Nicolaas Vroom

Free Will - De Vrije Wil

Nicolaas Vroom

Free Will

Acryl on canvas
80 by 30 cm
Voor de tekst in het Nederlands kies: Dutch

The above picture shows the first experiment I ever performed when I was roughly 12 years old in 1954.
The event shown happened at the Lambertweg, very close where we lived at the Laan van Woudenstein in Kralingen part of Rotterdam.
The picture shows me walking to school from left to the right. The clocks above me shows an imaginary image of the duration of each step during the walk.
The important part of the picture is that at the center of the picture at 12 o'clock, instead of placing my right foot in front of me, I placed my right foot beside my left foot. That means I stopped for a quick second, and I lost one step. After this small intermezzo I moved my left foot one step forward and I continued my walk through elementary school, where I arrived slightly later as would have happened without this rest.
All of this I consiously did on purpose.

The interesting part is: Why did I stop. The reason is, because of our belief I had a very fixed concept of God. A God who knew everything and who controlled everything. In other words I could not make my own decisions. In short I had no free will. Against this I came in rebellion and I invented this experiment to break this compelling law. After I stopped and continued walking, I imediate felt a type of relief.
In german we would say: "wir haben es geschaft". We succeeded.

The picture it self shows the situation in 1954. From the house where we lived we could see the The Prince Alexander polder which at that time was considered the lowest part of the Netherlands (-6.60 meters). The trees at far distance represents The Kralingse bos, the park in which we often walk.
The picture shows one ditch. In reality there where ditches everywhere. In winter we performed iceskating on these ditches on wooden iceskates.

Even today I consider the whole experiment a very special experience. Let it be.