Loose ends

Greg Goode goode at DPW.COM
Fri Oct 3 13:01:30 CDT 1997

At 11:51 AM 10/3/97 -0700, Jonathan Bricklin wrote:
>As James's "data for an entire psychology of volition" shows:
>1. Thoughts arise.
>2. They have an impulsive power of their own, a direct link to our motor
>operations, and do not require a super added willforce to explain their
>efficacy. And
>3. The feeling of will and effort is derivable from the interplay between
>opposing thoughts.

Thanks for re-posting.  The original posting was before my time on this list.

>>Nobody can doubt his/her own existence, whether in the waking or dream or
>>sleep state.
>So says Descartes, but surely you are not invoking the Cogito here?  He got
>it wrong, agreed?  What then is your warrant for this statement?  If you
>mean "consciousness can not be doubted out of existence" that is a
>different claim than "nobody can doubt his/her own existence."

Good distinction.  In the case of ourselves who study Advaita and take it
very seriously, there's a difference between:

   (A) I doubt the existence of "Greg Goode" as a personal entity.
   (B) Consciousness doubts itself out of existence.

You can take my word for it that (A) is true.  And I think (B) is false.
I think I am this Consciousness.  Even if the *I* that is doing the
thinking and doubting is a personal *I*, I nevertheless stick with the
statements above.

>In no reality can there be both fate and free will.  Whether or not you
>accept the validity of precognition, if fate (as viewed through
>conventional reality) is real then some very specific action at some very
>specific time "must" take place.  Otherwise what is meant by saying "there
>is fate"?

Who objects to the "mustness" or "compulsion" of events?  I agree, events
do have this quality.  If one believes in free will, that person will still
admit that there are some events that have this compulsive feel to them.
I'd agree with William James, and maybe Jonathan would agree, that the more
you look deeply into this, the more events you'll find that have this
compulsive, "couldn't have been otherwise" character.  I myself think ALL
have this character!!!  And of course this is a slightly different issue
than whether there is valid precognition.

With the wonderful "Indra's Net" or recent Western holographic model of
phenomenality, it can be said that everything that ever did/does/will
happen is HERE NOW.  (It just takes time for personal entities to see
it all.)  So it's no big deal that consciousness can zero into one
particular place in the matrix and "see" what's happening.  After all,
consciousness is all that these events are made of.

>Wouldn't every act and thought of the
>child that precedes that moment necessarily contribute to the child's being
>in precisely that position at that time?

Yes I agree.  In fact more than the child's thought will have contributed.
Nothing happens unless the whole universe makes it happen.

>>Where the absolute is known, there is neither fate nor will. There is no
>need to
>>bias one's judgment and raise either fate or will to an absolute level.
>Free will has, for me, the status of an illusory existent. The
>_non_-reality of free
>will is not a bias of one's judgment but a
>conclusion based upon introspection.  It is not a raising but a lowering, a
>deconstructing.   Fate, on the other hand, as substantiated by
>precognition, is not so much raised to an absolute level as already
>existing there.

Can't say I agree with this, that fate exists on the absolute level.
If fate is absolute, then that which fate controls is absolute.  That
would mean that fated events are absolute.  But all of phenomenality
is maya, real as experience but unreal in the Absolute.  Therefore,
neither free will nor fate can reside in the Absolute.  I like the
way Ramana Maharshi put it:

        "There is no creation or dissolution.
        There is no path or goal.
        There is no free will or predestination."


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