I need you — Just because

I need you because I want you;
the converse could be stressful.

I want you because I want to love you;
I want to love you because—just because.

Je ne sais quoi.

God does not appear to need man;
yet he lives and acts as though he does—just because.

What free will is, and how we know it is 

We can speak of free will as a principle in general. And we could have the sense of random occurences, as we might sometimes perceive the unexpected/unlearned thoughts and expressions to be, as following from this principle.

Going back to the beginnings of the universe as popularly expressed by physics: in the ‘big bang,’ we see, perhaps, the first demonstration of that which is according to free will.

A story that also highlights this principle is told of God presenting two options to Adam (mankind), both the one that He loved for them, and the one that He hated for them. He gave man the opportunity to set a precedence.

All expressions of free will amount to the creation of precedence.

Thus, free will is an expression without precedence; one independent of any circumstances. Experiencially, it can be said to be an arbitrary action towards thought that is not the result of previous thought.

And while it is the perfect cause of the truly random and the fully arbitrary, its results always develop into something teleological.

Hence, purpose comes from free will, and not just from a perception of order or design.

With reference to our own inward experiences; while they can/might be engineered or motivated by external stimulations because of our psychology and physiology, there is, and remains, a trump card, the joker: free will.

And some, if not all, of our creativity is bonded to our expression of free will. We can create … new inner trends.

Free will, the fundamental and truest of volitions, is the only faculty that can be non-deterministic in its expressions. Therefore it produces ‘ultimate’ causes. And it is likely the faculty that separates us from other living things, and makes us most like God.

Randomness and Free Will

Is history, destiny? Is the will capable of arbitrary decisions despite our past experiences? The justice system must believe it is, otherwise, the ‘excuse’ of poor upbringing, bad friendships, accidental opportunities for misbehaviour … may be tenable for reduced sentences.

According to Dr. Stephen Wolfram in his book, ‘A New Kind of Science,’ there are three mechanisms for randomness. In the context of the randomness of the outputs of our volition, we have,

Mechanism 1:
There are continuously and variously applied trips and taunts; in some sense, stochastic inputs throughout a sequence of volitional events or progression of will.
The continuous taunts have ‘led’ to some people choosing, wittingly or not, to behave (ir)rationally, land some other person a theoretical jab, appreciate the simplest of things etc.

Mechanism 2:
There’s an initial input, and that’s all.
Like the smile from his wife before he went off to war. He’d better come back alive. Or a traumatic experience that leads to a fixation or a mind that says something like, “I shall never eat cupcakes again.”

Mechanism 3:
Intrinsic randomness. A case where there is no input, but there is output.
The system (or person) comes up with its own madness, or coolness, or mad genius, or whatever. It generates its own output, independent, or regardless of extraneous signals and previously reached conclusions.

The third mechanism properly marks free will, I think. Sounds a little crazy to speak of outputs with no inputs, but maybe we can identify with it. Your experience probably says so. And though acausal actions seem like God’s prerogative, we’re made in His likeness, right?

Three examples of landmark free will events are the sin by Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden; the devil saying that he wanted to overthrow God; and the birth of Jesus Christ. Have any positive personal examples?

We are free to will what we will; to will what we think; and to think what we will: The will can will anything it wills.

Although we may have little control over extraneous signals, that we could generate our own suggestions internally tells us that we could counter or enhance these signals; that we could create our own stream of consciousness to make for a healthy soul — if we will.

The Plight of Citizenship

The plight of citizenship is this: that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. If this were not the case, nationhood, hence citizenship, would not exist. And when the citizens, i.e., that ‘parts,’ move to change the whole, whether or not the whole (nation) changes, they remain citizens and subjected to the collective’s tyranny by presence and belonging.

Slaves, yet free.

By being born into a nation (or tribe, family …), one is forced into subjection—or slavery even—to the organization and operations of that nation. One is automatically stamped with an identity driven by the expectations and experiences of others; by peoples of the same or other nations.

The guardians and ambiance then puts one through a process of transformation and acclimation, to, unwittingly or otherwise, shape the modelled citizen. We all had few choices because we had to be cared for—our first few years.

And however volitional and voluntary an individuals identification with any nation may be, or subsequently become, there’s always embedded within it that element of training, and of an innate/imbibed love for one’s origins.

Slaves, yet free.

Side Notes/Thoughts
Train up a child in the way he should go.

Make yourselves slaves of righteousness—godness. Paul said in Romans 6. It’s a good master …
so that it is not as though we’ve lost our liberty, but rather that we have gained ourselves.

Then elsewhere he says:
All things are lawful to me but not all things are necessary/expedient;
all things are lawful to me but I will not be brought under the power of any;
all things are lawful to me but not all things make me a better person.
(1 Corinthians 6:12, 10:23)

One context should be obvious: that our liberty isn’t an occasion to kill ourselves, or souls. Rather, it is to live in the preservation of human dignity (of self, and of others), in the discovery and promotion of truth, and in the experience and communication of the divine presence in love.