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A Conversation on Free Will (1 Viewer)


Staff member
Part I


Deb: Free can have a lot of different meanings. Monetary free? Or perhaps Freedom? Etc. .... When I use it in the term "free will" I am trying to express that I believe we possess a freedom to choose our actions. I also believe with this freedom comes responsibility. I think if we did not have this freedom then we could not be culpable for any actions we make, or would the idea of personal responsibility mean a thing. It would be a useless concept as far as I am concerned.

Bob: humph !WELLLLLLLLLLL ! i don't think so. it says nothing about "FREE" what the hell is free? free? i do not see free. i see a unified purposeful moving whole. nothing not separate, but within, from which this sprang, no thing separate.


I never was comfortable with the term "Free will." The implication of free will implies that we have unlimited freedom aided by the use of our will in the choices and decisions that we make. That we are free to make our own destiny and not pay the devil his due. As stated above "what the hell is free," is anything really free? The word free implies no cost, while in reality free entails great cost and limits one's choice's significantly. I will attempt in the next few paragraphs to explain my views on this topic and to clarify and expound in more depth what I perceive the function of freewill to be.


In order to play chess one needs to be familiar with the basic rules and the fundamental goals and objectives of the game. One needs to learn how each piece moves through the board. Each class of pieces (king, queen, bishops, knights, rooks and pawns) has specific and set functions on the way they interact and move on the board. They have defined and UN-refutable rules on what choices of moves they can or cannot make. There are four primary choices or moves that the player needs to be aware of in order for him/her to play the game with some efficiency: The open move, The closed move, the forced move and the dead move.

1) The Open Move: These are the open spaces of the board. Each piece moves in the accordance of their set functions. These are the moves that can be made within the confines of the game. Nothing is blocking that space, one is free to move in any space one wishes as long as that space is open. It may be a good move or a bad move or an indifferent move that's of really no concern, but one must have an open space to move in order to proceed to the next move in search of another open move. To put it more simply, these are moves that can be done by following and adhering to the natural laws of the game.

2) The Closed Move: These are the closed spaces of the board. These are the moves that cannot be made within the confines of the game. The space is blocked or not accessible to that particular piece. For example; A closed move to a pawn would be moving to a side or back space in the beginning or middle part of the game. A pawn can only move forward to an empty space or diagonally one space for a kill. All other moves are closed. The closed move can become open and the pawn can take the role of the queen and increase the amount of open spaces if he can reach the end space of the opposing side and transform his power base. His function has changed but the rules that govern him has not. A closed move can then be said to be a possibility as a open move but one only in a future sense as an open move is a possibility in the now sense but can very well turn in to a closed move in the future or could have been one as well as in the past.

3) The Forced move: This is where their is only one space to move to. No other choice or option remains open. To move to any other space would be suicidal. Your moves are not in your control but are at the mercy of another. A forced move can turn into an open move with a little bit of skill on your part and a bit of misjudgment on the one that lead you into the forced space. Turning the forced move into a closed move is checkmate.

4) The Dead Move: These are the moves that defy and negate the natural laws and rules of the game. A king cannot move like a queen and if the king does so then the game that is played is not chess but some mutation. These moves are what I would call delusional moves that lead only to dead ends.


When one just learns how to play chess one moves all over the board without any particular direction in mind. If the opposing player is at a higher level then the beginner that player then can easily anticipate the moves of the beginner and direct the beginners moves, and for all intent and purposes making them forced moves. To the novice he sees all these possible choices, and dives into these open moves with a dim picture of where they will take him. He thinks his choices are his own but we know better don't we?

As the beginner becomes a journeymen and the journeymen becomes an expert and the expert becomes a master his undirected will as a beginner turns to directed will as a master. He has a clear vision of the board, he can plan ten moves ahead and direct the opponents moves to his advantage. He wastes no moves, he knows when closed moves will open and when open moves will close. The more proficient he becomes the less choice he needs to make. Here ends my chess analogy.


