Goede voornemens voor 2015? Do you have the free will to…?

Deze blogger van Spinoza en curator van zoveel mogelijk Spinozana als er maar te vinden zijn, wenst alle bezoekers van dit Spinoza-weblog een goed en gezegend 2015 – u weet wel: gezegend van Benedictus. Denk aan zijn aanbeveling: Bene agere et laetari – doe het juiste en wees blij. Bene agere is: doen wat met je ware natuur overeen komt.

Met de titel hierboven wil ik u niet afhouden van eventuele goede voornemens (al zijn we het eens met Spinoza’s verwijzing naar zowel Ovidius als Paulus: we weten wat goed is, maar doen wat fout is). Nee, ik wilde u blij maken met een tekst waar Rob van der Hoeden mij op wees uit het onlangs verschenen boek van

Natalie Deane & Damien Lafont, Your true nature. Wisdom of living masters. Barker Deane Publishing (November 10, 2014) – Amazon

Een van de “levende meesters” waarmee zij voor dit boek spraken is Sri Mooji, een meester of goeroe binnen de Indiase filosofische richting advaita vedanta (letterlijk: non-dualiteit, het einde van het weten) [cf. wiki, of wiki, cf. website Sri Mooji].

Met hem spraken ze o.a. over zijn visie op het al dan niet hebben van een vrije wil. Het hele interview is te lezen in dit PDF. De selectie daaruit van Rob neem ik hier over. Hoe dichtbij elkaar de ware wijzen uit Oost en West komen, is toch wel frappant.

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Damien: We once read that you had told someone there is no free will?

Mooji: I have not really presented this to anybody as a fundamental teaching. I don’t preach to anybody that they don’t have free will. I don’t need to say such things. What I have to share with you is so much higher than that.

I have said that there is apparent free will, not total free will. There is a sense of free will because consciousness is free. You have some amount of freedom to make life as pleasant as you can, according to your present capacity and also to mature more deeply until a point is reached where there is no more desire left to be requiring personal will. Only when you identify as a person does free will matter so much and is conceived of in such a way that life would be felt unbearable without it. However, this is not the case for a liberated being, because having awakened to the unreality of the ego, he finds his nature to be one with the cosmic Self, which is a harmonious existence. Therefore he lacks nothing.

Your experiences in life tell you already that you are not the sole architect of your existence. We each have the power to dream, but we don’t have the power to make our dreams come true. Or would you say that you are able to create exactly the life you want? For instance, do you have the free will to meet and marry the person you keep fantasising about? No. Do you have the free will to manifest money as and when you choose? No. So other forces are contributing to the life you call your own. I have to tell you here that all of this is inside the great dream. We are aware of ourselves inside the dream, which we believe and call reality. But for the wise the so-called reality is a dream, which he witnesses inside his own being. This is almost impossible for an unawakened being to grasp, because so hypnotised is he by delusion that it makes him believe both the dream and his dreamed identity to be real. And yet, inside that dream is a key and a door that take you out of the dream. The wise know the way. Seek to be in their company and follow their guidance.

Damien: Are you saying we don’t have free will at all? Could this not be felt as a suffocating concept?

Mooji: To those who feel like that, I would say, slow down a little bit and try to really follow what I am saying here. Contrary to what you might imagine, it’s out of life’s kindness, out of God’s kindness that you are allowed only a little bit of will so you don’t spoil your existence. People do terrible things out of selfishness, envy and greed. If you actually had total free will your life would be so terrible. You would choose only chocolate-flavored experiences that wouldn’t challenge your ego. But, basically, we don’t grow inwardly on Nutella.

Not having total free will help us develop the beautiful expressions of humility, surrender, patience, love, kindness, acceptance and selflessness. See and discover. Don’t feel claustrophobic by what I’m saying. There is immense freedom in it.

Presently, the mind thinks, “If I lose my free will, I lose my freedom.” It doesn’t understand that the one who is free does not need will because they are one with the unfolding stream of existence and its source. They don’t need to have something more. Even if they say so, it’s only playful. If they don’t receive it, they don’t mind.

What has to be seen through is that we have an exaggerated notion about free will. Often when we speak about free will, we really mean this kind of egoic will, not the supreme will. The varied expressions of life are already the Supreme will. But are you able to recognize and acknowledge this? Or is it that even in your prayer, “May thy will be done,” you are still secretly hoping, “May my will be done”? [Laughter]

Damien: And what about choice? Is there choice?

Mooji: A wise choice is to exercise one’s apparent free will to stop the attention from pursuing whatever projections or thoughts are pulling it to go with the personal identity, the past, intention, desire, attachments, and bring it back each time inside the awareness-being or the observing source. Keep bringing the attention back to the Self until it stays here naturally. Just be the Self. This is a powerful expression of your true will, because when you exercise it in this way, you’ll come to recognize that you are only the impartial and detached witness to the passing show parading in front of you. This understanding will encompass and pervade your entire experience of this worldly existence.

Life has its perfection, contrast, harmony and beauty, but we all miss the miracle of this existence because we want it to be different than it is. And life is not here to fulfil our projections. It is as it is. When you are as you are and perceive that it is as it is, you will find harmony and true lasting happiness, for now you intuitively know that you are life itself and simultaneously, witnessing of life occurs to you.

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Voor degenen die deze afbeelding van Spinoza niet herkennen: het is het door Hildo Krop gemaakte Spinozabeeld dat staat bij het Spinoza Lycaeum in Amsterdam. Als u de naam van de beeldhouwer in het zoekvenster ingeeft, kunt u er meer over vinden.