On Dec. 20 I wrote a blog about Free Will vs. Predetermination that you may wish to reread before proceeding. In this blog I illustrate what it is like to experience it, not as a theory, but in the here and now.
Consider the notion of ‘effort’. At first glance effort can seem to be the assertion of free will. You use free will to make something happen. Such effort is an attempt to overcome karma. Such effort is tiring. It is a struggle.
On the other hand, such effort is also predetermined karma. All action resides at the interface between free will and karma. The question becomes your relationship with that interface, that edge. When the edge is ridden, free will and karma are experienced as one. Effort and effortlessness become the same thing. You are doing and not doing at the same time.
At first, this is experienced as ‘witnessing’. You are doing, but it is as if you are watching the doing happen. There is a separation, a gap, between you, the doer, and you, the witness. It is sometimes described as if there is a movie camera in your head watching everything happen.
However, in time, the dichotomy of the doer and the witness are experienced as one. Your effort just happens while you are fully engaged in the doing as coming from your own free will. At the same time, you carry your actions while nature carries you. It is all the flow of nature… superfluid. Karma and free will are experienced as the same thing simultaneously and without contradiction.
When that dichotomy is experienced as one, other contradictory notions also merge as one… for example; past, present, and future. The sequentiality and simultaneity of time merge as the same thing. Paradoxes resolve within you as a moment to moment experience.
The following points may assist reflection:
- No control means control.
- What will happen has already happened.
- Being lost to effort is being lost to illusion.
- Being lost to effort means fighting effortlessness.
- Being lost to effort means trying to overcome the way things are… the way things will be.
- When effort is experienced for what it is, effort and effortlessness are experienced as the same thing.
- Trying and not trying are the same thing… Both are free. Both are predetermined.
- What was, what is, what will be… are all the same thing.
- There is no time.
Wow, this is going to take some reflection. I hope you talk about it at the retreat.
Thank you for the clarification of the road map of experiences. Having the explanation in language of our time is very freeing. It seems very clear.
Very helpful blog, Inspiring reflection.
Holy Moly!…….no comments eh! ………the Master blaster is at work
In the Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna “wisdom is the final goal of every action. You must realize what action is, what wrong action and inaction are as well.” “With no desire for success, no anxiety about failure, indifferent to “results, he burns up his actions in the fire of wisdom. “Actions do not cling to me because I am not attached to their results. Those who understand this and practice it live in freedom.”
How does this blog relate to Krishna’s words?
Krishna also says ““Find a wise teacher, honor him, ask him your questions, serve him; someone who has seen the truth will guide you on the path to Wisdom.”
I have no doubt I have found my teacher. Thank you.
Powerful & ah-mazing!
You know, when this whole social media energy got going I was not oriented to it. But now I am quite grateful for it. You have written thought provoking blogs, like this one, which have deepened clarified expanded and integrated my understanding. (It did take more than one reading) Thank you.
Thank you also for your ability to distinguish between theory and experience, and for so honestly sharing your experiences.
Wow. I loved the Free Will vs Predetermination blog but this follow up blew my mind.
This dovetails so nicely with your talk about time and space in the California class. Although my brain hurts a bit just reading this and I think it’s going to take a long time and a lot of ‘effortless’ pondering 😊 for it to really sink in… So many layers.
The problem with these quotes is the translations. For example, freedom from desire is at the depth of being, where you can desire nothing because you are awake to the level where you already have it… you already are it. On the surface, even in enlightenment, you can still desire things… maybe even some ice cream, even though at the depth you are one with ice cream. see?
Indifference and wisdom dwell in their purity at the depth (in the transcendent). Freedom exists in the depth. All actions burn up in the depth, just as a plant may bend back and forth in the breeze, but the root remains unaffected. Living in the relative and absolute simultaneously is freedom from action while acting. doing while not doing.. effortlessly efforting…living in time while living beyond time… I gave a lecture about this today to the retreat group. Unfortunately, it was not recorded. Not the first time that happened and we later wished we recorded it. When you read Vedic literature, remember my teaching and see how the translations may not be exactly right. Same with the Bible for that matter.
You are right. In fact, in the talk I gave today, I tied it in to space, time, akasha, etc.
Thank you for such a beautiful explanation. I do understand what you mean about the translations. You have such a rare talent for making sense of it all. We are so
fortunate to be able to learn from you.
This blog, especially the bullet points, helped to allay my fear. Thank you.
I love the feeling from Surya Ram meditation of being outside time. I love the quotes in the blog about no time, and the future time having already happened! My stepdaughter and I spent some time (hah!) discussing this over Christmas break. She liked Michael Mamas’ explanation – which I heard in a class – about time emerging simultaneously in all directions from one point rather than being linear. Hope I captured that right…
The depth and profundity of this blog is incredible. I’m still chewing on it!
This is the clearest explanation I have ever read. Thank you! I wonder, when first experienced the gap, does one swing back and forth between the doer and the witness quickly and involuntarily?
At first, before enlightenment, the witness is experienced briefly from time to time. Particularly at first, the gap between the witness and the doer is huge. In time, they coexist with no gap between the two. Desirelessness and desire, sequentiality of time and no time, free will and predetermination, efforting and effortlessness, control and no control… all these dichotomies merge (resolve, become the same thing) in the resolution (the unification) of paradox become one. It is as if you live at the junction point between polar opposites… fully in the Absolute and fully in the relative at the same time. The boat remains in the water, but no water in the boat.
Wow! I agree, this blog is one I will have to sit with for awhile. Thank you.
I love that one cannot attain “effortless efforting” from the outside in. It comes from the inside out. Surya Ram meditation gives me the flavor of that.
I’m with Hayley. This Michael Mamas blog is a mind-blower.