Author Topic: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.  (Read 40374 times)

Sadhak

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #60 on: January 20, 2016, 01:13:15 AM »
"you seem to have totally misunderstood this statement of mine:

Quote
As long as the individual exists,the Divine Will permits the 'Freewill' and is limited by the 'Freewill' so exercised.The 'Freewill' still needs to be exercised in terms of continued Effort to ensure that nothing comes to detract from it."

When you say the Divine Will is limited by Freewill it certainly means that the Divine will is weak, and dictated/controlled by the Freewill. That is wrong. In that case, there is no need for Bhagwan (or anybody else) to write AksharaManaMalai and 108 verses of surrender. You may want to understand these two in particular.

Giri uruvagia kirupai kadale
kripai koorndhu aruluvai Arunachala

Ennai azhithu ippo ennai kalavaavidil
Idhuvo anmai arunachala

Clearly it is Arunachala that has destroyed the ego (not our efforts) and it is to Arunachala that we are imploring to help and assimilate with us.

You may ask when is the 'muhurtham' time or what if the kitten did not say 'mew, mew'. But your position is untenable. One can just as easily ask 'Is the Divine Will permitted by the Freewill to operate only from 8-8.30 AM, 1-1.30 PM, and from 9-9.30 pm like Doordarshan news and not at other times?!  Let us keep away from such talk please.






Sadhak

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #61 on: January 20, 2016, 03:25:51 AM »
"Omnipotence and omniscience of God are then seen by the ego to have acted through the appearance of his own free-will."

"This is exactly what I have said".

Actually, you stated that the ego/free will must permit the Divine will to operate. This is the opposite of the above quotation where the appearance of free will itself is seen as God in operation. There is no question of asking or getting the permission of free will.

Bhagawan even says, "It is only by God's grace that you think of God". 




Ravi.N

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #62 on: January 20, 2016, 05:35:27 AM »
Sadhak,

Quote
The Divine Will permits the 'Freewill' and is limited by the 'Freewill' so exercised.The 'Freewill' still needs to be exercised in terms of continued Effort to ensure that nothing comes to detract from it.

It is actually quite simple.

It is only Humans who are blessed with this Freewill to be exercised in the right direction ,right manner and to reach the state of Freedom(Mukti).If this 'Freewill' is not exercised,such a one has lost the opportunity.This is why it is said-'God helps those who help themselves'

Please take the words 'Permit' and 'Limited' together and not isolated from each other.I have used the word 'Limited' in this sense that one who does not put it to good use is inflicting this limitation upon himself.It is Self imposed


As Sri Sankara Says in his Vivekachudamani:These are three things which are rare indeed and are due to the grace of God ? namely, a human birth, the longing for Liberation, and the protecting care of a perfected sage.

Having got all these,there is simply no point in saying :

Quote
Unless the divine will removes this ignorance/ego, I will remain so no matter what I do or don't do.

It is the Divine Grace that is goading one to exert whatever intelligence it has already bestowed upon one and to put it to good use.It has already given the key to liberation in one's hands and it is up to the seeker to open the door to liberation through right effort.This 'Right Effort' is also the action of that Grace only.It is not apart from it.
As far as the seeker is concerned,he needs to exert,put in the effort in the right direction.The Divine Grace bestows the Realization on such a One.

The matter is clear-Forget all the 'words' and 'verbiage'.Forget 'Limited' 'omnipotent' 'omniscient' 'Divine will' 'Freewill'  'Ordained' 'Preordained'-All these are  words and so much Froth only.

Are we in Silence(Not the word)?Are we experiencing the Divine?

If not,what is it that we are doing?


These are the questions that any seeker needs to put to himself(and not to others).

Just latching onto this quote or that quote from this book or that is of no avail unless it helps one to discover the key to experiencing God.

Namaskar
« Last Edit: January 20, 2016, 10:58:47 AM by Ravi.N »

Sadhak

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #63 on: January 21, 2016, 02:15:13 AM »
"It is the Divine Grace that is goading one to exert whatever intelligence it has already bestowed upon one and to put it to good use.It has already given the key to liberation in one's hands and it is up to the seeker to open the door to liberation through right effort.This 'Right Effort' is also the action of that Grace only.It is not apart from it."


