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I don't understand how the word 'will' is being used posted 02 August 2008 in NeuropathI don't understand how the word 'will' is being used by Callan S., Auditor

I wonder if this will be overly revealing of my mental make up and show some great gulf between myself and everyone else (though on looking at what I typed, worrying about that stuff is pretty damn common, so ironically perhaps I shouldn't worry?).

But I don't quite get the usage of free will in the book, and with that, I don't quite get the identification of it being an illusion.

When I was a kid I, probably alot of kids at some point have tried to 'not think'. I couldn't bloody do it - I would try and then some thought about trying or how the last time failed, would show up - not in words at first, but more like a blip on a radar. Then after a fraction of a section I could turn it into words and reflect on the thought I'd had (it was past tense, even if only by a fraction of a second or so) and kick myself for having thought. I actually wanted the feeling of tranquility I imagined I'd get if I could do it. The bastards would always get through before I could stop them - indeed if it wasn't one random thought that got through, ironically it was the thought of stopping thoughts. That's as I recall from a long time ago - I don't want to try again, it's bloody frustrating.

Anyway, I could sense it as a blip, then it'd become words and crap after. I suppose there could be a time where I wasn't even aware of it as a blip, but then again I didn't attach any big understanding or feeling of personal control knowing it was a blip either. Also, since the brain is electrical, it was some electric blip somewhere even if I didn't see it as a blip yet, so there, ha ha! <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> I didn't have any shock revelation from it then, but I thought it a good example of my understanding to work from here.

As far as I can tell, memory, impulse or input stirs a thought, it shows up as a blip, then after a short bit, you can observe your own thought as words. Yeah, I'm not really aware of the whole process - is that the illusion? I'm not sure how to describe this - when a magician asks you which hand he's holding a coin in, and you say &quot;No thanks, not right now - I can see I don't know and it's a mystery to work on at some point, but I've got dinner to cook right now&quot; are you under an illusion of 'knowing' how it works? Surely you can only be under an illusion if you come to a conclusion - if you leave it as a mystery, uncertain, then your just in the world of uncertainty (as usual, one might say).

I certainly don't feel enlightened or free of a bunch of stuff, so that'd make me inclined to think I fit the bill for the illusion of free will described. But I can see that input sets off thoughts - usually passions first, then these filter through and at some point I can see a translation of what's going on. I would say that inputs or passions can set off structures of thought, and two thought structures can interact and the passions kind of communicate in a way that can set off other passions and more thoughts, in a wonderful cascade. But those starting passions still need to be set off from the outside, or from something inside but who's source can be considered outside (the outside source for the inner source, if you go back far enough, is a certain big bang. More in the short term it's from our evolutionary history). I can't grasp where the illusion lies, except yeah, I don't know the processes involved. But as I noted above, I don't always care, I've got dinner to cook or whatever. Or I do reflect on it bit, like now. But it's always a stab in a certain direction rather than any presumption of a full grasp.

I do feel I have a strong understanding of structures - like a good chess player might feel he understands the game. But I'm aware things all to easily 'go sideways', so that I feel that IF the structure is the one I know about, then I feel I have a strong understanding. The game I know isn't nessersarily anything to do with this world. But the game I know, I know well and feel pride about that, even if it isn't applicable. It'd be like taking pride in your chess knowledge, even though that's not about to feed and shelter you.

Technically I think I get the idea that the subject thinks when he experiences the thought, that's when it occured. And the thought he experienced at the point, he thinks he willed it at that very time - thus ignoring the many previous contraptions that came before that. I can sort of imagine the distortion that'd provoke, simply out of that impulse/recogntion lag fluctuating and sometimes, ironically, willed fluctuation of that time (getting drunk would be an easy example, simulationism in roleplay might be another).

Eh, too weird a post? Well, you all might find some use in comparison and contrast, anyway. view post


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