Following a lecture on Subjectivity presented by Wellesley Binding (a master mind and artist) I was asked to comment on in my blog, any thoughts that came up for me. The after thought that continues to linger in my mind is the concept of free will. I find myself asking: For a society of free people, why do I still feel so caught up and influenced by what society dictates and readily determines for me? Is the concept of free will all but an illusion?
Freedom of thought, thankfully in the country I live in, is permitted. However, I still will most likely be judged and discriminated for my opinions and beliefs, which somewhat squashes the pleasure and feelings of liberation that I may have experienced when expressing such notions. I believe that I am led to assume that I am free to make my own choices, however certain circumstances are set in place to ensure that I have a pretty hard time doing so. Do I embark upon a career in this or that? Where in the world shall I live? What food shall I buy this week for my meals? Which self-help book or workshop should I enroll in this month?
In this century, it has become possible to choose from an array of alternatives, satisfying our human need to have free will. However, I am left thinking that it would have been simpler (and certainly less confusing) if when a few hundred years ago, my life was pre-determined by the circumstances that I was born into. I would have lived in the place where I was born. I would have followed in my foremothers footsteps. I would have eaten whatever was growing in my garden or whatever I could have traded for my crops. If my roof needed fixing, my neighbours would help me fix it. I would belong to the religion of my forebears. I would be betrothed to the boy next door. I would go to the only healer of the village, and be advised of how to heal my aliments and when to be initiated by the spiritual ‘quest’. Apart from marrying the boy next door (whom I’m sure would have been a great hunter at least), I think I would have been pretty happy with my lot of determined fate!