But is it a unified theory?

The other day the Partner watched a program that discussed the concept of free will.  I asked him what he thought about it, and after some time he said it was fascinating.  But it wasn’t a unified theory.

I of course thought this was great.  I mean, he’s kind of a genius, but imagine! All that…stuff….one has been subjected to in western culture about “free will”.  It’s something I’ve wondered about because it so often seems to be quite limited, that free will.  And expensive, too. Animals supposedly don’t have it, either, which is moderately puzzling, to me anyway.  But the rich seem to, throughout history.

So seeing all that isn’t any more concrete than, say, string theory, not being unified and all,  I would MUCH rather whole heartedly believe in the beauty and eternity of string theory than in some idea that we have this free will but it comes with so many consequences and unintended results (often courtesy of other people, maybe even their free will!)  that we might as well just stay in our original sinful state.  Free will with a full set of barbells attached, sort of.  And with which we have more or less a snowball’s chance in hell.  Perhaps it is just all this stuff about the Pope that has made me think along these lines more even than usual.  Perhaps this is just me exercising my free will.

Anyway.  In the ongoing project of looking at the world I live in, this whole free will business is of interest.  I’ve always thought it related more to the authoritarian power structure of the patriarchy  (Yes I have!) than an individual becoming conscious and awake and seeing what it was they could actually do with their time in life.  Free willl, to me, is a concept that is part and parcel of the things of the past two millenia that have proven not to be all that workable.  We all have the power to open our minds and hearts.  We all have the power to understand.  We can make a choice about whether to do that our not but somehow that doesn’t quite make it to something that should be called “free will” in my book.  That’s just about how one chooses to survive.  So much of everything that contributes to how our world functions is based on fear.  How can that exist and accommodate free will?  Free will goes to the back of the bus and falls off.  I’m thinking now that the rest of the individuals on that bus, divided into two groups, one of which understands consequences and behaves accordingly (do unto others, as ever), and the other group for which laissez faire is the rule until they get, well, laissez’d themselves and then all hell breaks loose…well.  How are these two groups going to duke it out, so to speak?

I am, of course, always in hope that the group that cooperates and has empathy will prevail.  That may take a paradigm change of epic proportions, however.  I had to kill a very large spider the  other day, and found myself thinking about how connected we all are, nothing is insignificant in truth.  Everything is our mother and father and sister and brother.  And yet so many of us, human and animal and insect and mineral and all, don’t matter in this world.  Anything can happen to us, just as a bug can get squashed.   How do we proceed in that case?  Not, I think, with an assertion of individual Importance, which is to some extent where free will has led us.  Not with clinging to power and things and all the externalities.  More with an awareness of humility and a knowing that since we are all in the wind, paying attention to the lift and direction and scent of that may be more important than us pretending we are singular importances ourselves.  The question of what really IS important is often left unanswered in our haste to make it through a day.  Still.  Life is, as they say, a journey.  I’m beginning to feel it is much less directed by us than we’d like to think, and is more a matter of reducing our prejudices and automatic reactions to the point where what is, is visible to us.  Then in due course, some time on down the road, we’ll know what we’re seeing at long last.  What would make that wonderful is if we all do it more or less together.  Not a moment to waste, Gentle Reader.

 

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