Learning Free Will? Realizing the “I am” and a Harmonious System Between the “I am” and Ego System.

Beautiful and clear description of the possibilities for each of us. 3 minutes to 7:40 in particular stand out.

I feel as if life before was a battle for my true freedom (which I already had). Well it felt like a battle, but it may have been more a learning of how to live that free will (how to realize that potential). I was full of dreams and wants, but so often when I saw my actions and the thoughts I was in they were not those that I loved. A Bible verse captures it well:

King James Bible: “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I”

These other versions of Bible lay it out even clearer:

New International Version: “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”

New Living Translation: I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.”

This seems like a communication from a “I am”/true self who is lost in that place so many of us seem to have fallen into some point before we can even remember. This “I am”/true self is still lost in misidentification, but it recognizes that something isn’t going quite right with the system. It knows it has a great power, and it knows it isn’t being harnessed properly yet. It knows what it wants, but it sees often what it does isn’t what it wants. When it finds itself, the observer within/”I am”/true self, it will gain that real freedom it knows it already has.

When it finds itself, it will start the process of living in harmony with its ego system. Out of that ego system the ego scripts (thoughts) will keep appearing before the “I am”/true self, but now the “I am”/true self will recognize those ego scripts are all stories/suggestions it can choose which one to flow into and give life (more thoughts and also external actions) or it can choose to flow into none of the offered suggestions in that moment. The “I am” is always at peace where it is. Without attention/energy/life from the “I am” the ego scripts fade, and the ego system sends more suggestions. There is learning within all this too it seems. The ego scripts which are given life/attention/energy to the ego system takes note in some way and then seems to suggest them to the “I am” more frequently. Ego scripts which get passed over over and over seem to be sent to stand before the “I am” less frequently.

A beautiful harmony seems to grow within this system. The “I am” being the observer who has the love, energy, calm, life within it which it can choose to flow into and give that life and energy to the ego scripts. Without the ego scripts it seems there would be no internal thoughts the “I am” would be locked in merely observing the actions of the body which would arise from some unconscious system within the body. It seems there would be no free will.

Without the “I am”, it is a hard state to imagine, but it seems that the body would be running like an unconscious machine of sorts, like a clock or the weather. Things happen, but no one wills it and their is no experiential state within it/no awareness/no consciousness/no “what it feels like to be a clock”. Whether this is true or not for the clock or weather I do not know. But it seems we often imagine it to be this way.

Another possibility is with no “I am” we would be in the state we often imagine animals to be in. There is an experience of what it is like to be a dog or a butterfly, but they are not aware of themselves as an “I”. They are conscious (experience/feel fear, joy,sadness, pain, etc.) but they don’t seem to observe self consciously. They do not experience this sense of “I am” happy/sad/afraid”, this feeling that they are a self experiencing something. They just are what they experience in the moment.

It might also be the case that without the “I am” the body would simply fail to move or have any thoughts within at all (or maybe ego scripts would still be sent but even that is hard to understand because they are empty without the “I Am”. Like scripts for a computer with no computer, what is that? Is it possible?). This state sounds like what death looks like. This line of thought about what the system would be/could be without an “I am” is interesting to me. I want to explore this more.

The World Inside.

When the old ego scripts were failing to find contentment for me day after day. I was lost. I had identified with them for what seemed/seems like forever. I do not remember a time before them. Though I do suspect I remember, often in a wordless way, the original/real me (the “I am”) and maybe earlier ego scripts I’ve identified with.

