Free will is a misnomer!
Ekta Ji, Please can you elaborate on this. Is there no free will? I thought only few things like birth, death, longevity of life, source of birth are predetermined. Others, we can change our karmas. The statement below contradicts. Please share!
“As long as you are in the network of time, space and causation, to say you are free is nonsense, because, in that network all is under rigorous law, sequence and consequence. Every thought you think is caused, every feeling has been caused. To say that the will is free is sheer nonsense. Will is caught in the network of Māya, and therefore “free will” is a misnomer. It means nothing – sheer nonsense. So is all this talk about freedom.” – Swami Vivekananda, Complete Works, Vol. VIII, p. 14
JGD Manoj & Soujanya, Swami Vivekananda put it brilliantly, lets expand it a little more. In order to understand what is being said in graduation class, we need to go through Nursery then Kindergarten then primary school and finally high school before graduation. Just like that there are 7 steps to Turiya [highest state of awareness, if I may put it simply].
Somebody who is stuck in this vishwam [people, situations & things], he is lost in Maaya. For him, wisdom is mere words. His reality revolves around his own raagas & dveshas. He is lost in the duality of “I” & “You”. Such an individual creates his own agami karma from his constant raaga/dvesha chain. So finally, he suffers from causation.
Causation leads to the false understanding that there is past, present & future, with such an understanding, one is lost even deeper in this web of Maaya. A wise one understands that there is no division of time. Time & Space are not two in reality. Einstein called it Space-Time. [Google it up – it will help you understand this better].
Going one step further – nothing really exists the way the mind perceives it, this is proved by the double slit experiment of quantum mechanics today [Google it up].
Until one moves from Maaya to wisdom, one is caught up in time, space & causation. And therefore there is no free will for him as he is caught up & trapped completely in Maaya! How can he be free? This is the 1st step.
A person who starts recognizing that this is all Maaya, he has moved towards the 2nd step. Only the one who is ready to apply the knowledge and work towards his own spiritual growth, has the ability to start erasing his karmas by dropping raaga & dvesha.
We will learn the next 5 steps in the Ashtavakra sessions as we go. If all this was a little difficult to comprehend right now, have patience and give yourself time. You will definitely get there if you maintain the intensity of your commitment and work on the skill to win over the smallness of the mind.
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