Hmmm, okay, first, I don’t deny that there’s a large part of what’s going on with us that’s unconscious. Clearly there is. I do think that ‘conscious witness overriding’ is not the best way to think about it. My intuition is that they intermingle and that ambiguity around the word ‘free’ has tweaked the discussion. Anyway, here’s what I consider to be examples of what you’re asking for:

  1. mindfulness meditation — a conscious practice that can alter quite a bit including your reactions to other people and even your blood pressure
  2. or, more active: I’m convinced I can’t do something, say make it to the top of Mt Diablo. I’ve tried and failed. I decide to work on my attitude with affirmations, visualization, and do a CBT session with a pro and, as a result, make a story I’ve been telling myself since childhood conscious and alter it. Next attempt, I make it to the top after some pain but no insurmountable barriers. (This is the case with a hiking buddy. He was always the slowest in a boy scout troop and it tweaked his sense of what he could do.)
  3. how about (consciously) reading book that changes my perspective and, hence, behavior.

The ‘free will vs determinism’ idea always intuitively seemed to me to be the wrong way to phrase it. I recently took a few months to think it through and here’s my 2 cents. It’s a bit preachy (apologies for that) but I think it finally got down in detail my intuition about the whole thing.

Berkeley Backpacking Biz Lifer, System Builder, Coder, Community Organizer, Music and Evolutionary Biology Geek. Sign up and my projects at