Liberating Ourselves From our Free Will

Philosopher David Hume called it the most contentious issue in metaphysics. Actually, nearly every major figure in the history of philosophy has weighed in on the topic somewhere in their work.

Free will … the capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives. Is the issue really that complicated?

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, Liberating ourselves from our free will.

Well, Hume was right. The issue of the free will is contentious. And I’ll be diving into the controversy, too, in a moment. A fascinating subject.

But first, a number of you have been writing to ask that I let you know about the new call-in radio show I’m launching with world-renowned author and psychoanalyst, Dr. Claudia Pacheco. I’m not surprised there’s so much interest. You who’ve been listening to this Podcast over the past year and a half must’ve come to appreciate the clarity and wisdom of the science behind this show.

It’s called Analytical Trilogy, and it’s not an easy science to encapsulate in a sentence or two. Analytical Trilogy is essentially a union of theology, philosophy and science that gives us a comprehensive view of the psychology of the human being and the reflections of this human psychology on the greater social structures we live within. Our political structures, our wars, our education systems of lack thereof, our environmental challenges … all have their birthplace inside the human psyche. And no one in history has clarified that better than the man behind Analytical Trilogy, Dr. Norberto Keppe.

Whether it be something every psychologist or human potential workshop leader has weighed in on – like depression or self-esteem or self-sabotage – or something no one talks about – like the psychology behind the pathology of power – when we turn the Trilogical lens on the topic, you hear a perspective you’ve never heard before. And it lands. It feels right. It just “makes sense,” as many of you writing to me have confirmed.

And we’ll be doing that kind of analysis, live, with Dr. Pacheco and I taking your calls and emails and answering your concerns personally. Can you imagine how impactful that will be? So, I’d like to keep you informed about that. We’re projecting our first show to be on Mar. 10 at 10 a.m. ET (NY time) on BBS Radio –

But do get on my mailing list to stay informed: Looking forward to hearing from you.

Now, today, liberty and our free will. You know, we in the western world have this idea that we’re really free, and that we’re also really quite socially evolved. We have recycling programs in place, we’re advanced in our social programs. And we also think that we’re super tolerant and welcoming of all other points of view and cultural traiditons. Well, certainly we have that idea in Canada. We pride ourselves on our open-mindedness. But underneath our politically correct external persona, there is a high degree of censorship and intransigence. And all that means we’re not really so accepting after all of ideas and philosophies that stray from what we perceive as our superior beliefs and ways of doing things. Go against that, and you’ll find you’re not really free to give that opinion.

Sofie Bergqvist is a Swedish educator and lecturer and translator of a number of Norberto Keppe’s books, and she joins me today.

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Hope for a Troubled World

We’ve been in the dark about ourselves for a long time. But writers and thinkers from Homer to Schopenhauer have always known there was something powerful going on below the surface of our demeanor. “There’s daggers in men’s smiles,” as Shakespeare put it. But with the help of a brilliant Brazilian psychoanalyst, the way is becoming clear.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, Hope for a Troubled World.

Norberto R. Keppe has been plying his trade for half a century or so. And it’s a difficult trade indeed … developing a theoretical, philosophical base to understand, and a therapeutic methodology to treat, the human psyche. That vast, murky part of us that lurks in the shadows has been perceived but never brought fully out into the lights.

Freud caught a whiff of it in his early reading of Schopenhauer and his early studies with the great hypnotist and neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot. The subject fascinated him sufficiently to dedicate his life’s work to developing a way to treat what we couldn’t see, and worse, didn’t want to see all that much. Humankind’s greatest artists depicted kingdoms being lost and lives being destroyed by the machinations of this unexplored netherworld. And those dark, unfathomable passions lay deep inside us, as well we ordinary humans suspected in our quiet moments when we were alone with our thoughts.

The problem was, Freud and Jung and Kraepelin and the other founding fathers of psychology didn’t get it quite right. And that left a void in understanding, and a hodge-podge of theories and opinions that have often conflicted. Certainly, they’ve confused us, and led some of us to discredit psychology. “We’ve had 100 years of psychotherapy and the world’s getting worse,” as James Hillman and Michael Ventura put it in their critical analysis 15 years ago.

But that’s only because they haven’t read Keppe’s work yet. Norberto Keppe has discovered some answers for us. For example, that we are not unconscious at all, but conscious of much more than we realize. There is great hope in Keppe’s science of Analytical Trilogy, which we’ll explore soon at our World Conference of Analytical Trilogy, Sept. 24 – 27, 2008 in San Diego. And that we’ll explore today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head with Dr. Claudia Pacheco.

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The Power of Problems

They can be small, or enormous. They can have innocuous, even insignificant beginnings, but if untreated, become major headaches. Optimists like to see them as opportunities in disguise as a way to change the negative definition. And still, we generally avoid them like the plague.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, The Power of Problems.

Well, problems we have. Loads of ‘em. From the serious social ones like the dangerous and psychotic behavior that passes for leadership from people like Bush in our world today, to the more close-to-home difficulties like how to get Uncle Bob to quit drinking, to the personal, like, “why do I find it so difficult to speak in public?”

The issues can be personal, but there is something universal in the treatment of them. And that is: we try to hide from our problems. This can be seemingly well intentioned like the usual advice to stop dwelling on our problems and think positively, as Ronald Reagan counseled as his way of overcoming the trauma of the Vietnam War. In this case, sort of a political sing along – Don’t Worry Be Happy. And just as superficial and even dangerous.

A friend of mine ignored the lump in her breast for over a year, and by the time she finally got around to treating it, it was too late.

When it comes to problems, by the time we get to, “Houston, we have a problem,” we’re usually only seeing the problem we’ve had for a long time.

We need to get to the source of the problem and what’s behind it, and that means … seeing it. This is what Dr. Norberto Keppe’s work is all about: helping us to diminish our censorship to seeing our problems – both personally and, perhaps even more importantly, socially – through his science of psychosociopathology.

We’ll be looking at many of humankind’s problems through the lens of Keppe’s science at our 19th International Congress of Analytical Trilogy from July 4 – 6, 2008 here in Brazil. Write me for more information at

Today, psychoanalyst and philosopher Leo Lima joins me to look at how we treat problems in Keppe’s Integral Psychoanalysis.

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