I believe the determinist view that desires are the cause of all actions we take, is not a truly accurate viewpoint of what determines either deliberate or unintentional actions. I do think that many behaviors are determined by our thinking and motivated by feelings that those thoughts bring about. The problem with determinism alone as the explanation of all action is that our intentions versus behavior are a far more complicated than just desires alone. Determinism alone does not explain the full complicated process of human behavior.
The duality of man is maybe more than a struggle in between just two parts of the individual. I can see how at times the heart, mind, body, and spirit all have different agendas and that a person’s actions both individually and in pattern are not just a result of this struggle but of even many more additional forces. The additional impact of the past through memories and prior experience can effect greatly how one interprets the present and perceives the future and that can cause someone to act in ways in-congruent with who they are and what they want. The pressure put on individuals by significant others, groups, and society also effect greatly a person’s actions and behaviors. Does a person truly have autonomy and freedom to do as they want, I don’t think fully, due to all of these contributing factors. But all actions are not determined.
Freedom over automatic subconscious actions comes through awareness. The more one works to bring the heart, mind, body, and spirit into a harmonious and symbiotic relationship the more a person can learn to act consciously and have their intentions and actions aligned. Emotions do carry all of the energy used to motivate actions but those energies can be rerouted to meet objectives and higher motives than just desires. The context in which one acts certain ways can be changed to be integral with behaviors that have a higher purpose. Integrity means to come together and honor all of you. When this is done the freedom of more conscious choices increases. The opposite is also true when people give into base desires or addictive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, freedom is diminished.
The interpretation of memories and experiences that drive autonomic reactions when we perceive similar situations can drive behavior before thought. Man can also choose to relearn or put into new contexts those same prior experiences and change their interpretations of the past. In this way a person can change the meaning of their past learning’s and take back the power of conscious choice. As context and meaning changes so will the actions and behaviors. When we are open to change we can learn to live more as we intend to, instead of deliberate or unintentional actions that really are not congruent with the intentions of our hearts.
People can also learn to walk a path that is true to their own self instead of trying so much to please others, fit in to a group, or societal norms.
When you break free of expectations I believe you are also free to be as you want to be and do what you truly want to do. Re-framing beliefs, waking up and being aware more of the time, and being true to ourselves before others will bring more freedom. Determinism does not take into account so much of what causes or influences behavior and even though we go on auto pilot too often, we can have more and more freedom than we think we can, and we deserve it.