A friend told me that she attended a retreat of a known “guru” and this guru explained that “Everything was predestined.” That was a major shock to some. My friend told me that one person was crying in disbelief.
Even though this explanation was only a mental idea, it was enough to trigger an emotional reaction. That explains our level of engagement with our minds and our need to find theoretical “truth” even though it may differ our own experience.
The “problem” of free will vs. predestination is a popular topic among thinkers and even regular folks. Movies are introducing this topic to the masses who strongly believed that they had “free will.”
Why is it that we cannot figure it out ourselves?
Mostly because we are stuck in a certain level of consciousness, the “I” who is separated from everything else. In separation we are unsure if destiny plays a part to mess up “our” plans or if we didn’t “think” things enough to come up with a better plan. Another “reason” is our high level of social conditioning. For most of us given 3 choices, the answer can only be one. “It is A or B or C.” That logic does not work in Life.
The consciousness of being an “I” a “ME,” separated from everything else does not see the relationships, the interconnections as a piece of a jigsaw puzzle has with every other piece. We cannot see that the purpose of a piece of a puzzle resides in belonging to the jigsaw puzzle.
The same is with a human being in relationship with the Universe, with Life.
Thus, the belief in “free will” supports that separation from the jigsaw puzzle. When someone comes from that consciousness, the belief and acceptance of free will is very important.
As a person moves to a different position in consciousness, that person will experience less of an “I.” That “ME” is no longer the most important, the center of the Universe. We will observe that we do not have control over many things in Life: our own birth, our own childhood, the conditioning that went through us and finally we will acknowledge randomness, serendipity, synchronicity, etc; observing how mysterious Life is. Then predestination is no longer a hard to swallow pill.
There is another stage of consciousness, that is when the “I”, the “Me” moves away.
If the “I” is like a closed door, we are no longer just the door itself but also the space when the door opens. That “nothingness” scares the hell out of most human beings. However, in being that space, we ARE everything as well: The space in the door, the door itself, the house, etc. for space is in them as well.
Therefore, we are Nothing, ONE (I,) and Everything all at the same time.
It is in that consciousness when the words predestination and free will are completely meaningless.
The jigsaw puzzle will be orderly completed only to be chaotically dispersed. Those are the forces of duality which allow for change. That is the nature of the Universe, whether we believe in free will or predestination.
A belief is just our attempt to label some experience. We need to contrast that something with its opposite to give life to our description, so others know what we are talking about. How can we speak about God without bringing the Devil? How can we speak of Night without Day? However, those apparent opposites are coming from the same phenomena.
In a nutshell, free will and predestination are exactly the same thing in Life. The conditioning of our minds will not allow us to see that for we are stuck in the description of words and our mind thrives in seeing opposites to grasp a mental understanding, which in Life is not “true” understanding.
Step outside of your mind, to see.
Life is open for many views. Humans are concerned in finding the correct view, the “truth.”
For example, what if I say that God and Santa Claus have similar life expectancy. Let me push a button: I could assure everyone that we are all predestined. There is no free will… “You” are not in charge of your destiny, because there is no “you.” That “I” is only a mirage… although persistent, “real.” Did I push any buttons? How do you like “my” truth? 🙂 Not a “best seller” material for sure.
Probably most readers will not believe that “nonsense.”
The above is not part of the collective experience where pampering the “I” is a “must have.”
The collective experience is invested “In God, we trust.” The collective experience is sure that “I” am in charge of my own destiny. I just need tools, methods, techniques to get what “I” want in Life; from a “good job” to illumination. It is all about “me.” The collective experience believes in free will. That is the material of “best sellers.” It must be the “truth.”
Here is the catch: Both contradictory statements (mine and the collective consciousness) are “true.”
How is that possible? Different people, different consciousness.
Look at the sky. Do you think that because you see blue there, the color of the sky is blue?
We can only “see” what our eyes will allow us to see. Whether that is “real” or not, we will never know; for any time we “see” things, we are coming from a particular perspective given by our organs of perception.
Life accommodates every “truth,” every belief.
You want to believe in heaven. Fine. You don’t want to. Fine too. No problem.
Life does not mind about our beliefs in “truth.” We are defined by our perceptions.
As we open up to Life, we will not define ourselves through our beliefs, ideas, experiences, traditions… truths.
It is a matter of perception… and all efforts made to find the “truth” are futile. Our search for “truth” does not matter at all. That is my statement.
