Homepage Logo Simon Rilling
Close this search box.

Free Will – A Journey of Discovery!

“Education should aim at destroying Free Will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished.”

Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell about the intended result of education in The Impact of Science on Society, p. 50, 1951

Free Will seems dangerous, especially to authorities? Before we discuss, why that could be the case, let’s see first what it means and what it is.

“Free Will is the ability to act and make choices independent of any outside influence.”

Cambridge Dictionary

That leads to a couple of questions:

  • Where do our actions emerge from?
  • Why does this even matter?
  • Do we have resp. can we gain authority about that process?
  • What means outside influence?

Its common sense that our actions determine our results. Wherever we are in life is a function of our actions (or lack thereof). And better decisions lead to better actions, which equate to better results. But where do our decisions emerge from? They are seemingly a function of what we think & feel. Which seems to put a lot of importance on what and how we think!


They do. Thoughts literally create our reality. But don’t just take my word for it.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”


Don’t believe the Buddha? Listen to the CIA:

“Consciousness is the source of all reality, our thoughts have the power to influence the development of reality in time-space as it applies to us if those thoughts can be projected with adequate intensity.”

Declassified CIA Document: Analysis and Assessment of Gateway Process

Still not convinced? Then that’s literally what your mind is creating and experiencing: a purposeless sequence of events, without your ability to influence or change. Resulting in a disempowered victim or passenger of your circumstances reacting to life. Experiencing fear, stress, dissatisfaction with life as a consequence. Living ‘Ignorance is bliss’.

But let’s go back to the premise above. This statement is extremely powerful: Our thoughts create our reality! In other words: You have responsibility for your exact situation in life. If you want it or not. It does not matter.

  • If you are in a state of suffering = You co-created it.
  • If you lack money or time = You co-created it.
  • If you lack purpose & fulfilment = You co-created it.
  • If you lack (self) love and respect = You co-created it.

That sounds harsh, but in the end it is the ultimate empowerment.

Moral discourse: It doesnt mean that there is no-one else to blame or that negative emotions are never justified (as New Age doctrine suggest): anger can be a totally justified sacred gift to revolt against ‘wrong’. Objective ‘wrong’ exists and needs to be addressed (I will write about morality in a future article). The question is how: There is a difference between taking the generals view and acting in an empowered way aware of ones capacity, possibility and power to change and influence that reality, and being a soldier taking the bullets by simply reacting unconsciously never changing anything. It starts with you: If you don’t take responsibility for your life and circumstances, you will never claim your true power and manifest a better reality (for all).

If you realise that you are the architect of your current reality, you have the capacity to create a complete different life where you are fulfilled, free with deep purpose and meaning. Turning gears from victim or passenger of circumstances to becoming a shaper, creator and driver of your life. (I will make the case in another article that ultimate empowerment and freedom is not “making up your individual truth and goals” (which you could) but comes through aligning your thoughts, feelings and actions with the inherent laws of nature. Also an article about whats our true potential is to follow).

where do our thoughts come from and how can we get hold of them?

We all think, WE think. But is it really true? Where do our daily thoughts (possibly up to 60’000 depending on source) come from? Why are they mainly negative? Are they really ours?

Our thoughts & emotions emerge from our unconscious beliefs:

Beliefs > Thoughts & Emotions > Decisions > Actions > Results = Your reality

Dr. Bruce Lipton, Stanford Researcher, Discoverer of Epigenetics

Ok then where did we get those beliefs from in the first hand? And what are those beliefs? Are those disempowering and limiting beliefs, leading to self sabotage? Or are these empowering ones, enabling us to live life with purpose and energy? Can I consciously just overwrite limiting beliefs by thinking free and / or positive?

The subconscious mind – manifesting reality

Let’s talk quickly about the (Subconscious) Mind (for the lack of a better definition the sum total of you. An in-depth article about the Mind will follow), which is ultimately in charge of the whole manifestation chain: Beliefs > Thoughts & Emotions > Decisions > Actions > Results.

Sigmund Freud dissected the Mind into 3 parts:

  1. Conscious Mind: what we are aware of
  2. Preconscious: what we could be aware of
  3. Unconscious Mind: what we are not aware of

An Iceberg is often used to illustrate the proportions between them.

