I’ve often wondered about human free will versus the theological belief of a higher power charting a unique path for us to tread upon. When young, the energies of youth infuse in us a positive spirit and we tend to believe that indeed we have a will of our own. However, after crossing the third decade of life, usually when most of us experience the mid-life crisis, we somehow succumb to the annihilating force of a higher power and moan in despair, as the concept of fate and destiny which we had till now kept at bay, starts surfacing.
Today, I wish to dwell upon this aspect of our existence.
Do we have a free will or are we just puppets in the hands of an invisible but invincible entity? I would like to believe that the moment we realize our limitations as well as our power as a human being, we become entitled to a free will.
Let me explain this further.
We cannot choose to be born, to exist (and I would not want to enter into that territory here). We do not even choose our temperaments, our appearances and our unique traits. All these are something that is bestowed upon us by our DNA. It is also true that our experiences as a child, shape our future as an adult. That is, upon becoming adults, we cannot choose anything different from what we have been conditioned to choose.
In another words, what we call fate, can also be translated as the pattern of survival, which has been ingrained into us. (That is how terrorists are bred!) So, if we decide to break that pattern and un-condition, un-learn and un-do all the things that we have been taught, won’t it mean that we are exercising our free will?
Of course this is the most challenging task for a human being. To unlearn what has been learned.
Now, let me for a moment dwell upon another aspect of free will. I have often come across people who seemed unhappy in their present state of life. They blame the condition of their life on their fates. They think that they are too helpless to reverse their situation. However, when I examined in detail, I found that they have brought such hard times on their heads through their own choices in life. And the only significant factor that played a role here was a lack of courage.
In other words, they chose a fate for themselves because they did not have the courage to choose something else.
Therefore, if you need a free will, it is not something that will be granted to you free of cost.
Free will can be exercised only with a great deal of courage and the ability to look beyond the easy way out!