Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

A common stumbling block in self inquiry is the concept of free will and control. Our world gives a strong sense that we make decisions based on free will and control our destiny. This is in spite of glaring evidence to the contrary. If one were in control of life, will and decisions, would there be any poor people, any suffering, any war, murders, accidents, failures etc.

So why does this illusion manifest within our thoughts that we can and must control our lives. It is a subtle impression left in the mind when we speak of will and control. Having a will is not free will. There must be a will for any action to proceed. The will results from many factors that have placed you in this moment.

Having control doesn't mean needing a controller. Decisions must be made to go left or right. There is just no individual making this decision out of free will. This tooh is the result of many factors that have brought the moment before the apparent decision maker.

Take an example. After high school you had a choice between Med school or Dentistry. It may seem like you decided to become a physician but look deep. Was it free will? Or was it based on your understanding and research of what dentistry entailed, the kind of work you would be required to do or what would your parents, friends and teachers say about your career choice. Did you decide or was a decision made based on external factors.

Even Canada geese flying south for the winter may give you the impression that they are making independent decisions to first go to Saskatchewan, then to Montana and to Florida. Or is it that wind velocity and hot air columns force the birds onto this path.

Monarch butterfly flies thousands of miles based on instinct appearing to make this decision.

Humans are no different. Senses, environment, genetic make up, prior experience, future expectations and instinct, in other words all that has happened after the big bang that has brought us here make possible the will to decide in a certain way. An imaginative mind and a controlling illusion called I thinks this was all out of free will.

But I must emphasize, lack of free will doesn't mean lack of will and lack of control doesn't mean no decisions. There is just no my free will, no decision maker nor a controller. That is the illusion.

You could take it as an excuse to give up trying or willing to succeed in life. But that too would be a decision not based on free will but a host of factors that surround your life today, this understanding being just one of them

Shri Krishna said thousands of years ago to Arjun when he was frozen in battle unable to kill his brethren facing him as enemies; karmanyeva adhikarashte ma faleshu kadachana...
My translation is " you have the right or will (not responsibility nor duty) to act but not to the results". Fortunately for the country he served, Arjun decided to will into action not give up thinking nothing matters anyway.


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