Skip to main content
Head shot of Patanjali Sokaris

Patanjali Sokaris

Pondering the universe


Enemies of free will?

Having ideals towards which to work is good, but if they are not flexible, as they aren't in most ideologies, they can become a yoke on thinking, preventing growth.

An ideal is a state of being, mind, or physical circumstances, towards which to work. However, as one approaches it, the choice is whether to just maintain that state, or set a new ideal or goal. The latter facilitates growth.

While an individual may have a goal or two, a group of people usually requires something more structured, covering more of the range of their activities. A formalised group of those goals or ideals forms an ideology.

Some common ideologies are:

  1. a.Religion.
  2. b.Political structure.
  3. c.Organisational structure.
  4. d.Methodology.

We are thoroughly used to these, and expect them to be well defined, just so we know what to rely upon, and what is expected of us.

We expect some of these to change over time, just because parts of our understanding and aspirations change. Problems occur when some want to change aspects of the ideology, while others don't. And trouble really starts when some want a different ideology!

We are each born with free will, so we can each choose what to believe, regardless of what ideology others want us to adhere to.

Often, to those who want an ideology to remain unchanged, or keep its changes limited, others exercising their free will may be seen as potential threats to the ideology, and may take a variety of measures to counter changes.

Those measures may include:

  1. a.Discussing achievable compromises.
  2. b.Private advice to desist from being disruptive.
  3. c.Public statements of expectations of how people are to conform.
  4. d.Threatening punishment for transgressions.
  5. e.Punishing transgressors.

Of course, the ideal (sic) is that each person moderates their expectations, to create the minimal disruptions to others as a result of what they want changed, so that those trying to maintain the ideology are not alarmed enough to take drastic actions. Typically, people do this until they become frustrated with resistance to change. Then they will take more drastic measures themselves. If compromises are not reached, revolts may occur, with their severe disruptions.

At a personal level, similar conflicts, but within us, may occur, as our beliefs get challenged, either by others, or within ourselves. If we make changes to our beliefs, and start making changes to our lives, we may come to be among the ones challenging a societal ideology.

So, how can an ideology be an enemy of free will? That comes down to when an ideology is seen as final, such as for a religion, despite much that has been learned since it was created that counters some of its tenets, or there are streams of thought that are incompatible with it. But, how can an ideology be fixed, when it is just a shared opinion?

So, if we are to avoid unnecessary conflicts regarding an ideology, we need to:

  1. a.Allow it to change and evolve.
  2. b.Don't expect all to believe it.
  3. c.Build flexibility into it.
  4. d.Allow it to be incomplete where not necessary.

We have enough limitations with our physical bodies, so there is no need to excessively bind up our thoughts in rigid patterns so much that we don't get to exercise our free will.

Reality will trump ideology every time

If you choose to follow your beliefs despite the reality presented to you, you will create problems for yourself, because reality will keep intruding into your delusions until it prevails.

TS: art-a 3ID: 2017-08-20-00-00-00Now: 2020-07-03-12-25-35Powered by: Smallsite Design©Patanjali SokarisManage