top of page

STOIC POETRY | A passenger on a bus

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

The principle of The Pirate Ride suggests that free will is an illusion created by our seeming sense of the options which life presents during our every waking moment. Shall I arise at 6:00 or 6:30 AM? And what for breakfast? Eggs or cereal? Did I indeed marry this woman of my own volition? Of course I did. I clearly recall bending to one knee to propose at that restaurant by the sea and before all those people. My life is certainly my own. How ridiculous to say or suggest otherwise! Why, even my God - the very deity who made me - relies on my free volition to choose or reject his salvation, and thereby suffer the paradise or damnation of my own deciding.

I am a passenger Gazing out the window, On a bus Hurtling Without a driver
Creative Commons by Grigory Kravchenko

But, what if all this seeming option and choice are simply the artifact and consequence of a universe of such complexity, such deep mechanical and chemical machinations which we neither fathom or understand, that we mistake this grand orchestration for a banquet for our volition? We fail to see that the setting of the clock to 6:00 or 6:30 is a decision, not within a vacuum of mind - a sentient void of free thought and self-control - but instead, our deciding is simply another casual, falling moment in some long domino chain of events, thoughts, action and re-action which lead now to this immediate point of apparent choice; a moment when we sense we are in control, but instead are simply poised to decide per the guidance of all time and all events and all moments leading up to the current moment of now. We are about to set the clock to one time or the other, or choose eggs or cereal, or him or her; to go onto one knee now, in this restaurant, before this very sea, on this particular night and before all these strange people; to set a course of life we think is of our own doing, but which is merely another string of moments in the will-less unwinding of chemistry from order through release and into confusion towards the one day cold scattering of atoms into a dis-contiguous tapestry of night.


My name is Kurt Bell.

You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.

Be safe... But not too safe.

9 views0 comments


bottom of page