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Who’s in Charge?

Okay, so today’s post is sorta, kinda, about faith, belief, and all that stuff. Go ahead and admit it, this is something we cancer people do think about at times.

I consider myself an agnostic. Put simply that means I can’t prove there is a God and I can’t prove there isn’t. So in my mind, it is simply not possible to know.

Still, there is a very real event that makes one wonder. It takes place every day in our bodies.

Why do we decide to do what we do?

Let’s say you decide to go bowling. Hey, it’s hypothetical. Why in the world you’d actually go bowling is a whole other subject.

Risking toe fungus, fleas, and other horrid stuff, you jam your feet into shoes previously worn by hundreds of other people.

You step up to the alley, fighting back thoughts of last week when you threw three gutter balls in a row, enduring the laughs of some self-described bowling genius.

The 16 pound orb flies out of your hand sailing much too high in the air and crashing thunderously on what, until now, used to be a smooth, undented floor. At the far end, those damn white pins stand in defiance as your ball tries its best to miss every one of them.

Thinking about cause and effect

For our illustration, it doesn’t matter if you hit the pins. Let’s instead take a look at what happened in your body, working backwards.

  1. Effect: you threw the ball. Cause: muscles in your shoulder, arm, and hand flexed and contracted.
  2. Effect: your muscles and joints did their thing. Cause: your brain sent a message telling your body how to throw the ball.
  3. Effect: your brain sent the necessary message. Cause: you decided to throw the ball.
  4. Effect: you decided to throw the ball. Cause: ?

So there’s the rub. Where did the decision to throw the ball come from in the first place?

Effects and Causes 1 through 3 can all be explained by the action of neurons traveling through synapses in your brain. But what about number 4? Where did the decision to throw the ball come from? I mean, if our thoughts are only the result of electro-chemical actions in our grey matter then they should be random, not controlled by anything.

Where do our thoughts come from?

It kinda makes you wonder. How do we have original, organized thought? When we decide to do something, where does that decision come from?

How can an organ in our heads make decisions? What tells it to fire up those thoughts?

Could they come from something outside of ourselves? What is the source of our decisions?

These are the things that keep this agnostic up at night thinking about… Wait, how is it I’m thinking? What about right now? Where do the ideas I’m typing come from?

My brain is making my fingers fly across the keyboard. But what controls my brain? Could it be my soul?

I’m just sayin’.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Ann Harper moderator
    5 days ago

    @jim-smith A tough conversation to have with ourselves. I have some friends that are sick and I’m on a few sites where people are terribly ill and I send prayers their way – and I really do. We don’t know for sure what our fate will be after death but my thoughts are usually about where did all this come from? Us, the Earth, the universe – it had to start somehow? I’ve decided to blindly believe and have faith. It wasn’t always like this for me, but it’s how I put my mind at rest now. I pray for my family and I’ve even started praying for myself. It has made me feel better.

  • Shayla.Oakes moderator
    1 week ago
  • Daniel Malito moderator
    1 week ago

    @jim-smith Heady stuff, Jim, but not unlike some of the more serious stuff we think about when we are alone with just us and the cancer. I can say that probably everyone here has had these moments, it comes with the territory I think. Thanks for sharing what many of us experience. Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

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