Free-will or Free-ride?

If you believe that you can create your future just by your efforts and disciplined actions then you are a believer of ‘free-will’, however if you believe that your actions are a result of circumstances/environment or other people’s action around you and you have no control over the choices you make or effort you put behind your actions then you are here for a ‘free-ride’.

In my experience, most teachers have either one or the other belief system and attitude. Teachers of first approach will ask you to strive hard in achieving the concentration of mind and enlightenment. You are extremely fortunate to be born as a human and to hear about the teachings. Don’t waste this precious moment. Meditate vigorously. In the other approach, there is nothing to gain or loose, nowhere to go. The very effort you make to be enlightened will prevent from making the progress. Simply live according to the ‘Divine Will’, be present, right here right now and everything will be taken care of by itself.

In Buddhist belief system the first approach is explained under by karma philosophy: your action will get you the results. And the second is approached by interdependent-origination, that is “I am because we are”. I have seen arguments and applications of both sides of thought in various aspects of life.

The law of karma gives destiny in the hand of individual and creates culture, society and commerce that values and pays for individual’s skills and effort. Most justice systems around the world are based on judging the accountability of an individual’s action in a particular situation.

On the other hand, interdependent-origination system of thought is extended to into the belief system which values “collective action” more than the individual action. In this system of thought a person (a part) is not responsible for the action but community (the whole) is responsible for creating/defining the person who took the actions. In this case, stock market will be considered responsible for creating companies and CEOs that are focused on growth at any cost, including personnel abuse and environment plunder, because the growth is the most valued metric for public companies on the street. In the same way a tyrant’s evil action will not be considered as his/her action but as the ‘will of it’s community’.

It seems to me that Dr. Jung understood both forces in the context of psyche. He refers to force of collective unconscious as that part of a person’s unconscious which is common to all humans. It contains archetypes, which are forms or symbols that are manifested by all people in all cultures. They are said to exist prior to experience, and are in this sense instinctual. Dr Jung also created the term ‘individuation process’, the process of becoming aware of oneself, of one’s make-up, and the way to discover one’s true, inner self. Dr. Jung seems to have spend all his life in understanding the interaction and unification of these two polar forces within the psyche and it’s impact on individual and society as a whole.

Very rarely I have met the One who goes beyond the both attitudes and unifies them to show us that they are nothing but polarized thoughts, not the absolutes. Situations may not be in our control but our attitude and intent is and the progress is made by uniting the polarities so that the mind can be made still. Only in a quite mind the wisdom of our true self arises. True mystics, yogis and Buddha have talked about going beyond polarized thoughts. They teach is that the right effort and action is that which simply arises out of our love for Divine. The only thing that matters is our connection to Divine and yes, we have to work for it and yes, we have to ‘live in the Divine Will’ to become awaken to it. To a rational mind it is a paradox, like particle and wave aspect of the matter or as Zen monk will simply say, it is an effortless effort.

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