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freedom of will

Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:50 pm
by astaroth
Hello everyone!

I have been away from the forum for some time. It was not the time to ask questions or to discuss something. But now there is a new very important questions:

A teacher told me that everything just happens, everything is an expression of the one. The one who likes to play the part of an house-wife, a violent man, a bird, a spiritual seeker, a computer. Everything limited is an expression of the unlimited - but we take ourselves to be the limited while we are not. While thoughts arise now there is something a smile on my face now and the gentle thought "well, the one likes to play confused astaroth at the moment" and then I smile again because that was, of course, but one more expression of the one, which doesn't care at all about the mind's opinion "what should be" (which of, course, is after all, again the one)
The teacher told me, this "what should be" is the driving force behind the "me". This "me" doesn't exist, we can only imagine it. She told me "there's also not a chair over there, unless you imagine one".

This all made kind of an impact on me. But I struggle about one question:

She told me that because there's no one here except for the one, there's also nobody to have control about what's happening. Everything just happens, without any cause. For example I asked her: "If that's true, I can do whatever I like!" and she answered me: "No, you can't because you are imagined. There's no freedom of will. There's no one to have any control about anything".

But it seems to me like - may "I" be imagined or not - "I" am necessary to control the body. Still, no matter what "astaroth" does, it will always remain the one, playing the part of astaroth. The "I am" will never be disturbed. But, if I have understood her correctly, she told me that astaroth isn't necessary at all. Everything happens spontaneously.

I don't find this true for me. I can sit on my couch and be silent and that is a very sweet state. there are thoughts but because there isn't a real me to which they belong they are just seen. But then there isn't any movement at all. After some time the body gets uneasy and the thought appears "I should do something". And I don't know what to do with the thought.

Isn't, after all, the "me" still necessary? Isn't there freedom of will? Things don't always go the way the "me" wants the to go - no doubt. But when I think "now I will lift my arm" it happens if I do it. But my teacher says: "You are wrong: There was a thought and then there was a movement". To come back to my example of sitting on the couch: Is "me" sitting on the couch but the one manifesting in a body which decided not to do anything? Confusing stuff!
And one more, maybe more important thing: If everything just happens, I thought, just watch the body-mind what it is going to do. So the body-mind became very active because there wasn't the "me" anymore which decided to be present. The body-mind spoke a lot, was uneasy, bored... and so on... But that also doesn't seem to be the right track. Who decides to be present? Maybe nobody decides because the now is always there but not recognized. But who prevents the body from acting like it's thoughts want to drive it?
One more example: If a thought says "I want this or that, blablabla" who needs to accept? It is the limitless limiting itself to this very thought.
After all, my teacher is the one playing the part of a teacher. Maybe "she" is able to see that she is not the part she plays... But do not awakened body-minds behave differently than illusioned ones? And also Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj repeatedly says: " Just keep the "Iam" firmly in your mind an refuse any other thought!" Who does that? After all, it still seems like a manipulation of what is inside the picture of consciousness. It seems like my teacher says something which is different from what Maharaj says...
After all, maybe, it somes to seeing the illusion in the very present moment - that I am the body, I am this story. But who is acting? Who does? Certainly not "me" because I'm non-existant. Or is the "me" still existant as a thought but only not the ultimate truth about what I am??? Argh... confusing... :mrgreen:

What do you think?

I have just come to a nice thing: You cannot be present. You are presence!

greetings and blessings,

edit: Am I still thinking about it too much instead of just tasting the sugar? :lol:

Re: freedom of will

Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:58 pm
by BrahmanEternal
Will is free in the sphere of options one is sorrounded with but you can always choose one of them and clearly nobody decides this but You.

Re: freedom of will

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:13 pm
by rob
Hi Astoroth,

The brain,matter and energy are not creating your conscience experience. The conscience is independent of the world and is creating the world around you, it can express itself through you.

The conscience is the real me and eternal (time-less).

That is why we can have a free will, because our body machine has a connection to conscience.

To live in the now : keeps us connected to our real self. It should be possible to leave our body and see and experience the world outside our body. But that will be a step to far for us at the moment, only a near dead experience can something give us the feeling of leaving the body.

"Our brain is a message of conscience"


Re: freedom of will

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:46 pm
by astaroth
thanks for posting, guys!
it seems like the body is something like a vehicle and that the mind controls it - even if you are neither the mind, nor the body. The unborn eternal life, being, is always there and consciousness is the bridge, the silent mirror between the unborn and the born. The born is for example, the role we play, the person we are. To see that we are not what we are performing, isn't that awakening?

But I'd like to hear some more statemants about the freedom of will. Is there really such a thing. At the moment my tendency goes to say "yes". But my teacher says, there isn't...


Re: freedom of will

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:24 pm
by BrahmanEternal
There are countless decisions that happen over the day, we feel pleasure and pain directly or in imagination to navigate our choices and life can seem like a total routine in this way this can make us into beleiving there is no such thing as free will this is very dangerous because if you do not trust in your Freedom of will you will more probably make the wrong choices and your life will become a monotonous routine, painful choices are often the right ones but most of the time people will go into the comfort zone and hide there, and seeing life as free sure gives us a feeling of freedom as the basis to excercise better choices , it feels better then seeing ourself as a tree floating in the flow of life, we should distinguish here between being in the flow and floating in the flow.

