The Clown at the Ballet: Free Will

I (whoever that is) accept there is no free will, in that everything that appears is a matter of prior conditioning and response to the environment, and innumerable physiological and psychological processes — all happening in the dark.

Let’s say from the perspective of awareness, a person is observing in a nonattached manner, and some kind of urge arises. Doesn’t matter what the urge is, just assume it is strong.

The default case for most of humanity is to to act upon the urge, and the urge is woven seamlessly into the life narrative.

An alternate case, is to notice the urge, and “choose” to engage with the urge, or not. And if engaging, to “choose” how exactly to engage with it.

Even though I’ve used the word “choose” above — to flag apparent choices that are fully visible to awareness, these “choices” are simply more stimulus and response — more conditioning. Not actually “us” doing anything. Awareness is simply watching it all unfold… including the ultimate “decision” that emerges out of nowhere.

This is where the infamous self believes it is, yes? The one who believes it is authoring everything, and unquestionably runs in the direction of every arising impulse, and believes it is the masterful decision maker.

I have heard Jean Klein quoted a couple times: to believe you are the chooser here, is like a clown who shows up at the end of a ballet performance as the curtain is falling, and takes a bow to receive the applause from the audience.

For me, this is not so much a “belief” in a path, or an idea about free will or lack thereof, as it is direct empirical observation of my own mind… over the course of many months

Everything that arises from the brain is still worth marveling over… consciousness is the daylight where it shows up. It’s not diminishing any beauty or health from my perspective.



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