(You can now find the complete collection of eight installments on this Page.)
Book 4: Find Out!: The Real Way You Are Supposed to Act
Installment 3 (Below)
Chapter I: Seeing Through Illusion (continued)
“If individuals cannot voluntarily act to support their lives, then how do things happen? They occur involuntarily, automatically. Bodies act on their own, like everything else in nature. The seeming of voluntary action outside unconscious neurological processes is the illusion that is the underlying foundation of the complicatedness I refer to above. One’s life being complicated is a result of the messaging in the mind that is attached to this belief system. Without the belief system, the complications dissolve. If we don’t do, then we can simply see our actions reflecting the fact that we occupy space and in those places of occupation we can see our body parts moving, involuntarily, on the surfaces they reside on (because of gravity). Because our body is a whole (head attached to the spine all the time though it doesn’t feel that way), and is always on a surface, we can look down at the rest of us that exists under our head, to see our bodily movements. Bodily movements include anything from hands and fingers moving, feet walking and torsos sitting. It also includes our mouths moving with words that come out. Even with spoken and written language, you can observe that there is no way to know what exact words will emit from one’s voice until they are unleashed. If we examine this, we can see that we may have a sense of the next one or two words, but not beyond that.
Our occupation of space is everything of our life. We can even say it is our sole occupation! Whether referring to money, work, hobby, health, parenting, or any kind of action, everything we will ever do will happen in the space we are occupying via the involuntary movements of our various body parts, which of course is just the body moving as a whole organism. How is it that we occupy the spaces we do? We intuitively believe it is choice. We choose each moment to be in the places we are in, with our bodily movements being what they are. Is that true? What kind of choice was it? Was it a conscious choice or an unconscious choosing as a byproduct of all the various workings of the brain punching out certain outputs landing us in what we call our actions, our doings. I like to think of it rather as something forced by nature, by natural, physical laws that make us do the things we do. Yes, this does remove the warm fuzzy feeling of conducting our own lives and making decisions for ourself, but it leaves us with something more interesting, in a way.
The word forced can seem harsh, but for sure it represents something absolute. If someone forced you to do something (in the usual way of thinking about behavior), you would recognize there had been no other choice. You were forced to open the door or else the burglar would have shot you, possibly killed you. This is the common way that word is considered. Being forced to do something generally reads as having had no other option. Well, being forced by nature to be in the places we’re in, and the momentary movements, throughout our whole life, means just that; there were no other options. The only difference is that we weren’t forced by another individual, but by the forces of nature that make events be as they are in the Universe, our brain states and actions included.
There can be liberation in attributing our behavior to this word. Having no other option takes one off the hook. The assumption that we can act other than we do, or that we were the one causing ourself to act as we did (even when we were pleased), is what gets in the way of fully feeling the freedom of mind that can result when acknowledging laws of nature dictate everything anyone does. What I mean when I say it takes us off the hook is not that we are no longer socially responsible for how we act, because those are conditions that are woven by evolution into the fabric of societies and cultures of all organisms. There is a “core morality” (term used by Alex Rosenberg) at the heart of animal behavior as well as mechanisms of self-control (research from Patricia Churchland) sewn into all nervous systems for the purpose of preserving the creature so it can survive and reproduce. But this is nature at work, not conscious selves directing brains. If we rob a bank most probably, if caught, we will be accountable in some way, no matter how conservative the laws of that government. But the idea that the individual had a choice to not have acted that way is nonsensical.”