Sunday, June 19, 2016

Wilderness Meditation: The Choice to be Free



We live in a historical, social moment in which causal determinism  seems to be the default assumption of human experience. Ready made explanations about genetic determinism or environmental determinism have all but eliminated the agency of willful action. When William James, suffering from a depressive state in the face of a deterministic world--one which we take as granted today, read the essays on free will by the French philosopher Charles Renouvier, he immediately lifted from his despair. "My first act of free will," proclaimed James, "shall be to believe in free will."

The will, what many philosophers claim to be the defining human characteristic, is evident in our choice to create for the sake of creation--what we call art. In this meditation we explore the ideas of determinism and the human agency of willful choice in existence.