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Does ‘Free Will’ Actually Exists?

We think that free will is hard to attain. Living by your own rules requires a lot of hard work and effort, and in some cases is physically impossible – like in war-torn Afghanistan or the human trafficking markets of Eastern Europe. These are businesses, long-standing for generations.

Businesses that feel like they’re religious establishments that’ve been laid down for ages. People feeling like they’re trapped in an environment that they have no control over. Their lives almost lived completely through the will of others.

“Thy shalt be imprisoned in this world forever and thy children bear the brunt as well”

These are merely businesses. Businesses that run on consumer demand. Demand for oil and demand for the flesh – both of which can be radically transformed in a generations time. That is, if the generation follows its true instincts.

Funny how the lack of free-will defines the idea and concept of attaining free will. Its simply the opposite of feeling trapped. Its similar to darkness, which can only exist as the lack of light, or violence – which can be described as a lack of peace.

The idea that you don’t have free will in your life, at the moment, implies that you can have it quite easily- because it exists out there somewhere. You can buy a lamp if its too dark, and create a bible if it gets too violent.

Now, when you realise that free will can be attained in this lifetime – it becomes extremely exciting!

Like a pick your own adventure kind of story book where the chapters are infinite and the endings are memorable. Now wouldn’t that life be absolutely perfect?

Well wait a second, if I have complete free-will over my destiny, then where’s the sense of danger and sponteniety? Where’s the surprise? Like the western cowboy that hangs up his boots, because the wild wild west didn’t live up to its reputation. It becomes boring.

Do you really care about complete free will then? Here’s the answer kids – If its important for survival, then absolutely! If its for pleasure or fun, then absolutely!

Free will is the only choice you’ll ever receive in this life time, and its the last thing you would want from a universe that’s completely random and ever changing. Except ofcourse, if you want a universe that’s stable and predictable. In that case, you’re gonna have to take the matter up with the Big Guy upstairs.

Its deceptively simple, really. You can’t survive without food, water, and rest. Which makes your life devoid of free will. People fast (Vratt), they leave their worldly lives (Sanyas), and they refuse to sleep for days (Jagrata). They’re trying ever so hard to attain free will through sacrifice, and its gotten the human race nowhere.

See, every time you finish a meal you don’t want to think about food at all for the next few hours. Somebody asks what you’d like for dinner right after you finish lunch, and you say “I don’t care”.

And here in lies the illusion of free will. Freedom to choose what you want, comes only when the desire to choose what you want exists. And if the desire to be free exists, then the freedom is already there.

See the real lack of free will does not depend on our surroundings. Because you can build a mansion from your savings built through working by free will, and mother nature could annihilate it in 30 different ways. Real free will comes from choosing to be free. Its in the mind.

When the mind’s made up its mind, then its free to have free will.  If the mind doesn’t really care about free will too much, then there is no point in even thinking about it.

Let’s look at this, by taking a slightly grander view of things. Lets think about God’s will in our own destiny and see how free our lives really are.

One scenario, is where God knows all the future possibilities of our lives. God gives you four choices to choose from every other day, and you can only pick one of them.

Implying that God fully knows that out of X number of things you choose from, your outcome will only be A,B, C or D. This means that God’s already decided our fate, and we really don’t have anything to think about, or fear, or give the subject of free-will any thought. God’s decided your destiny, and you can choose to remain free or be trapped – depending on what choices He gives you.

However, if God doesn’t know all the future possibilities, and we really can decide our own fates, then life is going to be an adventure of sorts. An adventure from which, not only, can your fellow human beings learn from, but even God can learn from.

Because, its something that even God couldn’t have foreseen or thought about. How exciting is that? You teaching God a thing or two, and creating a dance out of life.

Think about it like this. If your path is set in stone and God has already decided everything for you – then there is no fun in that kind of a universe. Even God would get bored of that, in case he did understand and create the concept of boredom.

So take it easy. Enjoy life, and be as free as you want to be. Because there’s really only a handful of choices that really matter in life. One of which, is how badly do you want to be free.

By Sanchit Khera,; | Image credit: Flickr; | For similar articles, please visit Sanchit’s blog.