Freedom From Freewill
"Behold the birds of the air... and consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they they neither toil nor spin." (Matthew 6:26) Jesus pointed to the grace-filled lives of these simple creatures, not because they have no work to do, no struggle with the wind and weather, but because they don't have a little "I" to constantly whine about it.
Let me be wise as a wildflower, knowing the difference between freedom and freewill!
The extent of my "freewill" is paltry. The only thing I am really free to do is to invent this little "I" who claims to be the do-er. In fact, no "I" ever does anything. What happens simply happens. Yet, when awareness no longer superimposes an "I" on the happening, freedom is limitless.
To see that the scope of freewill is merely to invent or not to invent an "I," is immeasurable unfathomable ecstatic freedom.
But for the "I," it is a shock and a scandal to discover there is no control over what happens. The shape of the now is predetermined by the past, and by the mysterious laws of karma which even Krishna declares, in the Bhagavad Gita, to be unfathomable. I can embrace what is happening with a YES, and dance with it. Or I can resist with a NO, creating the personal suffering that solidifies my separate "I." YES to now dissolves the I. NO solidifies the I. That is the extent of my freewill. It has nothing to do with what happens, only with my reaction to it.
But surely, even if I cannot change the present, my intentions can change the future!
My intentions arise from what I have already known, and any thought I form in response to this now is a reaction of my personal story, my history. Therefor, the only future I can intend is a repetition of my past. Is that freedom?
"Therefor," says Jesus, "take no thought for tomorrow." Those who exhaust themselves planning for the future might welcome this message, but usually resent it. They are too busy to notice that what exhausts them is not their present work, but the burden of their past.
Life is really very simple. The chaos of choice only exists in the imagination of "I." Each moment grants me the gift of Happening. My only choice is to accept the gift and dissolve the "I," or resist the gift and perpetuate the illusion of a separate do-er.
Some will say, "This sounds too passive! I don't want to be a bump on a log, accepting everything as it is." But in fact, this "I" is the bump on the log, the obstacle to creative action. The pioneer therapist Carl Rogers wrote: "The irony is, when I accept myself as I am, then I begin to change." This is the elegant irony of freedom from freewill. Unimaginable creativity blossoms when awareness surrenders the "I" who wants to change the world. With no "I," awareness and emotion and senses and body and all the world out there become partners in one dance of radiance, energy, and creation. The new creation is the Kingdom of Now.
Wild poppies burst into bloom. This body walks among them, singing.
'Wild Poppies,' by Andrew Dandridge