The searching for a soul, whatever meaning you may put on that word, is essentially a search for the ‘essence’ that lies directly beneath one’s will. What is the thing that causes the will? I think, and as far as I have seen it is true that, the cause is the current state, chemical and physical, of our brains combined with time and some velocity of change in this chemical and physical state. There is nothing below my will except for my brain. To suppose that there were is to predict that the thing we refer to as the ‘mind’, or as I have called the ‘essence’ can exist, or that is to say cause will, separately from the activity of the brain, but this has never been witnessed and the hypothesis seems both unfruitful and unnecessary.

If this is true, as I believe it is true, then I think that I am incapable of understanding something for which I profess belief. This consciousness is a prison, where I must observe at all times the outcomes of actions caused by a will that is at the same time wholly my responsibility and completely beyond my control.

Even the act of thinking is resultant of a will to think the thought, and I am responsible for my thoughts even as I have no control over them. Even the ‘me’ that is imprisoned is wholly of the brain, and likewise the perception of being apart from it. The feeling of consciousness is a byproduct of the feedback loop of sense and will and the part of consciousness for which I have no word, but the thing that is consciousness that imparts upon us the feeling of consciousness but is not the feeling.

What a complicated, monstrous, and awesome thing it is to be.


One Response to “Will”

  1. How very Schopenhauer of you : )

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