That is what I have been saying. There is then really nothing apart from Divine will or Grace. There is no question of anybody or anything blocking it for some time and allowing it to function at other times. It would be sacrilege to think my petty ignorance can somehow affect the operation of Divine Will.


"The matter is clear-Forget all the 'words' and 'verbiage'.Forget 'Limited' 'omnipotent' 'omniscient' 'Divine will' 'Freewill'  'Ordained' 'Preordained'-All these are  words and so much Froth only."

Yes, the question of Free Will or Divine will is a wrong question that itself arises out of ignorance. However, at a deeper level this ignorance is also an act of the Divine will to help me understand.

Even at a mundane level one can test/realize the operation of the Divine will.  It is very easy to read the scriptures and say that 'I am going to make right effort and improve myself',  'I am going to seek company of the sages', 'I will visit sacred places', etc etc.  I can plan even the smallest detail for my journey thinking I am exercising my 'Free Will' in the right direction. But if the Divine will decides otherwise, something happens at the last minute and my journey cannot take place due to sudden illness or breakdown of transportation. Over the years I have seen this happen to people coming to the Ashram. Likewise, some who had no idea of 'improving themselves through right effort' suddenly are brought to the ashram without any prior planning and it changes their lives permanently. Such incidents are recorded even during Bhagawan's times that you must surely have heard about.

Thane thane thathuvam idhanai
Thane kaatuvai Arunachala







Ravi.N

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #64 on: January 21, 2016, 06:49:36 AM »
Sadhak,
Quote
There is no question of anybody or anything blocking it for some time and allowing it to function at other times. It would be sacrilege to think my petty ignorance can somehow affect the operation of Divine Will

No 'Sacrilege' is involved in this (by the way the 'sacrilege' is a concept only and a sentiment).

The question is this-Is our understanding of the Divine Will experiential or just intellectual understanding (even if it be a conviction)?

If it is based on experience,then one will clearly know how it operates-not like a 'Juggernaut' but lovingly and without any insistence.This is called as the inner voice or the inner Guru.It is just a gentle presence,unmistakeable and its voice is what may be called 'whisper'.It guides one and yet leaves it to the seeker to listen to it or ignore it.If 'ignored' the Presence is lost and the seeker will realize that he has lost the 'Presence'(sannidhi).It may take months,even years and sometimes lifetimes to get back on track.On the other hand if listened to and implicitly obeyed,the presence is sustained.

The Job of the seeker is to ensure that he does not let go of this presence.This is not a part time activity but vigilance from moment to moment is needed(but it is not a burdensome thing;far from it.It is the sweetest thing to do).This is called 'smarana' (as in Smaranath Arunachala).This 'Grace' or 'Presence' is the Vidya Shakti of Brahman.

Now ,we may move on to the other working of the other aspect of the 'Divine Will'-the avidya Shakti.It is this avidya Shakti that has created this attraction for the 'world' and the mind just runs towards it and gets externalized.The Jiva then experiences the pleasure and pain and fear(sukam ,Dukkham and Bhayam) and through the schooling received through these experiences,yearns for a way out.Over several cycles of births and deaths(innumerable and countless) this matures to a situation wherein the embodied jiva learns that there is the way of 'Sreyas' and 'Preyas'and ......we do not need to go into all this.This is a universal experience.

So saying that 'Everything is the operation of the Divine Will' may be okay for one who is already freed from this duality.Not for the seeker.He can claim the same thing saying 'everything is the operation of the Divine will' but he has to face the consequences of going along with the 'avidya shakti'!This is a matter of experience and sometimes it is learnt with a great deal of pain.

so,as I said,the basic question that one needs to ask is this:

"Are we in Silence(Not the word)?Are we experiencing the Divine?
If not,what is it that we are doing?"

If one says that there is nothing to be done-well it can be wonderfully argued and we may even convince others.
Yet are we experientially understanding this or  is it only an 'idea' a 'conviction' be that as it may?This is quite simple to answer(provided we are true to ourselves)- If it is experiential,We are already Free and no longer a 'Sadhak'.
If not..........!!!

