If I am reading you right, you are supporting determinism, yet also claiming to be neutral on the issue. Yes, choices exist and they support the idea of free will, unless confronted by the idea of determinism. But, determinism is only supported by its bearing on material things, and there is nothing but conjecture to say that consciousness or will is material and/or subject to the rules that bear on material things. Claiming determinism bears on choice takes you to a weird, alternate universe that just doesn't match your entire life experience.
I prefer not to talk about material things and the standard notion of material realism that goes with it. I am not tat kind of dualist. I think there is an apparent distinction between things in the world, and this first a matter of looking to the distinction itself rather than some metaphysics. Determinism has to be understood, therefore, IN the conversation about what it means not to be determined. It does seem clear that the laying down of the playing field is determined by one's language, culture and its values, as well as hard wiring determinants (I certainly biologically received my musical appreciation from my parents. No doubt here). But what is this about? I follow Dewey in his reference to what I think of as infantile juvenile problem solving events: you were once no one at all and it was the marshaling of resources available that let you imitate, associate, assimilate, and this had nothing to do with freedom. By the time you could ask questions, the essence of freedom by my lights, you were already made and your freedom issues from a body of possibilities that is always already there. Obviously, this can change as you go to school, read poetry, study psychology adn so on, but the question is begged: how is it that these learning experiences later in life differ from the earlier ones in terms of the presence of what might determine, that is, make a claim on, your actions? You are essentially still "in" the influence of the possibilities that are laid out. But on the other hand, a person is very different from a tree or a vase in that these do not have choices at all. We are not things like this at all. Then the question goes to what human choice is. Is there something that can ground it in freedom so that choice becomes choice in the rigorous sense? This is what the original OP is trying to get at when its talks about the space of decision making, the Prime Consciousness, that somehow stands OUT of the stream of thought that informs action. It is the present "frozen in time". My objection was that it is not easy to freeze time like this because that which informs action, or motivates in caring, wanting, lusting, and so on, would have to be shown to be in the clear.
I am a sort of disciple of Kierkegaard on this: there is freedom of this kind, a soul (I am available to argue this) that sits in the eternal moment that is free and clear of the storm of events. This is where our freedom resides, but the catch is, like Kant's freedom , it requires one to be free of various and sundry desires, altogether. to be free is to be free of all worldly desires, hence motivations and determinants. Buddhists hold a similar view. But this DOES vilify the world, doesn't it? Yes it does. Very interesting argument, though.
True determinism would take your apparent freedom of choice at any given moment , like when you stand there and jump or simply move your arm and say, see, determinism refuted, the same way Diogenes (it is said) refuted Zeno's paradox by walking across the room, and absorb that into it conception. It would be to say all that reveals itself as freedom, even one's most explicitly deliberate actions, is not free but determined by one's history, culture, values, and all things that gather at that moment, all the things that constitute that moment. You cannot do a Diogenes on determinism, as you would like when you talk about the fateful moment jumping off something, for the refutation is NOT demonstrable.I suppose you've seen someone challenge religion by telling a believer they should try to jump off a tall building. "If God loves you, he will save you. Otherwise, it is his will that you fall to your death, and you should not go against God's will."
Take this line of thought to a believer in determinism, if there truly is such a person. If determinism is true, then you will only be capable of taking the choice which was decided for you by past events; there is only one possible path, by definition. You are not capable of going against the determined choice, as that would be a demonstration of free will. Remember, too, that nobody says "Determinism works in mysterious ways"; by definition it does not.
So, if you are a true believer in determinism, there is no reason you should not go try to jump off the building. If you are able to pull it off, then this will show by the 'logic' of determinism that this was the only possible outcome, anyway. If this was not the plan the universe had cooked up for you, then, somehow, you would have been prevented from taking this action. If you fell to your death and were not 'forced' to do so by prior circumstances, then this would only go to prove you had a free will. Since you firmly believe there is no such thing, then you should have no fears. But, you do; we all do.
But even someone like Heidegger, who talks a lot about freedom, if asked what freedom is ( I haven't read him on this yet) would do what He does everywhere else: he would "gather" resources of meaning in words, he would bring in the ancient Greek and Latin, move through different approaches available in the the wealth of languages to create openings for thinking and questioning further. we get our understanding from the language we use and it is in the openess of questioning that new forms suggest themselves. Thinking is crafting Being. That's Heidegger ( I am on a Heidegger binge, hence the references). Freedom in the sense of some stand alone kind of existence, independent of what anyone thinks, is nonsense. It is metaphsical abstraction of what is clearly before us, which is choice. This doesn't mean we can't talk about how free we, but conditions of freedom cannot be removed altogether. Kierkegaard and Sartre hold a different view: a freedom grounded in actuality and what is actual is not contingent on our thinking about it.
Right. I really like this moment, that is, it is telling of the existential complaint against the attempt to fit the world into theory. That's real, you say. Seed, if you like, that part of Kierkgaard's Repetition, which is very much like this, only, while Evel Kenievel stood bravely, others fall apart. No matter, this is the stuff of our existence, this is real. Now, when we philosophize about it, we are not standing on that precipice, we are trying to understand it, and that is when everything goes south. Questioning destroys our confidence in the ready to hand accounts of the way things are. So I say, when refection takes on the world, much of the world must remain what it is, but reflection will intervene and redefine everyting. In other words, the determination as to whether we are free or not cannot rest with the experience itself, regardless of how authoritative is seems. Questioning undermines authority.We've all stood on the top of that tall building at some time in our lives, fully aware that we have the choice to jump off. We choose not to try to jump precisely because we know in our heart that we can do it! We have fear at that moment because we know we are free, and some small part of us may event want to jump. This feeling, though it is rare in most of our lives, is the moment when we are truly alive. This is Evel Knievel hitting the ramp, depending only on himself and luck for the outcome. That's real; most of our everyday lives are contrived b.s. where we focus on our roles and act like tools. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, acts as if they have a free will, at least in those rare moments when circumstances force them to acknowledge it, whether they claim to believe it is an 'illusion' or not, and this is pretty strong evidence to me that we do have it.