Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.acadun.com
19th January 2014
What does free will mean?
Free will and choice are two expressions with different meanings. The difference is only in definition, but not in practice. In practice both expressions are synonymous. Man’s free will in daily life is his choice and his choice in daily life is his free will.
Free will operates under the guise of choice and likewise choice operates under the guise of free will. This is normal behaviour for the individual or the ego in everyday life. It is quite apparent that free will indicates that man is the doer, who can choose.
Man can do what he wants and logically it cannot be proved he cannot. A logical insight into the matter would prove the contrary. Man can prove his free will by providing a cause to elicit an effect. For example, man can say ‘I will move the chair from here to there’ and moves it too, thereby establishing himself with free will as the cause capable of bringing about an effect.
Agreed man who has the free will is the cause to bring about an effect, but what about the chair? Is it a cause or an effect? It is both a cause and an effect. The cause of the chair is wood. The cause of wood is atoms, which are basically light. The effect of the atoms is also the chair. Therefore, the cause and effect for the chair is the same, which are atoms or light.
Similarly, the cause and effect of man is the same too, which are atoms or basically light. Also similarly, the cause and effect of light of the world, man, mind, including free will, vegetation, animal kingdom, space and time is atoms or light. But strangely enough the cause of light is not known, although its effects are. Therefore, it means that the world and its effects are light, which is without a cause. That that light can exist without a cause defies logic and reason.
This can only mean that the cause of free will can never be known. It can only be said that one of light’s effects is free will. The effects of light, which are just about everything that exists, whose cause can never be known, are indeed a miracle and a mystery. They are present and yet not present. Man needs to ponder how real his free will could be.
Man cannot prove he has free will, as he cannot provide a cause for light whose effect is free will. He can merely claim that he has free will. The enlightened have proclaimed that the ego is a claimer. It claims free will, which it cannot prove.
So what does free will mean? The illusory power of the mind strengthens the belief that an individual is real due to the presence of his free will. An individual, however, cannot prove that he is real, as he is an effect of light whose cause is not found. If the cause of light can be found, then an individual and his free will would be real. Until then everything that exists in the world would be illusory, including free will.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2013
German Translator’s Note:
Dutch translator’s note:
Freedom is usually understood as the possibility to do or not to do as one wishes. We never ask ourselves how the choice is made or where the wish comes from. Man sees himself as a separate unity who makes choices which are unique and characteristic for him as a person. Science is working on proof of what is explained here in this article, namely, that everything that exists came to existence without a preceding cause and everything that exists came to existence from the same substance. If everything comes forth from the same substance, then wishes and choices together with the person who thinks he has a free will should also arise from it. So what we take for free will, is a spontaneous movement in the universe.