nothing but sophisticated meat machines

The Advaita Podcast #30 – When The Truth Stops Working
December 28, 2006
The Advaita Podcast #31 – Douglas Harding 1909 – 2007
January 12, 2007
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nothing but sophisticated meat machines

Mark Hallett, a researcher with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, said, “Free will does exist, but it’s a perception, not a power or a driving force. People experience free will. They have the sense they are free.

“The more you scrutinize it, the more you realize you don’t have it,” he said.

That is hardly a new thought. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said, as Einstein paraphrased it, that “a human can very well do what he wants, but cannot will what he wants.”

From a NYT article entitled “Free Will: Now You Have It, Now You Don’t” which I came across via Scott Adams’ blog.


  1. Fred Claret says:

    A few days ago I sat down and meditated on the “me” the ego. It didn’t take long to see the sense of me arising and falling away only to arise again in a different guise.
    Also it was easy to see that it was nothing more substantial than a will o the wisp.
    Later as I sat in my room in London on the planet earth , with wind and rain outside, at 8.35pm with white walls and a blue carpet, with an ache in my knee with my old blue jeans on, and the noise of a train going by the idea that I was in control of my life, that I had actually chosen all this just seemed totally absurd and it was obvious that all I could do was think I was in control of my life.

  2. Rob says:

    From the article:

    “Even if your wife knows you will order the chile rellenos, you have to live your life to find out….our actions are determined, but so what? We still don’t know what they will be until the waiter brings the tray.”

    I like that. In other words there may be no free will, but the next moment is still totally unknown until it happens…

  3. Steven Witt says:

    Free Willy…oh that’s right, Marcelo already has.

  4. Tom Allen says:

    Someone has said: You have to know that you can’t do anything and you must act as if you can.I don’t know why, but I like this better than the guy who says: Well, since I can’t do any different anyway might as well open my fly and let my whanger hang out.

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