A Problem Related to Spirituality: Understanding the Concept of Free Will

Until the End of May these blogs will focus on problems related to creating a spiritual life.

Lewis Answers: One of the most commonly discussed ideas among thinkers great and small is whether human have freedom of choice or is everything we do predestined? Historically, there have been two schools of thought concerning whether or not we have free choice. 1. Determinism: This is the idea that for everything that happens there are conditions that dictate that, given those conditions, nothing else could happen. 2: Metaphysical libertarianism: Implies that though there are many factors, variables and events that cross our paths the individual may be able to take more than one possible course of action even under this set of circumstances. Metaphysical libertarianism is concerned with how something is known rather than what is known.

The principle of free will has religious, ethical, and scientific implications especially for a student of the Wisdom Path. Recent  neuroscientific findings regarding free will may suggest different ways of predicting human behavior, which is an essential factor in the creation of life strategies.

Even if free will exists there are always going to be constraints that define how we are able to make choices such as physical constraints (e.g. chains or imprisonment), social constraints (e.g. threat of punishment or censure), or psychological constraints (e.g. compulsions or phobias). In fact, some important thinkers concerning this discussion (compatibilists) will often assert that determinism is not just compatible with free will, but actually necessary for it.

In the end there is actually no way to know if there is or not free will. The illusion of ordinary life convinces us that we are free to choose but there is much evidence that could prove that this is not the case. The best one can do is live daily applying the four pillars that define the Wisdom Practice – Meditation, the study of koans, chop would and carry water, laugh sing, dance and be silent.

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Lewis Harrison is a poet, author, teacher, speaker, life coach and contemporary spiritual teacher and mentor. He is the creator of www.AskLewis.com. Lewis specializes in helping individuals and organizations solve basic and seemingly unsolvable problems through the application of principles and ideas drawn from Decision Science, Positive Psychology, Game Theory, Zen, many of the great thinkers and from his personal life experiences.

Lewis will be teaching a weekend program “Make, Choices, Not Excuses” in Oneonta, New York May 3-4

To learn more about Lewis’ work go to “Ask.Lewis.com”

“Like” us on Face book at “facebook.com/AskLewis”

Who is Wilhelm Reich?

If you have an interest in Qi Gong, Corporate Chair Massage, Reiki, The Body-Mind Connection, equal rights for women, Tantra, Deep tissue massage, Rolfing, Personal Development, NLP, acupuncture, Polarity Therapy or anything thing related to mental health then it is important that you know about Wilhelm Reich.

This is a short history lesson on a major pioneer in psychiatry, bodywork anbd energy healing.

Wilhelm Reich (March 24, 1897 – November 3, 1957) was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, known as one of the most radical and controversial figures in the history of psychiatry. Reich worked with Sigmund Freud in the 1920s and was a respected analyst for much of his life, focusing on character structure rather than on individual neurotic symptoms. He attempted to reconcile Marxism and psychoanalysis, arguing that neurosis is rooted in the physical, sexual, economic, and social conditions of the patient. His work influenced a generation of intellectuals, including and shaped innovations such as Fritz Perls‘s Gestalt therapy, Alexander Lowen‘s bioenergetic analysis, and Arthur Janov‘s primal therapy. He was one of the first psychoanalysts who explored the concept of Qi calling it primordial cosmic energy, which he said others called God, and that he called “orgone“.  As he aged he promoted more and more controversial ideas, many that later became part of mainstream thinking including the availability of contraceptives, abortion, and divorce, and the importance for women of economic independence.  He began to violate many of the key taboos of psychoanalysis, including using touch during sessions. His work was so radical in thought and scope and such a threat to the status Quo that in August 1956, several tons of his publications were burned by the FDA, arguably one of the worst examples of censorship in U.S. history. He was the author of several notable textbooks, including The Mass Psychology of Fascism and Character Analysis, both published in 1933. Reich’s work and ideas are among the most influential in the formation of the human potential movement of the last half of the twentieth century. His ideas on Orgone, sexuality, and the link between, energy medicine, natural healing and bodywork is core to many therapies related to alternative and complementary medicine including my own and has had a powerful influence especially in the work of Fritz and Laura Perls,  Alexander Lowen, Ida Rolf and others.

If you are a wellness professional or seek to move beyond superficial ideas in your work I recommend exploring Reich

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Lewis Harrison, the author of the ebook “Healing Depression Naturally”, available through Amazon-Kindle.  He is a pioneer in the personal development movement and was one of the first individuals to offer chair massage at events and meeting through www.eventschairmassage.com. The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers seminar, workshops, retreats and phone based coaching. He is creating a series of ebooks entitled “Ask Lewis…” which will be available on line

Lewis offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and created the course on Life Strategies. He is the Director of the Healing Academy. Learn about Holistic Nutrition and health Coaching at  www.chihealer.com – a simple system for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.

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