Do you consider yourself to be “free”? Regardless of your opinion regarding your personal freedom, do you think that there is anybody who is “free” – anybody in the whole world? Is such a thing as “freedom” even possible?
What is freedom? Is it the ability to make choices – to have options available to choose from? Is it freedom from control, and/or the power to control?
Is there anybody in the world who is so “free”, or so powerful, that they can defy the law of gravity for even one second – or defy the law of old age / death?
Regardless of how “free” or powerful anybody may be, or appear to be; everybody is subject to at least some laws / rules, and therefore some level of control. Nobody is so “free” that they can simply choose anything they want – the choice is always constrained by some framework / limitations. I may be able to choose to climb a flight of stairs to reach the top, but I probably can’t choose to simply float up them using just the power of my mind. Even if you do believe that it is, or can be, possible to float up a flight of stairs using just the power of your mind; there will nonetheless be some other limitation: indeed rules and control are required for the stairs to even exist, and for the three dimensions in which you plan to float to exist. Without any rules, without any control, nothing can exist; because nothing is defined. Rules are required to define reality; to define a world in which to live – otherwise there is just nothingness.
If you did have the power to override the natural laws – for example to override the law of gravity as you wished, and to cause an object to float/levitate using only the power of your mind – then what if there was somebody else who did not wish for the law of gravity to be overriden? Whose wish should be granted in this conflict – who gets to define the rules when there is disagreement?
At this point in the article a distinction will be made between static and dynamic rules:
- Static rules always apply. Static rules are not random, and can be predicted. It could be said that static rules do not vary with time. Examples of static rules might be the laws of mathematics and physics – such as the law of gravity.
- Dynamic rules vary with time, and are not predictable. An example of a dynamic rule might be something like what you choose to eat for dinner (given various possible available options). Dynamic rules relate to the concept of choice / free will – the ability to control things, such as your own actions / destiny, based on your own choices.
How many laws are static, and how many are dynamic?
[Author’s Note: To avoid confusion, please note that “laws” made by (for example) human governments are not the same sort of laws which are being discussed in this article – people can choose to ignore laws made by human governments (meaning that these laws are not impossible to break and therefore not really “static”), whereas laws such as mathematics and physics (gravity, for example) would typically be viewed as impossible to break (regardless of how much someone may believe they can be broken – such as may occur if that person is intoxicated).]
Some scientists may be of the view that all laws are static, and that even your own “choices” are simply the product of some complex machinery – that your “choices” are completely predictable, according to scientific [static] laws, given enough of the correct background information.
The opposite view would be that all laws are dynamic, and can be changed, even if some may appear to be static (due to simply staying the same for a long period of time). Because dynamic laws are a result of free will however, the implication would be that the physical laws (such as the “law”of gravity) are the result of someone‘s choice / free will. If the laws of physics were dynamic however – the results of someone‘s choice / free will – then whose choice would they be; who is responsible for them?
In ancient times, and to a certain extent still in modern times, people believed in “gods” which had the ability to control or influence certain elements. The “rain god” (for example) had the ability to control the rain, the “fertility god” had the ability to influence the procreation of crops / animals / people, and so on. Monotheistic nations, such as the Israelites or Ishmaelites, believed in a single God and no others – a single God with ultimate power and control over everything (this belief is obviously also still prevalent amongst certain groups in modern times).
In modern times, with the increase of science and greater understanding of the “static” laws upon which our universe operates, a greater prevalence of atheism and belief in “static” laws has developed – more people believe that rain is the result of robust and predictable [static] physical laws (such as are used in weather forecasts), rather than the result of the choice / free will of a “rain god” (or single God).
Given an understanding of the theory of static / dynamic rules and how these may define “reality”, further theories could potentially be developed. The case of entirely static rules is relatively straightforwards, but the case of entirely dynamic rules leads to a deeply (and perhaps scarily) “spiritual” scenario. If reality were indeed the result of the [dynamic] free will choice of some being, then the aforementioned question of who that being is naturally arises. The possibility of another (perhaps rebellious) being setting themself up as controller of a sub-reality, potentially entrapping others within it, would also be plausible – this process could even cascade, creating a pyramid-like hierarchical structure of control. The nature of each reality / sub-reality would largely depend on who the controller of that reality was – what they were like / what their personality was like (whether they were loving, kind and fair; or perhaps selfish, unkind and unfair). If the outermost being were kind, and some other beings were trapped under the control of an unkind lower being, then a plan might be made to try and “rescue” them. All sorts of theoretical scenarios are possible, but the former is obviously an allusion to a classical religious tale.
Control is inevitable, and indeed necessary (as mentioned, nothing can exist without some laws to define “reality” and how it should operate); being implemented by static and/or dynamic rules. In the case of dynamic rules; control could either be loving, kind and fair – or selfish, unkind and unfair. If you believe that you are indeed in control of your own [dynamic] choices, then you could choose either of the aforementioned options when exerting your “control”. If you believe that there are sources of dynamic control which are more powerful than you, then you could potentially choose which of those sources to align yourself with. If you believe that you are subject only to static rules (no dynamic power above you), but that your own choices are still dynamic, then the aforementioned options regarding how to exert your own ability to “control” would still apply.
Author’s note 1:
Applied to a person, their “reality” might also be called their “paradigm”. An interesting aspect of this is that in order for people to form strong relationships, their paradigms (“realities”) need to be similar (this is a topic for another article however).
Authors note 2:
Another interesting topic is the phenomena of “conscience”:
If “reality” were constituted of simply static rules, then”conscience” would probably be explained simply by some learned and/or genetically inherited phenomena.
If “reality” were constituted of dynamic rules, then “conscience” could possibly be some communication link to the entity responsible for those dynamic rules.