No connexion with free wheeling: the free will of human being is the fundamental freedom to decide for oneself. Everyone believes in it. But does it really exist?
Christianity says that God has given us life, but also the right to decide, instead of blindly following divine orders like angels do, for example.
Thus sin has appeared in the human race: sin is the fault of those who do not follow the divine law given by God Yahveh God to Moses at the top of Mount Sinai.
This law is called the Decalogue or the Ten Commandments. God Yahveh has engraved it magicallyor by laser beam? on two stone slabs which Moses had conveniently packed on his back in the climbing, in case. My comment, the Bible does not say.
In short, beyond the pretty stories, a question emerges. A question asked to all, Christian or not: who decides in me? Am I driven by a distant pilot like a drone? Or am I the only master on board my body? The smart ones – or the sailors – will answer in chorus: you are the only master on board after God! which is the consecrated formula of the Navy. What does not suit us …
Free will is individual freedom. Let’s see the philosophers’ opinion, because freedom is their thing, too. “Illum liberum esse dixi qui sola ducitur ratione” claims Spinoza.Ethique IV – see also the whole book De Libertate In English: “The free man is the one who lives according to the only advice of reason.” Ouch!
Reason !! Already I do not agree. Why reason ?? There is no reason why reason should reason in my place. You might say, if I do not follow reason, I’ll sink into madness, no better. Am I freer when mad? No, because society locks me in a straitjacket, chemical or physical. Nevertheless. Reason is a prison like any other if my only guide.
Stuart Mill provides a useful clarification: “A person feels morally free when he sees that his habits and temptations do not dominate him, but that he dominates them.” (Source)J.S. Mill, Logic, IV
Spinoza says the same. To follow the only counsels of reason is to dominate passions. But reason has nothing to do with it. To dominate passions, the human being will use his will, whose seat is not the brain and its logic, but the belly and its power.
Beside reason, there is intuition -fundamental, essential, and unrecognized. Intuition is the door of the nagual, the passport for the left side according to Carlos Castaneda. The left side, which corresponds to the right hemisphere of the brain, is governed by the stomach, and more precisely the neurons of the intestine. To operate his being according to the principles of the left only presents a serious inconvenience: the loss of reason, in other words, madness.
Yes, in this material world, nothing can be done without recourse to reason. However, is it reasonable to make it our sole guide? If we strictly obey the injunctions of reason, are we free? We deprive ourselves of the infinite resources of intuition, creativity, imagination and the spirit of invention, just as divine as reason, if not more so.
The solution to this dilemma is given to us by the old Druids, by los antiguos videntes according to Castaneda. The Druids practiced an intuition of pure nagual, which they called the Mad Thinking. Thought, because reason exercises its control in the background. Crazy, because without the control of reason the druid would sink into madness. In Brocéliande, ie Dark Forest in France, the hamlet that gives access to the sacred fountain of Barenton bears this beautiful name: Folle Pensée, ie Mad Thinking. An entire program !
Less mad, Renouvier’s thought goes beyond the moral point of view. His definition of freedom is a radical challenge. “Man believes himself free: (…) he directs his activity as though the movements of his consciousness could vary under the effect of something that is in him and that nothing predetermines” (source)Renouvier, The Meaning Of Morality, I, 2
Our freedom is conditional, Renouvier says. Our choices are predetermined by our education. Our most intimate thoughts are subjected to the thousand and one unconscious influences that we receive throughout the day. I like this reserve, it shows a real knowledge of our nature and our functioning, but we must go even further.
Inception! A Hollywood blockbuster brings the final blow to the philosophical notion of freedom. The subject of the film: how to direct someone by making him believe that the idea comes from himself. This is the absolute limit of free will. An external mind intervenes directly in the consciousness – or rather in the unconscious of the subject. And this trivial spirit is not a god or a superior being. He knows how, that’s all.
Hollywood movies fascinate me. Next to a stack of nanars, there are rare pearls. Keys to life, these films explore the mysteries of the unconscious. Matrix, Avatar, Memento or Inception. And others, whom you have seen like me.
Dilemma: freedom or not? Is free will a vain word? Is mental conditioning the norm? Are we a species under control or are we flying on our own?
Nietzsche does not believe in freedom, he is very clear on this point. “You have to dance in chains,” Zarathustra said. Everyone has channels as shown in the movie Matrix. “You gonna have to serve somebody,” adds Bob Dylan. Whatever happens, you’re going to have to serve someone. Then choose your master, and choose him well. “Neither God nor master,” Nietzsche yelled. Must know, Master Friedrich! Nietzsche feeds on his contradictions, and so do I. But more of his own than mine.
Am I guided by the voice of my conscience? Is the voice of my conscience that of someone else? “I is someone else” wrote Arthur Rimbaud. He knew the intimate strangeness that inhabits us, the abyss in which reason is lost, and he had learned to rub shoulders with his abysses. Is there a safety barrier in me, is there any other safeguard than reason? Is there in me a law to which I must obey? This is the opinion of Emmanuel Kant: “The moral law shines in the depths of our hearts like the stars in the depths of heaven” (source)Emmanuel Kant, Foundations of the metaphysics of morals
Who has enacted this moral law? Mother Nature? No way, for me. For Father Kant, no doubt: the ruler is the God of the Bible. Which one ? In Kant’s time, it was not known that in the Bible, the gods are numerous … but all unique! Whether it be reason, morality, nature, a god, an angel or the great smurf, something or someone is leading me. Free will is always framed. “Your freedom stops where the other begins” said my mother. Better accept that … Who is driving? Who makes the law I obey? My head? My stomach? My ass? “Inception” fucks me with doubt. Who is my inner council? Is there another, yes or shit? Is there a pilot on the plane? Someone else at the controls, who makes me believe that his desires are mine?