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TOPIC: What is free choice?

What is free choice? 19 Nov 2015 00:18 #101308

Hey, guys

I'd like to share a profound experience that happened yesterday. Many would've probably called it realization, but this word implies pseudo-ultimate knowledge, so I won't use it.

In two parts.

1. I had seen a lot of stuff in my direct experience, gross and subtle and very subtle processes. I've seen something making choices, to move attention, for example. Probing further here sometimes I've found more subtle "choosing" processes. I the "current" end I'm left in the field with no space, no time, but with choice.

2. I've been studying Bell's theorem heavily lately. Won't go into details here, if you like there's an amazing, short, clear and precise book I highly recommend to anyone www.goodreads.com/book/show/26874006-quantum-chance

What's important is the major implication of Bell's theorem that nature is non-local and it has a free choice that manifests in a non-local way. But we have no slightest idea what this free choice is, how to "test" it.

Then, I heard a phrase coming out of my mouth "I choose not to believe in coincidences. I choose to believe in the free choice on the part of nature".

Then it hit me. I am looking at the elephant from two sides. There's some elephant there, for sure. And both sides say: one of the rawest features of the elephant is free choice.

Am I free choice? I was walking around the house saying it all evening in different voices: "I am free choice. I am free and I am choice".

This experience has all the classic qualities of mystical experience. I was more real than real. It was impersonal (transpersonal). It was like direct knowledge.

Asking myself "how do I know that I am free choice" I said: "I don't know, what I see is an elephant that from two very broad and deep sides look like a free choice".

Not making any statement of an ultimate knowledge. I will continue my explorations from inside, grinding hard any fabricated choosing processes. I will continue my study of Bell's theorem until I can explain it in 30 simple sentences to any person.

Kenneth, and everyone, what can you say about the nature of choosing in your experience? Were there any choice moments that you aren't able to objectify (yet)?

If you also have any input from the other side of the elephant, please, be sure it includes Bell's theorem. Otherwise it's just a play on words.
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What is free choice? 19 Nov 2015 00:35 #101309

My current notes on the Bell's theorem quip.com/9UceAFKayc3S

Work in progress, no explanation of real experiments so far (have to reread it a few times to be correct in details).
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What is free choice? 19 Nov 2015 06:44 #101312

Some people say there is freedom, other people say there is no control, but there are at least two other sides to the elephant - always both freedom and control, and sometimes freedom and sometimes control.

Testing free choice requires parallel universes, multiple scenarios where one can 1) hold conditions consistent and 2) have an independent entity doing different actions and 3) obtain different outcomes. But #1 and #3 are unobtainable because conditions are never constant and there is always only the single outcome of >now<. Therefore #2 can't be deduced. It doesn't mean #2 doesn't exist, it just means it can't be deduced.

But ultimately, the challenge of free choice is where does the observer stand to assess it? It's one thing to have the boxes and 0/1 values as a given due to the construct of the problem on the page, but where are those values in actual experience?

That's actually the value of the thought exercise for awakening. It can only point right back to this experience. Now. What is the "I" now? What is free choice now? What is experience now? Without the metaphysics of "brain", where does experience exist? Is choice internal to "me" or inherent in "the world"? What determines experience?

Experience is a wonder. And to see that clearly only once, is 4th path. Suddenly every question about experience is simply a question about experience. The experience of free choice is the experience of free choice, the experience of no control is the experience of no control. Experience itself, is experience. Simply so. And we realize, what ever happens is another experience... and we're already awake. Experience is uniquely "ours", yet it already "is". There is a self, yet there isn't. Done.
Last Edit: 19 Nov 2015 06:48 by shargrol.
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Kate Gowen, every3rdthought, Elizabeth

What is free choice? 19 Nov 2015 07:07 #101313

shargrol wrote:
Testing free choice requires parallel universes

That's not exactly true and not exactly false. We have tested many times, with more and more precision, ruling out more and more alternative explanations (like setting lower bounds on superluminal information transfer), that nature does make free non-local choices. Meaning something chooses for some random (not predictable by what was before in the past light-cone or is present here now or will be in the future light-cone) stuff to happen in spatially separated parts of spacetime.
Last Edit: 19 Nov 2015 07:11 by Egor Azanov.
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What is free choice? 19 Nov 2015 07:17 #101314

shargrol wrote:
Experience itself, is experience. Simply so. And we realize, what ever happens is another experience... and we're already awake. Experience is uniquely "ours", yet it already "is". There is a self, yet there isn't. Done.

I get it, yes. Not intellectually, but with my whole heart. Just yesterday I wrote in my notebook: "Our ideas about what atoms are are exactly what atoms are".

I see most of the "choice" experiences as bundles of experiences. I don't know whether I see them all as that or whether I even see all of them (most surely, no to both). Free choice is a mystery in me. But I feel it is necessary for me to exist as I do.

What I was trying to express here, is that we do look at the elephant from the other side (that of quantum physics). And we see the necessity for there being free choice on the part of nature for the nature to exist as we see it.

I can expand here on why experimental tests of Bell's theorem require free choice on the part of nature, if anyone wants.
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What is free choice? 19 Nov 2015 07:32 #101315

shargrol, can you describe how experiences of choice unfold to you? As close to the raw form of it as possible. I am genuinely interested, thank you
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What is free choice? 19 Nov 2015 09:13 #101318

As best I can, choice feels like full participation in the process of the moment. Whole-heartedness. Ironically, I can look at those same bundles of experience and probably equally call them submission and no-choice. So what I call them is less of an issue and I don't think about it much. That's the best way I can describe it, I think. I just "try" or "do" what needs to be done as best I can. I think less in terms of control/no-control and more in terms of aware/asleep or participation/unconsciousness.

What's interesting to me about this dilemma is it is exactly the same thing with samsara/nirvana: the difference between awakening and delusion is that delusion sees samsara as leading onward and a never ending fire, whereas awakening of course sees that view but also knows that the same experiences can also be seen as ending and a extinguishing of a fire. So "the problem" isn't something to be fixed, but rather to see the experiential construct of it.


...by the way, I'm personally interested in why tests of Bell's theorem require free choice on the part of nature. I'm actually very interested in understanding. I feel I could only "get" about 15% of your analysis on the blog post! :blush:
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What is free choice? 19 Nov 2015 09:25 #101319

Thank you for the description! I can relate to the words you chose (submission, no-choice, aware/asleep, participation/unconsciousness).

For me it feels like I am the unfoldment of some choice that was made not by me. I do not resist, I do not act, I do not choose (?), I am aware, I am full of energy and I actively participate. Sometimes I feel like I see this choice is unfolding simultaneously through several processes including me, other people, relationships, material objects. Probably such feelings are what Jung called synchronicities.

I will expand on and simplify what I already wrote about Bell's theorem in coming days. I am glad you are interested. My goal with this particular piece of knowledge is to be able to describe it to any person in 30 simple sentences (probably overly optimistic with 30). That would mean I really understand it. And I feel it is very-very important to understand it.
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What is free choice? 21 Nov 2015 16:55 #101352

"1. I had seen a lot of stuff in my direct experience, gross and subtle and very subtle processes. I've seen something making choices, to move attention, for example. Probing further here sometimes I've found more subtle "choosing" processes. I the "current" end I'm left in the field with no space, no time, but with choice."

I have been thinking about this recently. The progression during many of my meditations seems to be conscious choice, for instance, to do self-inquiry=>unconscious choice (my conscious mind is doing nothing; my unconscious has taken over)=> no choice seems to be occur; phenomena just happens.
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