Free Will, Consciousness and Information

#1
The theory of Shannon Information contends that the amount of information contained within some sequence of symbols, choices (or, whatever) is proportional to the improbability of the sequence. The more choices within the sequence, the more information it contains. Hold that thought.

Let's consider deterministic classical physics first. Each step of a deterministic sequence of events contains next to no information, because each step of the trajectory is determined to happen, meaning the probability all along the path for each outcome is 1. Given initial conditions at some earlier time, some particular event must happen at a later time, as predicted by the laws of classical physics.

Quantum Physics is different. Quantum particles do not have solidly defined historical trajectories. Given initial conditions of the wave function at some earlier time, there are various possibilities at a later time, given by the probabilistic predictions of quantum mechanics. This is the reason that wave functions live in an infinite dimensional abstract vector space called Hilbert Space. The infinite dimensions are required to represent all the information carried by the wave function. The "choices" allowed are represented in the projection of the state vector (i.e. wave function) into a particular basis of the Hilbert Space. Of course, some particular "choices" (like spin) only have a finite set of outcomes to "choose" from. Even the infinite sets (i.e. like position) are constrained to some extent by the probabilities assigned to each "choice". Anyhow, point being, quantum particles carry more information than classical particles, because they have more "choices", or potential outcomes. No surprise here when it comes to quantum computers, qubits have more "choices" than classical bits.

Now, if free will is truly a property of consciousness that allows an infinite set of choices (without quotes this time!!) than wouldn't free will represent a state of infinite information? And, if the brain mostly acts like a filter, restricting consciousness awareness (of potential choices between states of being), it is also acts as filter of information, preventing us from being overloaded with information.

I've also argued that we only have free will to the extent that we are conscious of what motivates us to action, as stated by Rudolph Steiner. For example, a heroin addict might like to have more choices, but they are slave to the drug and make the same veritably fixed choice over and over again. This isn't all that unlike a quantum particle. Yeah, it might fizzle and appear on Mars, but it's pretty darn unlikely, just like a Heroin addict is unlikely to choose not to go after the next fix. But, the great thing about consciousness is that we can overcome our constraints via say spiritual discipline giving us a vast array of endless choices (unlike an electron which will only be able to choose between spin up and spin down). We can choose to be sad, or happy, or unbound by emotions altogether.

So, perhaps this is also why psi happens typically in more developed minds after years of spiritual discipline and practice as told within Yogic Lore. As we develop our minds and gain greater and greater free will, we expand our consciousness beyond brain-based, filtered thinking and we open up access to an infinite array of information out in the cosmos.

Anyhow, my wacky thought for the day. I know there are a lot of holes in this line of thought, but I do think consciousness is somehow tied to information. Psychic ability would definitely represent an access to information we don't normally have.

What do you all think?
 
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#2
There is also this line of thinking I had from an old discussion:

"An interesting thought is to think of all the unique events that brought you to the current moment you are at. Think of all the people that contributed to help you get there and all the unique events in their own life that made them available to contribute to the events in your life at a given moment. (Silly example: you married a girl in Vegas because you happened to meet her when your car broke down on the freeway outside Vegas on your way to med school. But, you are becoming a doctor to follow in your Dad's footsteps, and he became a doctor because his father had an extremely rare cancer and which inspired him to cure cancer. And, your car broke down from a rare mechanical problem, but you won the car in a prize at a dealership out of 1000s other customers, and did I mention the girl was in Vegas because she won the lottery and was there to gamble, ad nauseum) If you could assign a probability to any particular event accounting for ALL the contributions in that way, you would get a probability of virtually zero for anything ever happening. Perhaps nothing happens by chance ..."

However, since the combined sequence of events leading up to every subsequent event is highly improbable, this sure seems like our combined historical trajectories contain a veritable infinite amount of information.
 
