Is There Free Will?

I had this discussion with a friend recently.

“Right here and now,” I said, “in the moment, I feel like I have free will, but when I look back at my life, everything seems fated. Given who I was at each point of my life, I could not have chosen differently. The good thing about this approach is that there are no regrets. There’s only acceptance. I’ve learned from many things I’ve done and I won’t repeat them.”

On other topics, I said, “It is hard to write about your own community. I could not do it if I were normal. I am not normal. I don’t connect normally with people.

David Brooks in his new book, The Social Animal, says that if a baby does not connect with his mother, he grows up to have fewer friends than normal. He does not connect normally with people. That’s me. I have fewer friends than normal and I don’t connect normally with people. Hence I have less of a twinge, and sometimes no twinge at all, about writing about my own community.”

“I’ve often flown too close to the flame and gotten burned. I’ve gotten close to rabbis, close to my shul, and then people have felt appalled when they read my blog. Now I hold myself back more. I don’t fly so close to the flame. I want to keep my freedom to write as I want, and to achieve that, I sacrifice some community, some closeness, some normal human connection.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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