Deb: Having no "free will" relegates who we are, and what we have to offer as holding no special significance. Perhaps this is the "problem of perception that is at the root of almost all our misunderstandings as human beings?"

It is a wishful thinker who believes their actions are chosen for them, and that nothing they do has universal impact or consequences. It is a wishful, lazy person who believes they become actualized/aware/conscious without personal effort, preparation, participation, or consent in the process.

Bob: The more clear our vision the deeper our understanding becomes of the space that we occupy, the less choices we need to make. The less clear our vision, the less we understand the space that we occupy therefore the more choices we need to make. Most of them will be wasteful and more will be wrong rather then right. Directed will is being aware of the moves that we should avoid and the moves we should take. Knowing which open move to go to, becoming aware when a closed move becomes open, and when faced with a forced move knowing how to make it open. The more directed your will becomes the more able you are to be in control of your life rather then having someone or thing direct it for you. Free will is undirected will, it gives us the illusion that we are in control of our lives, our destiny, while in reality we jump into a series of forced moves that puts us to sleep at the wheel. Free will is not free, it limits our real choices, it makes us lazy and fat. Theirs no such thing as a free ride.

Part II


Deb: ~ In your analogy, the opposing players represent who or what? ~I am having some trouble discerning who the master player/s might represent considering their clear view, and future knowledge, and who the opponent/s might represent? I think I understand pretty good your view, but it would really help me understand it even more if you could clarify these details in your sketch for me.

On a literal level: chess players
On a historical level: Us
On a psychological level: Self
On a spiritual level: The knower and the UN knower, the wounded and the healed
On a social Level: The reader determines what it represents for themselves.

Deb: Can humans be turned into these omniscient master chess players? Or, is God the master chess player?

Bob: The chess master or any master is not omniscient or all knowing (lets leave that to God) or if one thinks he his then he/she is in what I call a dead move or delusional thinking. In the case of the chess master for him to have reached that level he had to go to many stages and transitions, playing thousand upon thousands of games, studying and honing his craft. From trial and error, determination and commitment and intense focus he learns the strategies, the nuances and the natural flow of the game. He has a clear picture of the board, him and the board are part of each other. Does he manipulate his opponent into forced moves, Of course he does, the purpose of the game is to win? Can he lose? Of course he can, but its not about winning or losing, it truly is about how well you play and how true you are to the game

Deb: ~How does the undirected will of the beginner "turn into" a directed will of a master? Does it automatically happen over time? Or, is this a silly question because our destiny is our destiny, and a master has no choice but to be a master?

Bob: By slowly waking up to your surroundings and becoming aware about where you are. It happens step by step, nothing miraculous about it. You need to want to learn, to grow, to heal, to love. It takes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strength. No, it does not happen automatically, you have to want it, need it and be open to it. Our destiny is what we make of it by the choices we take and don't take. We have a choice to live forced moves and to bleed from our wounds and be happy in our ignorance or to transcend our ignorance and go to the next level.

Deb: I want to say Bob, I hope it is not my destiny to be a master player in your chess game.

Bob: I'm sorry to hear that. It would be a fun match.

Deb: If I played your chess game I would hope my destiny was to be one of
those poor novice saps who did not know every possible move, who lacked the ability to see and predict every future move of my opponent, who did not have full control and power to manipulate and force my opponent to move where I would always have the advantage, who could still be surprised while ignorantly thinking I am freely responding spontaneously and authentically to unanticipated/unknown moves. At least it would be more interesting, worthwhile, vulnerable, and emotionally exciting for me to actually play the game, rather than just sitting back watching the game play itself out knowing the outcome is that I will always win, and my opponent will be successfully manipulated by me to lose.

Bob: And I rather be the chess master who beats and manipulates the poor sap, for that is the choice he (the sap) chooses to make. As I stated before the chess master does not know all but he knows much. The game always changes, the outcome is never the same and although the master would always beat the sap and know the outcome of that game he would still take joy in the game. Ignorance is bliss as the saying goes, but once the apple has been tasted ignorance loses it shine.

