Karma, fate, free will

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Karma, fate, free will

Postby Lauris » Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:29 pm

Many spiritual traditions and also modern science often claim that our lives are actually 100% preconditioned, because a non-causal free will cannot possibly exist. Arguing for a free will is indeed hard, as is the topic itself.

But I'm wondering: if our lives and events in them are preconditioned, then so are all our choices, relationships, conversations, which lead to a realization that I am not the one who does all that, only the passive witness. Which of course, is a popular notion in spiritual literature as well: "I am not the doer."

However, in my view this leads to a very scary place where you (whatever is left of "you" then) is trapped in a 3D movie, where nothing really matters, because you cannot influence it, relationships aren't real, because you're not in them, gratitude is meaningless, because no one does anything anyway, it's just "karma" carrying out its functions and we are all passive witnesses trapped in meat robots.

I hope you get my point, opinions welcome! :)
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Re: Karma, fate, free will

Postby karmarider » Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:58 am

Good questions, Lauris.

Karma and fate are just concepts. I would say they are true for those who believe them to be true. I personally do not believe in karma--I don't think the universe is that cruel. But these concepts do point to the human mind's tendency to believe in reward-punishment systems. It' s just very difficult for us to see that the present need not be influenced by the past.

Free will--that's a tougher question. I don't think the question of free will is decidable. Of course, the uncertainty of that brings up a lot of fear, which can make the mind lean one way or another, but still I think the question is ultimately undecidable. In the unobserved and conditioned mind, there is no free will. In a mind which knows its own perspective--maybe there is free will, maybe not. Either way joy can be experienced--so what's the difference?
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Re: Karma, fate, free will

Postby rachMiel » Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:44 pm

Lauris wrote:However, in my view this leads to a very scary place where you (whatever is left of "you" then) is trapped in a 3D movie, where nothing really matters, because you cannot influence it, relationships aren't real, because you're not in them, gratitude is meaningless, because no one does anything anyway, it's just "karma" carrying out its functions and we are all passive witnesses trapped in meat robots.

Hah! You're at the point in Groundhog Day where Bill Murray realizes he is "free" to do anything, because nothing matters.

Keep at it ... you're partway home. :-)

karmarider wrote:Karma and fate are just concepts.

Fate has no meaning for me. But karma does. Not in the formal Buddhist sense of using karma to explain why someone reincarnates as this or that. That's fairy tale thinking imo.

Karma is, for me: cause and effect. Your present thoughts and actions determine, to a nontrivial extent, your future thoughts and actions. You reap what you sow.

I agree, it's a concept. But as long as one lives with/in concepts, it's a concept that will continue to have power in actuality.

So I think it's helpful to pay attention to karma in the sense of what you think/do now influences what will come later.
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Re: Karma, fate, free will

Postby Enlightened2B » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:34 pm

rachMiel wrote:Your present thoughts and actions determine, to a nontrivial extent, your future thoughts and actions.


That's exactly why I see free will as an inherent factor in our human existence.

If there were no free will, then we'd literally be trapped by our conditioning/thoughts, but the truth is that we are not trapped. We just believe the thoughts that say 'we are'.
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Re: Karma, fate, free will

Postby rachMiel » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:10 am

Fwiw I see humans exercising some degree of free will.

Conditioning is very very strong and determines, to a large extent, why we do what we do.

BUT ... depending on the person and situation, conditioning doesn't always win. Sometimes there is a genuine choice that is made. (Made by whom/what? Now *that's* a question. :-) )
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Re: Karma, fate, free will

Postby Enlightened2B » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:06 am

BUT ... depending on the person and situation, conditioning doesn't always win. Sometimes there is a genuine choice that is made. (Made by whom/what? Now *that's* a question. :-) )


My own opinion is that the choice is merely an inherent quality of the perspective of awareness that we each explore creatively through. It's not a matter of a person choosing as I see it or a lack of person. I kind of look at life as one creative experience....even the horrific, ugly stuff which still serves a purpose perhaps on a level higher that we can't possibly understand here. But, the creative factor is due to the ability to choose. Even if that choice is based on conditioning, it's still a matter of co-creation on some level, whether it's done unconsciously or consciously. Even Hitler created, granted what he created was beyond unconscious, he still had the ability to manifest his own version of reality based on his own thoughts. Because we can manifest reality, based on our thoughts, that's a form of free will as I see it. I think we have the ability to see through some of that unconscious conditioning. Granted, I think there will always be some left over.....even for dudes like Eckhart.

Just my opinion.
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Re: Karma, fate, free will

Postby rachMiel » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:21 am

Enlightened2B wrote:
BUT ... depending on the person and situation, conditioning doesn't always win. Sometimes there is a genuine choice that is made. (Made by whom/what? Now *that's* a question. :-) )

My own opinion is that the choice is merely an inherent quality of the perspective of awareness that we each explore creatively through. It's not a matter of a person choosing as I see it or a lack of person.

To borrow from Krishnamurti, perhaps it is "intelligence" that makes free choices, and conditioned self that makes knee-jerk choices.
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Re: Karma, fate, free will

Postby Enlightened2B » Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:55 am

To borrow from Krishnamurti, perhaps it is "intelligence" that makes free choices, and conditioned self that makes knee-jerk choices.


