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The Illusion of Freewill

a short introduction

By Kayleigh Fraser ✨Published 6 months ago 6 min read
The Illusion of Freewill
Photo by Alvin Balemesa on Unsplash

This started as a fun piece on the illusion of time… until a tangent became its own short essay!

Here goes;

Everything around us in nature is circular. The planet we live on, the solar system it rotates within, the seasons. Everything follows patterns that we as humans are able to observe, document and discuss. We are fascinated by anything we believe doesn’t fit a known pattern.. only to later find on closer inspection that it absolutely does.

I realise that in a world where competition is prized and (almost) everyone is partaking in this great ironic ego race to be declared a unique individual; this may not be what you want to hear. Most of us violently reject or oppose the idea that your life is a pre-ordained play of the many patterns that were set in motion long before you were even born. You want to believe your choices are your own, that freewill is yours, right?

By Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

Let me state this early on so you can recover in time for this getting to the most interesting part! It is highly unlikely that you have freewill. What is far more likely is that you don’t know enough about your own ancestry to understand that you are indeed repeating many of the ‘choices’ your great, great grandmother made. I could easily cite a thousand examples from within my own family but let’s just start with a couple of really obvious ones off the top of my head.

Like the strange ‘coincidence’ of how all my family members live and lived almost exactly 8 miles (or multiples thereof) from a parent or grandparent (living or dead)?

e.g. My mother lives exactly 8 miles from her grandmothers grave (a grandmother she never met, and in a house that wasn’t even chosen by her). When I was a young child we lived exactly 16 miles from my grandmother on my mum’s side and 40 from my other grandmother. We even lived 8 miles from my sister’s biological grandparents (completely unrelated to the other two).

The restaurant I used to own? Turned out to be 8 miles from my grandmother’s house.

And so on and so on.

Another random one was that I moved to Edinburgh only to discover the flat I chose was literally back to back with the one my half sister had lived in a few years earlier. I don’t know it yet but I am certain there is an ancestral connection we have to that street / building.

I once moved to Jersey, to then be told by my grandmother that my grandfather had been there for 6 weeks of training in his youth. I was there exactly 6 weeks. (I moved to work in a Michelin starred restaurant for a semi celebrity chef who thought he was 1990’s Gordon Ramsey. Needless to say I didn’t hang around for a repeat of being threatened, screamed at and having hot spit in my face because he liked to down 3 bottles of wine every night after shift).

By Samuel Ramos on Unsplash

None of this was conscious. This was all seemingly completely random. Just as I thought my decision to live in Sri Lanka had been. As far as I knew no one in my family had ever been here. It was a 💯% freewill choice.


Little did I know until recently it wasn’t random or some independent freewill choice. Sit down for this one!

My father’s father grew up in India during British rule. My great grandfather apparently swore in the first Indian Prime Minister on August 15th, 1947. (The day that India gained its independence). Then they boarded a ship and left India for good.

By Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

It turns out that the ship they boarded to return home did not go directly there. It just so happened to dock for some time in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Where I was then living. What really blew my mind though ? It was on August 15th last year that I was told by the government to leave this country.

75 years after my ancestors were forced to return to the UK, so too was I. (I was persuaded to legally challenge my situation, however and so I remained… long story).

So with this in mind as an ancestral cycle or pattern being repeated - let me add on the next layer. The one that I unconsciously programmed.

You know what book trilogy I really loved, read twice and rewatched all three movies of (for the third time?) just before coming to Sri Lanka? The Hunger Games. Do you remember what year of the Hunger Games was taking place?

The 75th.

By Cullan Smith on Unsplash

Katniss (the main character I even named my cat after) found herself caught up in the middle of a social revolution thanks to her empathy and desire to save her younger self (sister).

District 12 - poverty stricken, no basic necessities like electricity, gas, food etc - rose up against their government who had more interest in maintaining a militarised fear state quashing dissent (through propaganda and intimidation) than feeding its people - whilst living lavish and extravagant lifestyles themselves.

I got lost there. Was I describing 2022 Sri Lanka or a fictional movie?

It was exactly the same.

Colombo 06/2022 Author’s Photo

I could easily point to how strong elements and themes from stories, movies and even song lyrics that I deeply felt became my life. From The Diary of Anne Frank to Erin Brockovich, Groundhog Day, Blow, The Walking Dead to name a teeny tiny fraction of the most (recently) influential.

There is a powerful reason that I will no longer watch or read anything dystopian. I want to escape this hell matrix. I want a life of pleasure and joy. Of love. I am sooooo done unconsciously corrupting my consciousness with low energy, negative, fear based programmes that are just not fun to play out in life.

Now that I’ve seen the evidence of this repeated over and over and over in my life and the lives of everyone I’ve studied, I want to start choosing my life deliberately. I want to choose to have a blessed life. A life of creativity and love. I want an art room, a writing room; a garden to grow vegetables in. I want to spend my days dancing and singing and being free. Living free from fear. I want to walk outside in the nature. I want to watch every sunrise and sunset without looking through barred windows. I want to LIVE. I want to be happy. And free.

That’s what I’m programming.

By Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

Is watching some latest drama on television that takes me further from my goal worth it? Of course not. Is watching another fear inducing gangster movie worth it? No. Watching dysfunctional people argue and play out their dysfunction on tv for entertainment? No chance. Is reading and writing about tragic history worth it????? No No No. Not unless you want to keep programming the future with the past.

Which is only a good idea if it was an enjoyable past!!!!

I will leave this here. For as much as I could cite endless examples from my like - that’s not going to serve you as well as joining the dots up in your own life.

You need to start analysing your own life and the strong influences on it. What have you been programmed with and how has it/ is it playing out for you? What are the patterns that you are currently programming?

What you deeply feel and repeatedly think about will become your life layered over patterns that you have no conscious recollection or understanding of.

For the part that is within your control?

Make sure you are programming what you want.


About the Creator

Kayleigh Fraser ✨

philosopher, alchemist, writer & poet with a spirit of fire & passion for all things health & love related 💫

“When life gives you lemons,

Know you are asking for them.

If you want oranges, focus on oranges”


INSTAGRAM - kayzfraser

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Comments (5)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran6 months ago

    Whoaaaa! This blew my mind! I mean all those coincidences! It was like watching a movie! It's just so fascinating how the universe comes into play!

  • Berry Driven6 months ago

    wow. I too faced this when I was younger and decided if I ever had children I would make better choices and I'm living that right now. Many years ago I decided that what I dwell on does become my reality so I changed things drastically.

  • Ahna Lewis6 months ago

    Interesting thoughts here, Kayleigh! That really is uncanny how all those seeming "coincidences" fit into your life. I like your insights at the end about programming what you want into your life. I believe that media and other influences we consume really do become a part of us and how we view and interact with the world.

  • Mohammed Darasi6 months ago

    This was a really interesting read. I can't comment about the freewill and familial connections you noticed... they are quite insane connections and 'coincidences'. I definitely do think there are things that are preset for us, but I still think we have freewill (a bit contradicting I know 😅) You know the saying "you are what you eat"? Well I actually think "we are what we consume".. movies, TV shows and books do influence us in ways we don't notice. Like what you were describing, we can gravitate towards things unconsciously because of something we've seen on TV or read about. The human experience is quite unique for each of us, but at the same time there are so many things that we think are unique, but are actually experienced by so many others (which I kind of find comforting actually). Aaannyway, great and thought provoking article Kayleigh... great for starting the day with 😂

  • Alex H Mittelman 6 months ago

    Very interesting and I bet you do have an ancestral connection to the house! Great work!

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