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#3
Quantum Physics is different. Quantum particles do not have solidly defined historical trajectories. Given initial conditions of the wave function at some earlier time, there are various possibilities at a later time, given by the probabilistic predictions of quantum mechanics. This is the reason that wave functions live in an infinite dimensional abstract vector space called Hilbert Space. The infinite dimensions are required to represent all the information carried by the wave function.
Interestingly enough, fields within Quantum Field Theory, entail using Fock Space, which is "bigger" than the Hilbert Space of the Schrodinger state vector, or wave function. Fields are also held to be more fundamental than the particle picture, from either Schrodinger (non-relativistic), or Dirac (relativistic). Physics seems to be trending in the direction where each subsequently more advanced theory has entities (particles, fields, etc) which contain greater and greater amounts of information. Since we haven't yet developed a physics advanced enough to explain consciousness, perhaps this hints at the incredible informational capacity of consciousness.
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#4
As I mentioned in a failed thread on the old forum, Taleb's book Antifragile talks about scenarios like your fictional Vegas tale . . . and says that although we plan and think about life on day to day levels where we expect little extraordinary, we're actually dominated by strange, unpredictable black swan events. He's a pretty intelligent man . . . And don't let the name of the book fool you; it sounds a bit silly, but the content isn't. He specializes in randomness and basically says we highly underestimate it and think life much more predictable than it is.
 
#5
As I mentioned in a failed thread on the old forum, Taleb's book Antifragile talks about scenarios like your fictional Vegas tale . . . and says that although we plan and think about life on day to day levels where we expect little extraordinary, we're actually dominated by strange, unpredictable black swan events. He's a pretty intelligent man . . . And don't let the name of the book fool you; it sounds a bit silly, but the content isn't. He specializes in randomness and basically says we highly underestimate it and think life much more predictable than it is.
Sounds like this could also all be related to Jung's idea of synchronicity? Where there is meaning behind seeming randomness, leading to the idea that there is possibly more to randomness that we might guess at first glance.
 
#6
Sounds like this could also all be related to Jung's idea of synchronicity? Where there is meaning behind seeming randomness, leading to the idea that there is possibly more to randomness that we might guess at first glance.
He's a strange cat, and he didn't mean it that way. I tend to see it that way, though . . . Or believe it's our option to . . .

I associate some of his ideas with things I associate with Skeptiko . . . But couldn't say where he'd stand on these issues.
 
#7
:(:(:(
The theory of Shannon Information contends that the amount of information contained within some sequence of symbols, choices (or, whatever) is proportional to the improbability of the sequence. The more choices within the sequence, the more information it contains. Hold that thought.

Let's consider deterministic classical physics first. Each step of a deterministic sequence of events contains next to no information, because each step of the trajectory is determined to happen, meaning the probability all along the path for each outcome is 1. Given initial conditions at some earlier time, some particular event must happen at a later time, as predicted by the laws of classical physics.

Quantum Physics is different. Quantum particles do not have solidly defined historical trajectories. Given initial conditions of the wave function at some earlier time, there are various possibilities at a later time, given by the probabilistic predictions of quantum mechanics. This is the reason that wave functions live in an infinite dimensional abstract vector space called Hilbert Space. The infinite dimensions are required to represent all the information carried by the wave function. The "choices" allowed are represented in the projection of the state vector (i.e. wave function) into a particular basis of the Hilbert Space. Of course, some particular "choices" (like spin) only have a finite set of outcomes to "choose" from. Even the infinite sets (i.e. like position) are constrained to some extent by the probabilities assigned to each "choice". Anyhow, point being, quantum particles carry more information than classical particles, because they have more "choices", or potential outcomes. No surprise here when it comes to quantum computers, qubits have more "choices" than classical bits.

Now, if free will is truly a property of consciousness that allows an infinite set of choices (without quotes this time!!) than wouldn't free will represent a state of infinite information? And, if the brain mostly acts like a filter, restricting consciousness awareness (of potential choices between states of being), it is also acts as filter of information, preventing us from being overloaded with information.

I've also argued that we only have free will to the extent that we are conscious of what motivates us to action, as stated by Rudolph Steiner. For example, a heroin addict might like to have more choices, but they are slave to the drug and make the same veritably fixed choice over and over again. This isn't all that unlike a quantum particle. Yeah, it might fizzle and appear on Mars, but it's pretty darn unlikely, just like a Heroin addict is unlikely to choose not to go after the next fix. But, the great thing about consciousness is that we can overcome our constraints via say spiritual discipline giving us a vast array of endless choices (unlike an electron which will only be able to choose between spin up and spin down). We can choose to be sad, or happy, or unbound by emotions altogether.

