The moral before the story: Free Will is an illusion as long as the person is not aware of all the ingrained mind loops and programming - or any other factor - that cause one to make a particular choice.
(a short excerpt from a long, well-worth reading article at cassiopaea.org - Stripped to the Bone
The Shamanic Initiation
of the The Knighted Ones:
Technicians of Ecstasy)
There are other definitions of Free Will that are interesting to speculate about. I am not going to engage in a lengthy monologue on the views of the philosophers because, even though some of them are quite fascinating and really make you think, that would be counterproductive to the issue at hand here.
The short version is that Hobbes and Tolstoy suggest that we are free insofar as we may do as we wish "without hindrance or constraint." Locke and Hume extended Hobbes's "freedom to do without restriction" to "the power to do or not as one wills." Spinoza's view was that we are free "insofar as we alone determine our behavior." We are not free when others dictate or hamper our decisions, or for reasons of illness or incapacity we cannot determine our actions.
When we consider "being able to do what we choose without hindrance or restraint," and defining Free Will in this way, we have to then consider not only whether our free will conflicts with the free will of others, but also whether our free will itself may be less free because of unconscious psychological or physiological forces. And, if the issues of government mind-control programs and hyperdimensional beings enter the equation, whether we may be under the absolute control of external forces must also be taken into account. In the first case we may choose to rob and steal because of extreme poverty, a broken home, and an ineffective educational system. In the latter case, we may choose to "go postal" because some fiendish government programmer's toast got burned that morning or because some Lurking Lizard Being thought Susy Smart was getting too close to the truth, and she needed to be eliminated on her morning trip to buy stamps.
So we begin to think that we are not so free after all. Because, in very real terms, all of us are under the influence of external forces or programming of one sort or another.
If we are free in this way, the issue of "free will," in third density terms, becomes meaningless. This is a very shallow interpretation because it means that freedom is defined as whether a person can do what he chooses, not to the choosing itself; it refers to the freedom of the action, not to the choice of action, because all of your choices are "programmed." Yet, whatever the individual decides to do, even if programmed to do it, it is considered that he has "free will" if he CAN do it!
What a cheap shot!
These concerns highlight the issue of the many forces that may restrain or compel behavior against one's will, which, if one was AWARE of them, one might or might not choose otherwise. The point is: We are not free if our potential or actual choices are restricted. Locke makes an example of a man locked into a room in which he prefers to stay. The man desires to stay in the room, is able to do so, and is thus free by Hobbes's definition, but the man does not have the power to leave the room and is thus not free according to Locke!
It is in exactly this sense that most people are deceived by the Service to Self gang to believe that they have free will. The room in which they are locked is the illusion that their beliefs and objectives are the full reality of God/Creation, and their choice to remain in the room is essentially acquiescence to beliefs imposed on them from the outside.
Most of humanity spends endless lifetimes locked in this room. But, the fact is, after a period of time, the confinement of the room and the sameness of the experiences become objectionable because, all the while the prisoner is lulled into inactivity, something may be growing inside him - some urge to see what is outside the room. But, until this inclination is fully developed, he may make no effort to even check the door. And, once he does check the door and discovers that it is locked, he may not yet have sufficient drive to do anything more than return to his position and continue to wait for something to happen. After a bit longer, the drive grows, and this, with the realization that he IS locked in may drive him to discover how to get out. But this process can take many lifetimes, and to attempt to open the door of the prison in which another is held when they are not ready to come out because they are not STRONG enough, will only frighten them, will only deprive them of the building force that is inside them that could, given time to develop, sustain the effort to emerge from the room on their own.
In such terms, whether or not a person has the power to do as he wills remains a fundamentally empirical question. He may think he has complete freedom to do or not as he wills, yet, his will, his choices which are based on his awareness, may be determined subconsciously or physically by things of which he is NOT aware. In this sense, any choice or act that is based upon lack of awareness, must lead us to discover the source of the lack of awareness as the causative factor, not the choice of the chooser.
In other words, if a person is "programmed," whether via government experiments, alien abductors, religions created and imposed by hyperdimensional beings, then WHO is ultimately responsible?
Is it the "programmers," or is it the person who has effectively chosen to be unaware?
Yes, the individual may be unaware because of fear of reprisals by God, demons, or his alien or government handlers. He may be afraid for his body or his soul or the body and soul of someone he loves. But these fears are beliefs that constitute the locked room in which he has chosen to remain not realizing that his own choice is the lock!
If the person is unaware, not because of fear, but simply because he is "asleep" is he then responsible for his lack of awareness?
According to the Cassiopaeans, Yes. It is his choice. He has chosen it for a reason at some level, and he is entitled to it. He has chosen his environment, he has chosen his grade and his lessons. Maybe "chosen" in the conscious sense is an inappropriate term. It is more like he is there because that is where he "fits." He is a "consciousness unit," and he is learning. Only when he reaches a certain level will he begin to "wake up." Only when something has "grown" in him. Will.
Gurdjieff seemed to have the idea that a "will" could be "nurtured" in a man and accelerated, so to say. The following remarks were made with this in mind:
To awaken for a man means to be dehypnotized. In this lies the chief difficulty and in this also lies the guarantee of its possibility, for there is no organic reason for sleep and man CAN awaken. Theoretically he can, but practically it is almost impossible because as soon as a man awakens for a moment and opens his eyes, all the forces that caused him to fall asleep begin to act upon him with tenfold energy and he immediately falls asleep again, very often dreaming that he is awake or is awakening. ...Only a man who fully realizes the difficulty of awakening can understand the necessity of long and hard work in order to awake.