Humans are so good about fighting for ideas! That is how we can easily demonstrate that humans are living in their minds.
Beliefs, traditions, dogmas, ideas, ideals, truths… are all unnecessary.
Those are keeping our minds in a cage.
If you call your belief “truth,” then use the same label for the others as well. Those are “truths” too.
But, which one is the only truth? That is all I want to know!!!
Please, don’t waste your precious life in that. We are all bubbles. We go on for a few seconds and then disappear in the vastness of Life.
Is it true that we are bubbles? No! We are soap mixed with water.
So, are we truly soap OR water? We are truly soap AND water! Not bubbles.
What makes water? What makes soap?
Two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of Oxygen.
Soap is made of Sodium Hydroxide, (NaOH) water and oils… and the nonsense goes on… More research, more “light” into the “ultimate question.” Give me a break!
As we dissect who we are, as we go smaller, we will discover that we become “larger” for we share the same components with everything else…. We are everything! But that realization does not bring any change in consciousness.
The world of ideas and the mind interested in finding the “truth,” is missing the opportunity to enjoy the existence of being a bubble. That is all! That experience is precious, that is the “now” without the interference of the mind.
That experience is only meant to BE. It doesn’t matter who is “right” or “wrong.” It doesn’t matter if our belief is the “truth.” What matters is if there is a constant and honest sense of relaxation, wellness in us, coming from enjoyment of our experience in Life. That translates into an easy smile in our faces. We are fulfilled. That experience may be the “truth” but if it is not, what a fantastic falsehood it is!
The word AWARENESS has become accepted by the collective consciousness (masses) as a viable method for self-help, but the application of that “concept” to “improve” lives (help others) has become difficult.
Because intellectual understanding does not bring change in BEING. That is the main reason as to why all “methods” are only palliative in nature, like putting a bandage on a deep wound.
“So… there is no need for methods?”
Please don’t allow the conditioned mind to believe that it is either “no-method” or a particular method the “only truth.” It is neither following Krishnamurti (no-method) or Osho’s ideas (method) what brings “enlightenment.”
The word “method” and the word “enlightenment” are the obstacles to move forward. A “method” is mass produced. Enlightenment is individual. If you search for enlightenment, you will never find it. It is not found. It happens as a fruit ripens through a process of living life experiences.
The word AWARENESS is only a broad pointer. That is why, I’d like to narrow it down and use the pointer AWARENESS of CONDITIONING.
If we are not aware of our conditioning in our everyday activities and ideas, then we are sleeping and for that reason, “methods” become important. “Methods” to get out of our drowsiness then we may become aware, awaken… Aware of what?
Of our conditionings. No methods needed anymore.
Now, you see how the question: What is the truth: To follow a method or not to follow one?… Is truly a conditioned question. It all depends on your BEING awake or BEING asleep , not on a method or lack of it.
As a kid, did you ever want a skateboard or an expensive shirt that your friends had, but your parents could not afford?
Do you see the conditioning? Probably not as a kid. Then, it became a trauma.
What about if you are well into your 20s without a girlfriend or a boyfriend. Do you see the pressure that society inflicts on you? The labels that you may get? That is conditioning. That collective pressure changes individuals against their will.
What about if you are married and do not have kids, or only have one. Don’t you feel the pressure to have kids or to have the “couple” and to buy a pet for them? That is conditioning. Observe how it manipulates.
What about your profession? Are you happy but not paid well? That will be the source of social pressure for you or your family. Conditioning.
Do you believe in God even though you have not seen him or experienced him? That is a well known conditioning. Why do you believe in what you believe? What happens if you drop it? Can you do that without feeling guilty? The feeling of guilt is behind conditioning.
Do you see money and power as the only worthwhile things to pursue in Life? That is heavy conditioning. Buying defines you. You are what you own. Nothing else.
Are you over 40? Not “good looking”? Do you have a handicap? under tall? Are you homosexual? Middle class? Do you feel that you fit in society? That is conditioning.
No one could ever fit the ideal of the “perfect citizen/person” that society unconsciously is putting in our minds.
Observe how those traits bother you. The buttons that it pushes. Observe your efforts to deny those things, to cover them up. Observe the traumas. Do you want a “solution”? Do you want to change “what is” into something else just to blend into the conditioned collective consciousness?
