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    Thread: ❓ DOES FREE WILL EXIST ❓ (and what does this mean for lucid dreaming?)

    1. #1
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      ❓ DOES FREE WILL EXIST ❓ (and what does this mean for lucid dreaming?)

      Hi all,

      For those who follow my work, you may like to know that I've recently produced a new video (link below). It's a casual exploration of the concepts behind the Butterfly Effect and Chaos Theory - and how, through observing cause and effect in our waking hours, we can increase our lucidity during the night.

      However, this principle does bring up the old debate over determinism versus free will.

      I'd be fascinated to hear if you guys believe in free will, and if not, does this mean that lucid dreaming itself is simply another illusion of freedom?

      Personally, I remain on the fence when it comes to this particular philosophical quandary, but I certainly prefer the idea that we have free will.

      So, what are your thoughts - does free will exist, and what does this mean for lucid dreaming?

      Here's the video, I hope some of you find it useful or inspiring:

      gab, DarkestDarkness and Sageous like this.

    2. #2
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      Quote Originally Posted by DanielLove View Post
      Personally, I remain on the fence when it comes to this particular philosophical quandary, but I certainly prefer the idea that we have free will.

      So, what are your thoughts - does free will exist, and what does this mean for lucid dreaming?
      I will have a look at your video later, but for now I'll simply comment on the question you've asked:

      My first coherent and conscious memory is from when I was 4 years old. For the following 6 or 8 years, I somehow believed (as is apparently common?) that the world was "for me" in some sense, and that other people were not real in the same sense as me. I could not understand that we could all be conscious entities.

      I got punched by a friend once, as I did this to him very often (one of those stupid kid things) and had a small epiphany that others probably did feel the exact same things. So this sets my context for you.



      Like you I am on the fence, because of my experience of things just seeming to magically happen according to some sort of unspecified pattern and also because I have believed in determinism strongly in the past. Like situations where I can almost feel that something is about to happen and it does shortly after, and the dreams that somehow relate to a future that hasn't happened yet but later does in one sense or another.

      The sensation of a deja vu made me think about this too, but I have been thinking that deja vus really might be a false memory signal in the brain; This is rare, but I've noticed sometimes that on waking up there seems to be a lag between my perception of reality, and actual reality, I can't explain this very well, but if someone has felt it they'll know what I mean: where you wake up, and things have already happened but it feels like they are only happening now, in terms of sensory input, which has made me very confused when it's happened.

      I think that overall our brain tries to live in a world of linear time but it, itself, might not work that way at times. What I mean is that there are a lot of pathways for signals but what if the signals erronously collide with each other at times? What makes up a "real" and accurate feeling, what if I was about to feel something else but didn't because of a signal that got somewhere first? Sorry for digressing and of course I know nothing about brains in technical detail, so I'm likely completely mad here, but just entertaining thoughts based on things I've felt in my life.

      I can only say that I can't be certain of it being one way or another. And either way, for me it won't matter if I believe in destiny or not, I know I will become dust and dirt one day, sooner or later.
      Sageous and TravisE like this.

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      Strangely, for some reason, I cannot edit my previous post.

      I was only going to add that I watched your video and found the presentation to be quite good. I know it's besides the point, but I became curious where some of the footage came from, especially the 3D scenes.

      Anyway, your video is certainly a good way of reminding one self to pay attention to one's surroundings. I don't usually go along with guided meditation and that sort of thing, but to be honest, the way you speak softly (I must shamefully admit I was expecting a thick "London" accent ) would certainly be good for some sort of guided meditation.
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      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

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      Interesting video, Daniel! I'm not sure it was where you were going, but you very nicely illustrate how consequential our interaction with reality is, even when we feel like we are doing almost nothing at all.

      I am obliged to assume that free will exists, since free will (and will in general) forms for me the foundation on which the stairway to higher consciousness rests. Without free will, without the ability to choose to encourage and welcome transcendental experience, the "more" I seek would likely not exist -- and that would suck. So put me in the camp of those who think we do indeed have some control over our destinies, should we choose to take the wheel... of course, the discussion (especially in the context of LD'ing) should perhaps be more about exercising free will to best modify our destinies than it should be about whether these things exist.