Deb: Will the objective of the master be the same as it was as a novice, or is it possible that a paradigm shift might have occurred while in process? If a paradigm shift takes place would this mean there is more than one choice for the master to make, even with awakened knowledge?

Bob: The master/novice objective: To be aware on how, when and where, one moves and does not move through the spaces that one moves and does not move through. The preparation and identification definitions that are defined and understood by the master and are undefined and not realized by the novice. The objective is the same for both, that does not change, but the perspective and the level of understanding that each has, on what it is to be aware and on how, when and where does one move and not move are not the same. Their is always more then one choice to make for the master. He's not just confined to one choice, limited to one action, directed to one particular space over any other space. He is aware, awake and open to all the moves that can and need to be made and those that cannot and don't need to be made. His approach, perspective and understanding differs from that then the other levels in how he views the connection, inter-changeability and mutuality of the moves within the spaces and the spaces within the moves. All the moves and spaces are totally connected, can be changed from one to another and one is of the same mutuality as the other. To put in less obtuse terms: When one chooses to become a master chess player, checkers player, golf player, life player etc., one embarks on a set of moves with a multitude of variations and possibilities that may differ in approach, perspective and understanding between say that of a chess player and a checker player and even the how, when and where or the basic precepts one needs to know in order to understand which move to go to, that will help you to understand why you went there, that will enable you to see the bigger picture from the smaller one and then realizing that the smaller and the bigger are variations of the same thing and that all the spaces and moves are really one space and move, may differ in execution, structure and form but one thing remains a constant. Your CHOICE to become a master chess player. Their was only one choice to be made if one wanted to become a master chess player and that was choosing to become a master chess player and from that choice a whole set of moves and choices will evolve and unfold, one needs to be an expert before one becomes a master for one must choose to become an expert and from that choice a whole set of moves and choices will evolve and enfold, one needs to be a journeymen before one can become an expert and one must choose to be a journeymen and from that choice a whole set of moves and choices will evolve and enfold and one needs to be a novice before one can become a journeymen, expert or master and from that choice a whole set of moves and choices will evolve and enfold. You only have really two choices at each level to choose from, to choose to become a novice, journeymen, expert and master or not to choose to become a novice, journeymen, expert or master. Each choice that you choose from at each level will determine which set of moves that will go in motion and which that will not. And when one is at the master level, the master realizes that their was only one choice that led him to the set of moves and spaces that made him a master. If he made any other choice other then choosing to be a master then he would have been something other then a master. All the spaces led to one space and all the moves became one move. In the one there is the many and in the many there is the one and the master swims through each.

Deb: Are you saying the master players and opponent players are all interchangeable on all these levels?

Bob: Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. The novice and the journeymen, the journeymen and the expert, the expert and the master, the master and the novice, the expert and the expert, the challenger and the opponent ... many variations and combinations all interchangeable, all various aspects of each other, all moving simultaneously within the spaces that they occupy.

In the novice, the journeymen, expert and master are hidden, blocked, unexpressed, in a frozen and still state, lying dormant within the novice. As the novices attempts to move he first needs to know where, when and how to move. He cannot differentiate between an open, closed, forced or dead move. It seems to him that he has many choices, that he is free to move within any space that he desires. But in reality his choices are limited, he first needs to know where and where not too move. He then needs to know when and when not too move. Lastly he needs to know how and how not too move. These are the basic precepts he must learn before he even takes a step in order to be able to differentiate to what even constitutes what is and what is not a space before he even makes a choice on which move to take. If he's unwilling or unable or impatient or inattentive or just plain lazy in not trying to learn the importance, value and necessity of learning and grasping these fundamental precepts, then the only moves he will be able to make are forced moves that lead only to dead moves. As he learns and integrates these precepts within the confines of the space that he occupies then he is able to understand that he can only move to the surrounding spaces that border along his space rather than moving to any space that he chooses. The journeymen within him has become unblocked and makes himself visible. The novice has now learned all that the novice needed to learn in order to precede to the next level and now integrates, ascends and transcends into the Journeymen who proceeds to move among the surrounding spaces that border on his space.

