Your rectum and a free will
I came all the way from Pavlov and Freud, believing that there is no free will, to embracing and practicing Glasser’s Choice Theory and finally to the realization that Glasser theory has to be corrected by accepting that choices themselves are limited by those that are picked for us by our brain before we become aware of them. In fact those choices may be so limited that our subsequent actions are reduced to Pavlov’s conditional reflexes.
To understand something very complex, it is often useful to find the most simple model of the process.
In case of a free will, our relationship with rectum, which can only store and move, yet some times referred to as a “little brain”, offers a great insight.
Our relationship with rectum involves an illusion that we control the “move” part. However, even a superman cannot choose to “move” at will. He can consciously choose to “move” only after rectum has expressed its desire to do so. We have absolutely no control over when rectum decides that the moment has arrived. If we missed rectum’s desire, we have to wait for the next time it comes around.
This is remarkably similar to the brain: neither do we know, nor do we have control over what will pop up in our head. But once it does, we can, with some limitations, choose to act on that thought (or not ).
Unlike rectum, brain usually offers multiple choices (unfortunately with no guarantee that any of them are any good), but fundamentally, in both cases the choices are limited and our perception of controlling them is an illusion.
Usually, rectum politely letting us know that it is the time, but we retain some liberty and can choose to refuse. But occasionally it makes a call as well. Just like rectum moves under extreme fear before we have a chance to understand what is happening down there, the brain occasionally comes up with a craving, impulse or desire that is so strong and overpowering that not only the range of choices, but the actual choice is picked for us as well.
Interestingly, our mental choices are also always discrete (quantified). Just as you cannot choose to go half way with the rectum, you cannot have a half-thought or a mixture of two. Every thought is independent and self-contained so that they can be connected, but not merged.
Am I completely surprised by brain being an improvement on rectum’s design? Not me. After all, “rectums” were the earlier forms of life. Nature likes to reuse what works.
Does it mean that our brains are just multiple rectums put together? You tell me (on the right is not just rectum, but an entire large bowl):
One thing I will tell you. Next time you your brain prompts you to think that someone is a s***head, you will recall this little writeup and realize that you are not merely making a judgment call, but may be onto something much bigger that has a foundation in science.