Freewill Versus Fate

Freewill Versus Fate

It is in human nature to look towards a better tomorrow. So, invariably we begin life with high hopes and aspirations. Accordingly, we set our dream destination. Dreams are necessary for reaching heights one is capable of, as they serve a focus to reach an objective. Since time immemorial the Moon fascinated and evoked man’s curiosity, seen every day – yet unknown. A longing to know and understand, it led scientists to send man on the Moon. Yet, not everybody’s dreams get fulfilled. Non-realization often brings in frustrating experiences. Why? Are we so helplessly fated? If so, then what is the relevance of freewill, we are supposed to be endowed with?

The obvious question now is: What primarily drives our lives – freewill or fate? This debate has been an ongoing phenomenon since ages, which finds reflection in Ramayana, Yoga Vashishtha, and even Mahabharat.  The rationalists and those belonging to science fraternity have often challenged the relevance of Astrology, which primarily deals with fate. Little reflection would reveal that it is the exercise of freewill option, which is an exclusive human privilege, that binds you to fate. This option is not available to other species. Remember, the freewill option grants you with the freedom to make choices. It needs to be appreciated here that if there is choice in hand, the probability of its use and misuse becomes equal. And there is nothing like a free lunch in this world.  You have to own up and bear with consequences of the choices you make. This way, you become stuck to a cause-effect chain, which runs in succession.  In this scheme of things, there has to be a cause behind every effect, which, in turn becomes the cause of future happenings.

Someone curious to understand the relation between freewill and fate sought a wise man’s help for the answer.  The wiseman asked the questioner: Stand on one feet with the other raised in air. The questioner followed.  The wiseman then asked him to raise the other leg also. How can I? I will fall. Now you have the answer said the wiseman.  Freewill option gave you the choice to raise either the left or right leg, or not raise any.  If, however, you raise one leg, you are stuck and so fated. To sum, the exercise of freewill binds you to fate.

So said Rousseau: “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. One man thinks himself the master of others but remains more of a slave than they are.”

The obvious question now is: Is there any scope to come out of the binds of fate? The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Well, the choice option you have also enjoins upon you with the capacity to make necessary amends.  You can make a conscientious choice purported to deny the implication of fate.  Remember, what is fated is imprinted in your memory in the form of thought-seed, which when gains a congenial ground, it comes into play. Remember, a seed if kept on a table will remain inert.  The same seed when planted into earth mass may breed a plant.

It is pertinent to note here that human mind is empowered to self-reflect upon its own space and identify undesirable thought-trends.  Following which, you could consciously deny the ground necessary for its fruition. Or you could modify it by feeding the mind with fresh educative inputs. Therefore, in so far as human potential is concerned, one is capable to come out of the binds of fate.  It is, however, easier said than done.

The fact of life is that all ordinary mortals are born unique, each being’s mind pre-programmed one way or the other, coming as they may as Karmic carryover from the past.  Remember, one’s Karmic cycle keeps running in succession, transgressing birth-death cycles.  So, ordinarily, we are all born fated, each manifesting varying desire and mind-trends. That leads us, all through the run of life, unless otherwise consciously modified, which is not easy. Not that we can’t change.  Our indwelling faculty of discriminate intelligence empowers us to dispassionately see things in perspective and make necessary amends. But it can’t come into play involuntarily.  It has to be consciously invoked for due diligence, which is the prerogative of Ahamkara (ego consciousness).  The irony, however is that often our ego plays the spoiler by identifying itself with the indwelling desires, and is tempted to pursue it as an end game. It then doesn’t leave scope to look beyond for a better option if any.

The issue continues ……

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