There are many terminologies. Carl Jung introduces the Collective Unconscious. In Spiritual Teachings there is also the reference to the Astral Self and Higher Self, representing parts of our Mind beyond physical reality with access to (any) information not limited to time and space. We don’t want to get hung up in definitions, and we will talk about Self and the different aspects in another post in more detail. In the end we are after results and use premises to form a hypothesis, gather information, test and evaluate.

When we speak of Subconscious Mind, I am referring to these 3 parts:

  1. Superconscious Mind (Higher & Astral Self): Representing higher awareness, including Free Will and access to information not limited to time and space.
  2. Conscious Mind: Your Self Awareness with the (theoretical) possibility to shift power between the two.
  3. Unconscious Mind: Your beliefs and programs.

The Subconscious Mind says YES to whatever message (= input) it receives. And manifests that reality (= output). There are 2 sets of messages it can receive.

  1. Set A: Illusion from your Unconscious Mind. Your beliefs & perceptions.
  2. Set B: Truth from your Superconscious Mind. Your Free Will.


Positive thinking means your Conscious Mind (or Self Awareness) overwrites the impulses coming from the Unconscious Mind (where your beliefs are stored). But there is no awareness and access to Set B (and either ignoring Set A or reacting to it) and a massive power imbalance between the two:

  • Conscious Mind: Operating with 40 bits/s processing power
  • Unconscious Mind: Operating with 40 mio bits/s processing power (according to Dr. Bruce Lipton). Which is 1 mio times more!

You can bet who wins long term! Positive thinking is a long term dead-end, and just like covering symptom with a band-aid. The other question is, what means “positive” anyway? Does overwriting the impulse of your Unconscious Mind equate to Free Will? Or are you just (re)acting from within a limited perspective, self identity & belief system? Still a slave of your conditioning and belief system.

How does our belief system work?

To break out of the reaction loop and start discovering Free Will, we must look into our belief system and understand how our Unconscious Mind creates our definitions of who we are (identity, belief & value system) and how that leads to our perception of reality (filter). You can literally think of a human being as programmable, like a computer. Human beings have a “file-system format” (conditions during a child’s formative years), an “operating system” (culture / environment), and “software programs” (beliefs & values), which creates “output” (behaviour) onto the “screen” (life).


Our beliefs are a function of the conditioning (beliefs & programs) we were (and are) exposed to. Especially at a young age; the first 7 years of our life our brain is in a Theta brain wave state (which is nothing else than a state of hypnosis) and we download unquestioned programs and beliefs from our environment. We basically copy/paste beliefs from parents, education, media, government, peers, work and so on.

As we get born into a unconscious, negatively competitive society, where suppressed potential, process driven & repetitive low level thinking is accepted and perceived “normal” (I will make my case in another article), we are mostly (Dr. Bruce Lipton estimates 70%) downloading disempowering, self-sabotaging and limiting beliefs as a start. We are modelling an environment, which is mostly self centric, unfulfilled, stressed, anxious, immoral, reactive to circumstances and suffering from hemispheric brain imbalances (another article to follow). Media suggests us that we need to have XY or look a certain way to feel worthy, education indoctrinates us with fear of failure, to follow orders, perceive reality through the left brain (creativity left on the table), don’t ask critical questions resp. challenge authority and to identify with status and achievement. To fulfill the demands of governments and (global) corporations for obedient order followers and self sustaining little wheels in the machine.

So, if the beliefs we start with are actually coming from the outside and we just execute those programs unconsciously; under which control and influence do we actually stand and act? Do we do whats best for us, or whats best for the system?

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free”

‎Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In other words you are actually externally mind controlled until you become conscious and decide to wake up! (Social engineering is another topic coming in a future post)

Your Unconscious Mind is always listening. Whatever you say, think, listen to enters your Mind. To either reconfirm existing beliefs or define new ones. Until you wake up, the circle goes like this:

Beliefs > create > Reality > reconfirms > Beliefs > create > Reality.

The exact same problems, patterns, projections, expectations, frustrations repeating over and over again. Your future literally a copy of your past. A vicious circle.

IDENTITY – Who are you?

Who do you think you are? How do you self identify? Are you your job, title, family, relationship, status, gender, race, your thoughts, your feelings? Who are you? Who have you been when you were 5 years old? Who will you be in 5 years? Who are you if you were to lose your job, title, status, family? Would you then be someone different? Or still the same?

Are you someone who is good in speaking, sports, relationships, making money or friends? What if you were to loose all that? Would YOU be the same?

Are you someone who cant do x? Who is shy, insecure, lacking confident, broke, broken, stupid, incapable, insignificant, powerless, ugly? Are you unworthy? Not lovable? What if that werent true? What if thats only a self limiting definition you took on based on your experience? What if you had had a different experience? Are you your experience? What would you tell someone else giving you that self identification? Would you convince them otherwise? Why then would you identify yourself differently than someone else?

Also what happens after death? What is the purpose of your existence? Is there one? What is the meaning of life? Where do I come from?

You see the simple question WHO ARE YOU is not so straight forward. If you identify with a transient identity (“I can do Y”, “I am X”), your inauthentic shell identity, that impacts the way you perceive reality and how you (re)act to what happens around you. It will always cause suffering sooner or later, when that identity is challenged, changing, limiting or dying. E.g. if you identify with your title (“I am a successful banker”) and you lose it, thats literally causing death of your identity and can lead to people committing suicide (happened during the Financial Crisis 2009).

So then who are we? If we are neither our experiences, achievements, thoughts, emotions – what is left? Let’s get back to start. Your authentic core identity. We are Potential. A consciousness. A soul. A form of energy (however you want to phrase it or whatever label you want to put on it). And having an experience, observing our thoughts and emotions. We are neither labels nor our beliefs and we are only limited by them, if we actually believe them.

These questions are absolutely elementary to (re)discover personal freedom. And to discuss these questions in depth and at a core level, and distill them into a personal coherent, non-conflicting, logical, philosophical belief system: which defines who you are at a core level, where you come from, what happens after death and whats the purpose, meaning and destiny of life. (That’s integral part of the ‘Training in Consciousness’ program.)


You might get already that how you identify and what you believe about yourself, will have a great influence on how you perceive reality. Important:

Your experience of reality = your perception = your subjective perspective = your projection -> is NOT reality!

Your Mind filters information which don’t match what you believe out of your conscious awareness. If you believe something is not possible, you wont see that it’s possible. If you believe you are not lovable, your unconscious behaviour will lead to rejecting love and sabotaging expressions of love towards you, so that you can confirm your believe “I knew it, I am not lovable”.

Shadow self – defenCe system

The tricky thing is, that you won’t necessarily recognise that your believes are not true, irrational and self limiting & defeating. Thats the defence mechanism of the Unconscious Mind (Shadow Self) to protect existing beliefs and values. It uses mechanisms such as Doubt, Delay, Distraction, Deletion, Denial, Generalisation and Distortion to cloud your awareness and rationalise your results. By matching what is coming from the outside with what you belief about the world, respectively to project towards the world what you believe. Also what we think we focus on, might not be what we are actually focussed on. It is elementary to become aware of those mechanisms on the way to Free Will and turn off the autopilot. (Another integral part of the ‘Training in Consciousness’ program.)

You see the theme repeats. We must wake up. We must become conscious. In ancient and indigenous traditions this was part of the educational curriculum (TRIVIUM) or requirement to make the transition from boy to man (Rite of Passage). In our society this element, what Maslow termed Self Actualisation (and Social Actualisation), is missing, we are left on autopilot until we crash (or die). To never wake up to our potential and our true Self.

Its left to us! Time to pull the trigger!

Become conscious of your thoughts

We must learn how to think: Gather information, understand them by discovering inconsistencies, and then apply – in order to find truth and manifest an empowering reality. This method of truth discovery was called TRIVIUM in ancient times. (If you haven’t, I recommend you reading this article first).

To discover what beliefs are driving our behaviour and thoughts, we must put the spot light on every single thought, emotion and pull them into awareness. Problems, crisis and tension are ideal gifts, since they expose us right away to our perceived limitations. Don’t let any tension pass by unattended! This is your chance to learn and break free!

