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Thoughts on Free-Will

A choice is an event like any other event. So the question is: what creates the choice?

What forces are responsible for any choice we make at any given moment?

Choice is the result of countless factors including personality traits, genetics, personal and cultural history, the environment, available information, degree of awareness, degree of conscience, mood, state of health and many others. If we are careful enough in our reasoning we can conclude that the factors are infinite.

Also, what part does “me” play in choice? What is “me”, to begin with? Where is “me”? In the brain? In the body? Where exactly? Where does the choice take place exactly? And where does the power to choose originate?

This is no superficial dilemma or rhetorical inquiry. It is at the core of every true spiritual teaching.

The validity of free-will, or lack thereof, cannot be satisfactorily resolved intellectually or by adopting a belief against or for it. A shift of self-awareness of a sufficient depth is required in order to understand the true place of choice in our psychology and cosmology.

Astrology is not capable of revealing the whole truth. It cannot explain life in its entirety. It is not absolute in its scope. It is meant to offer guidance in our subjective world and perhaps, with some extra assistance, offer a pointer at what is beyond our subjectivity.

The notion of free-will has bugged the human intellect for millennia. Astrology on its own does not offer us the tool to understand the real place of free-will in life, or to understand how “free” such will really is. In fact, astrology can even confuse us because it demonstrates how fated everything seems to be.

But maybe if I can find a little crack in fate I can stick in my free-will and change its course!… Good luck with that! 

And I don’t say this disparagingly. We all go through this. This is part of our learning as humans. There is a time to believe in our power as individuals and there is a time to rest in the peace of our utter powerlessness as part of an indivisible whole.

I am far from suggesting anyone should just believe my opinion and start repeating it. On the contrary. Look in your own experience and find the evidence of free-will or its absence. 

Too many discussions on this subject are reduced to repeating what other people have written on the subject. Very few people take the time and dedicate attention to investigating the subject in direct experience. This is not a subject whose answer is to be found in books; the answer is available in our direct experience now when looking from the proper angle.

The evidence of the absence of anything resembling free-will is overwhelming to anyone who is able to look squarely at facts. 

The caveat is that we are unable to let go of the idea that we have individual power. We are basically addicted to that notion and belief. It really pisses people off to consider we are marionettes of the whole. We feel diminished; so we prefer to inflate our ego with the notion of individual power. It is a lost battle to argue against that.

The entire issue of whether we are fated or we have free-will hinges on our lack of interest in determining who this “I” we keep talking about all the time is. We live an entire lifetime saying “I” without really fathoming what “I” is. We live under an assumed identity. We never stop to question it and look closely inwards. We are busy with “everything else”. And so, we must remain ignorant of any fundamental truth that is dependent on Self-Knowledge and pay the price of guilt and blame, and so karma.

In that respect, we might want to meditate on what Jesus meant by “Thy Will Be Done” or on what Buddha meant by “Deeds are done but there is no doer thereof.” There lies the answer to the truth about free-will (no pun intended). If we at least consider what those phrases by those two wise men could mean we might at least say: “I do not have a clue” whether free-will exists or not, instead of swearing by a belief in its existence.

If we want to accelerate the process of deepening our understanding I recommend meditating and answering the fundamental questions above. Not merely intellectually but deeply by looking into direct experience. As a wise man once said: “the truth will set you free”. He might be right.

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