I just thought about revisiting the concept of Fate Vs Free Will. As some of you might be aware that I have already dealt with this topic twice before - https://www.astrosaxena.in/astrology/category/22/fate-vs-free-will and as we evolve further in life, we are about to have better understanding of various concepts of life. I think that my understanding has evolved since I last wrote about this concept, so it is right time for me to re-visit this concept and try to understand it all over again with a new and evolved view. Let’s cover this article on following points –
Concept of Fate Vs Free-Will.
Difference between Conscious Actions Vs Unconscious Actions?
Death and Re-birth.
Choice of being Conscious Vs Unconscious?
Let’s cover all points one after the other –
Concept of Fate Vs Free-Will – This is a long-time discussion topic among people as to whether our life in human form on this Earth is predestined or we can manage or control it through our free will? Both sides have their spokespersons who like to put their views vehemently. There are even those people who like to follow the middle-path and say that some portion of our life is destined and some portion of our life is free-will. So, if we just put this concept through couple of examples then those could be as follows –
Siddhartha Gautam becoming Gautam Buddha was his destiny or free-will? He took actions as per His free-will and became Buddha or as He was destined to become Buddha, anyways He was supposed to take those actions & go in that direction?
I became Astrologer was my destiny or my free-will? I took actions as per my free-will and became an Astrologer or as I was destined to become Astrologer, anyways I was supposed to take those actions & go in that direction?
So, a person chooses his actions as per his own will and reaches a destination or he was supposed to reach a destination which makes him perform some actions?
Initial Views – Now, my initial views in this matter was that everything is pre-destined and there is nothing like free-will - https://www.astrosaxena.com/ffwse. Now, I would say that this was reflective of my evolution or understanding of life 4 years ago.
Views changed – Then I was ready to change my views in couple of years time when I wrote that Free-Will exists at very initial stages of any action. When a thought of doing anything good or bad initially comes in to mind then it is our free-will whether we want to skip the idea or we want to give energy and attention to that idea? Once we start giving attention or energy to a thought or idea then after sometime that energy overtakes us and after that it is all destiny, no free-will - https://www.astrosaxena.in/astrology/info/473/views-on-fate-vs-free-will and https://www.astrosaxena.in/astrology/info/1281/fate-vs-free-will--revisited. Here I gave example of incident at Minneapolis, Minnesota where Mr George Floyd was killed in an unnecessary conflict with a Police Officer. Example of Mark David Chapman can also be included here who, in the last moments, tried his level best to not to kill John Lennon but he had already given so much energy to that thought that it took him over.
As always, I have no issues in changing my views and being inconsistent with my earlier views if someone provides me better argument or logic to prove my earlier views wrong. I would again say that this was reflective of my evolution or understanding of life 2 years ago.
Latest Views – Now, after 1.5 years of Sannyas and regular meditation, I can say that it is not at all a question of Fate Vs Free Will but it is a question of us being Conscious Vs Unconscious. If we are conscious then we will exercise our free will in taking conscious actions. If we are unconscious then anyhow we will take actions in ignorance and then will blame destiny or fate for the results. What I mean to say here is that Free-Will can only be exercised when we are conscious of our actions. When we don’t even know what we are doing then that action can’t even be termed as action done by way of “Free”-Will. The individual may feel that he has utilized free-will but basically he is not even aware of what he has done? Hence, free-will can only be claimed when person is totally aware of his actions.
Now, let’s understand this concept –
Action leads to Destiny – Basically, any action will lead us towards a certain destiny. For example, if I go to my job regularly then one day or the other I will get my salary. Also, if I don’t go to my job regularly then one day or the other I will get my termination letter.
So first of all, we need to understand that we may take any action there is a connected destiny ready for that. Even if we don’t take any action then also there is a destiny available for us like in this example, I took no action of going to my job and it resulted in termination.
Example – Best example here can be life of Helen Keller - https://www.astrosaxena.com/keller. Helen was born as Blind/Deaf/Dumb child and still she achieved great heights in field of academics. Both options were ready for her. She could have easily accepted her life as a handicapped person and she would have reached that destiny where she would have been dependent on others throughout life. Instead, she decided to put her efforts and she reached another destiny of a world-renowned academician.
As she took actions, we are saying that it was in her destiny to take actions and reach this position. If she had not taken any affirmative action then also we would have easily said that it was in her destiny to live such a difficult life that’s why she was born like that.
So, if we look at it then a connected Fate/Destiny is always available for you as per your actions or even when we don’t take any actions. Now, it is just a question of whether your actions were out of your own Free-Will or not?
Now, most of the people would say that actions taken by us are bound to be out of our free-will but it is not so simple. Most of the times, we are not even aware of what we are doing or not doing?
Here, I am saying that actions can be termed as out of Free-Will when they are taken with conscious state of mind and we are aware of what we are doing. But actions cannot be termed as out of Free-Will when they are taken in un-conscious/sleepy state of mind because if we are “Sleepy” then how can “Will” be utilized in a “Free” way.
Difference between Conscious Actions Vs Unconscious Actions? – Now, what is the difference between Conscious Actions Vs Unconscious Actions?
Conscious Actions – An action can be said as conscious action when not only we are aware of what we are doing but we are also aware of what kind of results it may bring and if those results will be good for overall welfare of everyone around?