As we discussed before, the Subconscious Mind says YES to whatever message (= input) it receives. And manifests that reality (= output). There are 2 sets of messages it can access.

Per default the Power goes to Set A.

  1. Set A: Illusion from your Unconscious Mind (Your inauthentic shell identity) -> Your beliefs & perceptions.
  2. Set B: Truth from your Superconscious Mind (Your authentic core identity) -> Your Free Will.


Step 1: RecogniSe whats happening

It’s time to first explore your Set A of messages, by asking better quality questions:

  • What is the problem? What are my reservations / judgements?
  • What am I thinking? (what you humanely think, not positive thinking)
  • What am I feeling?
  • Why am I thinking and feeling that?
  • Where did I learn or experience this for the first time?
  • Whom does this thought or emotion serve?
  • What does the mean about me?
  • What does that mean about others?
  • What does that mean about the world?
  • Whats the underlying assumption / belief? Whats the why behind the why?
  • What messages is my unconscious getting?
  • Where is the power? (You, others?)
  • What is my coping mechanism? What’s my unconscious resolving strategy?
  • Who (co-)created this situation? (Me)
  • What is the end result I am after?

This process will lead you to dig out your underlying limiting beliefs. In the end you will always come back to 12 fundamental limiting beliefs. (Read this post for a detailed description of what they are and how they manifest)


Be gentle with yourself, accept what is or has been happening. Give thoughts and feelings a place to be. Observe them, and neither suppress them nor dive into them. Remember you are NOT your thoughts and emotions, so there is no reason to fear any of them. And definitely don’t ignore them, that just adds energy and focus to this belief and reconfirms it’s importance.

A great exercise can be to sit down, close your eyes, ask yourself / observe:

  • Where do I feel that feeling?
  • Which color does it have?
  • What kind of shape?
  • Is it increasing in size or diminishing?
  • What texture does it has?

This trains your emotional awareness. And is important in aligning thoughts (mind), emotions (heart) and actions (gut).


Once you recognise what the underlying belief is, it is time to zoom out, and access from a core perspective of who you really are – the truth: your Set B of messages:

  • What is the truth? (About me, my identity, my life, my purpose?)
  • What is the positive end result I am really after?
  • What vision do I have for me, my life, this project?
  • What passion am I committed to contributing? (If you are not committed or contributing, it literally means you give the power to someone else = you are powerless)
  • How have I affirmed the above? How have I already experiences / done (some) of that?
  • What message is my Subconscious Mind getting from Set B?


Now the question is:

  • Where do you – consciously & with intention – assign the power: Set A or B?
  • And what action are you taking!


If we are aware of the messages, then we have the ability to self consciously assign the power = Free Will. Will is the mechanism by which we assign power to either Set A or B. Once the power is assigned by you, the Subconscious Mind executes.

Important note: As long as your energy and focus is on beliefs, thats what is created. E.g. if you believe you are unworthy and you put your focus on being worthy: You are giving energy to the same believe and recreate lack of worthiness. Another example: Do you know rich people, who self affirm “The abundance of the universe is flowing through me?”. No, they don’t need to. They are rich already. It’s the poor who do that. Because they believe they don’t have the capacity. And that’s what they are reconfirming with that affirmation. They are putting importance and energy into that belief.

It is key to move out of reactivity, realise the illusion of limiting beliefs (they don’t define you!) and focus on the end result you are after, respectively the truth about you.

I am not here to tell you, that you just wake up with Free Will. Very few people have the ability to exercise true Free Will. But following this process will lead you more and more towards Free Will by increasing your awareness of unconscious conditioning and beliefs.

Apply and get powerful results.

Important: Don’t believe me or anyone for that matter! They key to empowerment is to find truth yourself. Be critical, but not overly critical. Build hypothesis, gather information, test them and evaluate (more here). And take responsibility for your own life and follow your true Self, not blindly any guru, teacher or authority. By giving responsibility and power to others, you just confirm to yourself that you are powerless.

Time to claim back your power!

Let’s schedule a free 30 min ‘Discovery Call’ today!