So, perhaps this is also why psi happens typically in more developed minds after years of spiritual discipline and practice as told within Yogic Lore. As we develop our minds and gain greater and greater free will, we expand our consciousness beyond brain-based, filtered thinking and we open up access to an infinite array of information out in the cosmos.

Anyhow, my wacky thought for the day. I know there are a lot of holes in this line of thought, but I do think consciousness is somehow tied to information. Psychic ability would definitely represent an access to information we don't normally have.

What do you all think?
I'm not sure if I can add anything worthwhile. I don't have a physics background but can talk as an experiencer. Most people like me that I know were always psychic or became that way suddenly. Prolonged practice may also achieve this obviously.

When I'm not grounded it's difficult to focus on the real world. I have described the feeling as though my consciousness was made up of dry leaves which have been crushed in someone's hand and blown into the environment. And that I think is exactly where my consciousness is. I feel like I'm everywhere. I lose words and sometimes the ability to construct sentences. I can't attend to business, my memory doesn't work and I can't resolve problems. At the same time I have heightened senses with respect to colour, beauty, taste etc. and to life itself. So what am I trying to say? The data of living my normal life at a time of increased psychic access is too much - or so it seems. So my brain operates as a draft, channelling data which isn't necessary for my survival out of the zone of my attention. If the house caught fire would this shift - thankfully yes. On the other hand when I'm grounded the data which comes into my field of attention comes much more from the space where I am temporarily and geographically. The mechanism revolves around the draft but also the way I'm able to attach motivation to data. When I'm "otherworldish" I can see what needs doing but I can't attend to it because I can't plan, problem solve, sequence, manage time etc. So rationality is part of functioning in a real world sense but in order to function psychically that capacity is disabled. This corresponds with an increase in data that doesn't correspond with direct experience. It's harder to sort, label and process but if you can it has deeper layers of meaning. The state of consciousness which corresponds with the experience correlates with a loss of will and a reduction in choice. It does not expand your choices, the experience tends to take over. Yes, your access to data increases in one sense, but how you experience that data can be overwhelming and disruptive. On the other hand the experience can be beautiful or one then the other. You don't get to decide. I'm not sure if I'm off topic or not here...:(
 
#8
:(:(:(
I'm not sure if I can add anything worthwhile. I don't have a physics background but can talk as an experiencer. Most people like me that I know were always psychic or became that way suddenly. Prolonged practice may also achieve this obviously.

When I'm not grounded it's difficult to focus on the real world. I have described the feeling as though my consciousness was made up of dry leaves which have been crushed in someone's hand and blown into the environment. And that I think is exactly where my consciousness is. I feel like I'm everywhere. I lose words and sometimes the ability to construct sentences. I can't attend to business, my memory doesn't work and I can't resolve problems. At the same time I have heightened senses with respect to colour, beauty, taste etc. and to life itself. So what am I trying to say? The data of living my normal life at a time of increased psychic access is too much - or so it seems. So my brain operates as a draft, channelling data which isn't necessary for my survival out of the zone of my attention. If the house caught fire would this shift - thankfully yes. On the other hand when I'm grounded the data which comes into my field of attention comes much more from the space where I am temporarily and geographically. The mechanism revolves around the draft but also the way I'm able to attach motivation to data. When I'm "otherworldish" I can see what needs doing but I can't attend to it because I can't plan, problem solve, sequence, manage time etc. So rationality is part of functioning in a real world sense but in order to function psychically that capacity is disabled. This corresponds with an increase in data that doesn't correspond with direct experience. It's harder to sort, label and process but if you can it has deeper layers of meaning. The state of consciousness which corresponds with the experience correlates with a loss of will and a reduction in choice. It does not expand your choices, the experience tends to take over. Yes, your access to data increases in one sense, but how you experience that data can be overwhelming and disruptive. On the other hand the experience can be beautiful or one then the other. You don't get to decide. I'm not sure if I'm off topic or not here...:(
Totally on topic :)

By choice I don't mean to equate this with rationality, as like making an intelligent choice, or even an informed choice (in the case of the elecotrn spin especially!). I mean something much broader that would even include "choosing" between diferent states of inner being. Probably the simplest way to put it would be using the common analogy of vibrations we often hear about. The choice for your inner being to "vibrate" at any frequency among an infinite variety, without being stuck in a certain limited range. Obviously, many of us don't do this. We might be stuck in the doldrums of daily affairs with the same "low vibration" every day, or caught up in the rat race, or what have you.