Sounds good to me
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Re: Karma, fate, free will

Postby Webwanderer » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:14 am

I see that we, in our ego perspective, have enough free will in this human experience to lock the door of our own perception, and to blind ourselves to the awareness that we did so. To some, this condition seems to suggest that there is no free will.

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Re: Karma, fate, free will

Postby karmarider » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:36 am

Webwanderer wrote:I see that we, in our ego perspective, have enough free will in this human experience to lock the door of our own perception, and to blind ourselves to the awareness that we did so. To some, this condition seems to suggest that there is no free will.

WW



That's not conclusive. The delusion of free will is not free will. To say that some people use their free will to blind themselves to free will while the more advanced use free will to freely choose, is not conclusive. That's logical only if you first assume there is free will.

I happen to believe that consciousness has free will. I recognize this as a belief. It serves me: I believe I create my perspectives and my experiences. And so I have empirical, experiential and circumstantial evidence for my free will.

But this does not conclusively settle the question of free will. Free will is logically undecidable.
Last edited by karmarider on Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:03 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Karma, fate, free will

Postby Webwanderer » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:41 pm

karmarider wrote:
Webwanderer wrote:
I see that we, in our ego perspective, have enough free will in this human experience to lock the door of our own perception, and to blind ourselves to the awareness that we did so. To some, this condition seems to suggest that there is no free will.

WW


That's not conclusive.

What is, except in our own beliefs? And I did preface my comment with "I see...".

To say that some people use their free will to blind themselves to free will while the more advanced use free will to freely choose, is not conclusive.

No one said anything about "...the more advanced...". Egoic perspective is not necessarily indicative of advancement - or the quality of one's greater conscious being. Who can say with certainty a Soul's intent in a given incarnation?

I happen to believe that consciousness has free will. I recognize this as a belief. It serves me: I believe I create my perspectives and my experiences.

Just because you have a belief does not prove one way or the other that that belief is untrue or true. It does indicate that for you it's true or it wouldn't be a belief. As human extensions however, we are believing perspectives. Beliefs are what create perspectives. Right or wrong is less relevant than the experience our perspective, through our beliefs, brings.

Is this a belief as well? Sure, but as you say "it serves me". That's the nature of beliefs. They serve us in creating a given type of experience. Once we recognize that beliefs create experience through our choice of truisms, we have more power to influence the experiences we have. Certainly my belief in this perspective is consistently demonstrated in my life.

But this does not conclusively settle the question of free will. Free will is logically undecidable.

The question of free will is settled for many - on both sides of the issue. In a greater sense it is settled for all. Free will either is or it isn't. That we believe this way or that about it only effects our concept of it and to some degree our human perspective on life.

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Re: Karma, fate, free will

Postby karmarider » Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:50 pm

karmarider wrote:That's not conclusive.

WW wrote:What is, except in our own beliefs?


I-AM.

I-AM is conclusive, definite and absolute (in my view), and it implies that "I exist" and "I am aware". Everything else, as far as I can tell, is a belief.

No one said anything about "...the more advanced...". Egoic perspective is not necessarily indicative of advancement - or the quality of one's greater conscious being. Who can say with certainty a Soul's intent in a given incarnation?


Ok.

I happen to believe that consciousness has free will. I recognize this as a belief. It serves me: I believe I create my perspectives and my experiences.

Just because you have a belief does not prove one way or the other that that belief is untrue or true. It does indicate that for you it's true or it wouldn't be a belief. As human extensions however, we are believing perspectives. Beliefs are what create perspectives. Right or wrong is less relevant than the experience our perspective, through our beliefs, brings.


That was my point. Free will is not conclusive; it's a belief. That doesn't negate or minimize the idea, and the remaining you say about beliefs is the way I see it as well.
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Re: Karma, fate, free will

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:06 am

WW wrote:
What is, except in our own beliefs?


I-AM.

I-AM is conclusive, definite and absolute (in my view), and it implies that "I exist" and "I am aware".

I-AM is a belief as well. That doesn't make it untrue, or lessen it in any way. But it still qualifies as a belief. As you so wisely noted - "In my view".

Free will is not conclusive; it's a belief.

Free will is an essential component of I AM. And even though this too is a belief, being such does not negate or minimize it.

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Re: Karma, fate, free will

Postby rachMiel » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:37 am

Webwanderer wrote:I-AM is a belief as well.

I agree. It's about as subtle a belief as one can have ... but it is still a belief.

The only thing I can think of that is *not* a belief is whatever I happen to be conscious of right now. Not the rightness or wrongness or concreteness of it ... just the consciousness.
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Re: Karma, fate, free will

Postby karmarider » Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:33 am

Hehe, if AM-ness is a belief for you guys that's kinda cute. That cannot change the logical certainty that it is absolute and not a belief.

Existence is not a belief. Nonexistence is a logical impossibility. If you believe AM-ness is a belief then there is something which believes that delusion therefore something exists therefore AM-ness is a logical certainty.

It's the only thing which is not a belief.
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