I will attempt to explain this drawing from previous meditations below. One of my foundational beliefs I listed is that we always do the best they can with the tools they have to work with. No matter what action that we as humans take, we take that action by drawing from the tools we have to work with at the time of making the decision then we act on it.
When we are acting in a reactive state, we do not have a choice of what we do. We simply draw from the tools we have assembled throughout our life then act based on the mental tools available at the time of the decision. Consider the process a person with normal mental faculties exercises in a reactive situation:
- Something happens: for this example, we will say you break something at a grocery store.
- You React: look around-nobody saw you do it--Consider the options: a) tell someone so it can be cleaned, b) don't tell anyone, c) something else.
- Immediately, you draw on all of your ideas and postulations based on experiences (personal witnessed, otherwise learned) about what will happen if you take any of the actions you consider.
- You then make a decision.
Free will exists only when one is acting proactively and on purpose. Both, proactive and on purpose, are necessary conditions to truly act of free will. "On Purpose" has a tricky caveat too. I want to give another example here. This morning I decided to take action to finish a project I was working on for my business. I thought, that is free will. I am making a conscious choice to proactively act on purpose. The purpose here is to forward the success of my business. Unfortunately, upon closer examination, it occurred to me that it is not a pure form of purpose. That is, when I reflect on why I am working on my business that I am working on, it occurs to me that I started this particular business because of circumstances. I happen to be in a particular place at a particular time and recognized that a business like the business I am currently working on would probably succeed. Ergo, I started this particular business, and found that with some minor changes and evolution, I was right, the business succeeded.
As it turns out, because the business is actually a reaction to circumstances, in application, it is not De-facto on purpose. Now, if the situation was slightly different and my passion and goal was to provide the service I currently provide in my business. And, I had actively sought out a way to provide this service and found this very same path, I would be on purpose and thus acting from free will.
Motive then is also fundamental in defining free will. For example if I acknowledged that initially, the business was reaction and not free will then define my (true, non-reactive) purpose and take action within the business as a means to an end where the end is now ultimately a self-conceived purpose (passion), the action then could be defined as proactive and on purpose and an action of free will.
I suspect most of us are acting out of reaction in most parts of our life. . .billiard balls randomly bouncing around life's table pretending and believing we have pure free will. You may say there is an element of freedom, where I chose to start my own business, another might have made a different choice but the truth is that because it is all a reaction, I was drawing from the tools I had to work with at the point I chose to start my business so that fails the test of free will to.
The good news is that I believe free will does exist. When we practice self exploration through meditation and contemplation and we acknowledge our passion then proactively and on-purpose act to realize that passion regardless of anything else, then we have free will.
Plenty of room for debate there
That is a worthy goal, a goal worth living a life for, worth taking risks for. That is my goal.
With Love and Light