As far as the loss of will and choice, I suspect you can probably gain that back. From reading guys like Sri Aurobindo and others, it sounds like these experiences can be overwhelming at first, but with practice one can learn to not only control them, but open avenues of wondrous exploration. Well, control isn't really the right word for this kind of thing. Perhaps, it would be better to say one learn to swim in new territory, so they don't feel like they're out of control and drowning in the experience. Gopi Krishna was maybe one of the more notable guys, because at first he thought he was going insane and was going to end up in a psychiatric ward. He had a very difficult time integrating and handling the (Kundalini) experience. But, he eventually pulled it off and the experience took on a much more positive tone allowing infinite freedom, as he would describe it. Sri RamaKrishna was another neat example. No negative experiences here, but he was reputed to be able to go deep into Samadhi and come back out at will whenever he desired. This is all supposedly why many (all?) mystical paths recommend character/moral development types of practices as one of the first steps. So that when you finally have the experience, it's a positive one that's not dangerous and is more easily integrated. Many psychics like Rudolph Steiner and Edgar Cayce also mention this.

There is a similar phenomenon with dreams. Most people will say their dreams are silly and random and might assume one can influence them or get information from them. But, after practicing some dream work exercises and tricks, the nature of your dreams will change, become more orderly and it does become possible to get information/messages from them. It can take several months, or longer, of semi-concerted effort, like it did for me, but the change does happen. Unfortunately, you can lose it just as fast! Of course, lucid dreaming is the most extreme example perhaps, where you actually learn to influence your will from within the dream itself.

But, through talking about all of this, it really does sound like access to more information (as in greater aspects of awareness) in various types of ways, with even the chance of being "overwhelmed" by the experience.
 
#9
Totally on topic :)

By choice I don't mean to equate this with rationality, as like making an intelligent choice, or even an informed choice (in the case of the elecotrn spin especially!). I mean something much broader that would even include "choosing" between diferent states of inner being. Probably the simplest way to put it would be using the common analogy of vibrations we often hear about. The choice for your inner being to "vibrate" at any frequency among an infinite variety, without being stuck in a certain limited range. Obviously, many of us don't do this. We might be stuck in the doldrums of daily affairs with the same "low vibration" every day, or caught up in the rat race, or what have you.
Yes, I experience states of being that most people don't; that's true. If you were to ask me if I would chose otherwise the answer would be no. But you do pay a price for it. People who are grounded are generally happier. I live with much higher levels of sensitivity than I used to. I think the psychic life gets a bit romanticised - Dean Radin told me he gets enquiries from people all the time wanting to know how to turn the psychic stuff off.

