Wednesday, January 25, 2006


“We only have the capacity, when unimpeded by environmental obstacles and personal limitations, to carry out the unfree choices that we've already made. There is no freedom of will, only freedom of action."

Interpetation-"If we talk in circles and use technical jargon they'll think we know what we're talking about and give into us."

The snippet above is from my recent online discussion of free will. I wrote the words on top, and someone was kind enough to provide his “interpretation” of them below. I wasn’t especially fond of his interpretation, and I was even less fond of someone else’s reinforcement of it, since she has generally been supportive of my writing. My initial reaction was one of indignation in the first instance and a sense of betrayal in the second. But then I thought about it some more, and my feelings changed. They changed when I tried to think of a clearer, better way to phrase my words above and discovered that I couldn’t do it and feel satisfied with the result. I still think that the “interpretation” was a little unfair. But not as unfair as I’d like it to be. For the fact is, I don’t write as clearly as I want about philosophical and spiritual issues, and what this tells me is that I don’t think about them or understand them as clearly as I should before I write about them at all. I’ve addressed this theme
before. But I haven’t done a whole hell of a lot about it since. That’s the story of my life, or, at least, a constantly recurring motif. Will that ever change? Will I ever change it?


Jess said...

I think it will change in time when you are ready and want to change it. My laughing and agreeing with that particular post was in no way meant to be a betrayal. If you took it that way I am truly sorry. I thought I made myself clear in a later post to you that I have difficulty at times, reading the posts. Perhaps not clear enough. Again, it was not meant as anything other than, I thought it to be funny in my interpretation of what he had written in response to you.

Nagarjuna said...

Jess, thank you for your comments. My initial feelings about what you wrote were just that--feelings--rather than my intellectual understanding. It was a raw emotional response aggravated by the frustration and aggravation I felt toward the other poster who I believed WAS being unfair in his characterizations. However, I agree with both of you that there is room for improvement in how clearly I express myself on issues such as free will.