I personally find the debate over this proposition to be not only boring but utterly pointless, so I'm not going include this discussion in this article. I will link to a separate article so that it doesn't distract from the more interesting and relevant-to-life topic that I want to discuss here.
Do you hate your job? I do. Yet we stick to it. Why? Because we're afraid of what might happen if we ditch our jobs – we can't pay our bills, we can't put food on the table, we can't survive...
Free will is constrained by material reality, and material reality is a bitch.
When your alarm goes off at 6:30AM on a cold winter morning, you can pick up that alarm, throw it across your room, let it smash to pieces against your wall, and go back to sleep. You don't have to show up for work that day if you really don't want to – because you are a free man. You are in control of your own life.
You're not going to get paid for that day. You might even get fired. But ultimately, you can choose to accept these consequences. And yeah, these are scary consequences. That's why you don't do it. And because you don't do it, you feel trapped. You feel like a slave. You feel like your free will doesn't even matter. Truly, what is the point of having free will if you are unable to exercise it because you're too afraid of the consequences that material reality will bring to bear upon you?
And this is how the majority of people end up living as zombies. If you are too paralysed with fear to exercise free will, then for all intents and purposes, you don't have it. You are already dead on the inside. You are merely an automaton carrying out your master's bidding until the gears within you break down from wear and tear, and then you will be discarded in a landfill where your atoms will be disassembled and recycled.
Might that outcome which I've just described be a tad scarier than simply exercising your free will and accepting its consequences? Let's say the worst possible thing happens. You quit your job, and then God strikes you down and you die spectacularly. Well, at least you exercised your free will and proved yourself a human being before the end. And besides, now you don't have to deal with the shit you've been dealing with all your life. Isn't a dignified death better than haunting the Earth for decades to come as one of the living dead? I'm not saying you should die. I'm saying you are already dead unless you do something.
As motivating as that spiel may be, if this article resonates with you so far, you might feel pumped for a short while and then you'll go back to living life as you were. Nothing will change. You will come up with a number of excuses. Most of you in that situation will end up becoming zombies. Some will get angry. Really angry. Murderously angry.
The people who lash out violently and unexpectedly – well, you can't deny they're exercising their free-fucking-will.
Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but the anger is real, and I completely understand. I get it. The universe is telling you that bad things will happen to you if you dare to exercise your free will. So shut up, keep your head down, and keep slaving away, you soulless zombie.
If you feel like attacking the structure of reality itself, strangling it to death with your bare hands, I get you, man. You and I are on the same-fucking-page.
I really don't know what to say to you because I don't know what to say to myself... except to just try something else. Just make a change. Any change. Doesn't matter if it fails spectacularly. Doesn't matter if you end up in a worst place. Just do it. Get rid of the things you don't want. Pursue the things that you do want. It's time to exercise my free will – not to destroy the things I don't want in my life, but to discard them so that I am free to pursue the things that I do want in my life. If the worst possible outcome is death by starvation, then I'm willing to accept that. It's better than living as a zombie eating brains all day.
So I've exercised my free will. I'm pursuing a career in creative writing. Here's what my free will has produced thus far. Check it out – an entire novel available for FREE here on Minds:
Also available for sale on Amazon:
Michael E. Vigil