As far as the loss of will and choice, I suspect you can probably gain that back. From reading guys like Sri Aurobindo and others, it sounds like these experiences can be overwhelming at first, but with practice one can learn to not only control them, but open avenues of wondrous exploration. Well, control isn't really the right word for this kind of thing. Perhaps, it would be better to say one learn to swim in new territory, so they don't feel like they're out of control and drowning in the experience. Gopi Krishna was maybe one of the more notable guys, because at first he thought he was going insane and was going to end up in a psychiatric ward. He had a very difficult time integrating and handling the (Kundalini) experience. But, he eventually pulled it off and the experience took on a much more positive tone allowing infinite freedom, as he would describe it. Sri RamaKrishna was another neat example. No negative experiences here, but he was reputed to be able to go deep into Samadhi and come back out at will whenever he desired. This is all supposedly why many (all?) mystical paths recommend character/moral development types of practices as one of the first steps. So that when you finally have the experience, it's a positive one that's not dangerous and is more easily integrated. Many psychics like Rudolph Steiner and Edgar Cayce also mention this..
Yes, the kundalini experience is not like anything else. It certainly takes you to your limit. My husband describes it as "like a death". I got the guidance to get me through it; he didn't. The stress was so severe for him he ended up vomiting. Seeing his wife turn into a portal was not on his wish list. Still, he pulled me through. The experience changed us both and changed our relationship dramatically. Previously I had been the backbone of the family (which is typical of kiwi women). After that the roles swapped. There is a reason why mystics are generally protected in other cultures. Dean said that if I lived in most non-western cultures I would receive training but in the west you get to go it alone. There is a positive side to this though - the journey has been free from contamination in many ways. So I have developed my own strategies, come to my own understanding etc free from the subjective interpretation of others. I recognise patterns in how the experiences unfold and are more able to "swim in new territory" as you say. Like everything in life there are pluses and minuses. Empathic experiences can be lovely but living with "energy" torrents flowing through and around your body isn't. Maybe I'll get better at this. I'm glad it didn't happen to me when I was younger.

There is a similar phenomenon with dreams. Most people will say their dreams are silly and random and might assume one can influence them or get information from them. But, after practicing some dream work exercises and tricks, the nature of your dreams will change, become more orderly and it does become possible to get information/messages from them. It can take several months, or longer, of semi-concerted effort, like it did for me, but the change does happen. Unfortunately, you can lose it just as fast! Of course, lucid dreaming is the most extreme example perhaps, where you actually learn to influence your will from within the dream itself..
I have learned how incredibly powerful intent is. And the more you open that side of yourself, the more powerful it becomes.

But, through talking about all of this, it really does sound like access to more information (as in greater aspects of awareness) in various types of ways, with even the chance of being "overwhelmed" by the experience.
Yes, there is far more information available to us as humans than what is understood by the current scientific paradigm. The scientists need to sit down with the mystics. They both have a piece of the puzzle. More than just information though, human capability is far more than we currently understand. At the apex of my experience I could do stuff that would surprise people.
 
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#10
Yes, the kundalini experience is not like anything else. It certainly takes you to your limit. My husband describes it as "like a death". I got the guidance to get me through it; he didn't. The stress was so severe for him he ended up vomiting. Seeing his wife turn into a portal was not on his wish list. Still, he pulled me through. The experience changed us both and changed our relationship dramatically. Previously I had been the backbone of the family (which is typical of kiwi women). After that the roles swapped. There is a reason why mystics are generally protected in other cultures. Dean said that if I lived in most non-western cultures I would receive training but in the west you get to go it alone. There is a positive side to this though - the journey has been free from contamination in many ways. So I have developed my own strategies, come to my own understanding etc free from the subjective interpretation of others. I recognise patterns in how the experiences unfold and are more able to "swim in new territory" as you say. Like everything in life there are pluses and minuses. Empathic experiences can be lovely but living with "energy" torrents flowing through and around your body isn't. Maybe I'll get better at this. I'm glad it didn't happen to me when I was younger.
Glad you guys are working through it okay. Thanks also for sharing your experiences. I've heard some ideas recently that a "guru" doesn't necessarily have to come in a human form to help you, or to gain guidance. Sometimes it could be the environment, the set of circumstances, health, or anything that arranges itself in such a way to enable you to gain insight to grow and overcome a situation. I kind of liked that idea and it seems to apply to certain aspects of my life. It seems to embue existence with a lot of meaning too. Also, seems like quite a few folks talk about the age of the "guru" ending now, as the experiences become more widespread. Folks can even just pick up an Edgar Cayce book or a Gopi Krishna book and read all about this stuff. Google gives you Kundalini help forums. With all this stuff going on it's a totally different world compared to the "guru lands" of not too long ago. I think even the field of comparitive mythology is pretty amazing. It hasn't been that long now where knowledge which unites all the world's beliefs has been so widepsread and available to anybody and everybody willing to pick up a book. This was something only small esoteric circles knew for the most part. Anyhow, I'm rambling at this point, hehe.
 
