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The illusion of free will


I have been looking at a series called ‘Dark’ on Netflix and one of the episodes started off with this quote from Schopenhauer:

“Der Mensch kann tun was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will”

" Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills"

Experience determines will which then determines action which then determines experience and so on. A closed loop. Self-enclosure. Seems to me that K is touching on something similar below, contrasting what he calls a “new mind” that is able to look freely to a mind that is inextricably bound to experience.

Since we have been meeting here, we have been considering how to bring about a new mind, a mind that is religious - not in the sense of orthodox - a mind that has no roots in beliefs or in dogmas or ideation. Such a mind not only is necessary at all times, but also is essential at the present period of great crisis in the world. Is it possible, not theoretically, but actually to bring about a new mind, or to transform the present, confused, dull, insensitive mind into something totally different? Is it to be done through practice, through discipline, through some form of exercise, forcing the mind to conform to a pattern? Or has the mind the capacity to see directly and immediately what is false, and thereby through negation see what is true?

I think we ought to be clear what we mean by negation and what is positive thinking. Most of us start thinking from a basis, from a conclusion, from an experience. We take a position that we believe in something - believe, because of experience, of knowledge, of tradition - and from there we think, from there we act. That position is generally that of psychologically being secure. That security is either in relationship or in an idea. Mostly, it is in an idea which we call belief, an ideal, an example - still an idea, an idea being a word. We take refuge in words, and that is our platform; and from that we act, and from that basis we think. I think that is untenable; and all our judgement, evaluation, all our consideration and enquiry start from that - from a position, from an idea, from a conclusion, which prevents us from investigating what is true and what is false, or from seeing directly, immediately, what is true.