You see, the “solution” is not to change to the whims of the masses and the collective consciousness, but to merely be AWARE of the game, so you can play in it, and not be played by it.
Become aware of the conditioning and AWARE of how your actions, your DOING are not made through “free will” (you may think you have free will) but through conditioning.
That is the starting point of awakening.
That word (predestination) implies religious servitude of the “I.” It implies for the “I” to be a puppet of destiny, determinism.
That is why, I’d like to replace that word with “choice-less action” for choice is of the “I” and so is predestination. “No-I” means that choice and predestination are flushed down the toilet. That is freedom from predestination and the “I.”
To be ONE with Life is to be Life itself, choice-less action. There is DOING, but not “I did it.” It happened through “me.”
The understanding of the above is so important, even if only at the intellectual level. Otherwise, we are stuck in “spirituality of the I.”
“Life works for ME. Everything happens for ME. God is there watching after ME. “I” am his most precious creation. “I” can manifest all my desires, Life is about God and MYSELF, etc.”
It is all about ME, I and MYSELF making choices, controlling Life, accomplishing objectives, becoming someone else… All that triviality is masked in our society with beautiful labels. “Self-help books” are there to give methods so “I am successful.”
Carol didn’t have a good sleep. Was it her choice?
She woke up when the alarm sounded and she felt crabby. Her choice?
Even though her body wanted to rest, she used her “willpower” (pretty word for the mind) to get up ( Not her choice but the conditioning of being tough) and even though the coffee machine didn’t work that morning, she swore at it, hit it and magically… it started working. Her choice?
She was half awake and she drove her red Mustang. (That was her choice, for she did not have other choice. )
Anyway, a car cut her off. The driver was a chauvinistic teenager. He looked at her through the driver’s mirror and made some faces.
Carol saw that and interpreted that as an insult (Her choice due to her conditioning, thus not truly a choice.)
Carol felt very angry. Was that her choice? She stepped on the gas pedal and wanted to cut the teen as he did to her. She wanted to get even. (Not her choice, conditioning of an “eye for an eye, also known as “lame justice for all.”)
A police car passing by took action and gave Carol a citation for speeding and endangering the road with reckless activity.
Was that Carol’s choice?
Obviously no. She didn’t want for those things to happen… but they happened anyway.
The moralist in us could say: “Carol made the choice to step on that gas pedal. She is guilty!”
With deeper observation, we could see that everything started from lack of sleep. (Not her choice) Anger was increasing in a subtle way. That wasn’t her choice either. That was only HER, unmasked. The minute her mental guard was off, the “perfect I” is gone, that is the minute that Carol will appear as she is.
Nevertheless, through ‘spiritual teachings,’ Carol will be taught to suppress that anger through “thinking” before acting. (That is, using the mind to choose based on some conditioning.) Through that teaching, Carol will never know who she truly is. Labeling anger as “bad,” will encourage Carol not to look at it, to repress it. Labeling anger as “sin” will make sure that Carol feels guilt whenever an anger bout comes up. To ask for forgiveness for being what she is, will be the next teaching, as she has to be “perfect” that is, she needs to be someone else to be accepted.
If Carol was AWARE of what is going on inside her, those spiritual teachings wouldn’t be necessary to hide who she IS.
AWARENESS is not a choice. It is growth, maturity.
“Choice-less actions” are there to show us who we truly ARE. The “I” cannot hide behind something that it cannot control.
As long as there is an “I” there will be the duality of predestination and free-will, the puppet of destiny versus the “I” making choices.
The bottom line: Whether free will or predestination exists, is of no consequence for those are only conceptual labels. What truly matters is awareness of the experience of Life, to observe the mental baggage and the traumas created by the “I.” 🙂
Imagine that you find out that “consciousness changes all by itself.”
For most individuals even though “we” have experienced this in our lives, we are not aware of it, much less of the consequences of this finding.
Have you played with dolls? Have you ever believed in Santa Claus? But then one day… the behavior and the belief were gone all by itself.
Nothing to cry about. No drama.
But here we go into the “adult” world when we better be certain of our beliefs and behaviors for otherwise, we will lose our “prestige” or worse than that, go to hell forever… in the “afterlife.”
A dogmatic, rigid life begins and consciousness is unable to change because ego, the “I” will get a hold of something to believe or cling for self-preservation.
“I have the truth.” “This is the way it is, listen to me. You will be safe if you follow me.”