In the journeymen the expert and master are hidden, blocked and unexpressed in a semi-frozen and restless state, soundly sleeping within the journeymen who is also the novice. By having an understanding of the where, when and how to move within the spaces that surround him and having differentiated between what is a space and not a space he is now better attuned to identify an open move from a closed one and a forced one from a dead one. His choices are more limited then before but the quality of those choices have more content and meaning then that of the novice. His need is to find out which move to go to. Rather then choosing randomly like that of the novice without any constructive thought where one was going, the journeymen now knows that their are a particular set of choices to choose from that lead to other sets of choices. Although he may be able to identify the moves he still does not understand which move to choose that would be advantageous. Any open move is as good as another for he relies on luck and chance to help him throw the dice, and like the novice he jumps into the spaces he moves to without knowing where the next space would leave him. Luck can only take you so far and chance is not to be counted on but if the journeymen learns to identify and navigate out of the forced move that leads to closed and dead moves he can then move on to the next level. The expert within him awakens. Like the novice the journeyman now ascends, transcends and integrates into the expert who proceeds to map out his moves beyond the surrounding spaces that border on his space.

In the expert only the master remains hidden, held down with a firm hand in a thawed state dreaming of what it would be like to be awake. The expert who is also the journeymen and the novice moves more securely within his space and the spaces around him. He has a deeper understanding and an intuitive grasp of where, when and how to move within the spaces and clearly differentiates between an active and non-active space. He sees and knows the moves for what they are and most of the time he knows which move to take. The expert can visualize a few spaces ahead and mostly chooses the open space that is more advantageous. He doesn't rely on chance and luck as did the journeymen although he does take those into consideration when considering a move, but he relies on the depth of his knowledge, intuition and skill when deciding which move to make. His choices are now more lucid and limited for he understands the why of the move. He knows why an open move can turn into a forced move and how a forced move can turn back into an open move or when a closed move becomes open and when an open one can become closed. His will becomes more directed, he becomes more alert, awake and joyful.

The master within him arises. The master awakes and the expert transcends, ascends and integrates into the master now fully alive, all that was hidden is now fully manifest. The expert, the journeyman and the novice have woken the master within and they embrace each other as one in the same. The master now knows what he knows and does not know. What he can know and cannot know. What he can do and cannot do. Where he can go and cannot go. He sees all the moves, the open move, the closed move, the dead move and the forced move as one Open move and all the active and non-active spaces as one Space. His will is fully directed, fully alert, and fully alive. He dances and laughs with joy and among the dancers we find the journeyman, the novice and the expert trying to keep up with the beat. So the master descends and integrates with each as the dance continues on ...

Kimberly Bird

Senior Member
Hi Bob, sometimes I think my brain is filled to capacity, then you come along and manage to put some more in there.

You have a great way of making me think about my own life. When I was young I could probably say I was a journeyman, then I somehow became a novice for the longest time, the pawn for others to move, manipulate, and demand, always stuck in forced moves. I got overwhelmed by an expert I guess and it pushed me backwards. But after years of watching the game being played I took a bold move and am now greatfully back to being a journeyman. I can see my options, and quietly work on them keeping all thoughts hidden from the naked eye. However, when other pawns are at stake one has to sit back for a bit and call it a stalemate. But the expert is never far from my vision. I watch it now with an almost feral anticipation. When the expert decides to make its final move, then it will be mine and I will be saying checkmate.

Thanks for the read.


Staff member
Thank you for reading it. It can be somewhat of a dense read. I love how you interperted my piece, I'd put my money on you , to kick some ass, in that great chess match , we call life.

Warmest Regards,


Staff member

Thanks for the read. This is one of my mind screams. I always got a kick out of this piece. I was a chess nut in those days. Free Will is a glorious question to ponder.