In this week’s spotlight I want to take a minute to clarify something. I’ve being asked more and more lately about the notion of free-will. We have entertained a number of guests on this show with rock solid credentials, who have insisted that free-will is in the words of Professor Schwaab, “The Grand Illusion.”
If this is so, many enquire, why aren’t there more people talking about it. Well one reason most certainly has to do with research that shows rather conclusively that people who do not believe in free-will are less happy and more inclined towards accepting acts that are simply socially unacceptable. Indeed, what are we to do with criminals if their act was not one of free-will? The ramifications to society are enormous when you abandon entirely the idea that each of us is free to choose our actions.
Sometimes the idea of free-will is contrasted with determinism. Hard core determinism insists that everything is already preordained, if you will. In that sense, the world we live in is arguably one in which the predestined is acted out by each of us as actors on a stage. The fact is, it’s not an either or proposition.
So back to the point, do we or don’t we truly have free-will? The crux of the entire argument by those insisting that free-will is an illusion is based on the fact that activity in regions known to be associated with our subconscious occurs before any conscious action. Further, the fMRI studies have demonstrated that a technician can know what you will choose some 6 seconds before you know your own choice. So what we are observing with this research is the fact that our scripts, those software programs that underlie our conscious activity, exist in the subconscious. Now that simply means that everything we have taken aboard, all the programming that we have experienced, is the software that now directs our lives.
Free-Will Is Not Free
To the question, is there such a thing as free-will—the answer is not strictly black or white. No—it’s a bit more equivocal, for to have free-will you must choose your own programming and that may take quite a bit of effort. You do absolutely have the ability to change and there are many tools today that can help you rewrite the content of your subconscious beliefs. Indeed, that’s why I invented the patented InnerTalk technology.
Not too long ago I attended a CEU course that focused on some of the newest neuroscience discoveries. The bottom line to this all day event came down to this, not only can you change things like your personality, but you can literally change your brain, rewiring neuro-circuits and increasing gray matter. However, in order to be successful with these changes, you must first believe that you can change. That’s worth repeating. You can change, and at any age, but in order to change you must first believe that you can change!
You Must Believe In Order To Change
You absolutely have the power to exercise free-will if you choose to own every script running in your subconscious. If there are self-limiting scripts, you can change them all if you decide to do so and believe that you can. These are your life beliefs and they should be yours to choose—but again, this can take effort and many simply refuse to work on themselves. The true work of our lives is in owning who we are, but then that takes discovery, honesty, and an earnest intent and dedicated effort to become all that we are capable of becoming. That’s why I have argued that there is nothing free about free-will.
As always, thanks for the read and I’d love your thoughts on this one.
NY Time Bestselling Author of Choices and Illusions
P.S. For a deeper understanding of this issue and how the so-called elite work to engineer consent by subordinating free-will, see my book, Gotcha!