As opposed to the mythical memes passed down through a hundred generations and, thus, being accepted as truth, your actual “awakening” entails a grieving process and not some enchanted garden of bliss bunny bullshit.
Of course, you've never had free-will, but you have yet to realize this as a fact that informs all other thoughts, feelings and behaviors. In the meantime, you continue to conduct your life within an illusion of control as if you had something to do with anything that happens externally or internally in your personal world.Denial: 90% of egocentrica mammalian’s live in complete denial.
They cannot grieve the loss of free-will, because they believe all their choices come from autonomous intentions of a deliberating volitional “self.” They continue to function as if they made choices entirely contingent on their own free-agency and continue to experience the anxiety, depression, anger and guilt that living this illusion demands. They feel pride in accomplishments and disappointment in failure, as if they actually made choices free of all influence.
Yet, there are some that claim “I may not have a choice in what happens to me, but I can choose how to respond,” completely ignorant of the fact that they did not make themselves, had absolutely no involvement in the construction of the brain circuitry that informs them exactly how to respond and are genetically hard-wired to perceive reality exactly as they do, with no possible alterations to that perception.
“It is true nonetheless that our idea of free will, vague, amorphous and ultimately incoherent as it may be, is still so much a part of our culture that most of us see everything around us through (as it were) free-will-coloured spectacles. We think we discern the workings of free will in our world, just as religious people think they discern the workings of God. And this vision is self-validating and self-perpetuating, because the more we see the world in this way the more reason we think we have to believe that it really is this way. And we aren’t going to take off the spectacles because we don’t know we’re wearing them.” Oerton, Richard (2012-10-02). The Nonsense of Free Will: Facing up to a false belief (p. 108). Matador. Kindle Edition.At no point will they ask themselves, “After years of having my every move directed by genetic disposition, parental structuring and socio-cultural influence (the very things that made me precisely what I am now) at what point did all that miraculously dissolve to spontaneously grant “me” the opportunity to make choices completely free of all influence? Exactly when did my ‘will’ become free of all influence?”
The answer is obvious….
ANGER: 5% of current egocentric population is at this stage. A defense mechanism that blocks truth and clouds the mind. I have witnessed it in the comment section on this blog in which the evidence against free-will and for a predetermined causal order, absent all free-will, is so monumentally apparent that it generates fear and with fear is the only catalyst for attack. Upon the first recognition of your utter helplessness to be free and separate of a predetermined causal order, you desperately intensify your efforts to prove that it can be done and you will seek to prove this no matter how often you fail.
BARGAINING: 2% are here. Some seek desperately to extricate themselves from determinism with the claim (more like wishful thinking) of at least a little bit of free-will. The “compatibilists” hold that free-will is essentially a part of determinism (which is absurd) and many, like Daniel Dennett, contend that even though we are 99 percent determined, there is still that tiny 0.999% that we control. When that 0.999% is available to us and where it can be found in the genetically predetermined and socio-culturally pre-formatted ‘personality’ is not apparent but, as many bright minds seem to claim, one day science will locate the capacity for free-will, even though science (specifically, neuroscience) is rapidly progressing in the reverse.
Egocentrica mammalia believes he has sculpted his life based entirely on his freedom of choice, denying that a causal order, that has shaped the universe and continues to do so, shaped him, and any power he might engage to resist this fact, was predetermined long before he even existed (your denying the absence of free-will is hard-wired and this is most likely a genetic predisposition favoring survival fitness). He simply cannot accept that who and what he is was shaped long before he even existed as a manifest organism.
He seeks to break free of genetics, evolution, parental injunctions, socio-cultural influences of the time period he was manifest and the childhood conditioning that he had no choice in experiencing in his formative years, because it was thrust upon him beyond his will, thereby, shaping exactly what he would will in the future.
DEPRESSION: 2% are at this stage and, like denial, many remain here never to leave. On the path to awakening, depression is the longest and most experientially barren stage. Some take their own lives, many disappear from society never to be seen again and others simply remain at this stage until their death, never realizing the expansive freedom of surrender, they remain inured in limitation and contraction and continue their lamentations that IT NOT BE SO.
In this stage there is usually an intellectual acceptance of the absence of free-will, without the accompanied experience, in a fluctuating self-replicating feedback loop of attempted acceptance and back to non-acceptance.
You may be here for a very long time....
....spiraling down numerous rabbit holes of abject meaninglessness and absurdity, grasping for some sense of what is true and real, only to be nauseatingly disappointed time and time again. You will rigorously prevail in grasping tightly to various contrivances of your fictional social order, only to eventually recognize your pretending can fool others, but keeps you despondent and disengaged.
Decades pass, as many seek solace of “spiritual” ideologies, paradigms and practices, like Buddhism, Zen, non-duality, and other esoteric intellectual distractions, only to be smacked square in the face by the undeniable reason for soothing social constructs that have no purpose but to keep you skipping merrily along by constructing ever more useless neuro-circuitry in 3 lbs of fatty tissue immersed in perpetual darkness.
But you do all this because it is the only purpose of your existence.
ACCEPTANCE: Only a mere 0.5% of egocentric mammalian’s are at this stage. This stage can be considered an “awakening,” because there is no longer a return to the other stages and only accommodating to the fact that every choice ever made had to be made exactly as it was made and could not have been made any differently than it was in the exact moment it was made.
The immediate experience of a causally predetermined existence, contingent on a quadrillion experiences that preceded and absent all free-will, quickly shuts down the circuits useless in supporting this powerful experience.This ‘short-circuiting’ of other less useful pathways can be a gradual process, although many circuits diminish immediately, particularly socio-culturally conditioned pathways, i.e., self-esteem, status, career, materialistic pursuits or object accumulation, many judgment circuits and other “insecurities’ wired up on the grey matter simply lose electro-chemical current, which can only result in a brain-based sense of freedom (just consider the exhilaration of being free of even just 50% of the the thoughts that arise in that gelatinous blob between your ears. It is literally unimaginable!).
The acceptance stage clearly engenders the chief and most prominent variable of all spirtuo-religious ideologies…surrender. You are, and have been, in charge of nothing and any control you impose upon your reality, you were destined to impose long before you were even born.
Every thought that ever arose in the brain of your mother, and her mother and her mother before her, had to arise exactly as it did, and exactly when it did (time/space continuum) for you to be manifest as a thinking organism and engage the thoughts that you must to allow future generations to manifest as they must, thinking the thoughts that only they must.
When this is truly encountered, as a brain experience and not just the usual firing of contemplative circuitry lighting up frontal lobe sections for years, but amounting to nothing but additional circuitry, there comes a swift and gradual frying of the motherboard.
Yet, this is only an essay in conjecture, the experience defies explanation other than to say that it is completely outside your power to make it happen in any way.
When it comes to “awakening” or “enlightenment,” this is the only fact that need be engaged. But only if your particularly unique neural wiring takes you there and there are only a handful that are heading precisely in that direction and…
…they have not the slightest clue they’re going there.
But they will one day surrender their “free-will coloured spectacles” and perceive a world never before seen.
Artwork by Suliman Almawash