Dethroning Consciousness

Is there space for free will in neuroscience?

Barry C Smith is a professor of philosophy at Birkbeck and Director of the Institute of Philosophy at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. His interests range from the philosophy of wine to Chomskyan theory of mind and language.

Here, he discusses free will, philosophy of mind, and our changing conception of consciousness thanks to recent advances in neuroscience.


Do you think that neuroscience can tell us what the mind is?

I think neuroscience can give us a bigger and more precise account of the many things that go on in the mind. For a long time we've relied on what we consciously have access to, or the use of mind in language and in thought and in all the things that we’re aware of. But there are many aspects of mind that are slightly hidden from our own view and I think that neuroscience has done a good job of opening

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binra 4 October 2014

I omitted to complete a sentence in the preceding post.
Having accepted a premise, the beliefs, interpretations and actions and reactions that follow, follow automatically and flesh out or make manifest the fruits of the original or founding Idea.
That which is strange or other to your true nature can only produce strange fruit.

Within the premise of independent will, is the idea of 'Fatherless or Source-lessness'. This generates an experience of an segregated indivisibility - which is a contradiction in terms.
Human consciousness IS a contradiction in terms until and unless it yields to its Source or true nature. This effects an 'imprisoned will' which seeks to free itself or become free - yet does so in ways that compound and reinforce its misidentification with self-limiting thought.
Ideas of freedom bait and lure the mind to further enslavement, indebtedness, coercive strategies or deeper deceit and complexity. Yet they are all re-enacting the original seed idea that introduces a sense of lack and division by which you believe are disconnected from freedom to be that which you are.

The mechanism of the body and the brain - and that aspect of mind that is the template or counterpart to its counterpart can be turned upon itself to see all things as mechanism.
In a sense this can be embraced thus: All things are props, the meaning of which you determine by the purposes you decide are your own for your reasons, and for the time you choose to do so.
The other facets to include here are that mind and will is both individual AND collective, and that mind and will operate as a Unified Whole through the appearance of the many, and as a dis-integrity through the veil of a fearful confusion given investment.
The material universe - organic or inorganic - is not as we thought it was - and so we uncover more - which we then interpret segregatively or integratively. Our experience is thus what we choose to think in expression of what and who we decide or accept ourselves to be. Collective or mutual agreements do not make fact, but they do make a general agreement of a shared reality in which to interact, communicate, exchange and reflect.
Freedom to inflate disconnected realities brings with it periods of adjustment. Boom and bust. Pride and fall. The end of an age and the opportunity to shift to a truer alignment of integrated, connected and felt-known reality. I appreciate the willingness that is extending.

binra 4 October 2014

Accepting definition of consciousness as the thinking persona - or even the physical personality structure that it runs within IS an act of will.
That does not make it FACT - excepting you will experience it so by the focus and desire of your attention.
You are free to accept definitions and act out from the belief they are true. Having accepted them your actions are

All true freedom is at the level of Spirit through the creative interplay of knowing. But most of what operates as the template for perceived experience is disregarded or rendered 'unconscious' while the desire to have the experience of a separated or segregated consciousness is played out. Whatever one actually actively believes is essentially constructing the experience one has - without exception.

A will is not what the waking persona asserts, and believes itself to have and be. This is a masking layer of interpretation operating the unconscious belief. But while you identify within that it, it will seem convincingly real for you, because you made it BY believing it and will attract all that aligns with and reinforces your purpose, disregarding or minimizing all that does not.

The will is the most treasured sense of self- such that its focus is the self, but an illusory will gives rise to an illusory self - that can be experienced because it can operate as a lens of belief and definition upon the projector of Consciousness.

Whatever is placed upon or accepted into the Consciousness, goes forth and multiplies. Ideas of lack and division and conflict reflect back as experience - but because they are believed they seem to be the world.

Jesus illustrates a pathway for noticing the personal will as a deceptive bait to reaction, and thus yielded it to Universal Will in which his true will was recognized in its natural freedom To love free of coercion. When one is no longer enamored of a false and hollow sense of 'power', one recognizes egocentricity as a false basis for experience and so disengages from it in free willingness to be restored to a true awareness that is not defined by its experience but chooses to be directed from the movement within.

The freedom to choose in opposition to our joy is the power to forget the process and power of Life that we are. But the movement of Life within, is the Only Life. We each align in conscious awareness by choosing in accord with our true joy, peace and passion for life.

Choosing Life is letting Life direct guide and support. Choosing to survive as a fearful, threatened, conflicted, uncertain 'power unto itself', is a dream - or indeed a nightmare from which one is free to wake by owning or uncovering the choice that was hidden, and choosing anew by letting Life Be Itself - or in personal terms; acting out in the knowing of what is living you.
This often returns to full awareness as a result of recognizing directy and unequivecobly... what you are not.

That you are is not open to question. How you experience yourself is a point of view. Every idea accepted as true of, or resonant and relevant to you now, will operate as a definition by which experience is created. True experience is unseparated or beheld as a flowing now, that does not 'leave itself' or suffer under the other. The notion of a separate someone who has an experience is a personality construct.
In identifying within form, Man denies the Formless and asserts materialism - regardless of professed beliefs or magical associations.
Materialism denies free will because all power to create (even negatively as the extending of fear, doubt, and lack) is of the formless. Suffering under the 'other' is the result of a coercive deception. A false framework by which one chooses against one's own Good, believing it is the only or best choice available. The framework is defended against exposure by the wish that gave rise to it. Only free will can let go of an insane or meaningless wish. Regardless what one has come to believe about oneself, will itself is free to see and know according to its own choosing. The choice is between a true and false appreciation of oneself until the false cannot be consciously accepted, believed or disguised into believability or meaning. Then choice is returned to its true root of Creative Focus.