|14 Feb 2007 @ 01:16, by Jeffrey Trenton Crace|
I encountered a synchronicity the other day. Mere hours after reading Flemming Funch's blog on Free Will I went to class only to have my friend Jenny hand me a paper she had written on free will. I got to thinking about the subject and this is the result. I don't think it in any way is typical of what one might find in a typical exposition on free will.
Is there free will? Yes. But as G.I. Gurdjieff claimed, “man is a product of external influences,” thus humans have ultimately become machines. Nearly every impression they receive they merely react as they have been wired to do. In other words, man is having just too much damn fun being a creation to bother with free will. Yet free will is in fact the only thing that’s going on, it’s just that beings have abandoned their volition for one reason or another.
The hallmark of being human is playing the innocent victim. “Who? Me? How the hell could I create the conditions of my life? I didn’t ask to be raped! I didn’t ask to be born a male! I didn’t ask to have these people as parents! I didn’t ask for any of this!” What if you pretended just for a moment that you did? What if you really did create this, all by yourself, all for yourself? Then with all of these conditions, what would you be trying to teach yourself?
Look what happens when someone makes such a suggestion. Remember the guy who suggested we “keep our own counsel?” He’s the one who claimed that when you seek, you will find; when you find, you will be troubled; once you are troubled, you will marvel; once you marvel, you will reign over ALL; and that after this you will achieve rest. They crucified him, the other human beings in his community, the custodians of the game. They couldn’t tolerate someone suggesting that beings are always senior to the games they are playing.
Free will is unconditional and yet is not. Initially it is in the sense that one is totally free to decide whether to play or not (this includes whether one has created the game oneself or another has created it). But once one agrees to participate, one must limit oneself in one fashion or another. Free will is not unconditional in a conditioned universe, not once a being has involved itself in a game. It’s like if someone wants to play soccer. Before one enters, one has to agree not to touch the ball with one’s hands (unless you’re the goalie of course). If you try to play against the rules, you will be punished. In soccer you are normally carded until you are thrown out of the game. In the game of life, the punishment can be a little more severe (how about electro-shock therapy?). Now a person may say that although touching the ball with one’s hands is against the rules, one is still capable of doing it. This is correct. But what happens when one has agreed to the rules and then forgotten? When one has simply lost the knowledge of how to touch the ball with one’s hands (technology) and that this was ever a choice in the first place? In other words, what happens when one is no longer senior to the rules of the game but has succumbed to them? By all appearances it seems as if this being has no free will when the truth is that the only way it could have gotten itself in such a position is by giving it up of its own accord!
Imagine a group of beings hanging around in space, bored. They agree to create a game for themselves. One facet of their game is that no one is to read the others’ thoughts. This makes them all very happy for some time. After a while one being begins to be displeased with its limited perception. It’s just feels so unnatural to this being and after all, what does it have to hide? But when it reaches out and tries to “see” into everyone else, it cannot—it has forgotten how. Now what if everyone else has forgotten that it was ever possible to do it in the first place? Then this lone wolf may seem just plain fucking nuts. That’s how you can really make a game serious. Make agreements then “forget” or lie that you ever made them in the first place. Hell, blame them on God—then your tragedies will really be tragedies.
What of the paradox where it is asked just how God may create a rock He cannot lift? What if he were to create a universe with rocks and trees and humans (kind of like this one) and then somehow He identified Himself with a body? What if He does this and then forgets that He ever had? Now the mystery is no longer just how He does it, the mystery is now how He has forgotten.
This limited condition God finds Himself in is created through a lie (or maybe thousands of them). As a body or a creation, he honestly believes that someone else created the huge boulder that He cannot lift. And he (as a body) is right—God did! He is totally unconscious of the fact that He is the Source of not only the rocks but everything else as well. This is how a lie becomes real, through forgetfulness, through unconsciousness.
One might contest this whole construction and say that ultimately God is still totally in control as He is the Source of not only the rocks but the lies as well. This is what it looks like objectively but subjectively, as a body with supposedly only sense perception available to Him, things look very, very different. In fact, one might be able to conjecture that objectively none of this ever happened at all, that ultimately there is nothing that exists at all, that everything only seems real due to subjective perceptions educed through a huge black cloud of forgetfulness. As it says in the Gospel of Truth, “Forgetfulness did not exist with the Father, although it existed because of him.” If one looks back all the way down the line, then even a totally psychotic, insane existence brought about through lies and forgetfulness could come only from oneself. Although, as it mentions in the Gospel, this mess has nothing to do with oneself
It could be that this whole universe was created as a way to prove the paradox referred to above. Don’t people know all-too-well the experience of powerlessness, of being human? Haven’t they had enough? And that’s just it. This forgetfulness is the preferred method of bringing about certain conditions to the game of life, i.e. seriousness, prolonged participation, loss, particular emotions, desperation, loneliness, the fun of survival through consumption.
