Free From What?

Naval tweeted, “Write to learn, not to teach.” I find that fascinating. It has been my experience (not always, but often) that I can go back to something I’ve written and learned quite a bit; if nothing else, I learned how much I enjoyed writing that piece.

As part of meditation practice, I’ve decided to take up Naval’s challenge to meditate for sixty minutes per day for sixty days. Using Sam Harris’ WakingUp app, I’ve meditated for 303 consecutive days. However, the meditation sessions have typically been around ten minutes per day and are guided.

Naval’s challenge is straightforward, in a manner of speaking.

You wake up, and before you start your day, you meditate for sixty minutes. Here is the kicker: you don’t focus on anything, not the breath, not sensations in the body, not your thoughts. Nada. You must simply surrender.

Today marks day two of the challenge, and my mind had intriguing visuals and thoughts. At one point, a typewriter appeared and began typing on a page. However, the words didn’t stick on the page. They began to float around and melt together. Yet, the typewriter continued typing the words.

I am eager to learn what the mind can access when still, calm, and free. But, free from what?

I was talking to a friend of mine, who is a complete genius by the way, and he mentioned how much he appreciates Westworld returning to the motif of Free Will vs. Determinism. I’m going to paraphrase my friend, (follow him on Twitter @alexcriddle).

Say the majority of people live a life that is 99.5% determinism – a type of autopilot or whatever – moving to a state of Being where you’re living 75% determinism is extremely difficult, and for most people, not worth it; let alone moving to a point where you are freer than determinism.

Is there room to be free? Potentially. However, to be free – truly free – is a lot of work. It is easier to be lost in thought. It is more comfortable to be driven by emotion and impulse. It is easier to watch TV than to read.

What would it take to be in such a state? Is it possible to reach a point of 51% Freewill and 49% Determinism? Or even a more significant % of Freewill vs. Determinism! What would that look like? How would one reach that state? At what cost?


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