Saturday, June 18, 2011

Path of least resistance/free will

Up late last night and I couldn't think. This is the result.

I think that most people tend to take the path of least resistance in their lives. Because of genetic disposition and environmental factors as well as parental upbringing, these paths are varied and as individual as we are. I believe that this is often called being true to yourself.

It doesn't always look this way to the individual concerned or to an outsider. Many people naturally are drawn to relentless activity or chaos. The echoes of actions of their ancestors combined with their personality type might mean they routinely feign illness, choose abusive partners or other lifestyle choices which are seen as anything but easy. I wonder if maybe it is easy. You see, it requires no analysis of who they are or who they want to be. They simply react in the way most natural to them.

There are many who would say this is a good thing. You are becoming true to yourself. You are developing into the best 'you' you can be. I believe there is a school of thought that states that when you are on your true path, the universe will help you and many things will be easier. If I recall, Joseph Campbell espoused that type of view and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. I can see where this line of thinking could be true and you could find happiness there.


But then I ask myself where is your free will in this scenario? If you are following the path of least resistance in your life aren't you simply expressing the thoughts, feelings and teachings of your forebears in the way most efficiently expressed by your genetic predisposition? If you feel no resistance and your life seems to just be passing you by maybe you should question why you are doing things that way. Perhaps we are conditioned to this easy passage, I don't see how we couldn't be. Every time you question too deeply or act in a way you decide rather than a way that is natural, you get resistance. It could come from those around you when you cease to behave in a way with which they agree or they are capable of understanding. It could come from you as you question your own identity. "Can I even do that?"

Interesting question, to me anyway. The next question is: "Does it really matter?"

That's what happens when Max wakes me up at 3am and I can't get back to sleep.