Through this example, one can begin to see how a being(?) ultimately begins to split itself into two, into a creator and a creation (actually, this being probably isn’t being just one creation…). The more one “not-ises” or uses denial as a means to erase conditions, the more this seemingly insuperable divide widens. The more one loses touch with oneself as Source the more one’s life is going to seem out of one’s hands. Also, the less communication there is between oneself as God and oneself as creation the more the relationship between the two will fall into the reward/punishment variety. One begins to live a black and white existence that demands enforcement as a means for determining which roads to take in life. In other words, one has begun to become really dumb. One rewards and punishes a dog because that dog lacks the ability to communicate thus understand why it must behave a certain way. The dog only understands yes and no commands—a black and white existence. As a person grows in consciousness, as he or she becomes more pure and aware, the more this person is going to be able to communicate and contact itself as God. This is another way of saying the more truly spiritual one becomes, the more powerful one becomes. (I can remember sitting in session once and feeling the divide between myself and myself as source almost reduce to nothing). The Gnostic Christians seemed to have picked up on this whole idea. This may explain the origin of their theories on the Demiurge (or YHWH as many of them made this association) and the “real” God. They said that the less black one’s heart seemed to be, the more God looked like a loving and forgiving God as opposed to a jealous, unforgiving Judge.
Unconsciousness is not the only way to go about things. Think of the soccer example presented above. The players can touch the ball but they choose not to do it. Although many may make it this way, soccer glaringly lacks the seriousness that pervades the game of life. Perhaps most importantly, one knows that one can always walk away from a game of soccer. One is not stuck on the field with walls on all sides, surrounded by players who have forgotten that they don’t have to play either, players who will do ungodly things to one another just to win.
James Carse had a vision of a new type of game, an infinite game. He expresses in his book the idea of playing through conscious agreement. As he says, one moves when the light turns green, not because the light turns green. Despite overwhelming appearances otherwise, everything is a choice. This is really the only way to play games because, if it ain’t a choice, THE GAME IS PLAYING YOU. When one plays games through conscious choices and agreements, there is no need for enforcement and there remains plenty of room for things like fun, understanding, growth, forgiveness, challenges, freshness, presence of mind and ultimately, departure.
17 Feb 2007 @ 18:31 by : Ah yes...
Scientology 101: The NEW GAME.
We're working on the ''Admin.'' levels now.
17 Feb 2007 @ 18:32 by : "There...
is NOTHING NEW under the Sun." --- Shlomo Ha Melech
17 Feb 2007 @ 20:00 by tricia : How Unsurprising (chuckle)
that you would write this log at the same time that I was listening to Bill Moyers' speech at the National Conference on Media Reform in Memphis (LinkTV), my dear friend. He said that freedom begins when you realize that someone else is writing your story, and you grab the pen and begin writing your own. (That someone else, of course, being our conditioned selves versus our pure selves, in my interpretation). Love ~ T.
17 Feb 2007 @ 22:18 by : Free will
"Yet free will is in fact the only thing that’s going on" - that's a great way of putting it.
But eternally puzzling, when we've accepted being a player or a piece in a game. We're following so many rules, in order to stay in the game. But, yes, the start of something more is to realize that it always is a choice, even if you do choose to follow the rules.
We keep it really hard, by hiding from ourselves that we're hiding from ourselves what really is going on.
But the coup de grace is when we can remember, when we can become conscious of having a choice, while still playing, and we can expand the game. Infinite game playing. Or even become conscious of the whole thing, plugging into what is beyond it. Enlightenment.
19 Feb 2007 @ 23:42 by : Mas
Ming: you wrote, "...while still playing..." I think that is very important because it seems that living life and understanding it can appear to be mutually exclusive sometimes. Again, it's that idea of 'freedom to' rather than 'freedom from.'
You also said, "plugging into what is beyond it." Nice. I read an extremely related quote today.
Chuang Tzu said of Lao Tzu: "He is a just man who regards all parts from the point of view of the Whole."
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