Looking back it appears ego scripts have been suggested to my mind (ego system?) by people around me or people’s ego scripts expressed and preserved (through books, music, movies, video, etc.). Some ego scripts others showed me my “I am” loved, it wanted to flow into them/live them, but it didn’t know how. These beautiful, good, and true ego scripts were stored inside me (my ego system) in my memory. There was a vividness to them, a pull. Through life when they would pop up internally before my “I am” they never appeared ugly or bad, but my faith in the scripts being possible to be lived in for me or for anyone was always quite low. Quickly they would be deemed a beautiful, good, impossible dream and “I am” would turn attention to something else. When I look back those ego scripts I feel appeared before me very end goal laden. While my “I am” loved that end goal picture before me, my “I am” didn’t yet seem able to see any of that goal already before me in the present or any paths (steps) in the present moment that could be smoothly taken that would be a path to that end goal (while at the same time having the good and beauty of that goal already within it). This feels difficult to express. I am still learning how to express how my inner world seemed and is, and how I interacted and now interact with it.

It feels an important shift happened within me when my old ego scripts I had been flowing into/living (as opposed to just storing and sometimes studying) started commanding, it felt like, my “I am” to do things so powerfully against what the “I am” loves. It’s as if alarm bells went off. I couldn’t yet ground “I am” (couldn’t find myself), but I was staring into those ego scripts which I had picked up each morning and flowed into effortlessly for so long and the flow was suddenly being stopped as my “I am” seemed to be saying “NO” run it again this output (these actions) you suggest do not reflect who I know i am, run it again, and over and over ugly, un good, untrue outputs, run it again!. And exhaustion set it. My “I am” had no distance yet to understand what was happening. But the journey to that understanding was hitting a point, important times of accelerated growth were right ahead. Though in that time, in the moment, I felt I was in one of the darkest places of my life. It seems to have been the dark night of my soul. But within my ego system sending out the old ego scripts over and over(the one’s I had been choosing to flow into/live all my life), but outside my attention in the moment, lay the ego scripts “I am” loved. Their moment was near.

The Way of Grace and The Way of Nature

I saw Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life a couple of years ago. It spoke to me. But I didn’t understand how it related to real life, I felt something powerful was being expressed, something good and beautiful. But what truth did it have in it? I wasn’t sure.

In the midst of this journey/ growth/changing/returning to being comfortable with who I am, I searched for clips from the Tree of Life. There was a pull back to it since it had spoken to “I am” years before. I felt overwhelmed by this clip. It brought tears to my eyes. It was good, beautiful, and I felt a new sense of faith in it being TRUE. A new element of the experience was added. This increase in the truth experience, seemed to increase the sense of beauty and goodness too.

As time has passed, and I watch in now, the faith in the truth of it have increased to a recognition of sorts a “Yes, that describes it well”, a certainty. Parts of the clip (in particular the line “when all the world is shining around it, when love is smiling through all things” and her sense of faith and maybe even surrender in the line “I will be true to you, whatever comes”) which felt powerful to me a short time ago, where I guess a wish/remembering in my heart pulled me to a faith in that experience being possible/true, I now understand in a more experiential way. I want to rewatch this movie.

“The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind”

I ordered the book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes today. Seems to be a theory that may capture a sense of what the mind felt like/or feels like now. This Bicameral theory of the mind may connect to the split brain patient studies, which have always been fascinating. Very excited to read the book, and curious how it may take me to a new understanding, as everything inevitably seems too. I always feel I’m finally on a solid ground of who “I am”, but new information shifts perspective of “I am” and this world around and within me. I didn’t use to feel this flowy. But maybe I always was, just the resistance to flow and “I am’s” false identifications with what’s in this world within me clouded over my “I am’s” flow within and without. Is this “I am” somewhat captured by the idea of the right brain? I think Julian Jaynes book may be related to this question and it may be insightful.

Dark Night of the Soul and Science of Enlightenment

These words from Eckhart Tolle brought me a sense of clarity in some of the darkest and confusing days in this journey back self.

https://www.eckharttolle.com/eckhart-on-the-dark-night-of-the-soul/

https://www.eckharttolle.com/power-of-now-excerpt/

I also found this Q&A with the neuroscientist Andrew Newberg incredibly helpful in making sense of my experiences on this journey back to self:

https://www.haverford.edu/college-communications/news/qa-andrew-newberg-’88

I hope these resources bring understanding, peace, or hope to others.