The 'Do's and Don'ts prescribed in the sastras are just guidelines for the sadhaka ,signposts.They are not there to condition him as is wrongly believed.They are based on the experience of those who have tread the path and are there for the rest of us to take the cue,and find our way through that until we get into the field of direct experience.
An 'outer Guru' is often a great help and it is through such a one that the inner guru is experienced for most sadhakas.The Job of the so called outer guru ends when he takes over as the inner guru and guides the seeker.At every moment,the seeker has to be vigilant and not 'ignore' this guidance.He needs to put in the required effort and the nature of this effort varies from seeker to seeker(depending on his prarabda).

In any case 'Effort' is needed as long as one is a 'seeker' or a 'sadhak'.This 'Effort' is not a part time activity but as in the Stotra:
Quote
Mudakaratha Modakam, Sada Vimukthi Dayakam,
.....
......
tham Eka Dantha Meka Meva Chinthayami Santhatham

The breeze of  Divine Grace is ever blowing and there has to be this 'Chinthayami Santhatham'
 and yes...
Quote
Thane thane thathuvam idhanai
Thane kaatuvai Arunachala

Namaskar.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 06:58:49 AM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #65 on: January 21, 2016, 07:16:12 AM »
Here is a wonderful excerpt from The Gospel of sri Ramakrishna that has a direct bearing on what is being discussed:

At noon the host wished to feed the Master and the devotees. Sri Ramakrishna was smilingly pacing the room. Now and then he exchanged a few words with the musician.

MUSICIAN: "It is God alone who is both the 'instrument' and the 'cause'. Duryodhana said to Krishna: 'O Lord, Thou art seated in my heart. I act as Thou makest me act.'"

MASTER (with a smile): "Yes, that is true. It is God alone who acts through us. He is the Doer, undoubtedly, and man is His instrument. But it is also true that an action cannot fail to produce its result. Your stomach will certainly burn if you eat hot chilli. It is God who has ordained that chilli will burn your stomach. If you commit a sin, you must bear its fruit. But one who has attained perfection, realized God, cannot commit sin.An expert singer cannot sing a false note. A man with a trained voice sings the notes correctly: sa, re, ga, ma,pa, dha, ni."


silentgreen

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #66 on: January 21, 2016, 10:20:33 AM »
cguru's banyan tree ashrama has a garden.

When the saplings are small and growing, the notice board in the garden reads:
"Dive-in and Goad"

Over the years the saplings grow up and become trees. The notice board is then changed a little by adjusting the "e" and "a". It then reads:
"Divine and God"
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Ravi.N

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #67 on: January 21, 2016, 10:44:35 AM »
silentgreen,

What a charming wise man is this cguru ...His Banyan tree ashrama is very inviting.Reminds me of the Panchavati in Dakshineswar.

Namaskar

Ravi.N

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #68 on: January 21, 2016, 03:39:33 PM »
Here is another Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna where the Master corrects 'M' :

Monday, June 25, 1883
Sri Ramakrishna was at Balaram Bose's house in Calcutta. Rakhal and M. were seated near him. The Master was in ecstasy. He conversed with the devotees in an abstracted mood.
MASTER: "Let me assure you that a man can realize his Inner Self through sincere prayer. But to the extent that he has the desire to enjoy worldly objects, his vision of the Self becomes obstructed."
M: "Yes, sir. You always ask us to plunge into God."
MASTER (joyously): "Yes! That's it. Let me tell you that the realization of Self is possible for all, without any exception."
M: "That is true, sir. But God is the Doer. He works through different beings in different ways, according to their capacity to manifest the Divine. God gives to some full spiritual consciousness, and others He keeps in ignorance."
MASTER: "No, that is not so. One should pray to God with a longing heart. God certainly listens to prayer if it is sincere. There is no doubt about it."
A DEVOTEE: "Yes, sir. There is this 'I-consciousness' in us; therefore we must pray."

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna is one of the best guide that I have come across in terms of Practical guidance.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 03:54:42 PM by Ravi.N »

Sadhak

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #69 on: January 22, 2016, 02:17:43 AM »
"No 'Sacrilege' is involved in this (by the way the 'sacrilege' is a concept only and a sentiment).".


So Guru, Grace, Divine will etc etc are all not concepts but your daily experience?


