Matt Perryman

Why determinism is depression

By Matt Perryman

Past behavior is the best predictor of future performance, they say.

Unless you’re an economist, the weatherman, a financial trader, or any of the blistering geniuses who predicted 1000x the death rate of Corvid Nineteen by consulting their Minecraft servers.

Here’s the thing about determinism.

Focusing on the past requires that somebody is there to focus on the past.

To focus is a verb of a mental character. It’s an act of the mind.

The now-forgotten philosopher Charles Renouvier once wrote:

Belief is not intellectual merely, but is determined by an act of will affirming what we hold to be morally good.

We — you, me, and they — can choose what to think and what not to think.

If you believe the past is the cruel tyrant of the future, then that’s the focus of your thoughts. That’s the thought that occupies your attention and radiates out into your future.

Thoughts come and go. But its your actions in the present, right Now, that select which thoughts hang around and which move forward.

Matt Perryman

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