Free Will


With all these conversations pertaining to the way that we are, we have to evaluate carefully whether we believe that we have free will or not. That’s a very fundamental question—and it makes a huge difference for us here.

Do we believe that our present existence is a result of prior lives or karma? If we believe that way, what we are now is a direct result of prior lives and our subsequent existences are going to be based upon our current behaviors which, incidentally, we have no ability to change because they were pre-determined in those previous lives—that’s one way of looking at everything.

Another way of looking at things is that That which we can’t speak about has created something called a being and has given this being the freedom to be able to act accordingly in the environment that it has created for us.

Our Beloved has given us the freedom

to be able to act as we see fit.

By having this freedom, we find that things look very different.

If we don’t have freedom, there is not much we can do about anything. However, if we don’t have freedom, we can become very comfortable because we have no responsibility to make decisions. Everything is pre-determined, therefore everything is okay.

To be free is not easy.

To be in chains and to be bound is easy because somebody else is telling us what to do. The most common way to be bound and to feel good is to believe that we are bound under the guidance of a Beloved that does everything for us and leaves us no choices.

In life we fall in love with other human beings. I cannot think of a worse love than one where the person that loved me was controlling me all day long and vice versa. Maybe some people are happy with that situation, but for me I would want somebody to love me without questioning me all day and without directing me all day. I would want somebody to love me the way that I am. That would also be the greatest gift that I could give to somebody that I loved in this world.

So I know that my Beloved that made me would give me the freedom to love my Beloved and to love others as I see fit without any restrictions.

If I were the creator of all these things, what would be the greatest gift that I could give them if not the freedom to live in a way that was not restrained? To create an atmosphere, an environment, where the beings that were there could discern things, where they would be able to sense joy and happiness, sadness and sorrow, and where they could experiment and choose among these things. If I made everything perfect for them and everything was pre-determined, it would be such a robotic existence. What kind of life would that be?

In my heart I’ve always known this to be true even though my teacher Poonja-ji totally disagrees with what I just finished saying. He believed that everything is pre-determined. So it’s our decision. Ultimately, it is for each of us to decide on our own.


It is wise for us to look historically

at how some ideas and opinions arise

pertaining to free will.

As we go back in time, we see that a lot of ideas and philosophies that people had were based upon their knowledge of physics and cosmology and things of this nature. At one time everyone believed that the earth was the center of the universe and the sun and stars went around it. Everything in the sky was very orderly, exactly the way it was supposed to be, and nothing ever changed. That being the case, they believed that our behavior would be ordered in the same way. That’s how the field of astrology sprang up where our whole behavior is based upon the unchanging movement of the planets and stars and the position of all these things at the moment we were born.

Of course, at that particular time they didn’t know about quantum mechanics. They didn’t know all the characteristics of particles and atoms and the unpredictability of their behavior. But we know now that total predictability cannot be. We are made up of things that are totally unpredictable! And if they’re totally unpredictable, they cannot be orderly. And if they are not orderly, they must have some sort of free will.

Also, going back for many, many centuries in India, the idea of the wealthy and powerful people there was to keep all the other people under control. The easiest way to keep people under control is to tell them that their condition is a certain way because god created it this way and therefore they have no way of getting out of it. They are meant to live in this particular situation which is their destiny based upon all the wrong things they have done in their other lives. I find that unacceptable!

So, I feel that I am free. I feel that I can decide on things. I feel that I have the strength, the energy, and the power to determine how I live here. Based upon these different things, I can design the life that I have here. When the time comes that I am not in this particular form, then let’s see what happens.

Regarding this, each of us will need to decide on an individual basis what feels comfortable in our own heart.




Dear Beloved,

Because you have given me

the freedom

not to love—

I love you even more.

ing enemies to each other.




I WASN’T STRONG UNTIL


I wasn’t strong until I knew—

until I could see—

until I could accept deeply inside of me

that I have a choice.

Indeed, I am always choosing

to either do or not do,

to be or not be certain ways.

I can accept the results of my choosing

without passing responsibility to others

because it has been my choice.

This is the grandeur of freedom.

This is how I create my life.

I claim my choices!


Shivakti




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