Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Understanding why Free Will is Real and Exists | Free Will: the First Principle of Natural Law - Mentalism and Correspondence

We have been discussing Natural Law in our weekly radio show, Practical Knowledge for the Awakening, which you can review here

The first Principle of Natural Law is Mentalism, that all things are mental, and a result of MIND. Herein is described the foundational aspect of why free will exists; we think, therefore we are.

The Free Will Debate

Free will is a concept hotly debated in our modern age. Many religions assert that humans have free will, while deterministic Science asserts that free will is merely an illusion of circumstance. How can we know that free will is a real and objective quality of existence? This primal aspect of ourselves is so pervasive and omnipresent, it escapes our perception most of the time. Similar to the notion of a fish not perceiving the water they are swimming in, our free will acts in every moment and is so integral to our personal experience it can be seemingly in perceptible. 

Mind, the ability to be aware of things and create meanings in and of itself reveals that Free Will is a primal aspect to our beingness. The ability to direct one's attention and focus where one chooses is evidence enough that free will exists. You can ignore these words, or even read them and daydream, avoiding any meanings which may result from exposure to them. If free will were merely an illusion of circumstance, then we could not help but be dominated by external influences in our lives. Yet at every phase of reality, we have choice. Our would-be masters acknowledge this fundamental principle, and as such constantly offer ideas and premises, attempting to sway our will into agreement. 

Some claim because we can not, by will alone, change every aspect of reality, that free will does not exist. This idea stems from determinism, whether from God or by the material world. For example if Prime Creator is all powerful, all wise, and all knowing, then it must know everything we are going to do before we do it, and therefore set up this 'game of life' with a predetermined outcome; fate. Free will in this sense is illusory because we cannot make a choice to break the rules of the game and change the outcome set by Prime Creator. Granted we cannot by will alone, stop gravity from working, but within the context of choice we have available to us there is a degree of influence we can claim, and act in harmony with. 

Without getting too deep into the conceptual philosophy, if Prime Creator is ONE, a Singular consciousness, then the experience of individuality is merely different reflections of the same source, and therefore even if Source set up the game with a predetermined outcome, because we are one with source, it was our will to make the determination just as if we were the Creator ourselves. At the far distant moment in the Eternal past, I AM chose to experience individuation, of which we are part and parcel with. 

Proof of Free Will

Within the Principles of Correspondence and Mentalism, the reality of free will is clearly defined. Correspondence refers to fractality - As Above So Below, that the whole is reflected in the part, and the part is reflective of the whole. Further, the whole is mental, and as such we are mental. Therefore with the principle of fractal correspondence, we can deduce that we too must have free will, because the ALL has will. The very fact that we can be in error, misrepresent our sense experience with our minds incorrectly, is another proof of the existence of free will; error or evil is the choice to act in discord with the will of the ALL - Natural Law. The grand harmony is revealed in agreements, a correspondence of minds in harmony with each other. 

Let us consider the analogy of a videogame to put these concepts firmly into perspective. In order to advance in a game, we must agree to play by the rules; we actually start playing. If the game is about solving puzzles, in order to advance to the next stage, then our choice to play the game as intended, allows us to advance; but we are not forced to play by the rules. We can choose instead to wonder about the game, avoiding the puzzles and as such never advance. The key point here is, that if we are in the game, we must have agreed to play by it's rules at some level. Therefore, if life is a 'game' with predetermined rules set up by the Creator of this game, then advancement is of course a choice. 

Agreement Harmonizes Will - The Creator's and Our Own

Consider a dream. When within the dream, we do not remember going to sleep, we do not remember choosing to be unconscious and experience the dream. Yet when we wake up from the dream, the seeming determinism we experienced is realized as illusory; we remember falling a sleep. We can even develop the ability to lucid dream, changing the dreamscape by will alone. Life in this sense, is a dream within the mind of the ALL, and we as aspects of the ALL, choose to be dreamers within the dream. We chose to go to sleep, and wake up in the dream of life. 

Awareness is an aspect of Mind, the ability to place one's focus and attention on things, expands the awareness of them, potentializing our desire to create. Creation is a proof of the existence of Free Will. By placing our focus on something, we become aware of the meanings we have created within, allowing us to choose to create new meanings and effect change within the context of our experience. 

Free Will for us, is an agreement with the Creator, to play the game of life within the rules set by nature; Natural Law. The limitations set by Natural Law, are not deterministic because our presence in life makes evident our agreement with Natural Law, and reveals the Primacy of Will imparted to us via correspondence. Just like we must choose to play a videogame, we also chose to be here at some level, despite not having remembered making this choice. While this may seem like an unsupportable premise, if we consider that all our interactions with other beings are governed by agreement, the deduction has a great deal of supportable validity; via the Principle of Correspondence. 
- Justin

Source - The Road to Concord

“Liberty, according to my metaphysics, is an intellectual quality, an attribute that belongs not to fate nor chance. Neither possesses it, neither is capable of it. There is nothing moral or immoral in the idea of it. The definition of it is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power; it can elect between objects, indifferent in point of morality, neither morally good nor morally evil.1
–John Adams, in a letter to John Taylor (15 April 1814)
This will be the first of a series of posts intended to work out the principles of Natural Law.  It will draw from the body of works and understandings of those who have come before me, but it is largely the result of my own effort to work out the principles that govern human behavior.  Unless I cite another source, I am asserting that all parts of the extended argument which will follow are my own.  If I happen to argue something that parallels or agrees with something from another source, I can assure you, it is only because that source and I were on the same path and, should there be such convergences (and I already know there are), it only serves to validate our common conclusion(s): that there does exist a Natural Law to human interaction in this universe; that it can be discovered through human reason; and that is establishes a universal moral code by which we ought to live.

