Hello and welcome to episode 10 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about the myth of free will and one tip that will radicalise and simplify your decision making.
Today’s question comes from William who lives in Birmingham. He asks “does free will actually exist? Some say it does and some say it doesn’t. What is the truth? What choices do we really have in life?”
Albert Einstein said that you can will whatever you want but you cannot will the will. This may sound confusing but I will help you try to understand. The best example I can give would be a film.
The actors and actresses have the complete freedom to act but they are still restricted by the script. So you can will what you want but you cannot will the will. The actors cannot will the script they must stick to it. In the same way, we cannot will the script.
However we can decide on what type of journey we have. We decide what our reactions will be and what our attitudes will be like. We have the freedom to change the lens. We cannot change what’s in front of us but we have the freedom to clean the lens we see though or even change it is we need to.
A reaction is influenced
Ram Krishna says that free will is not seen in dead people, only human beings. So will is a reaction. For you to exercise your will there must be something that exists before it. It could be a time space or circumstance but remember that will does not stand on its own. That’s common sense. It needs a time place or circumstance. Then you can exercise your will because it is always a reaction.
Anything that is a reaction is influenced. What is it influenced by? By time, space and circumstance. So it is not independent it’s a reaction. So that which became the will is then free.
Think of the hero in a movie. He had the will to kill the villain but he was only able to do it because he was influenced by the script. This is not something that you can build in one lifetime.
Remember that anything that is free is beyond time, space and form. Many people think that they can build will but you can’t. The script is written and then the actors are chosen. You shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking you can build your will.
You can read all the books you want but it comes down to two choices: you can either put your mind out or draw it in. You need to make this decision 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days of the year. If you can know that your consciousness is within you and you can draw your mind inward then you will know that this is how will is produced. Drawing your mind in is the first step.
When your mind is out it becomes confused by the many manifestations but when you draw it in you will become closer to your consciousness. The second step is surrendering to a higher power. These are the only 2 steps. Draw your mind in and surrender to the higher power. What happens when you find someone more powerful than you? You surrender to them.
That’s what you need to do. Your consciousness is more powerful than your body mind and intellect. Make the better choice, to draw your mind inward and surrendering to your consciousness. Give it complete power as it will always influence your will.
Some people think that surrendering is a sign of weakness but it will actually grant you more power. When you draw your mind in the decisions you make will be much more effective. Being able to make effective decisions is key to success in life. Remember your consciousness will never falter so do this and you will always feel good. In fact you will feel 1000 times better.
I want to tell you a story that will help you to draw your mind in and surrender to a higher power.
Arjun and the monkey
Arjun the great warrior was travelling by the riverside when the person he was travelling with told him that this was the same river where the great lord Ram built a bridge with the help of the monkeys to destroy Ravana. Arjun wondered why the great lord would want monkeys to build the bridge.
Why didn’t he build it himself? A monkey was passing by and heard the remark and said that even if Ram had built it, it would have been destroyed because only the monkeys had the strength to build that bridge. Arjun became angry and said that’s impossible and that he could build that bridge himself and no one would be able to destroy it.
The monkey promised him that if he walked on the bridge after it was built, it would collapse. Arjin accepted the task. He was so sure he could do it that he said if he failed he would give up his life.
Arjin had a quiver which could hold an unlimited amount of arrows so he built the bridge by shooting arrow after arrow. After he was finished he ordered the monkey to walk across it. The moment the monkey placed one foot on the bridge, it collapsed.
Arjin was shocked. This monkey had destroyed his ego in one second flat. He didn’t believe it so he built another bridge. This time he placed the arrows closer together to give it more strength. He told the monkey to walk on it again as he was sure it would hold this time. Again this tiny monkey put one foot on the bridge and it collapsed for a second time.
At this stage Arjun ego was tarnished for good. He couldn’t understand what had happened to the power of his arrows. He thought that he had so much power. He thought he was invincible. Arjun relented. He built a fire and was just about to surrender himself to the flames when someone suddenly stopped him.
This person asked why he was giving up his life. Arjun explained the story. He had lost the bet and this was what he had to do. The stranger told him that he didn’t have to do this. He said that every bet must have a witness. The man asked how Arjun knew that it was the monkey who destroyed the bridge. How did he know that it wasn’t something else?
Arjin thought that the stranger was trying to humour him but he said no, every bet must have an impartial witness. You cannot prove that it was the monkey alone who destroyed the bridge. So they decided to start over.
Once more, Arjun built a bridge with his quiver of arrows. The monkey stepped on the bridge…and nothing happened. It took another step…nothing. The monkey realised that this bridge was not going too collapsed so he assumed his true form of Hanuman which was bigger and much stronger. He tried everything to destroy the bridge but it wouldn’t move.
Arjun then realised what was happening. The stranger was none other than Krishna. Krishna explained that this was the only way to help rid him of his ego. Hanuman had to be the one to destroy it. He also told Hanuman that his power did not come from himself. It was borrowed from his devotion to Ram and to Krishna. On hearing this they both fell at his feet.
This story is universal. It can be applied everywhere. In life we only need to make two choices. We must draw the mind in so we can connect with the higher power that is our consciousness. When the mind is out it is powerless but when we draw it in we become powerful. We surrender all our decisions to the consciousness.
Do this and you will become so powerful. The planets will align themselves with the script and you will attain peace of mind and happiness that you have never felt in your life.
I hope I answered your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.