You cannot not act

When you tell anybody that he or she is not the doer, there are two immediate reactions: ‘This is fatalistic’ and ‘If everything is happening by itself, why should I do anything?’

The problem is, even if you want to, you cannot not act.

Try out this experiment. You lock yourself in your bedroom and decide you will lie down on the bed and not to do anything at all. You think, ‘So everything just happens by itself, huh? We’ll see.’

Your experiment begins now.

Suddenly…you hear a tap dripping. You have decided not to do anything at all but your programming hates dripping taps. So you decide you will turn off the tap and then begin the experiment. You are just back in the room after turning off the tap and about to resume the experiment and guess what. You hear a child wailing. Now, the way you are built, you simply cannot bear to hear a child cry. So you decide you will quieten the child and then begin your experiment. You do that and then come back to resume your experiment. And then the aroma of grilled cheese sandwiches wafts across from the kitchen. You discover you are ravenously hungry. The experiment can wait a bit, let me first have a sandwich...

Of course you didn’t do anything!