Free Will or Determinism
By Don Iannone
Free will or determinism...
that age-old debate
carrying most of us
to a conceptual fork in a conceptual road.
To the left, we conceive of free will,
or the thought we possess unbounded creativity.
To the right, we conceive of determinism,
or the thought that our creativity is bound.
To conceive, in any case, is a creative act;
that is to give birth to a concept pointing to reality.
This implies, of course, there is a difference
between reality and our ideas about it.
Are we ever completely free,
in the sense our choices are infinite?
Are we ever completely determined,
in the sense we have no choice?
Is it possible that we are free within limits,
and those limits are as much self-imposed,
as they are divinely-imposed?
Here again, our ideas imply
that the divine is separate from us.
Perhaps this separation is only an idea,
and nothing more.
Perhaps our self-imposed limits stem
from our ability to conceive
of only a limited number of choices.
Perhaps our divinely-imposed limits stem
from the Creator's wish to reserve
certain possibilities for itself.
This presumes, of course,
there is a divine "it,"
that exists separate from us.
And by the way, who are we?
Perhaps, the concept of "we" is nothing more
than our conceived need to believe
that something larger than us exists,
because we fail to realize
the full extent of our own power.
Or maybe, we are indeed powerless
without the idea there is a God,
or some divine being.
Is it possible that we co-create
our lives and the universe with the Creator,
and that each of us is a spark in the Creator's flame?
I must admit I'm not convinced
there is any separation between us and God,
or for that matter,
any separation in anything
conceived of as parts of the universe.
Perhaps there are no parts,
and perhaps we as parts don't even exist.
In which case, free will and determinism
is nothing more than a feeble attempt
to exist as separate, freestanding, beings.
Perhaps we are free to determine
only in any given moment,
and that freedom is only momentary, and
ceases to exist when that moment has passed.
Then again, are the moments we experience
separated in any way,
or is it just always now,
and time is a fiction created by our minds
allowing us to separate our thoughts?
Or perhaps we are determined to be free,
but that determination rests wholly in any moment.
Yet, for a determination to be wholly
implies it exists to a complete degree.
But if we must be determined to be free,
are we really free?
More importantly, free to be what,
and free of what?
Free to be what we think we are?
Free to be more than we think we are?
And free of what...
our illusions about being free or determined?
This poem was sparked by recent posts about free will
by Rob Quick and Trinitystar.