Re: freedom of will

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:30 pm
by rob
Hi Astaroth,

What bramaneternal is saying is very wise (kind) and right to the point.

My background is theoretical. Take the opposite conclusion
Their is no free will if future and past are fixed and static. This is not the case, because :
1) Their is no absolute time according to physics.
2) Time is an imagination of the brain and not real.

My believe is that you are the center of the universe and connected to an timeless / endless conscience and everything you do not observe is not fixed. So that is why you have the power to change the unobserved (I) future and past. This gives you tremendous opportunities and responsibilities and a real free will.

Re: freedom of will

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:40 am
by astaroth
Hmmm... BrahmanEternal, what you call "free will" is - I think - the heart of bondage!
Who says you must make "right" decisions? It seems to me like we are all protagonists in this world and we can't know what is in the script. Awakening seems like the knowledge that we aren't the part we are playing. We are the nameless witness, the source, behind the transcendent screen we call "consciousness".
Who says there is something like "right" and "wrong" action? Isn't that duality in action? And what about the comfort zone? Who is to go where?

I am still confused about the freedom of will. It seems to me like the mind controls the body - and there is no one here to have control about the mind. I can't tell what thought will next come into the mind. Where is the "me"? It is just an illusion that disappears as soon as you stop imagining it.

But when there is no one to "take" the thoughts, who is there to control the body? Who shell live the life? astaroth goes on playing the part of "astaroth" - what he is, of course, always doing, even when he tries not to, he does it exactly astaroth's way! - astaroth seems to play it's part always, also when he decides not to do anything and to think about the freedom of will... ;)
But... it's maybe just a silly belief. But I always thought, action would come of a deeper source when one finds oneself outside duality.

And just playing the part of astaroth with all his "up's" and "down's" and all of astaroth's thoughts and feelings - there isn't any love, any oneness... Inside the transcendent screen forms are, of course, seperate. I begin to see my source and so I take others also to be of the same source. Is that what this "oneness" is all about?


Re: freedom of will

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:00 pm
by Sighclone
Of course there is free will. You mentioned that you could choose to lift your arm or not. Of course you could. The answer that "all is one" and everything else is illusion can also be true. The difference is one of perspective. From the perspective of young astaroth, student, employee, seeker, human, possessing but maybe often transcending ego, free will occurs every second. And it is wise to think about the choices you make - are they consistent with your priorities? Maybe you want to go to Zen Mountain for 25 years. Maybe you want to sell sandwiches. Your intention and action should align with your current goals. Is spiritual enlightenment a goal? It must have been for Adya or he would not have studied Zen for so long. It actually wasn't for ET, but it happened. And now his intention is to further universal enlightenment. And, using free will, he writes books, shows up on Oprah, etc.

From your teacher's perspective, "all is one" sounds like ETs identification with eternal Being, outside of time and space. But that is also a condition of 'no-action'. So free will doesn't matter because in the highest Brahman state of consciousness, there is no action. But short of that, in form, in maya, there is action and therefore 'free will' and temptation and wasted time and boredom, and rent payments and a million other events. Be well, make informed choices, make mistakes, be alive and have a nice day... :) . Namaste, Andy.

Re: freedom of will

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:25 am
by BrahmanEternal
Great response there.
Just when i wanted to say "here we go with the good ole paradox again", but nothing to add .
We can have attitude of no right and wrong, but still participate in the purpose,
or else Tolle would still suffer if there is no right and wrong and no purpose, but today hes prolly the happiest 59 year old man. :)
His purpose on this planet is really comming about, i m so excited about this, as i watched the intro last night i really felt excited and like the change on this planet is about to happen, that is so wonderful what is happening, i d call this marriage between form and spirit between Oprah and her power in world of form and Tolle and his Spiritual part she will enable him to make this world a better place, just wonderful.

Re: freedom of will

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:04 am
by no won
But my teacher says: "You are wrong: There was a thought and then there was a movement".

My 2 cents. Maybe the teacher is also wrong. Thought is very slow, awareness is faster, and with observation you may notice when the body has become uneasy while in meditation as I think you described. Its the body that moves first and instanly, well its almost instantly but not. There is a delay, a gap when the movement is observed and then the thought arises to claim that action as mine. It was a spontaneous movement when watched and the thought can be seen to arise after the fact and its a claim of the mind that " i " moved.

There was a movement, a vibration in being and a thought followed, which is another vibration in being and then another vibration which was a thought of "me" doing. Its all be-ing -ness and mind adds a mind-made "me" .
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj repeatedly says: " Just keep the "Iam" firmly in your mind an refuse any other thought!" Who does that?
This is the only Truth without thought, I Am is presence, no one does it, it is the first KNOWING-ness presence prior to thought, self illuminating,.. thats what does it. Refuse any other thought is a refusal to believe any other thought apart from this knowing as thought cannot get there.

Re: freedom of will

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:36 pm
by Josiah
Free will AND no free will, not free will OR no free will.


Re: freedom of will

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:44 pm
by Sighclone
asta -

Here is another perspective on freedom of choice from a wonderful author, Amit Goswami. He has written 'The self-aware universe' among others.

Namaste, Andy