Introspection: Free Will Versus Destiny by Shaheen Sultan Dhanji SignUp
Introspection: Free Will Versus Destiny
Shaheen Sultan Dhanji Bookmark and Share

"Let us open our eyes lest they be painfully opened for us." 
- Turkish writer Albitis

Is the human will free or not? The difference between these two doctrines is the difference between fixed design and pliable process. It cannot be said with full conviction that our destiny is in our hands; thus a more accurate assertion would be to say, that, it is partially in our own hands, for, it is true that so long as the element of inner freedom exists in man, his future shall be unforseeble, even incalculable. There is also an intact but veiled casual links which connects his present life with what is rooted in the remote past of former lives. Hence, his will always coexists with his karma. In this struggle against fate-sent conditions, human will and personal endeavour  be evident within the circle of their own limitations and inhibitions.

We may probe if there is any factor along our entire course where we have a choice, really have a chance between two ways, to do what we actually want to do. Our freedom consists in this, that we are free to choose between one act and another but not between the consequences arising out of those predicaments. We may claim our inner freedom - where free will is abundantly ours.

Suffice is to say, we are the mortals of our overshadowing past. It is not possible to obliterate it entirely and commence writing the record of our life on a clean slate. We must put up with the consequences of our own thoughts and acts until we learn wisdom from our expressions. Our life is circumscribed by destiny, howsoever, is not completely fore-ordained by it. Thus, it is wise to submit to the inevitable, howsoever, first it is important to be certain it is the inevitable. The two factors of dynamic freedom and deterministic fate are perpetual endeavours in our lives.

Freewill versus Destiny is an ancient and ineffective controversy, which is exclusively artificial and therefore insoluble as presented. In fact, they are not antinomies but complementaries - certainly not in opposition, thus, the wise would engage to combine both. As spiritual beings we possess freewill; as human beings we do not in entirety. This is the vital point to the whole matter.  Where is the real freedom of a man who is enslaved by his ego and in bondage to his passions? For, when he expresses what he believes to be his own will he is in actuality manifesting the will of those appetites and passions; thus, as long as desires, passions, environments and external elements that  reign his life, where is the real freewill? Without freedom from carnality there is no freedom of will. The problem of destiny versus freewill must first be comprehended - lest we continue to make the usual superficial approach instead of the rarer semantic reasoning. The human will is partially free, the human environment partially determined. The freedom which we should like to possess, or which we feel we have, is endlessly oscillating with an unpredictable subdivisions.

Finally philosophy registers that destiny plays the larger part in man's life. This, however, does not assert that events are unalterably predetermined, but partially predetermined. Life viewed in this static fatalistic manner is life with all initiative killed, all progress annihilated. This blind apathy is based not on real spirituality  but on fallacious thinking. It must not be supposed that man is so helpless as he would seem. Destiny controls him, but his freewill has some control over his destiny. This shall be certain, however, only to the extent that he assimilates the lessons of experience and truthfully exercises that freewill. Because the divine soul is present in man, there is laid upon him the obligation of reflecting divine qualities in his thought and action - to his life. If he tries to evade this, he is forced to suffer this same will in utter pain, the self-earned angst would accumulate to such an extent with every birth as to be inexhaustible.

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Comments on this Blog

Comment Our DESTINY and eventual HAPPINESS in life is a sum total of our own self-willed Karma, our near-and-dear be it family member,neighbor, friend, or fellow colleague's Karma and the Karma of the society and Nation where we live or governance we have....Thus the wisdom lies in developing the 'human resource' of the society and nation for the emerging democracies. This can be the only pragmatic way of spreading sustainable HAPPINESS in the contemporary times.

Dr. J.K. Bhutani
01/09/2014 11:12 AM

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