moment. Such as the levels of self awareness, stress levels and old patterns.
These patterns we are living, and yes, we all live with pretty specific models of behaviour. Habits of thought, creating patterns of action and in turn, creating patterns of life.
So when a situation arises whereby we need to make a decision, are we making that consciously in the moment? Or does our past programming and belief systems actually make the decision for us?
Let me give you an example.
You go to a party, and you do not know anyone, what do you do? Do you embrace meeting new people and having a great time, or do you decide to hang for a little while and get out of there when the opportunity arises?
Or your child drops a bowl of porridge on the floor, how do you act?
And that choice does it arise from the very situation at the moment out of conscious awareness or are the unconscious behaviours (old patterns) creating sensations within your nervous system which determine how you will behave.
For some, it may be you are super in tune with your being and you make those moment to moment choices consciously, if that’s you, hats off!
But for most us mere mortals, I wonder, is it a case that a lot of how we live and act is being influenced from still running some old scripts that keep us at bay from that clear choice which is free from past pains or joys.
I also feel stress is also a significant influence on how we act and perform in each moment. Its impact on the brain is irrefutable. If you feel stressed within a situation, you can say goodbye to clarity and awareness. You will be operating out of old scripts. Old defaults. Or in other words, the monkeys are running the ship….
Do I think we have free will?
Yes and no, I think until we raise our levels of self awareness and consciousness our free will is very limited to unconscious scripts influencing our choices and behaviour. Yet we can work to increase our state of consciousness through practices such as meditation and increase our ability to be free to make clear choices that are beneficial for our evolution which are free from the push and pull of our unconscious being that lies within…
But even then, perhaps there are still certain influences that will still shape or slightly alter our perceptions?
Far greater minds than mine have pondered and debated this query, so I will leave it open but just raise the idea for you to next time you make a decision, ask yourself why did you make it. And if it was not the actual decision deep down you really wanted to make.
Related Tag: Meditation Classes Gold Coast