The environment we live in is a vital component to our happiness and creativity. We understand this when we look at the external circumstances that we are housed in and the opportunities (or lack thereof) that they allow or inspire. We can easily see the difference between vacation on a desert island or a gigantic house with amazing amenities and say ... prison. We may even understand that socioeconomic status can elevate our opportunities or minimize them in direct correlation.
But what of internal environment? We are a culture vastly diagnosed along many spectrums of disorders through psychiatry, and even the emojis we use in jest to communicate imply a large variance of mood. That is not even mentioning our family background, schooling, and genetic factors that predispose us to certain levels of intelligence and manners of learning and communicating. Maybe the internal environment needs more cultivation. Maybe it needs more focus and attention. Maybe not, what's the big deal?
The big deal is that our decisions and behaviors belong less to us, and more to our environment. The main tenant of Psychological Determinism would say that our behaviors and decisions are sourced from the totality of the internal and external environments we are experiencing at any given moment. To put it simply? Our Will is INFINITELY LIMITED.
Right now the environment anyone is experiencing is unique. It has very specific characteristics ... like a beautiful and unique snowflake (right?). Those characteristics, while are beautiful and unique, are also limiting in their uniqueness.
Case in point: Each person has unique fingerprints ... characteristic of their identity. But in having that unique and gorgeous identity, they are cut off from having anyone else's identity. They are not free to have another set of fingerprints. Their will is limited in this area. Our psyche and consciousness are limited in this way also, as no other person in the history of the world has our unique combination of experiences and genetic makeup. We are all truly one of a kind.
This means a couple things that are vitally important to understand and accept.
1) Our behaviors and decisions are being born of a truly unique matrix (us) that exists within the exactly unique person we are at the EXACT moment we are engaging in them.
2) Our behaviors and decisions, every single one of them, is building the future “truly unique matrix” that will be generating behaviors and decisions in the future.
The first truth seems debilitating, but it is only a precursor to the second, which is where our true power lies. While at any given moment we cannot change who we are, each action and event we are a part of leads to creating the person we are going to be in the future. So how do we get involved here? Active Consciousness.
Consciousness of this system is the single most important realization we can have, because it allows us to actively engage in creating the “future self's” matrix … This means that while we cannot have Free Will in the moment because WHO WE ARE is infinitely limited, we CAN have Influence over the specific characteristics/limitations of our future self. The Perspective of "working to create" that person and their character CAN exist within who we are now.
There is an assumption that being limited, not free, disengages us from the creative process of growing the self. But ... while being powerful and limited simultaneously seems paradoxical, these two elements are not conflicting, nor are they mutually exclusive. We do not HAVE TO BE FREE IN ORDER TO HAVE POWER OVER WHO WE BECOME. That is a vital truth.
In fact, believing we are free can have more of a detrimental affect on our coming to the consciousness of Influence because if we can simply “choose” rather than having to “grow an environment where choosing is possible” ... we don't have the motivation to grow that reality.
The truth is that the environment of who we are is responsible for the decisions we make and the behaviors we engage in, and that growing that environment consciously is something that we are all accountable for. That is horrifying. But it is truly how we come deeply into being ... granting us resonant presence in our lives.