#11
Glad you guys are working through it okay. Thanks also for sharing your experiences. I've heard some ideas recently that a "guru" doesn't necessarily have to come in a human form to help you, or to gain guidance. Sometimes it could be the environment, the set of circumstances, health, or anything that arranges itself in such a way to enable you to gain insight to grow and overcome a situation. I kind of liked that idea and it seems to apply to certain aspects of my life. It seems to embue existence with a lot of meaning too. Also, seems like quite a few folks talk about the age of the "guru" ending now, as the experiences become more widespread. Folks can even just pick up an Edgar Cayce book or a Gopi Krishna book and read all about this stuff. Google gives you Kundalini help forums. With all this stuff going on it's a totally different world compared to the "guru lands" of not too long ago. I think even the field of comparitive mythology is pretty amazing. It hasn't been that long now where knowledge which unites all the world's beliefs has been so widepsread and available to anybody and everybody willing to pick up a book. This was something only small esoteric circles knew for the most part. Anyhow, I'm rambling at this point, hehe.
You're not rambling at all. Yes, I now see the Universe as alive and as a being - in this beyond the metaphorical use of the analogy. The Universe is my teacher. It comes from experiencing the spirit of the world as a singular continuous energy of connectedness. I'm coming to understand the pedagogy of the universe :eek: I hadn't read any of this stuff when all this happened, so I am doing everything in reverse. But I have always had a fascination with myths from a small child. I remember I bought my daughter a series of books with myths from each of the world's major cultures.

Yes the access to information is amazing. Conversations with people all over the world with a common interest in discovery - who could have imagined it happening in this format even 15 years ago.
 
#13
... As we develop our minds and gain greater and greater free will, we expand our consciousness beyond brain-based, filtered thinking and we open up access to an infinite array of information out in the cosmos. ...
It is a complicated matter, and I would like to ask: Is the notion here that if we manage to see more options for an apparent choice-situation does that mean we have greater free will (the will is more free)?

And as I wrote that I wonder: Is there a greatness to our freedom of will? An amount specifier? Or might it be a dynamic scale from determined, zero information, to chaos, too much information, and we find our free will somewhere along that spectrum, depending on where we look and our consciousness span?
 
#14
Wow - I hesitate to wade into this at all!

The theory of Shannon Information contends that the amount of information contained within some sequence of symbols, choices (or, whatever) is proportional to the improbability of the sequence. The more choices within the sequence, the more information it contains. Hold that thought.
OK - but Shannon Information is an odd concept - for example, a table or random numbers would have much more information that a table of prime numbers! White noise would hold more information than the same length of speech, etc.

Let's consider deterministic classical physics first. Each step of a deterministic sequence of events contains next to no information, because each step of the trajectory is determined to happen, meaning the probability all along the path for each outcome is 1. Given initial conditions at some earlier time, some particular event must happen at a later time, as predicted by the laws of classical physics.

Quantum Physics is different. Quantum particles do not have solidly defined historical trajectories. Given initial conditions of the wave function at some earlier time, there are various possibilities at a later time, given by the probabilistic predictions of quantum mechanics. This is the reason that wave functions live in an infinite dimensional abstract vector space called Hilbert Space. The infinite dimensions are required to represent all the information carried by the wave function. The "choices" allowed are represented in the projection of the state vector (i.e. wave function) into a particular basis of the Hilbert Space. Of course, some particular "choices" (like spin) only have a finite set of outcomes to "choose" from. Even the infinite sets (i.e. like position) are constrained to some extent by the probabilities assigned to each "choice". Anyhow, point being, quantum particles carry more information than classical particles, because they have more "choices", or potential outcomes. No surprise here when it comes to quantum computers, qubits have more "choices" than classical bits.
That is like one of those tests where you feel you are being lead astray but can't quite put your finger on the problem! Does this concept have any parallel in statistical mechanics?

Now, if free will is truly a property of consciousness that allows an infinite set of choices (without quotes this time!!) than wouldn't free will represent a state of infinite information? And, if the brain mostly acts like a filter, restricting consciousness awareness (of potential choices between states of being), it is also acts as filter of information, preventing us from being overloaded with information.

