I was reading an article the other day; an interview of a professor in some university who asserted that cause and effect can’t exist for humans. Or maybe let me rephraze that in more common language: He asserted that free will is impossible, and he claimed to be able to proove it scientifically.
Now, aside from the fact he claimed he had prooved thousands of years of philosophical inquiry wrong, I got very upset thinking that guy was lying. But now I feel much better about it. And I don’t think he was lying. Most probably he was speaking what was an actuality for him. The problem is he asserted with absolute, unchallengeable certainty that’s an actuality for everybody else as well.
I do think it is possible for a person to have tiny to almost no free will. I am also certain that is not an actuality for me as well as for others. It varies from person to person, moment to moment… After all free will could not be free at all if it was some permanent condition. Free will stems from the impermanent. It is potential free will. Or it is not at all but it can be (exist).
I know I can decide to serve myself a glass of water, whether I am thirsty or not, whether other external circumstances exist or not. I also know I can decide not to. That I’m writting this article right now has nothing to do with any external causes, and I don’t have to write it at all. I could even write an awesome article and then decide to not post it. Nothing’s making me to either write nor to post it.
Some can act the same over and over and over and never change. They can follow a certain pattern of thought and behaviour almost forever and never change. And maybe if some external event occurs they can react in very specific ways. Trying to be understood by such a person, trying to make peace and collaborate would be vain and a pain as that would be significant change for them. One can call upon logic, glorify logic accuse you of being illogical and be illogical himself. The same can occur with other things like ethics and love.. And trying to point that out, trying to point his attention at what he himself is like and what he does will be completely vain. However, that condition is not an actuality for everyone. It can be for a minority and it could temporarily occur to anybody.
Such persons call upon authority to make themselves convincing, and to gain power themselves based on that authority, and authority is always something forceful. I don’t mean any particular authority. One can call upon ‘the universe’, ‘God’, ‘society’, ‘science’, ‘the people’ etc. They call upon vague things that be directly observed, and they call upon them with absolute certainty. I don’t mean to imply that whomever calls upon authority is like that. But if a person routinely does nothing but that and others believe him, he will be authority over them. The irony is that poor person is not even authority over himself. Like I mentioned above, no free will.
When somebody who doesn’t allow any free will unto himself observes the free will of others, he gets thoroughly triggered and he tries to stop it, destroy it. And that can be done gently or not. They don’t do it out of envy or anything like that. They only do to others what they do to themselves, and that doesn’t pertain to just them. Don’t expect from a -for example- compulsive liar to not lie to himself about things. One could accuse another about some absurd thing and even believe it himself.
It can be very useful to know that authority is not power. It is an effort to compensate for not having any power. A person who couldn’t even serve himself his own soup would -gently or not- force others to do it, and while they were doing it he’d stop them from doing it. And that would make them very upset and confused people, like he is himself.
A person that can truly control himself and his life thoroughly wont need to forcefully control others, nor to hinder their own control. He wont feel his own conditions exist due to things other than himself. That’s true power. If you ever meet a super calm and happy and free person know he could kick your ass and hand it to you, although he probably never will, and no one would know what he could do, for he wouldn’t even need to proove himself. And unlike authority, he could save you should your ass be in danger.