Finally... another update. :D
Everything in my life is going extremely well right now. :
I have a job in which my main functions are creative, productive and learning-oriented. I feel as though the latent genius aspect within me has surfaced again, and from a personal development perspective, everything is falling into place. The only thing I don't have that I want right now is a degree, and I'm undecided whether or not it's worth it to pursue at this point.
My communication skills have increased immensely over the past year, and I'm able to put into words those previously insane concepts floating around in my head. All of these years of contemplation and analysis of the world around me have paid off with a base level AND a global level of understanding of my environments, the people around me, the expectations of the people around me, and an acceptance of circumstances that can and cannot be changed. As a contrast, I've reached a point where I'm no longer having sudden moments of realization, but a more continuous clarity, where all of these things I've learned have coalesced into a simple and understandable intuition rather than a conscious thought process. I've learned to trust myself on a much higher level.
I almost feel as though I'm capable of stepping into my own roles and stepping out of them on some sort of morose or twisted level of detachment. I can see myself in the moment, or I can see myself in the long term, or I can see myself as more than just what I am right now; I've begun to be able to conceptualize with remarkable detail not just who I am now, but the function of who I am and have become over time. It's a strange feeling to, within the span of a few seconds, make a life-changing decision, analyze what factors contributed to that decision, and progress with an unwavering confidence. I enjoy this change.
My life lessons over the years have come to a startling single wave of clarity in that people are not people by choice, but by circumstance. The very concept of free will is something that used to drive me crazy, but no more. In the same light that no more can a person truly objectively contemplate why it has thought or feeling or perception, they cannot truly objectively contemplate free will. I recognize that the sum of my past experiences has lead me to pursue this field of thought.
I think the fact that we will only ever know our own consciousness is unfortunate, because it means that I will never really know another person. To fully understand another person would be to have experienced every moment of internal and external stimuli, and that is unfortunately not yet possible. Unpredictability in the behavior of another person is a symptom of differences between our own thought processes, in that we would assume they would act a certain way based on visibly evaluated criteria; when they do not act that way, we assume that they're unpredictable.
This phenomenon creates the illusion of "free will"; it's not that our will is free, it's just that our decisions are affected by a wide array of factors (some of which we are and are not consciously aware of), and our own subjective consciousness, as it's the only one that we'll ever experience, is unique. We perceive different decisions and actions of others as free will, and consider our responses and actions to be free will because we are not consciously aware of all of the factors influencing our decisions.
From a fourth dimensional perspective, the analysis would be that if you were to plot our individual current and past existences on some theoretical graph, then the future existences would be completely predictable if you knew all of the internal and external stimuli that would impact that existence.
This being said, the reality of life is not such an unfeeling thing. Though my philosophical outlook on the backbone of existence is not the warmest of ideas, there's a wonderful beauty that looms over it. The entire concept that I've overlooked throughout is that it's not the end result of one's life that determines its quality or its value. Why it's taken me this long to truly understand it I may never really know, but even with all of the above, I absolutely value happiness and success. I now see passion and drive as the ultimate of virtues and goals, even above logic and reason.
I will continue to dedicate my life to helping those around me achieve both success and happiness. I will use the ability of understanding that I have to try to help others understand not just who they are, but also who they want to be and what they want to achieve.
So what if people are just a function of their circumstances? I'll be a positive influence. So what if I'll never really know someone? I enjoy learning what I can about them. So what if I'll never understand everything that influences my decisions? If I did, then I wouldn't have time to really enjoy the results of making those decisions.
So what if free will is an illusion? It makes things far more simple that way. :)