I've also argued that we only have free will to the extent that we are conscious of what motivates us to action, as stated by Rudolph Steiner. For example, a heroin addict might like to have more choices, but they are slave to the drug and make the same veritably fixed choice over and over again. This isn't all that unlike a quantum particle. Yeah, it might fizzle and appear on Mars, but it's pretty darn unlikely, just like a Heroin addict is unlikely to choose not to go after the next fix. But, the great thing about consciousness is that we can overcome our constraints via say spiritual discipline giving us a vast array of endless choices (unlike an electron which will only be able to choose between spin up and spin down). We can choose to be sad, or happy, or unbound by emotions altogether.

So, perhaps this is also why psi happens typically in more developed minds after years of spiritual discipline and practice as told within Yogic Lore. As we develop our minds and gain greater and greater free will, we expand our consciousness beyond brain-based, filtered thinking and we open up access to an infinite array of information out in the cosmos.

Anyhow, my wacky thought for the day. I know there are a lot of holes in this line of thought, but I do think consciousness is somehow tied to information. Psychic ability would definitely represent an access to information we don't normally have.
I suspect that every time we decide to do something, we collapse a wave function - probably actually selecting which state it will fall into. Mostly the wave function relates to something in our brains, but the psychically gifted can collapse them elsewhere. In either case, the decision is informed by knowledge of the immediate consequences of that act - which might be where presentiment comes in. Clearly if presentiment is real it represents some information.

I don't really see why free will requires infinite information, or why free will is in any way infinite.

David
 
#15
Again, I don't know if I'm off topic. I see my life span made up of funnels - choice operated within pre-determined destination points. If I had made different choices the universe would have arranged itself differently to see that I get to those same destination points. Think of it with a Sheldrake hat - I was born with choice but with a field of meaning which shapes my lived experience.
 
#16
Mostly the wave function relates to something in our brains, but the psychically gifted can collapse them elsewhere. David
This is an aside but relates to my earlier post. Some people view psychic ability like a switch which has been turned on but what I find interesting is how different psychics are. Can their abilities be explained in terms of their life purpose? So can we explain free will, consciousness and information without the divine or a consciousness universe? It doesn't seem so in my corner of existence.
 
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#17
That is like one of those tests where you feel you are being lead astray but can't quite put your finger on the problem!
I like to say I can make bullshit smell really good. :)

I don't really see why free will requires infinite information, or why free will is in any way infinite.
David
I didn't find my discussion super convincing, either. In retrospect, I may have summed it up best when I ended with, "My whacky thought for the day". Just having fun with an interesting thought, I guess. ;-)

That said, I do feel free will, experiences of the divine and consciousness, in general, all relate to greater and greater modes of awareness and therefore, information, which is perhaps infinite in extent. Well, as far as the term infinite makes any sense after a while

So can we explain free will, consciousness and information without the divine or a consciousness universe? It doesn't seem so in my corner of existence.
I agree.
 
#18
Again, I don't know if I'm off topic. I see my life span made up of funnels - choice operated within pre-determined destination points. If I had made different choices the universe would have arranged itself differently to see that I get to those same destination points. Think of it with a Sheldrake hat - I was born with choice but with a field of meaning which shapes my lived experience.
Good stuff, I've had similar thoughts. But, have also had these ideas.

There are a couple choices I made in the past that definitely weren't the best. However, I have a hard time feeling any regret because looking back I honestly feel like they were the best choices I could have made in the moment. I wouldn't make those same decisions now, because I am wiser and more aware of ramifications and even alternatives I was oblivious to then. So, without that awareness back then, I just didn't have the same set of choices to choose from. Does that mean I lacked a measure of free will then, that I do have now? Maybe, don't know really know, but I am tempted to say, yes, it does.

I think this might still all mean the same thing as the thoughts you state above.

