Sunday 16 August 2009

Thinking, free will and self-attentiveness

The following is a reply that I recently wrote to a friend:

Regarding your final sentence, ‘We are only given the thoughts that we are allowed to have, and we can only act from the thoughts we are given’, who gives us the thoughts that we are allowed to have? Nothing really comes from outside ourself, so whatever we are ‘given’ to think must come from within.

The truth is that all thinking is done only by our mind, the spurious form of consciousness that experiences itself as ‘I am this body, a person called so-and-so’, but there are two forces that impel our mind to think whatever it thinks.

One of these two forces is our destiny or prarabdha, which is the ‘fruit’ or consequences of our past actions that God has selected and ordained for us to experience in this lifetime, because in order to experience our prarabdha it is necessary for us to think certain thoughts and do certain actions. For example, if we are destined to do a certain job, our prarabdha will impel us to think all the thoughts and do all the actions that are necessary to get that job, such as studying for the required qualifications, applying for the job and answering the questions that we are asked at the interview.