Being an audience to the play!

Before the start of this post, I would like to pose a question to you:

Does free will exist?

I came across an article which actually talks about how it is our neurons which does the action. What we are is because of our neurons and how it fires up in the brain, moment to moment! Now, that's an interesting and also scientifically proven thing to ponder upon. 

Given a stimulus, millions of neurons start working up their way through various synapses across thousands of complex topologies which in a matter of micro seconds recalls our past events and analyses our present situation to hint the brain to act out an output accordingly.

Now this output that our brain directs our body to perform can be considered to be an identity that we assume for that stimulus. That is, we assume a certain role against that stimulus in this world, that Shakespeare considered as a stage. 

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players 

 I have had a journey of a year in this blogosphere. And this journey included posts that I thought to have resonated with my thinking at that time. Out of those posts, some were related to masks that we wear in this world. I believed that wearing a mask is crucial to one's existence in this stage called as the world. But things have changed a lot during this one year, and I have grown out of that phase. I do not believe any longer to always carrying a mask in order to survive. Doing things that give you a meaning, saying things which give you individuality, being you yourself which gives you happiness is what I have grown up in this one year to believe in.

With this the belief in being an audience to the ongoing play in this stage has become essential to my being. It is just like reading a novel. You become an observer to the story that is being unfolded in front of you. You might also have a role in that story, but at the same time a part of you is outside of that illusion and is just observing the theatrics of people present in the stage.

However, there is a slight difference in reading a novel and being an audience in the real world! In reading a story ( or watching a movie/theatre) we just remain in an idle state with mere commentary to ourselves of what the protagonist should/could have done in certain scenes.

But when you become observer to the real world and its people (including you), you would no longer have to remain idle with a handful of commentary. You can actually go inside the scene that is being played to do exactly what you think should be done by the protagonist. You can actually become the protagonist of the play.

Of course there is a downside to it. There sets in a buffer (or a delay) in recognising, moment to moment, the millions of neurons that are banging the door of your consciousness to immediately take part in the scene in progress. But that buffer is the essential characteristic of an observer who also happens to be a promising protagonist of the play!

So, Does free will exist?  

[This post is an elaboration of a comment that I made in a blog post (link)]

Comments

  1. Free will exist but a rarity indeed and odds may be one in billion. We are quite hypocritical by stating that our actions are based on our free will but the actual fact is that those choices had to be taken due to certain conditions of life at that point of time.I did write a blog way back in 2015 April " Choices-is it made out of free will".

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    1. As Tomichan said, free will is a dilemma when it largely depends on external factors which includes the lifestyle of people that they have to live in because of various reasons- from earning a livelihood to following strict religion.

      It also seems to me that free will is a hypocritical term to vouch for. The choices that we make finally are because of causality, that we love to follow as a part of our stable system.

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  2. Neurons and synapses apart, most of our actions are controlled and determined by forces which are not often in our control. So free will is bit of a dilemma. It's like a game of cards. We have to play the game. The hand dealt to us is unalterable. But how we play is our will.

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    1. Absolutely correct about the external forces that set our course of action. We cannot do much about it (add randomness). But are we even in full control of our actions while playing the given hand? Are we at free will at deciding which trick to play, given the information overflow, peer presure and impulsive behaviour?

      My take is that if we begin observing ourselves (our thoughts- neuron and synapses) prior to taking any action (cause we have the habit of following our impulses without any rhyme), will we be still in full control of our will?

      Will being an audience and thus detached from the scene of action result in free will?

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    2. Thank you for the mention.Glad my thoughts have provoked you bringing out more different perspective. Could not agree more.What I believe is free will is how we take it. Free will to define our own success, for example Success is not about being capable as so and so person but being aware and raising out intellect and perception. Similarly free will is thinking beyond what is normally (blindly) accepted to find out what works best for ourselves.
      As said here http://www.museofpoetry.com/decodeshakespeare/
      Yes surely we can be audience to our own act where we can judge our actions and be detached from our emotions. In that way we get a clear picture of life.Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    3. From what I can understand from my musings along with yours and my other fellow bloggers, free will can be considered as extrinsic and intrinsic based on whether it is determined by the external factors like past experiences etc. or internal ones like level of detachment from the stage on which we are playing our parts.

      While the free will can perhaps never exist because of the random external events that occur arround us but if we observe before we act, think before we say, read before we shout, perhaps, may be there is a chance of having a free will! Perhaps!

      Thanks for elaborating your views. :)

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