Unconscious Actions – Unconscious Actions are those which we do just in a sleepy state of mind and we are neither aware of our actions nor of their results.
Let’s understand it with this small story from Mahabharata –
“This was the time when Mahabharat War was about to begin and Dhritrashtra was frustrated that he is unable to prevent the war from happening, moreover everyone is blaming him for current situation. Under this mental state, he was anxiously waiting for Vidur to come and give some suggestions, so that he can get some way out of the approaching war. The highly ethical and moral Vidur arrives and their discussion went like this -
Dhritrashtra - Vidur, good that you have come. I was waiting for you only. Please take your seat, I want to talk something very urgent.
Vidur - King, 1st you take the seat.
Dhritrashtra - Oh God, in these moments also you have your rules to follow. How does it matter if you sit 1st or I sit 1st and overall, who is here in this room besides me to see if you have taken seat before me? and I am also blind.
Vidur - Besides you, I am also here to see who has taken the seat 1st.”
From this small story, we can say that Vidur was a conscious and aware person who knew not only about the nature of every action but results of action too. Such a person cannot commit anything wrong.
Opposite to this is a person who is unconscious and takes his actions unconsciously. Most of these unconscious decisions are ego-centric and individual desire oriented. Hence, when person is not aware of the nature of actions and their results then how can we say that he has exercised his “Free-will”. Most of the crimes, immoral acts and wrong actions are done in this unconscious state of mind.
So, the real difference between Conscious Actions Vs Unconscious Actions is that Unconscious Actions are always ego-centric and done for the satisfaction of egoistic desires. On the other hand, Conscious Actions are done with an eye on bigger picture and for the welfare of all.
Now, even a criminal can say that he has exercised his free-will in killing someone. That’s a great argument but I am only saying that it was unconscious Free-will. If that person had been conscious of what he was about to do then he won’t have been able to do that.
Now, in both cases, there is a destiny/fate awaiting for this person. If he kills someone then Prison is ready for him. If he doesn’t kill then a better life is ready for him.
So, Fate is always there for any action. The real thing is whether your actions are taken with conscious state of mind or not.
Death and Re-birth – Another way to understand this concept is through the process of Death and Re-birth.
Unconscious Death – Most of us die in an unconscious state of mind. Just before death, pain rises to that level where person goes unconscious. So, death happens in that unconscious state. As death happens in unconscious state of mind, the re-birth is also bound to take place in an unconscious state of mind. That’s why, majority of us have no memory of time spent from mother’s womb upto 3-4 years of age.
Conscious Death – On the other hand, there is another person who has lived a conscious life. He is aware of every action he took in his life. Such a person will also die in a conscious state of mind. He will be aware at the moment when Soul leaves the body and starts the search of new body. Now, as he is dying in conscious state of mind, next birth will also happen in a conscious state of mind. Soul will consciously choose the parents and time of conception. This soul would be able to remember its time from conception itself, i.e. the person will be aware of even those 9 months which he spent in mother’s womb and would continue to live a conscious life ahead.
Choice of being Conscious Vs Unconscious? – So, the real thing is when we switch from being unconscious to conscious? Well, it is totally in our hands. At every moment of life and with every action of life, Universe presents us the choice of being conscious or unconscious. Whenever we are about to commit a mistake or we are about to take an ego-centric unconscious action, there is someone who tries to guide us with his advices to make us more conscious and aware. After that, it is all our choice whether we want to be conscious or unconscious with our actions. So, the option of being conscious is always available for us. It only depends on us as to when we want to enter in conscious state of mind. May be that’s why, people like Gautama Buddha and Mahavira ruled out the concept of God altogether and put the responsibility of being God on individual himself. As per them, we are our own God. We will receive results as per the conscious or unconscious actions we take and resultantly, we face the corresponding destiny. The disadvantage of the concept of Fate or Destiny or God is that a person can continue to repeat his mistakes due to ego-centric desires and continue to put blame on destiny for his unconscious actions. This is how our cunning mind defends our ego and ego-centric desires. Hence, it is necessary to put responsibility on person to become more aware and conscious of his actions.
Conclusion – In the end, it all depends on our evolution level. 4 years ago, I was at a evolution level where I felt that everything is pre-destined and now I am at an evolution level where I am feeling that everything depends on our own choice of being in conscious/unconscious state of our actions which decides the destiny. I can’t say that I was all wrong 4 years ago and even now I can’t say that I am perfectly alright. May be after 2 years, I may come again with another theory on this concept. Likewise, people will also understand the concept of Fate Vs Free Will as per their evolution level. People who are ego-centric, may continue to take unconscious decisions/actions of life and may continue to blame fate/destiny for their actions but always remember that option to switch to unconscious decisions/actions is always available and we can make that switch at any time which will change our fate/destiny too.
I would close this article with Osho’s quote – "Hell and heaven are within you, both gates are within you. When you are behaving unconsciously there is the gate of hell; when you become alert and conscious, there is the gate of heaven."
It is our choice all the way.
Hope this helps. Please post any comment or query you may have.
Swami Premanand Bharti
Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/astrovishalsaxena/ .
Twitter Page - https://twitter.com/astrovsaxena .