By Adam, Inner Peace Now, June 9, 2015
Question by Brian
I’ve been following the site for the last year of so and I’ve found it very helpful in reducing the self-created confusion that obscures Reality. A common theme or rather frequent thought that comes through concerns free-will. As with most important concepts, I feel that it is misunderstood. From inner observation I intuitively feel that there is not free will as it is commonly thought of. This happens. That happens. The observation of that very thought.
The writing that writes this sentence, happens. I don’t really know how. How do I move my hand? There is no “my” hand. How does thought occur? It just happens. With regards to Awakening this seems almost absurd. As if delusion and Awakening occur automatically. That the search for Freedom and the realization that searching for Freedom generates bondage is all automatic. The delusion of freedom? I hope this makes some sense. This is more of a vague feeling in the background giving itself voice than anything else. I’m not sure if there is a solid question in this. Utterly baffled. That’s whats left, nothing to say. How about this?:
From inner experience what comes to you (or rather through “you”) with regards to “free-will”?
Hi Brian. I don’t know if I can add much to what you have already said…
What do you mean by free will? Being able to act independently from everything else? Being able to make decisions and move autonomously in life? If a human being has free will, what exactly is it that is free to do as it wishes? Is it the body? The brain? The spirit?
When it comes to free will, it seems as if we have free will when we have feelings like “I am going to do this now” or “this is what I want or choose to do”. These kinds of thoughts and feelings seem to be coming from an independent self. But where do they really come from? Where do urges and thoughts emerge from? Do they emerge from a person, a solid self? Or are they spontaneously manifesting out of a formless source?
I don’t feel to give a definitive answer either way, but as you have already said or implied, by the time any impulse to action has arisen, it is only after this that the mind can say “I did this”. In reality a movement occurred by itself, and when attached to a self-image, it feels as if it is an independent act, when really it is part of the whole.
It may feel as if we have a choice in what we do, say think or feel, but where do all apparent choices and decisions come from? Who is really at the root?
You hit a good point when you mention the “automatic nature” of “seeking” and “awakening”, or rather, that there is not actually anyone at the root of it all?
Thanks for your question,
P.S You can stop trying to understand, if that helps. There is no end to conceptual “understanding”.