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Posted by Paul R. Martin on September 25, 2003 16:08:06 UTC

Hi Richard,

Thank you for your comments and questions.

"You seem to be claiming that there is no free will, that the consciousness that controls our brain and body cannot make choices."

Sorry that I was unclear on this point. I am not claiming that at all. I believe there definitely is free will and that the consciousness that controls our brain and body makes deliberate choices.

The thing that probably confused you was that I was not clear about what I was referring to when I said:

"This is an illusion as there is only and exactly one consciousness"

I don't blame you for having trouble picking out what I referred to in that huge sentence that preceded. What I was referring to out of all of that as the "illusion" was

"that the consciousness inheres in the brain and that the human is an independently conscious entity"

Sorry for such poor writing.

"If I understand you correctly, there is no separate consciousness in our brain. Therefore our consciousness is that of the remote conscious being(s)."

You understand me correctly.

"So do they [the remote conscious being(s)] have free will?"

In a word, Yes. But there is a complication. I suspect that there is a hierarchy of such beings with humans at the bottom level (unless you consider our Virtual Reality characters to be at a level below us), the one-and-only true consciousness at the very top of the hierarchy, and who-knows-how-many levels of beings in between. So when you mentioned "remote conscious being(s)" with the plural 's' in parentheses, you can take it two ways.

Without the 's' the answer is unequivocally "Yes, the remote conscious being has free will". If you include the 's', then you get plurality only by including the beings on the intermediate levels of the hierarchy. In my view, these too are remotely operated vehicles just as humans are. From the perspective of a human, those beings would seem to have free will. But from the highest perspective, they too are seen as vehicles whose only consciousness is really that of the one-and-only consciusness. So in that sense, no, they don't have free will. I hope that doesn't make it more confusing.

"we are rightfully conscious of that free will since that is the only consciousness that exists."

I don't know about "rightfully", but we definitely are conscious of our free will. What we are not usually conscious of is that our consciousness is really that of the one-and-only consciousness, which makes us all the same.

(I just happened to think of a quote from the "Bhagavad Gita" I read in a letter to the editor in the latest National Geographic: "The best person is one who feels the joy and suffering of others as his own because he sees the same soul in all...". I think it is possible for us to become aware of the fact that we all are the same soul, or consciousness. It's just that pressed with the necessities of life, it is much easier to operate under the illusion that we are separate and distinct individuals.)

"So the question remains, does that consciousness have free will. And if it does, why shouldn't each of us be conscious of that free will."

I would say, Yes, that consciousness has free will, and each of us is conscious of that free will. We just aren't usually conscious of where that free will inheres. The illusion I referred to is that it inheres in our individual brains. The reality is that it inheres in a single consciousness that is outside of our physical universe.

"Regarding the big E: I recently performed in the big E. We marched all over the place and gave several concerts. It was an estatic experience. However, I suspect that the previous use of big E on this forum was chemical rather than experiential based."

I'm as confused about "the big E" as ever. Mike mentioned it in an earlier post and I had no idea what he was talking about. Your explanation doesn't help at all. I can't imagine Mike was referring to your marching activity. And if it had a chemical meaning, I am even more at a loss as to what he meant. I guess I'll have to wait for his explanation.

Warm regards (In spite of some contrary speculations, I really do extend my warmest regards to you, Richard),


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