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Freewill verses Pre-determination
"There appears to be two schools of thought relative to the issue of free will. One is like J. Krishnamurti's, which implies we have a kind of free will which we can use to break through delusion, and the other is like Balsekar's, which says there is no free will and that all is pre-determined, even the desire to break through. What is your view of this issue?"


My answer would be that is a combination of Krishnamurti's statement and Balsekar's. Life presents opportunities to us that are already predestined. How we respond to those situations is our free will. Don Juan calls it "the sorcerer's challenge."

Every situation in life is an opportunity to use our free will to guide that challenge. For example, if you get a copy of your natal chart, assuming it's done correctly by a serious astrologer, your chart will contain a lot of the tendencies that you have in this life, and it will provide you with a blueprint for your life. What you do with your life has to do with your free will. How you choose to deal with everything is your free will.

I was listening to a tape by Rama the other day, and he said, "You have to have faith that God put you in the situation that you are in. There is nothing that you could have done better or worse, but how you deal with your life is up to you."

My answer to the question is similar to Roger's. I think it is predestined. We started feeling preprogrammed desires which then have us choose a certain action. The free will is how we react or respond to the situation. We can respond and so go with it and make the best out of it or we can react and even go against it yet end up having to do it anyhow in the end.

According to Goswami Kriyananda, the founder of the Temple of Kriya Yoga where I study yoga, human beings have 1/2% of 3% free will. This is not very much, is it? Because of the constraints of karma and samskaras (past life tendencies), it's difficult to break out of our patterns and "think a new thought".

What do you want to do with your free will? Those of us who are Americans may not know what we want to do because we have so many choices. If you're in this quandry, you can ask yourself what you don't want. For instance, let's say you don't want to be poor. Reverse that thought and you will discover that you want to be wealthy. In order to reach this goal of being wealthy, you need to further define your goal. What exactly is wealthy? $100? $100,000? A million dollars?

Once you have the amount decided, then you have to figure out how you're going to become wealthy. You have to make sure that on the way to becoming wealrhy, you're not going to hurt anybody in the process. Then when do you want to become wealthy? Next year? Next lifetime? Why wait until next lifetime? As the yogi Ram Dass reminds us, this moment is all we really have. Of course, once you are wealthy, healthy, happy and wise, there is another goal -- to become enlightened. Or as Rama would say, "to go off the map." Be absorbed, my friends. Om, shanti, amen.





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