At every moment, we feel that we choose freely in a way that works like this:
I see that I ought to do X. But the work involved might be more than I want to spend. But I could do it if I really wanted to. Though I might not—the consequences wouldn’t be that severe. But I did give my word, and it’s good for one’s character to keep self-promises. Then again, …
In evenly balanced wavering moments like this, I feel that what will push me one way or the other really is “up to me.” My pointer vacillates and its final value will be determined by reasons and choice, not on neurological physics.
Freedom is just the ability of a system to hover in such a 50-50 balance that that real action-from-nothing (from magick that pushes of the state vector) is possible. When the proclivity system of an animal body is (nearly) perfectly neutralized, free choice becomes possible and Laplacian determinism breaks down.
To be really present in your life just means to have fuller agency (power) over your life. But is such a thing possible? What if it turns out that what you do is just nature unfolding out of necessity? What if even the wavering moments just described, where the push of reason and subjective intent seem to finally crystallize as real force, are just phased of the natural juggernaut?