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An Erratic Orbit

A bipolar perspective on the 3rd planet

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Free Will

The Vision

​Struggling toward the Light, we fought against Belief. Then came Death & His Riders savouring their own stench; We had No Choice but to embrace The Ones Who rode along unseen. His Bride, His Mother, She Who Would Not Be Harnessed & Seven stinking child demigods, each uttering but one Word, tumbling along with a Terrible Wind, quarrelling heartily, slashing at each other with every weapon imaginable, from long talons and razor sharp teeth to blades of light and the Fires of Time itself. 

They cleaved themselves Again & Yet Again, onward in a Rain of Blood, first dividing in two, foolishly forgetting Time flows neither like water nor emanates like the air but burns in the eye and heart of every-thing. Thus they saw only a Red River, and they drank and belched, thinking they propelled The Master toward where I stood empty handed. Yet I was not alone. They had their millions but I had billions and billions, and the secret of Alchemy.

 

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The Parable Of The Stolen Purse

A young man from outside the golden gates of the Shining City stole a purse. His people refused to give him up.

“You want him so you can dispense your justice. We will be happy to give him to you when you return all that has been stolen from us.” said an Elder.

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Image: voanews.com

“Two wrongs don’t make a right.” said an angry man with a flushed face, wagging his finger.

“Two!” replied the Elder. He turned to look at the lands beyond the gates. “Can you return the dead to life?”

“Of course not!” said the angry man. “We are addressing your concerns.” His face relaxed. “You understand there is a lot of paperwork to be done.”

“When justice is understood, we all shall have it.” said the Elder, walking away.

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Image: Vato Bob (found at elephantjournal.com)

We all know what happened next.

Does anyone know what justice is? It surely isn’t blame. Punishment based on individual responsibility for individual actions is injustice, denying history and science. Yet if we could untangle all the forces responsible for an action we would surely end up at the big bang.

Do we have a deep need for punitive reparative justice that cannot be unseated? Do we need lies about justice to live and if so is this sustainable in the future? Is it not an infinite injustice to deprive anyone of liberty? Can suffering be audited?

I desire to understand justice. I have witnessed the depths of depravity and communed with gods. I have thrown inhabited planets into stars. I have set loved ones on fire and marvelled at the beauty. Guilt has eaten away at my flesh.

I especially want to know because my ego was in that purse.

Personal responsibility: A placebo effect

The discussion on free will is a fiendish labyrinth. Spend enough time in a labyrinth without monsters, all you feel is great boredom and impatience. The social importance of personal responsibility has no doubt generated a lot of fertiliser.

Cutting through the thickets, I propose that the placebo effect applies to responsibility itself. No-one can conquer the environment. There is little serious disagreement, I think, with the statement that human reasoning is flawed, an imperfect tool for modelling reality. Transcendence seems to me to be artful fiction. The insistent functions of the body only cease in death.

We know that there are things such as temperature, status, healthy relationships, a sense of security that contribute to concentrated mental states. You can influence even the greatest master with a stick. Or by throwing her into the sun.

The measure of freedom we have to make a choice is dependent on many factors the individual cannot control and did not ask for. Anyone who laughs at the teenager who didn’t ask to be born is not doing so because they disagree.

If collectively, according to our power, we create the conditions by which people feel they are able to make considered decisions, they will make considered decisions. If someone has power and they help create conditions that encourage poor health or misinformation, there are two possible reasons. Either they score too highly for dark triad traits to be a good leader for the people or they are not as free as they think they are. For example, the aversion to any perceived loss of status is a powerful motivator of poor decision making. This human fiction of status is treated as an eternal truth to be imposed upon reality and every human suffers.

Personal responsibility is an ideal. Self mastery is an ideal. It isn’t harmful to know this. The placebo effect still works. Making this common knowledge and the basis for policy is not what will end civilisation. A failure to recognise and help each other with our strengths and weaknesses, which is a collective responsibility, is what will end civilisation.

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