Many people have started from the assumption that we own our life, but while I agree with this assumption, I disagree that it is the first principle of Natural Law.  As I look to history, study human nature and even the holy books of all the world’s major religions, I find there is a central theme running through every one of them: that man has free will.  There are those who would argue we cannot know this, but they are wrong.  We can know this because we each think.  This is part of the brilliance of Descartes’ simple phrase:
“I think, therefore I am.”
Not only does that phrase prove we exist, it proves we exist as individuals, and that we have free will.
No one forced Descartes to think those words; he did that of his own free will.  Nor did the random happenstance of this universe cause him to think those words.  While it may be fashionable in some intellectual circles to believe that everything that has or will ever happen was pre-ordained by the circumstances of the universe at the first moment it was born, logic dictates that this cannot possibly be the case of our reality.  If it were, then how could we ever imagine something that has no basis in any reality?  This is a difficult concept to understand, but it is one we must examine because it is the most common avenue of attack for those who seek to deny the existence of free will.
The logical point here is easy to state, but not so easy to comprehend.  If you are nothing but a collection of matter and you are hopelessly bound to do whatever the forces acting upon you from the first instant of time dictate you must do, then how can you imagine something that does not, has never and can never exist in this universe?  A perfect example would be the world of Harry Potter.  Magic does not exist in this world, yet, a human imagined something that does not and cannot exist.  Logically, this is impossible – unless you have free will.  It is a logical extension of another philosophical principle: that which is finite cannot imagine or understand the concept of infinite.  If you think about it, this is the primary difference between us and the animals: we know there is a past, present and future.  We can even understand that which is infinite.  The fact that you are reading and understanding these words is proof of this as the logic governing the English language is infinite.  It existed before this universe began and will exist even after this universe ends.  So, what all of this means is that we do – in fact – have free will and it can be demonstrated through reason.
There is another aspect of free will that will help bolster my argument.  The ability to create is a function of free will.  If we look at our example of harry Potter again, that story is not only a creation, but an example of free will.  If we were just matter doing what physics dictates, then there would be no way for us to imagine anything outside the actual existence of this universe.  The best we could do would be to re-arrange the things we see in our universe, but little more.  And though we might call this “creation,” a re-arranging is all it would actually be: putting that which already is together in different ways.  It would not actually be a “creation.”  But Harry Potter goes totally outside everything we know of this universe and the laws that govern it and truly creates a new world, a world that lives only in our imaginations.  That is an act of free will.  This then means that the idea we are just matter going through the motions dictated by the universe is a creation, which affirms the existence of free will.
There is one more aspect of human existence that speaks to the existence of free will.  Humans can not only discover and learn to understand the laws that govern this universe; we can harness them to serve our desires.  That not only demonstrates that we have the ability to understand the infinite, but that we have free will.  Desire, itself, is a manifestation of our will, as are the actions we take to satisfy that desire.  So, when you turn on your computer to read this post, you benefit from man’s ability to understand, harness and manipulate the principles governing electromagnetism (among other things).  At once, this demonstrates the ability to understand the infinite, to manipulate natural laws, to create and – ultimately – free will.  Everything about our existence speaks to the fact that we have free will.
Now for the most important aspect of free will.  It is free will.  That means you control what you think and believe.  While outside forces may influence you, ultimately, you are the only one who can control your thoughts and your beliefs – your heart.  You make or break yourself depending upon how strong you are.  If you would rather go along to get along, you can be easily controlled – but that was still your choice.  However, if you are strongly rooted in what you believe, you may resist attempts to control you unto death, and many have done just that.  And that – again – speaks to the existence of free will, for how could the universe dictate self-destruction?  It cannot.  That would take an act of free will by a being capable of acting outside of the universes laws of physics.  In other words, it would require a being with free will.
Finally, for those of faith who may be reading this, there is one more point I would make.  In most religions of which I am aware, the Creator grants us free will.  Now, do not misunderstand: I am not saying the Creator is not sovereign over all things, because He is.  If He were not, then He couldn’t be the Creator.  But even though He is sovereign, He has still granted us free will.   It has to be that free will is the one thing the Creator has given us over which He has chosen not to exercise complete control.  He can take our wealth, health, freedom – even our lives.  But He has chosen to allow us free will.   If this were not the case, we could not worship Him; we could not love Him; we couldn’t even reject Him or refuse to believe in Him because all of those things require free will.
Therefore, the first principle upon which all Natural Law must rest is that of free will.




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