Free Will Allows You to Flip Channels

Hi Ted


I had a look at your site today and notified some fellow Australians of the interesting articles, e-satsangs…..


Were you aware that the site for Swami Paramarthananda is no longer available?


Your article on “Free Will” is interesting. A group of us who have been with Ramji in India are meeting for a weekend, and Cameron, my husband, who will be the guide in discussions, said tonight that the topic could be a good one to discuss.


Much love from us Ted






Hi, Tara.


Very nice to meet you. Thank you for your kind words and gracious offer to visit. Actually, I have always felt a pull toward Australia, and I would love to experience the land someday.


If you do choose to discuss the topic of free will with the group, be sure to keep in mind that from the jiva‘s perspective, free will is a capacity that must be exercised. The article provided an analysis that investigates free will from different points of view, of course, and in terms of self-actualization (i.e., functioning as a self-realized being within the context of the apparent reality) it is essential that one be able to navigate between the real and the apparent and know what attitude and approach toward action is appropriate to each.


By analogy, we might say that there are two channels available to the apparent individual, and one needs to know the programming, so to speak, accessible on each. When we are seeking entertainment, education (i.e., not formal schooling necessarily, but learning, discovering, growing by any means), or opportunities for service (i.e., not charitable or evangelistic work necessarily, but rather contributing to the functionality and wellbeing of the total by means of our unique individual skill set), then we tune into the Apparent Reality Broadcasting System (BS being indicative of the fact that it is not ultimately true). When we are seeking infallible support and/or ultimate inner freedom, then we tune into the Absolute Reality Network (Network being indicative of the fact that it is the limitless awareness in which all apparencies obtain, the very self of all).


The virtue of knowing that free will is ultimately a fallacy is not that it lets the jiva “off the hook” and enables him or her to engage in adharmic behavior without karmic consequence or to justify an attitude of laziness and apathy. Rather, it affords the jiva the capacity to cultivate a sense of non-attachment to the results of his or her actions. It provides a sound foundation for karma yoga, and thus it helps purify the mind (i.e., neutralize all binding vasanas) and thereby cultivate its capacity to assimilate self-knowledge. When the mind is no longer agitated by extroverting tendencies fueled by compelling desires and fears and no longer held hostage by a sense of doership, then it becomes a still mirror-like surface, so to speak, in which an accurate reflection of the non-objectifiable, unmodified, attributeless nature of limitless awareness can “appear.” This notion of wholeness is referred to in Sanskrit as the akhandakara vritti or “thought of limitlessness,” and it is the trigger for self-realization, the knowledge of one’s true nature being sat-chit-ananda atma, limitless conscious existence.


All the best to you and Cameron,