There is no more prickly subject matter than the topic of free will, and no issue requires more education to flesh-out than this one.
Some people say it doesn't exist, and they make recourse to physicalism to justify their position. I agree a lot with this position, but still feel it
is driven by a sort of nihilism, and hence, fails to capture the real complexity of the issue.
On the other hand there are people who believe in free will, and they will tend to ignore the complexities of the physicalist position with a focus on
self-experience and the capacity to 'inhibit' oneself.
In a certain sense, the issue is entirely unreal, because free will implies that I can act freely, which is to say, given the choices before me, I can
freely choose the one I want. Phenomenologically, this is true, and we can always 'veto' a position. But from a physicalist perspective, every
interaction your body has with the world structures you,
so the very conversation of being able to 'veto' a position motivates you to believe
you can do so.
Thereby proving that you and I are mutually entangled in causally closed universe-of-interactions.
I think Empedocles had it more right when he said that there is love and hate, or centripetal and centrifugal forces. Empedocles of course is
projecting when he reduces it to love and hate; fear could easily replace hate because its equally centrifugal, and since hate is derivative,
developmentally speaking from experiences of powerlessness i.e. fear, it is therefore more fundamental than hate is.
Love and fear are therefore correlated to the physicalist concepts of a 'centripetal' vector and centrifugal vector. We also see parallels between the
electromagnetic notion of attraction and repulsion. If one sticks to and holds to the fundaments of this notion, that all of reality processed through
these dynamics, then free-will makes sense only within a limited framework of a universe which is mostly deterministic i.e. densely structured in
hierarchical, fractal ways, and that free-will is limited to probabilities, with some circumstances being so incredibly improbable you might as well
describe it as impossible i.e. a person traumatized from infancy onwards, without being afforded any capacities or resources to develop any competent
self, all of a sudden transforming into a person with a history of secure attachments. All of the matter of such a persons brain mind and the objects
and persons they've grown around have made them a desperately weak individual, and therefore, the 'integral' of their consciousness cannot manifest
anything other than the circumstances of its correlates in the body+environment complementary.
Thus, is a person like this 'free' to simply 'change' their mind, "grow" up, and "be strong"? Such clichés are worthless to a person with this sort
of history. People only manifest psychological abilities as a function of the resources they've internalized through self-other interactions.
Emotions become internalized as brain structure, and brain structure mediates an experience of self and ability that could not exist outside those
At a certain phase-transition, however, the self becomes competent enough, or organized enough, to make regular use of its identification with a
particular attractor. The most fundamental, and therefore, most resilient attractor is that which links humans into interaction with one another in
the first place: love. A person who has grown through repeating cycles of reflection-on-feeling-through-knowledge has built up a powerful edifice that
allows them to tolerate a great deal of suffering, which implies that a certain point, because of the way the brain is structured, the system can
sustain itself through a deep connection with an ecologically-extended attractor (what occultists would call an 'egregore'). This form is not some
abstract entity, but a point that extends from a field - the field being what gives the energy to the point, and the point then 'feeding' back upon
the field via the person in a ceaseless circularity. In physics, a similar relationship exists between the Higgs field, the Higgs boson, and fermions
and bosons, implying that this higher level relationship is a higher level manifestation of the same process occurring at the root of the material
Free-will is therefore an ability we all possess insomuch as we all have multiple self-states, and that more fundamental self-states related to
attachment can always gain control over lower-level self-states which, although more ancient in an evolutionary sense, are less relevant in a
developmental sense, where love is that which every human infant needs to regulate their internal tensions.
Nevertheless, how and when states appear is probabilistic and dependent upon history. If I experience anger 300 times in a month, and love a mere 5
times, clearly the latter will have more potential energy for expression than the former. I will therefore identify more easily with the latter state
than the former, implying that free-will for the purpose of acting morally is far less present in a person who doesn't have loving-interactions than
someone who does.
This complementarity between environment and existence (or consciousness) is a strange one, since the former process in a developmental sense is more
fundamental, and yet the latter process, when touched, reveals a remarkable power which gives one the sense of being 'more fundamental'. There is a
deep paradox here where in order to discover the nature of love, you first have to love the other in order to experience its power and truth within
edit on 7-9-2019 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)