On compatibilism/soft determinism and consciousness

On Compatibilism/Soft Determinism and Consciousness

For love, and beauty, and delight

There is no death nor change: their might

Exceeds our organs—which endure

No light—being themselves obscure

-Percy Shelley; The Sensitive Plant




Often, while meditating, trying to calm

my overstimulated body and mind, trembly, bone deep…as if

I took amphetamines, it seems

like my unconscious and body operate so automatically,

like gravity, that it doesn’t matter at all

what I consciously

think, or what I desire,

and on occasion I feel intense dissociation, as if I were just a flower,

with each blossoming pedal like a thought

I never sought,

and the mystical automaticness of it haunts me…

but…I persist in my search for a way to give my consciousness a strengthened

paradoxical (perhaps illusive?) impression of its control

and power, in the form of an intelligence, one without dogmatic concern

for inevitable limitations, since there’s no one who can say, based on their feigned omniscience,  

which ways one’s mind can and cannot grow “in wisdom and stature”;

this analysis

helps me detect and deflect the briefly blinding glares

of coincidence and externalized locus of control,   

but then, as I channel my self-confidence by focusing on my breath, I worry

that I will forget to breathe, or that I’ll breathe too shallowly

or too deeply, because I struggle to believe

my brain will indeed keep me

breathing, because of course at some point that will be the case…

and will that mean the end of consciousness ?–the perception of stars and their lights

illuminating space’s reservoir of stuff and things…

the hindsight’s music and its winds,

which, sometimes, blows too cold,

the choppy shivers and chills evoke

panic attacks, and I dread

life’s random bloodsheds,

but then, I remind myself, these things, at least,

some of the time can be deterred

as we gain knowledge and learn,

how, for example, to use wind power to stir up

a rational imagination, self-actualization and self-transcendence,

coalescence of the global community…(this is why I think

one’s got to believe in at least a little free will and be at least a little idealistic!… )…

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