Can we pinpoint the difference between the un-attached way of a child’s mentality and the clingy, rigid ways of adulthood?
For god’s sake, what “method” did we use for that change? 🙂
How was it possible for our thoughts to change from “I wonder if my Gold fish knows who I am? into, Life is suffering and then you die….?”
What method did we use for that?
But yet, we “think” that we can “change our thoughts to change our behavior.”
Caught up in that thought, we have decided to divide our thoughts into “good,” positive thoughts and “bad” negative thoughts…
Wait a minute, I was thinking about eating an avocado.. Is that “good” or a “bad” thought?
That is how “neutral thoughts” were added into the mix.
Here a colorful “spiritual” example:
Are you thinking about sex?
That is bad.
Are you thinking about helping someone?
That is good.
Do no think about sex and think about helping others.
That is the method to be virtuous.
Interestingly enough, If we try not to think about sex, what will happen?
We will think about it.
To deny a particular thought means to preserve it. By denial, we accept it.
Isn’t that paradoxical?
That is why self-awareness, to observe, to be a witness, a detached observer, were labels used to express a particular state of consciousness which was located beyond the duality of acceptance through negation.
Many took those labels as the “method” to follow.
It is a not a method. It is a state of consciousness, which cannot be “obtained” by following a human activity, a method; but something that we will stumble upon, something that will happen when the moment is ripe for us.
Consciousness changes all by itself, we could embrace that change or we could deny it to cling to the past, the safe, the old.
We are never the same, but yet all of us are One.
How is that possible?
Because consciousness changes all by itself.
We “are” because we are conscious.
“- But… that is sad that I cannot control my consciousness!”
Who is that “I”?
How is Oneness possible when there is that “I”?
“-But… “I” have free will…”
Did you choose your parents? Your language? The settings of your childhood which determined lots of your experiences later in Life? Did you choose your DNA?
“- So… you are saying that “I” am predestined then…how sad!!
No. I am not saying either way. Just observe at that “I” which is always caught up in duality. That “I” is the victim of destiny, the one who wants to achieve, become “better,” accumulate things and be remembered when death arrives…. Or even better, to believe in a God that will preserve that “I” into a “better” place… Paradise.
The point is not to debate whether Paradise exists or not. That is a pointless belief.
What is important is to observe all the games that the “I” uses to preserve itself.
The “I” who wants to control its thoughts. The “I” who wants to control people. The “I” who wants to control destiny. The “I” who wants to control consciousness.
The “I” who divides itself into the “good I” and the “bad I.” The “I” who wants to conquer the “bad I” by rejecting those things considered “bad” and by supporting those things considered “good.”
Do we see the craziness?
“Spirituality” has offered many methods for centuries to conquer the “bad I.”
“Spirituality” has made the ”do not lead us into temptation” into a way of living, a way of inflicting self-pain for the sake of “obtaining good.”
Beliefs and more beliefs which cannot stand up in front of a experienced human being who is in balance with Life.
Body, mind, spirit, soul are One not many.
Living beings are One not many.
The Universe is One not many. It is the Uni-verse in the poetry of Life.
For some funny reason the “I” keeps separating, dividing, analyzing, finding many… Controlling, pursuing, becoming, fighting, getting, labeling, etc.
Is the problem within thoughts? Is the issue in our actions?
It is in being aware of that “I.” That is all.
I wonder how many readers are able to perceive the depth of Blavatsky’s quote above? Wish I had the words to explain it…and if so, wish that I couldn’t be misunderstood… 🙂
The way we have perceived “reality” is not “real” but just a perception of it.
Ananda may not be understood with the above or in this article, but in fact; this could be one of the deepest realizations in his experience so far.
Let me expand on it.
The “collective consciousness,” the “normal Joe” is typically engaged in supporting “free will” or “predestination.” Philosophies and religions have been created to support both beliefs. This is what is being taught at school or the “office mentality” as an intellectual concept to memorize and to repeat, just to sound smart and educated… 🙂
In that consciousness, the depth of thinking can only go as far as the “I.”
Is the “I,” “Me” a puppet of destiny or not?
1. To be able to grasp that predestination and free will are just conceptual views of the “I,” requires certain insight.
2. To be able to perceive that predestination and free will are the 2 sides of the same conceptual coin, is another notch of depth into that insight.
3. To be able to perceive that free will and predestination are only “non- existent” concepts, is for sure, a different notch of insight.
