ANOTHER IN THE HUNDREDS OF WAYS OF SAYING THE SAME THING
I think my perspective on this subject is a result of my past versus my present circumstances. When I reflect back to those days of drinking and feeling powerless which led to my intentionally speeding around a curve and crashing my Volkswagen, I can see that without having any conscious philosophical position on my situation at that time, I was FEELING powerless and hopeless and utterly in the hands of fate—deterministic.
I recall that a young friend asked me as I was beginning my psychological journey from those pits, "Do you feel like life just happens to you?" It was the perfect question at the perfect time because I suddenly FELT my predicament to the bone and answered, "Yeah."
My escape from those suicidal depths through counseling was gaining the FEELING that I AM NOT POWERLESS (the feelings about myself that my childhood had engendered in me), but that I can do something to alter my FATE. Empowerment, I think the ladies call it.
Paradoxical indeed that nowadays I can intellectually accept the idea that my decisions are being made for me by the electrochemical processes operating in my brain, rather than by my thoughts, but the FEELING of powerless does not accompany that awareness, whereas in the past I had the FEELING of being powerless without having an accompanying intellectual awareness of determinism. Perhaps, it's because I now trust my body to make the right decisions which is the result of a recovery in counseling that leaned heavily on processing my grief, i.e. emotional rather than rational processes. Thus I can believe firmly in the deterministic nature of my body's decision mechanisms while escaping any feelings of hopelessness that others might feel when confronted by determinism.