The Riddle of Fate and Freewill

Jonathan Bricklin brickmar at EARTHCOM.NET
Wed Oct 1 15:31:12 CDT 1997

Ram Chandran writes:

>[...] The Upanishads has a
> quotation in a condensed form: "Life is a bridge; enjoy while crossing
> but don't build a castle on it!"  The riddle of fate and freewill will
> begin immediately when mind starts building the castle! As long as the
> illusionary castle stays in the mind, the riddle of fate and freewill
> will continue to exist. If and when we realize the full Truth of Life,
> identity and consequently fate and freewill will disappear.

The foundation of  the castle is the belief in the ultimate reality of a
jiva self.  The foundation of that belief is a belief in free will.  A
belief in fate only becomes part of the castle if it is itself such a
foundation or rests upon it.  There is no evidence to support free will.
There is evidence, such as precognition, to support fate.  But such
evidence, in the form it comes, upends all notions of linear time, so
whatever notion of self you are left with after meditating on the
non-reality of free will--and all true meditation has that as a result if
not a goal--will not be revived by a belief in fate.  Rather it will be one
step closer to the realization of the one changeless reality that always
was is and will be now.

Jonathan Bricklin

"The objective world simply is, it does not happen.  Only to the gaze of my
consciousness, crawling upward along the life line of my body, does a
section of this world come to life as a fleeting image in space which
continuously changes in time."  Herman Weyl

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