Due to the range of choices I had, or the level of awareness I had, the Universe was bound to provide a lesson specific for me in the moment i.e. the Universe would arrange itself to bring me to a particular destination where I can look back and see a pattern of meaning in my lived experience, bringing me to who I am now. In a more participatory way of looking at things, through the choices I made I helped shape/arrange the Universe, bringing myself into the current moment and the situation I find myself in now. Or, I created my own fate and, if I learned anything along the way, I have also increased my capacity for free will, allowing for a greater range of choices and perhaps a greater power to influence my surroundings. I guess you could then extrapolate our "existence" as a participatory evolution and through our growing awareness and capacity for free will we continue to shape reality on a certain trajectory ... perhaps back to the source, as they say.

Boy, I wonder what was in that cup of tea my wife brought me!
 
#19
Good stuff, I've had similar thoughts. But, have also had these ideas.

There are a couple choices I made in the past that definitely weren't the best. However, I have a hard time feeling any regret because looking back I honestly feel like they were the best choices I could have made in the moment. I wouldn't make those same decisions now, because I am wiser and more aware of ramifications and even alternatives I was oblivious to then. So, without that awareness back then, I just didn't have the same set of choices to choose from. Does that mean I lacked a measure of free will then, that I do have now? Maybe, don't know really know, but I am tempted to say, yes, it does.

I think this might still all mean the same thing as the thoughts you state above.

Due to the range of choices I had, or the level of awareness I had, the Universe was bound to provide a lesson specific for me in the moment i.e. the Universe would arrange itself to bring me to a particular destination where I can look back and see a pattern of meaning in my lived experience, bringing me to who I am now. In a more participatory way of looking at things, through the choices I made I helped shape/arrange the Universe, bringing myself into the current moment and the situation I find myself in now. Or, I created my own fate and, if I learned anything along the way, I have also increased my capacity for free will, allowing for a greater range of choices and perhaps a greater power to influence my surroundings. I guess you could then extrapolate our "existence" as a participatory evolution and through our growing awareness and capacity for free will we continue to shape reality on a certain trajectory ... perhaps back to the source, as they say.

Boy, I wonder what was in that cup of tea my wife brought me!
You're on a roll - that's no Dilmah.....

I have seen how my intent measurably impacts on the Universe independently of my actions and behaviour so yes. You can regard it as reciprocity or you can just understand you are an aspect of the Universe (my view). Does your free will increase? Not sure. Do we have more choices or better choices (choices which are more authentic to who we are or which yield more relevant data)? And some people's lives end up in extermination camps...have to think about that. I guess there's a need to take a more existential perspective. I guess the end destination is not maximum choice. I resolve this by a cute little literary device of subsuming the individual experience within the collective agenda of the whole organism...woops there she goes! Problem solved. :D

Jules
 
#20
You're on a roll - that's no Dilmah.....

I have seen how my intent measurably impacts on the Universe independently of my actions and behaviour so yes. You can regard it as reciprocity or you can just understand you are an aspect of the Universe (my view).
I like that. Alan Watts, when describing Cosmic Consciousness, would often say you begin to see no difference between what you do and what happens to you.

Does your free will increase? Not sure. Do we have more choices or better choices (choices which are more authentic to who we are or which yield more relevant data)? And some people's lives end up in extermination camps...have to think about that. I guess there's a need to take a more existential perspective. I guess the end destination is not maximum choice. I resolve this by a cute little literary device of subsuming the individual experience within the collective agenda of the whole organism...woops there she goes! Problem solved. :D
Jules
I remember reading about this one guy in really dire circumstances in an extermination camp - Auschwitz, I think. They took everything away from him, even his clothes. He was starving and emaciated. He could be put to death at any moment. He had zero control over his physical circumstances. In that moment, he realize there was one thing he did have control over - his inner self and how he chose to think/feel. And, this one thing was everything, because getting in touch with that aspect of his being and realizing its preeminence over the physical, gave him infinite freedom.

I guess that's the same reason a Buddhist monk who's supposed to be worth anything shouldn't yell out when attacked by a tiger, if you've ever heard that one before! :-O

"I resolve this by a cute little literary device of subsuming the individual experience within the collective agenda of the whole organism ... woops there she goes! Problem solved. :D"

I suspect you're on to something there! Kinda sounds like my participatory evolution idea above, or the Buddhist idea of Interdependent Co-Arising ;-)
 
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