      I see free will, for instance, as one of those things that languish on one of the higher shelves in the pantry of our minds' neglected options, just below self-awareness, and nearly as dusty as the jars of compassion, selflessness, and observation scattered among the shelves below. And destiny? Well, we seem to only talk about that when something bad happens to us, or something good happens to someone else, and rarely if ever do we stop to wonder how we might do something (i.e., exercise some free will) to alter that perceived destiny.
      DarkestDarkness, TravisE and Key like this.

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      Hi Daniel, great video, as always. My only criticism would be that maybe you could have given slightly more emphasis to the idea of noticing cause and effect and explaining how that can help with getting lucid in a bit more depth, and adding an example of how to do that?
      Personally, I believe in free will, only because determinism makes no sense to me. To have all future actions mapped out seems to violate any sense of entropy - its just too complex to explain how it would work, and also suggests some higher authority must have done the pre-ordaining. Free will, with nothing preordained, just seems the simplest answer (Occam's razor).

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      Quote Originally Posted by DanielLove View Post
      Personally, ... I certainly prefer the idea that we have free will.
      So, what are your thoughts - does free will exist, and what does this mean for lucid dreaming?
      I view 'free will' as a state of being that nobody has because it is due to the fact that when a decision becomes actionable - it is based on our level of knowledge and state of emotion in that time which can be easily manipulated by external forces. Even if a person is seriously grounded in divine, righteous ethics and has the capacity to question everything before taking action -would still be imprisoned by the limited scope of perception that is used to base a choice on.

      Lucid dreaming, on the other hand, is a state of consciousness and thus is 'free' to explore.

      From an article "How to Rewire Your Consciousness and Make Contact with the Field" by Vic Bishop and published on naturalblaze.com, he starts out...
      "One of the most beautiful aspects of today’s highly connected technological world is that we have access to an extraordinary amount of ideas and information, which can forever change your life for the better, if only you would apply them toward your personal evolution.
      Think about it. For the first time, any philosophy is at your our fingertips, you can parse through infinite volumes of medical and scientific research, read the documented personal experiences and stories of people from all walks of life, and read nearly any book on a whim. Even biology, genetics and quantum physics can be studied anytime, anywhere.
      Couple this with the fact that science is finally beginning to merge with spirituality, and you have an unbelievable opportunity to evolve into something that has never before been possible. If we want to become superhuman, we can."

      Here, choosing whether or not to become superhuman would seem to be an act of 'free will' but the decision would most certainly be enacted under emotions stirred by anticipation of projected knowledge. Having to make a choice between life or death is not 'free will' and nearly every choice we make ultimately leads to a life or death outcome.

      Jesus Christ didn't have 'free will'. What makes the rest of us so special? ...other than entertaining some delusion that basically serves as a prop to support more delusions. Your nicely done video substantiates my post, at least as I heard it, which I composed before watching it. Choices are not an act of 'free will' but are a proclamation of your very being. I will now return to my on-going WILD where I endeavor to experience an original thought and exercise 'free will' ...and watch more of your vids

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      Yes we do have free will.

      You choose to "do unto others as would have them do unto you"

      Or

      Not

      And what has free will has to do with dreaming .... mmmmm ...

      I guess treat dream characters as though they were outer-world people but remember they cannot hurt the outer-world you.

      ...
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      As is usual with a very complex subject, simplifying it loses some meaning.
      Clearly, even if you believe in free will, your actions are limited by circumstance, because you can only action in the present, and what might have seemed an option in the future can disappear as it approaches the "now".
      Just because the free will options are limited doesn't mean we don't have free will, but that also depends how you define free will.
      You can argue that for humans we are able to predict the future to a degree, and so can influence our choice of outcomes. That has to be defined as free will of a sort. This is different to most other animals that are not conscious, because they can only live in the moment, and can only react to the immediate choices presented in the present.
      Our ability to conceptualise particular future outcomes, then act in the present to increase future choices is free will in my book.

      Of course you can always take the cop-out view that even your thoughts of the future are preordained, but that's just lazy...

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