Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.acadun.com
9th November 2014
Essence and Free Will of Thinking
Man believes he can think. And this belief is much cemented in a teenager and an adult rather than a child. The parent does not teach the child, the teenager or the adult to think. But apparently the child, which does not think, begins to think as it grows up to be a teenager or an adult.
The parent is only concerned about teaching the child first to speak and later to do. The parent merely hopes that the child will grow up to think, but does not teach the child how to think or what to think. The parent wishes and hopes that the child will think intelligently and be successful in life.
And when man begins to think he believes he has a free will to think. This implies that man can think what he wishes to think. If this were true, it would imply that man could have only the thoughts he wishes to have and none other. But the experience of daily life proves that man has thoughts that he would not wish to have.
If man does have a free will to think, why does he have the thoughts he does not wish to have? For example, when he wakes up from sleep, he meets his first thought and man is not in control of his first thought in his daily life. If man has a free will to think, why is he unable to have the thought that he wishes to have as the first thought of his daily life? If he is unable to have the first thought he wishes or wants by his free will, and this is evident for every adult that he is unable, how could the other thoughts in daily life happen by his free will? Evidently, the daily thoughts do not happen by his free will, yet he believes he has a free will to think what he wishes to think.
Similarly, when man goes to bed he is unaware of the last thought he has, just before sleep overpowers him. If man had a free will, he would certainly know the thought he wishes to have before sleep overpowers him. But the thought before sleep overpowers man remains a mystery to him. Therefore, the first and the last thought of the day happen without his free will, and so too all the thoughts in-between the first and last thought happen without his free will.
The essence in life that brings about the waking state and the sleeping state also brings about the thinking in both the states. The thinking in the waking state is knowledge, and in the sleeping state the thinking is dreams. Man is not in control of his dreams, but if man did have free will, he would be able to control his dreams. As man cannot control his dreams, it is proof that man does not have a free will to think either in the waking state or the sleeping state. Thinking in both states may happen or may not happen. Man’s free will cannot control when they are meant to happen or not to happen.
The enlightened realise that thinking happens to him, and at the same time is also aware that thinking is illusory and not real. The enlightened also realise that life flows as it is meant to flow and that thinking is merely an intermittent, illusory interpretation of the flow. They are therefore loving and compassionate to all who they live with, meet and know.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
However, in this 20th/21st century life has manifested an author endowed with deep understanding of humanity who gives us an entirely new and penetrating insight into the essence of man. The author of this article and this family of articles, Dr Shankar, speaks wisdom, untouched by established beliefs. We are grateful indeed for his understanding which is wisdom. Thus - yes, there is something you can call your own – it is life itself, full and complete, moment by moment. Taste it and join it.
German translator’s note:
Man is happy and proud of himself that he can think. Especially in old age, when the body becomes less healthy and one cannot do so many things any more, he feels proud if he still has healthy thoughts so to speak. And rightfully so, because thinking constitutes the personality of man even more than the body, and man and woman alike identify with what he or she think as real. Not so the enlightened, he or she is aware that the personality created by thoughts is illusory and not real. Free will of thinking is an illusion for reasons named in detail here in this article. Therefore, the enlightened have compassion with the one who is not able to think reasonable any more, because he understands that the quality of our illusory life depends on thoughts which happen to us, or not.
Marcus Stegmaier. Germany