In a universe predetermined by an unfolding causal order, your life has become exactly what it is and will continue to be exactly what it has been destined to be based on the predetermined route it must continue to follow, in direct proportion to all the influences that impacted upon "you" (and continue to impact upon your brain circuits), and the hard-wired responses that inform you of what to think, feel and do, again, based on the influences that impacted upon you in the past.
This is called imprinting and, like Conrad's chicks, your impressionable neurally programmed brain is no different. You will respond ONLY as you are programmed to respond. What other way could you respond than from the mental scripts provided?
Yet, you can easily identify your programmed responses if you would only analyze the patterns and, make no mistake, your life has been neurally scripted to acutely follow ingrained patterns and what those patterns display has been demonstrably repetitive.
Yet, the chief conundrum of your life, and attempts at implementing change, is that even after identifying the dumb sheit you repetitively do, you are so deeply hardwired that you cannot fathom a way out of your patterned stoopidity (particularly in relation to subconscious neural circuitry, outside only the most diligent attempts at re-routing).
With each passing year any understanding of why you continually do what you do, drifts further from your capacity to neuroplastically alter the pattern, based on the extensive socially conditioned hard-wired brain circuits that have determined all your responses, because the shaping and molding of your neural pathways began before 'you' even knew you had a 'self' and continue to influence every thought of that 'self,' thereby, determining and directing all subsequent behavior and action...up until the day the brain shuts down.
As long as you consider your "self" the point of origin to the choices you make, you will never "awaken," since the motherboard is pitifully overloaded with useless neural circuitry requiring copious amounts of electro-chemical juice (origin of all post-modern stress/anxiety disorders, based on the stress chemical cortisol).
That understanding has eluded human egocentrica mammalia for millions of years and, as he becomes ever more concretely entranced and transfixed in his techno-fooked existence, that understanding will drift ever further, since he becomes ever more robotically obsessed with the current post-modern, mind-numbing technological psychosis, a delusional matrix psychosocially normalized as real, that now drives his dopamine receptors to seek out pseudo-realities, illuminated by pixels through bytes of fabricated information provided through plasma screens, to achieve varying levels of pleasure, motivation and well-being (dopamine is the chief neurochemical protagonist and has directed you entire life and it, not "you," determines the direction of your life. Learn about dopamine, because everything you have ever learned and every value you hold dear is the result of this brain chemical alone).
The understanding is simple and, contrary to the socialized message that has been mercilessly ground into your neuro-circuited head fat, it is available only by "pruning" away the chaotically ensconced neural morass that is useless to your fully understanding what is actually taking place in between your ears, but robotically directs your every action in a neurally processed dream state. But the brain does that, not "you."
"You" are only along for the ride, which includes the delusion that you are the driver and determine the destination...
Yet, for the few that experience a fried motherboard (not by choice) they grok the simplicity of each and every moment in the realization that...
...your life does not belong to "you."
The brain circuits have determined who "you" are and neuro-chemistry has determined exactly how you feel, what you do and, from the moment of birth, it has been vigilantly developing neural pathways that makes 'who' you were, into what you are now, and will continue along that trajectory until the moment it shuts down, allowing you to be what you were always destined to become...
What every famous spiritual guru failed to accurately elucidate is that, to be "in the moment," is to surrender to the brain. Only the mythological "Buddha" understood that "events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer of any deed," and your mind/brain can only rebel furiously over the possibility that this could in any way be true.
If there is no "doer," than what exactly should you be doing to be free?
The brain that determines your thoughts, feelings and behavior is a product of a universal causal unfolding that has determined every moment of your life and has left "you" completely out of that loop, other than allowing the delusion that you were in control, a delusion that is the source of all depression, anxiety, anger and guilt, essentially, all "mental illness" known today.
All mental illness is a rebellion over the complete lack of control and, in post-modern society, is increasing exponentially, as chaos reigns supreme.
Yet, your life seems to belong to "you," even though "you" (and science) have failed to actually identify where in the grey matter "you" actually exist, if "you" exist at all, nevertheless, you proudly (an emotion not available anywhere else in nature) proclaim the thoughts, feelings, behaviors and actions that your brain circuitry demands be engaged, become a factually grounded product of an amalgamated, homogenized, concrete, and clearly irreducible, "you," but you can accurately prove none of it, thereby, indicating it is only a feeling based on faulty data processing that could easily be corrected if enough circuits were constructed to engage this understanding as a means of short-circuiting decades of ignorance (but, of course, that is entirely outside your egocentric realm of control, simply because you have no control).
In fact, if you look closely, the specific direction of your entire life as been influenced by factors completely outside your control and the responses you provided to those influences were outside your control, since you did what you "thought" was necessary, even though now, you kick yourself for not doing otherwise.
Have you noticed the repetitive nature of your life? Have you taken note of your repeat performances? The cyclical nature of the rise and fall of your brief, but highly precious, moments of "happiness"? The chaos and order constantly inherent to all your relationships? The repetitive nature of all your addictions? The rise and fall of your numerous sufferings? The absolute ignorance wrapped up in your delusional dreams of "success"?
"It is only when the ego himself comes to the conclusion, from personal investigation into his own personal experience, that his every single action has been based on some prior happening over which he has had no control, that he is finally compelled to surrender his sense of personal doership, that no one is the doer of any action, neither himself nor the ‘other’, that all that happens at any moment, through any body-mind organism is brought about by the Primal Energy functioning through each body-mind-organism, according to God’s will or the Cosmic Law." Balsekar, Ramesh S. (2012-06-21). Confusion No More: For the Spiritual Seeker (Kindle Locations 88-92). Watkins Publishing. Kindle Edition.You have never been in control of anything and even your delusion of being in control is beyond your control. But belief in making free-will choices was necessary to weave a social tapestry with institutions based entirely on your deeply inherent experience of guilt, based on choices you made or failed to make... correctly. And now you are stuck with it. Without the endemic acceptance of guilt, civilization could never have unfolded as it has and your fear of not meeting the standards has been the chief factor of the post-modern capitalistic system of enslavement and the construction of the post-modern world.
You will die, deeply enmeshed in existential guilt that you didn't do enough to be the best you could be, in a culture that demands you experience guilt, because you could never do enough to be the best that you could be, because what that culture only desires is for you to experience guilt and, hence, you have achieved what the culture requires as a means of cultural control.
Artwork by Mark Ryden - "Saint Barbie"