"If it is based on experience,then one will clearly know how it operates-not like a 'Juggernaut' but lovingly and without any insistence.This is called as the inner voice or the inner Guru.It is just a gentle presence,unmistakeable and its voice is what may be called 'whisper'.It guides one and yet leaves it to the seeker to listen to it or ignore it.If 'ignored' the Presence is lost and the seeker will realize that he has lost the 'Presence'(sannidhi).It may take months,even years and sometimes lifetimes to get back on track.On the other hand if listened to and implicitly obeyed,the presence is sustained."


Since you have brought up experience, is all of the above your personal experience or .......?


"Are we in Silence(Not the word)?Are we experiencing the Divine? If not,what is it that we are doing?"

Don't you know?  You had started by asking the question about Divine will and free will and how free will has to permit Divine will to operate.


"If one says that there is nothing to be done-well it can be wonderfully argued and we may even convince others."


Alas. You still did not get it. The point has always been there is no way to "remain" saying there is nothing to be done. The Divine will can make you act. It will make you put in the effort. But unless the Divine will makes you understand this, your free will cannot.


silentgreen

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #70 on: January 22, 2016, 11:01:37 AM »
Oftentimes it is only how a person expresses something.

Example: A person has read the sayings of Bhagavan and doing self-enquiry earnestly. What shall we call this?

1. He is exerting his free will and doing self-enquiry.
2. The divine will is making him do the self-enquiry. There is no separate free will at all.
3. The divine will is activating his free will to do self enquiry.

The way one thinks will depend on person.

But if we hold on to the view that every outcome is happening due to pre-ordained divine will, one interesting thing to ponder upon is:
- Is everything pre-ordained from the time of creation till dissolution like a computer algorithm, and every event is simply like a step of computation whose output is fixed?
- Or as life flows on, intermediate events will decide on the next course of action and the corresponding output?

Whenever there is a concept of freedom ( whether of human or divine) it cannot be like a machine churning out fixed output like executing a program.

If intermediate events changes the course of output as life progresses, then a free will is involved. Again it depends on person whether we call this an individual free will or a divine free will.
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Sadhak

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #71 on: January 23, 2016, 04:11:11 AM »
Quote
"Oftentimes it is only how a person expresses something.

Example: A person has read the sayings of Bhagavan and doing self-enquiry earnestly. What shall we call this?

1. He is exerting his free will and doing self-enquiry."


Self enquiry may mean different things to different people, and We have many better real life examples that we can observe. That is why I had used examples like seeking the company of sages, visiting sacred places, etc etc. One can plan, exert free will (thinking it is separate from divine will and can therefore function independently) but only the divine will can/must ensure that the plan is executed. Which means that so called free will is dependent/subservient to divine will. 



Quote
"2. The divine will is making him do the self-enquiry. There is no separate free will at all."


This means there is/appears a free will but it is not separate (disconnected from) divine will and is subject to the divine will.


Quote
"3. The divine will is activating his free will to do self enquiry."


This again is not much different from 2. If the divine will must activate free will in order to function, then free will is dependent on the divine will.


I don't think 2 and 3 would be unreasonable to most people here. But 1 does not seem to admit any divine will at all.
 

The common error I have found over the years is that people equate divine will with no-effort, and free will with effort. They think that accepting the divine will means 'doing nothing'.  But the divine will can make anybody exert a lot of effort. Bhagavan himself was made to exert a lot of effort in his journey to Arunachala upon hearing the word Arunachala from a relative in Madurai.


Quote
"But if we hold on to the view that every outcome is happening due to pre-ordained divine will, one interesting thing to ponder upon is:
- Is everything pre-ordained from the time of creation till dissolution like a computer algorithm"


Again this question could be an error due to the assumptions behind such a question.  For whom is the 'creation' and 'dissolution'? Perhaps free will (ego), but is the divine will subject to time/space and dissolution? If not, it is probably a wrong question.

Ravi.N

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #72 on: January 23, 2016, 07:38:29 AM »
Sadhak,
Please review your statements here:

1.
Quote
Unless the divine will removes this ignorance/ego, I will remain so no matter what I do or don't do.

2.
Quote
The common error I have found over the years is that people equate divine will with no-effort, and free will with effort. They think that accepting the divine will means 'doing nothing'.