4. To be able to perceive that free will and predestination could be perceived in any of the above 3 ways by different people at different times and that this perception will shape their “reality”… is surely a deeper notch of insight.
It is in this perception, when we realize that to affirm: “This is the truth” is pointless, useless and even ego-centric.
Even to say: “God said this, therefore it is the truth” is obviously, a perception for as mentioned before, our reality is shaped by our consciousness. Our consciousness will give us a perception of reality… and consciousness is changing all the time…unless the “I” cling to a belief system to stop the natural change of consciousness.
Let the river flow.
That can only happen when there is no ego in us.
Consciousness is all there is. That consciousness manifests through different species in different ways according to what is needed at the time.
When Ralph brings in his belief of individuality, ego; a personality is born by using that consciousness. That is how “Totality” is perceived as a fraction of it, that is individuality.
The Universe, Nature, etc. “uses” consciousness to recycle itself.
“We” are the agents of that eternal recycling.
Because consciousness is all there is, how there could be “predestination” or “free will”?
That only exists when the “I” arrives into the picture.
When “I” arrive, the world of separation, antagonism and compulsive thinking appears…
Whenever a concept is developed, its opposite is in place as well.
If we create darkness, we have created light as well.
If we are able to grasp this, we cannot be caught up in the duality of beliefs.
Let me explain:
For example Christianity and their philosophers (as well as many other monotheistic beliefs) believed in “free will.”
What was the consequence of that belief?
Predestination was born. Calvinism appeared with that “idea.”
Many religions and philosophies are caught up with believing one side of the coin to be the truth, and negating or labeling the other side as “false.”
“God has given us free will” they say, “that is why we will be judged at the end.”
Then, another set of believers will find that “God chooses his people.” They are destined to be the “ones.”
Obviously, a contradiction is born.
That is the “problem” that arises from thinking minds, when only logic and analysis are involved to perceive the world.
Then out of the 2 opposite extremes, consensus arrives… Another religion “marries” Mr. Free-will (groom) with Ms. Predestination (bride.)
Something like: “You are predestined, but you choose first.” 🙂 “If what you wanted did not happen, then that was predestined.”
Or in other religious words: “Everyone will attain Buddhahood at the end” and until that doesn’t happen, you will be (“doomed”) experiencing rebirth again… 🙂
Choice/Free-will, has to be in that sort of belief, so “punishment” could be given if the “laws of God are not strictly followed.”
That keeps fear as “input” in followers and obedience as the logical “output.”
When the drop of water separates itself from the flowing river of life, the scenarios explained above will be experienced.
In another consciousness, none of the above exists as “reality,” for the river flows where it should go and the drop of water is not something separated from it, but the river itself.
Is the “right reality” to see things as the metaphor of the river and the drop?
No. If we understand that as the “only reality” or the “right reality” and label everything else as “illusion” we are in duality again, we have created darkness and thus, light.
That has been the “problem” of most religions and philosophies.
A mind that is beyond duality is not concerned in labels, which bring duality… it goes beyond thinking to grasp “what is.”
Ananda was observing how the picturesque river was flowing aimlessly heading west into nowhere. That park had a wooden sidewalk where many animals dwelled. Squirrels, alligators, ducks, birds, insects, as well as many types of flowers… All of them brought a particular perspective of life. The wind was blowing west and the Sun was sharing its warm space with voluble clouds who were about to speak “fluently rain” to the visitors of that park.
Analysis and descriptions separate the whole into parts, creating a perfect duality for mankind to choose from: Right or wrong, good and bad, free-will or predestination… Trapped in those concepts we are unable to see “what is” beyond beliefs…and when we “escape” the mental prison, in that second of illumination; we could understand that enjoyment of “what is” goes well beyond our mental indoctrination.
Birds, Alligators, Bees.. How can they be together, One… if they are different?
That is a human perspective. That could be the perspective of the majority, but that does not make it the “reality.”
Birds, Alligators, Bees… bring togetherness, they bring their own beings to make “what is.”
When we learn to see from different perspectives we cannot help it but to be amazed at the beauty of different shades of the same color.
What I think is no longer what is right, nor what you think.
No one is “right” because there is no one “wrong.”
Duality is out of the mind and with that, our beliefs.
It is “what is.” Enjoy it.
In that consciousness is when freedom “to be” arises. The box of sacred beliefs is thrown away and thus in that moment, we could be who we are meant to be.