It has been said that the primary difference between humans and animals besides a large prefrontal cortex is our “free will”, and we have to ask ourselves, what have we done with it? If we look around at the world we live in today, no matter where you look we can see the misuses of the power of free will, and it seems painfully apparent free will did not come with a set of instructions.
Various holy texts from different parts of the world hold some valuable wisdom that if adopted would most certainly have a profound effect on our world, but the tendency to have a myopic view of our role in the world, we have gone to great lengths to distort even that to our own end. A favorite quote of mine stated “man’s dilemma is that he/she believes their own mental artifacts to be reality (what we think) and the answers we seek are biased on the view point of the questioner”.
How difficult it is to find this thing we call “truth” when there is no singular truth to be had, only an opinion based on the person holding a specific thought, which arose from their personal view / prejudice of the world. If there is no truth, just opinion, then how do we judge the right or wrong actions of our free will? One spiritual quote suggest that “you can judge a tree from the fruit it bears”, which in itself gives an interesting diagnostic view of the world, looking at effects of ones way of living and being able to access the virtue of the person(s) in question, which is the scientific point of view, the view of cause and effect, action and reaction. Of course, we can get a negative response from a positive intent which does throw a twist into things, so what then? Immediate course correct would be the simple solution it would seem, but that is not often the case.
When I sit back far enough, I take into account the concept that “we are nature trying to observe it” and there can be little objectivity in that realm, but I do believe if we take our role as a “part of the eco system” and start working within that arena then many of the problems we are currently encountering would not exist or would simply fade away. Would we destroy our health if we knew that we would pass on defective genes to our children, our grandchildren and future generations, dooming them to health challenges because our “chosen” lifestyle has altered our genetic code and make sickness and early death the inheritance we leave?
Perhaps if we simply followed the old wisdom that suggested that "if we all swept the front of our door, the world would be clean", and that would take self-awareness, compassion, personal responsibility, and the courage to stand up for social justice. At the end of the day, all I can control and influence is my own actions and course correct when I say or do the wrong thing. You know, when I think about it after all, maybe free will does come with a set of instructions, and the guidance system is programmed to ask "what would love do".
C. David Gilks Your Fellow Traveler
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