The problem as I see is this-people just do not know what Divine Will is.They just have a conception that it is omnipotent and Omniscient and based on this evaluate everything else.

The Operation of the Divine Will  is something that cannot be  inferred from the happenings outside as to  whether the plan one  is executing is 'successful' or not.That is due to the uncertainty in Life-There is nothing like a Certitude in Life but that does not prevent us from carrying on with our activities.Also,it is quite likely that not being successful is also to one's eventual good.

The same(uncertainty) is not true for the life of the spirit-The Prayer(if it is true and genuine) meets with an immediate Response.Without this communion with the Divine,it is futile to talk about 'Divine Will'.There can be no such condition 'Unless'-It surely will.Have this confidence.Do not ask me again whether it is based on my experience or not.

It is only if the sadhak is absolutely confident that the Divine is always there and that he would move ten steps if the seeker takes a single step,that he would take that single step with full earnestness and trust.Otherwise,he would just go about the motions in a half hearted manner,thinking that it is not yet time enough and wait for the so called 'Divine Will' to remove the so called 'Ignorance'.For 'preordainment' implies an element of time,and one may think that the time has not come yet!Not just that,one may also think that no matter what effort they put in,the so called 'Result' will come only at the 'appointed' time for fruition.What sort of 'Effort'(whether Divine will or self will)can be exercised with this sort of a mind set?Anything less than 'wholehearted effort' is 'No effort' only.

My entire objective in reopening this thread is with the objective of clearing the misconception on 'Preordainment'.To say that it is the Lila or sport is a better way since it does not give rise to inferences of  'computerized output' operation of the Divine.

I am aware that you will again come up with another response picking up the holes you see in my statement,but all the same thought that my response will be useful for sincere seekers(who are in this forum and have approached me in private from time to time regarding this topic).

Namaskar.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 07:54:19 AM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #73 on: January 23, 2016, 07:59:44 AM »
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

God's ways are inscrutable
"The ways of God are inscrutable indeed. Bhishma lay on his bed of arrows. The Pandava brothers visited him in Krishna's company. Presently Bhishma burst into tears. The Pandavas said to Krishna: 'Krishna, how amazing this is! Our grandsire Bhishma is one of the eight Vasus. Another man as wise as he is not to be found. Yet even he is bewildered by maya and weeps at death.' 'But', said Krishna, 'Bhishma isn't weeping on that account. You may ask him about it.' When asked, Bhishma said: 'O Krishna, I am unable to understand anything of the ways of God; God Himself is the constant companion of the Pandavas, and still they have no end of trouble. That is why I weep. When I reflect on this, I realize that one cannot understand anything of God's ways.'

"God has revealed to me that only the Paramatman, whom the Vedas describe as the Pure Soul, is as immutable as Mount Sumeru, unattached, and beyond pain and pleasure. There is much confusion in this world of His maya. One can by no means say that 'this' will come after 'that' or 'this' will produce 'that'."


silentgreen

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Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
« Reply #74 on: January 23, 2016, 10:09:53 AM »
Quote
But if we hold on to the view that every outcome is happening due to pre-ordained divine will, one interesting thing to ponder upon is:
- Is everything pre-ordained from the time of creation till dissolution like a computer algorithm"

This is a wrong question or statement. Things are not pre-ordained like a computer algorithm. The Divine is beyond time and space. He wills and Creation happens. He wills and Dissolution happens. He wills and divides Himself like individual beings with limited consciousness of ego.

The Divine is Free (in the absolute sense). His divisions as individuals also have the same freedom qualitatively (but constrained in its scope of usage by the ego). There are no two sources of freedom like there are no two selves in the absolute sense.  Like the Divine creates in freedom, individuals also create in freedom and breaks in freedom. This is Divine Play. Dividing oneself and playing. Like what the Purusha Sukta says: Sahasra Shirsha Purusha.

An individual who finds himself limited will call the free will as individual free will. The same individual after realizing Brahman will call the free will as Divine free will. It depends on the spiritual maturity of the individual.

It is like initially identifying river water based on the ghats. After the full river is seen, it will be identified by the name of the river.

The river is true, the ghats are also true (till their time of existence). They both have the same water. There is no conflict.
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...