Question:

I have enjoyed reading your books, and some similar books, and have felt comforted and reassured that if I only used my free will I could do anything. It has also been a burden of cause, when it seemed like it 'didn't work', or maybe I did something 'wrong' or maybe I didn't listen carefully enough. But then...of cause...i stumble across the book I Am That by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, and the work of Steven Wolensky, and I find out that there is no free will, or subjective intention. And it also seems quite logical that behind this world, behind this mind of mine, there must be something,...a witness, and who is observing the witness then, and when i get 'out there' there can be no I, no construction because then it is consciousness, and therefore an illusion. So the 'master mind of nothingness', the -0, is the creator of the illusion that I call me, and my world. ?
So in short, do you believe in the free will?

Answer:

Yes, I believe in free will. I read your letter and chose to answer it out of all the other letters today. If you reflect upon your activities today, I’m sure you can find many similar choices you made. For instance, you chose to write me an email and chose to his the send button, right? Isn’t that free will? Wasn’t that a subjective intention?

The abstract concept that Maharaj is describing is not graspable by most people. It’s the idea that in the state of unity consciousness, the self that operates in the world is just part of the forces of relativity acting upon each other. From that level of enlightenment, the will of the ego is an illusion. But if this isn’t your level of awareness, then it is only confusing to try to pretend that that is your reality.

What I would add to Maharaj’s point is that from that state of consciousness you can say there is no individual will, but it is equally true that in unity consciousness your Self has become that universal consciousness and your intention is the intention of the cosmos, your will is the universal will or force of creation. Our limited concepts of free will and determinism don’t really do justice to the reality of that state anyway.

For now, keep your understanding in step with your level of experience so as not to confuse yourself and impede your progress.

Love,
Deepak

Author's Bio: 

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