Our Elusive Free Will and Three Levels of Consciousness
So Much for Free Will
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use" --- Soren Kierkegaard
If you ever took a serious interest in mental conditioning, suggestion, and hypnosis, you might find yourself in series of intellectual shocks while realizing how little of your thinking is really yours.
Oh yes, it does physically happen in your head, and that seems to be enough for the illusion to make an echo of so many other voices sound like your own making. Take a hypnotized person who has just been given a post-hypnotic suggestion to open all windows in his house. Later on asked why he did it, he is bound to rationalize his weird action saying how "there is too much stale air in the house."
By exactly the same mechanism at work you believe that mega dose of vitamin C will ward off cold; that your favorite political party is the only one making sense; that your god is the only true god with a jurisdiction over the whole planet and beyond; that god proclaimed his favoritism over one chosen nation and the rest are rejects; that your country is the best to live in...etc.
While the sources of the above claims are easily traceable, there are so many which you would never suspect that they have anything to do with your choices of thoughts. I am talking about unrecognizable chorus of authoritative voices in your head that are truly running your show "behind the throne" of your supposedly free will.
Indeed, for the great majority of folks we could say that their "free thinking" could be likened to that proverbial stone which thrown in the air "decides about the place where it will land".
To Each Their Own (Lie)
"The only reason why I talk to myself is because I am the only one whose answers I accept" ---- George Carlin
There are many brainiacs at the academia who bluntly state that the whole paradigm we live by is one big unexamined lie. According to them, we have been lied about history, about political ideologies, medicine and our true natural resilience, about foods, moral values and gods. You may want to add to this short list, because there is so much more there.
And we are buying it all, sometimes with passion. We also like to call ourselves "unique", and we truly are that, except that our differences are not stemming so much from our uniqueness as from merely different bunch of crap we buy at our culture market.
Those free thinkers are a sort of intellectual renegades---sometimes also called heretics, or infidels, but most frequently just weird. Such sovereign thinkers have a problem communicating, because most folks may not have a clue what they are talking about while unable to process that line of logicalness.
I should know, because if the words didn't say it, looks have done it often enough---and they didn't spell a compliment.
Free thinkers are not to be mistaken for cynics, rebels, or sceptics, who insist on a conflict one way or another. Quite the opposite is true, as they have a natural tendency to become deeply spiritual and peaceful.
But then, we should say something about certain three aspects of consciousness, which will explain how such sovereign thinkers almost always turn to spirituality as a mental spinoff from that free mind style.
Feeling What's Appropriate
"We are the collective creator of our own agony. It is time for re-awakening of consciousness when we recognize the best in ourselves and overcome the worst". ---- Lawrence Overmire
Let's start with the collective consciousness, that one which we inherently share in its big part as species. Just like a flock of gees, or a swarm of bees, or a school of fish can move around in impressive unison never hitting each other---seemingly guided by a "collective mind"---so humans have their own, more advanced version of it.
Starting with the fact that we all see green as green---some species don't see "our" green as green---we have a primordial urge of herding instilled into our lower brains, and then our higher brains just "upgraded" that into something like civilization, or call it collective consciousness.
It's the complexity of our coexistence which created this need for "being on the same page", along with a need to "belong", to be recognizable as "one of". So we junked any interest in developing our individual consciousness, while completely surrendering to our social self-image which is identifying who we are.
In this process of this blending with the human mass, we also learned uniformity of processing our human interactions---meaning that we learned when it's "appropriate" to be pissed off, grateful, sad, happy...the whole emotional repertoire as we know it.
Please note that most of these emotional responses are not inherent but learned. To pick one of its extremes, when someone dear dies to us, we get very sad. Why? Because it's dictated by society. In some societies they rejoice at those times, celebrating the departure of their dear ones "to a better place".
So, let me simply say that most of the people are tuned in their minds into the collective consciousness---never seeing a reason to maybe monopolize their thinking, to choose for themselves what to think, what to feel, what attitude to display, and what to believe in.
And again, that makes the most of us.
Individual Consciousness Anybody?
"The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I'm not going to let myself pull myself down anymore." ---- C. JoyBell C.
Then, some of us dared to cultivate our individual consciousness which enables us to think for ourselves---dehypnotized, detached, sovereign, free...you pick the word you like best. At that particular model of processing the reality we don't take the "obvious" as the "only" way of perceiving things.
It's actually a lot of fun being free like that, since we are never stuck at any suggestively prescribed pattern of experiencing, but have a say about what is the most pragmatic and pleasurable way of dealing with life.
And that makes us pro-active, not re-active thinkers. We live with the motto that we always get to choose, no matter in what way---mostly in the way that we handle those givens in life. Then we also become very proficient at telling apart what is really a given, and what is up to us.
All that can become a lot of fun, as somebody else's "boring" situation we turn into an experience of fullness, a long standing in lineups we use for meditation, daily news we see as an entertainment item. Why? Because we can.
With that model of consciousness we like to say that we are "living consciously"---as opposed to most of the folks who allow their automatic pilot filled with others' directives to do their thinking.
Like I said earlier, it's an altogether different technology of thinking which allows us to shift from the perspective of collective consciousness to our own, giving us a freedom to either play along or play solo.
And yes, it feels damn good!
"Believe in your infinite potential. Your only limitations are those you set upon yourself." ---- Roy T. Bennett
And finally, there is this spiritual, advanced aspect of consciousness, almost always spontaneously outgrowing from individual consciousness. With these particular spiritual eye-glasses on we think in terms of "nothing ultimately matters".
We don't matter, they don't matter. It's all a virtual reality created by consciousness and at the tiniest realm of them all we are 99% empty space filled with information, intelligence which collapsed some waves into the ever vibrating illusion of solid matter---called our body.
And with that spirituality we feel an unutterable peace, harmony, seeing our "almost-nothingness" blended in a quantum soup of the planetary "almost nothingness"---in a dance of energies and exchange of information which is omnipresent.
The only downside being that it's impossible to communicate spirituality, since it is not something to be verbalized but only to be experienced. Words belong to that part of our mental activity which is limiting us with communicable concepts and vocabulary. Spiritual experience is limitless and axiomatic---no need to be defined.
Now, for my final words, I have tried in this article to point at our different levels of using our thinking ability. From intellectual plagiarism so prevalent in collective consciousness all the way to spirituality, which is not, by the way, really about any gods---but rather about finding the truth within our own beingness.