When we believe that we need the baubles of the external world to be whole and submit to social conditioning, we become stereotyped and mechanical. Seeing the mechanical nature of our conditioned personalities can be a dark night of the soul, but it’s the only way for the Tin Man to find his heart.
Free will must be earned and requires us to break from our mechanical, habituated subpersonalities. The evolutionary path involves returning to our essence after being conditioned into mechanicalness. According to the Taoist I Ching, evolution occurs on the path of “reverse alchemy,” the path of “returning to the Tao.” Evolution does not necessarily occur by perpetual attunement to the Tao. Daisies, spiders, and viruses live perfectly attuned to the Tao, and never deviate from it, but they don’t have the potential for individual evolution that human beings possess. We are born in touch with our essence, but then relentless conditioning works to separate us from our original nature. However, if we travel the difficult path of reverse alchemy, undo the many layers of conditioning, and restore our original essence, then we will be evolved.
Consider this an auspicious time to follow the path of reverse alchemy and help the Tin Man regain his heart.
For more on the mechanical nature of humanity, and how to overcome it, read The Fourth Way and/or In Search of the Miraculous by P.D. Ouspensky.