Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Take a moment to think about the context in which your next decision will occur: You did not pick your parents or the time and place of your birth. You didn’t choose your gender or most of your life experiences. You had no control whatsoever over your genome or the development of your brain. And now your brain is making choices on the basis of preferences and beliefs that have been hammered into it over a lifetime – by your genes, your physical development since the moment you were conceived, and the interactions you have had with other people, events, and ideas. Where is the freedom in this? Yes, you are free to do what you want even now. But where did your desires come from?

— Sam Harris, Free Will

Notes: Quote via themindmovement. Photo: Crystal Green


  1. Very timely, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So true. Ancestral wounding is real and these patterns repeat from generation to generation. There is hope for change though, once it’s healed. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  3. No idea where the desire to be free came from. And for the life of me I can never understand the ones that don’t have the desire, don’t want to be free!


    • “Was it in spring or summer that we drove by Prospect Park and saw a dog running from the sidewalk into heavy indifferent traffic toward the park? The pace of its run, as if delirious with freedom… I didn’t write any of this down in my journal. It stays in my memory as a jolt—a sprint across those months, across these pages now.”

      Kate Zambreno, Drifts: A Novel (Penguin, May 19, 2020)

      Liked by 3 people

  4. it is a constant yearning, your choice to answer it, and if you do, how to answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Many many thoughts swirling around about this, but I need more coffee – a desire, a thought, a yearning, a need. Enough – I need java now

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Some of them you learn!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good point Sam! Thanks for sharing Dave. Freedom lies when we see how conditioned we are, face what we are hiding from ourselves and others, and heal the wounds of the past. It’s the biggest work of our lives. 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  8. P.s. In yoga and Buddhism, freedom arises when we have let go of desires and attachments.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. David, I’m not familiar with Sam Harris’s work but his question of where, if we are bundles of determinations over which we have no control, desire comes from leads me back to the groundbreaking work of Sebastian Moore (OSB) on the liberation desire. Drawing on insights of Sigmund Freud and French philosopher-anthropologist Rene Girard, Moore argues for the primacy of desire for “who-knows-what”, i.e. the reunion of the differentiated self with its own creational goodness. In The Inner Loneliness, The Fire and the Rose, and The Crucified Jesus Is No Stranger, Moore describes the Christ figure as the symbol for “the fullness of our desire.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Harris’s words could also help us realize how greatly our lives are affected by a completely random event – our birth- and how much that determines what our course in life will be like…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This sure stopped me in my tracks.
    Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded. Free will is closely linked to the concepts of moral responsibility, praise, guilt, sin, and other judgements which apply only to actions that are freely chosen. Wikipedia

    I felt I had to ‘achieve’ (or grow into) a certain age before I allowed myself to free myself…. I’m glad I managed it when I did.

    Fabulous pairing, a perfect marriage of photo and prose.

    Liked by 1 person

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