This is a question that philosophers have argued for millennia. I thought that I would revisit this again, as I have come across a lot of talk about how we live in a free will universe. Personally, I find this highly unlikely, not only from a logical perspective, but also especially from my own deep revelations.
One thing I will say in defense of the notion of free will, is that it is very important to believe that we have free will. It is important for our learning, and it gives us a feeling of being able to change. If you contemplate this, it makes sense. If we resigned everything to destiny, we wouldn’t try to improve anything. It would hinder our growth in some respects.
From a logical perspective, if we all had free will, the universe would be in chaos. There could not be any universal plan, and even the planets and stars would not follow their prescribed paths. If we actually had free will, we would be making innumerable choices daily that would affect many people’s lives. Of course, then people conjure up all kinds of scenarios like infinite probable universes, and other mind generated, mind boggling philosophies. The new age has many of these proponents, as well as many fringe quantum physicists. Bad acid or something?
In my article, The Perfection of Life, I explained exactly why free will is an illusion. If you have trouble understanding how free will is an illusion, please give it a read. Even modern science seems to confirm this. This is a short video by Gary Weber explaining predeterminism:
But something happens when you awaken. Free will and destiny are both nonexistent. You rise above both of them. Free will and destiny both have their origins in the mind.
“Fate and free will appear to exist only so long as our mind appears to exist, but when we scrutinize this mind and thereby know the truth that it does not really exist, fate and free will will also cease to exist.”
– Ramana Maharshi
“Everything is predetermined.”- Ramana Maharshi
Nisargadatta Maharaj answered questions about free will:
Q: Surely, I am not the master of what happens. Its slave rather.
M: Be neither master, nor slave. Stand aloof.
Q: Does it imply avoidance of action?
M: You cannot avoid action. It happens, like everything else.
Q: My actions, surely, I can control.
M: Try. You will soon see that you do what you must.
Q: I can act according to my will.
M: You know your will only after you have acted.
Q: I remember my desires, the choices made, the decisions taken and act accordingly.
M: Then your memory decides, not you.
Q: Where do I come in?
M: You make it possible by giving it attention.
Q: Is there no such thing as free will? Am I not free to desire?
M: Oh no. You are compelled to desire. In Hinduism the very idea of free will is non-existent, so there is no word for it. Will is commitment, fixation, bondage.
Q: I am free to choose my limitations.
M: You must be free first. To be free in the world you must be free of the world. Otherwise your past decides for you and your future. Between what had happened and what must happen you are caught. Call it destiny or karma, but never—freedom. First return to your true being and then act from the heart of love.
– Nisargadatta Maharaj
When you awaken to the present moment, everything just simply Is, there exists only the present moment. Fate and free will exist within time – the past and future. Without past or future, how could you even discuss free will or fate?
As soon as you awaken, your fate is wiped clean, and yet the moment you awaken was already destined to occur at its exact moment. From that point forward, one comes under the divine flow of the present moment. Everything is in divine flow, in Presence.
No, I cannot explain what this is, but it is very different from your life prior to awakening. Become free from your fate; awaken your Self and experience the eternal now.
– Greg Calise