Friday, January 12, 2007

Free Will

"a human can very well do what he wants, but cannot will what he wants."

Einstein, among others, found that a comforting idea. "This knowledge of the non-freedom of the will protects me from losing my good humor and taking much too seriously myself and my fellow humans as acting and judging individuals," he said.

The implication of Einstein's statement (paraphrasing Schopenhauer) is that the only way to have 'free will' is to be desireless, to give up wanting. This was also the conclusion reached by the Buddha and many others.

One would imagine that a desireless state would be completely inert. Surely one must desire to act before one can act? However, if the desire is the ownerless pure desire of the Self, one can act dynamically without the obstructions of the limited 'I' consciousness.

No comments: