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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Thursday 28 June 2012

Free Will in the Land of the Blind

Ready for it?  You don't really have free will.  At best you have semi-free will that is heavily influenced by factors beyond your control, whether you're conscious of it or not.

It's a topic that makes people squirm (or get angry); the idea that you don't have internal control can be a terrifying one.  How many people are more comfortable with the notion of a War of the Worlds than they are with the concept of Invasion of the Body Snatchers?  There's a reason why it's the Zombie Apocalypse we fear most.

The truly amusing part is that every hyper-confident element of society thinks they're exempt from this risk; they have it all figured out, they're the one-eyed kings, the Shauns of the Dead.  When disaster strikes, they're the ones who will escape - not be part of the zombie horde.  It rarely occurs to them that maybe, just maybe, there's another veil to be lifted, another connection they haven't quite made, but could.  Yet almost cyclically society becomes so fearful that these folk, the people in whom we have placed our trust don't have the answers that even they start to doubt that anyone knows what will happen next.

A bit of doubt is a positive thing; it keeps you questioning, challenging, pushing boundaries and peeking around corners.  The more conscious you of are of the things that shape your perception, the more clearly you see; it's through that level of transparency we truly understand who we are and what we're part of.  It's not the destination, but the journey, etc.

We don't live in a two-dimensional world of black and white; life is more like a sphere reflecting the full spectrum of light.  If you go inward deeply enough, you see where everything connects, at what Lao-tzu called Tao.  Science is still trying to quantify that space through the quest for a Theory of Everything.

In terms of cognition - it's there, at the centre, that you don't gain control but become control.  From the centre, all things are possible:

That's a path open to all of us - we just need to be conscious of the terrain.

UPDATE 15/11/14:  Fear the stirogi, fearsome not-quite-humans with a hive mind?  Exactly.

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