Karma or free will? Let inner Silence guide



“What is the difference between Karma and free will?”

Someone put this question to a great spiritual Guru of India –

He replied, “Your height is your Karma, your weight is free will.”

Smart answer! But the situations in life are not always as black and white as the ‘height and weight’ example. Most of the time we find it very hard to figure out which is karma, the unchangeable, and which is free will, the changeable. Day and night we are bombarded with questions like ‘let go of what and hang on to what? Surrender to what and fight what?’ Even with genuine application of our rationality, we still lack clarity in understanding life’s situations. The very mind that helps us to reason out, can also play trickster in clouding our perceptions. If only rationality and reasoning could solve all the problems, then this world would be a perfect place. But it is not. So, reasoning is not the only way to understand the nature of a situation, especially when the situation and context are defying all ‘logic’.

The faculty of reasoning cannot guide us much because reasoning is just a state of mind, which is  influenced by our needs, and constrained by our limited knowledge. But Karma and free will are forces that operate beyond the faculties of reasoning. These are universal, dynamic force that connects everything with everything and are in a state of perpetual flux. Trying to grasp these tremendous forces with this tiny tool called mind, is near to impossible. So the solution has to be something other than the mind. To be specific, something other than the thinking, reasoning mind.

Mind is a natural chatterbox. Depending on the person, it could be an emotional chatter, or an intellectual chatter, but it is chatter nevertheless.  Society believes this mental chatter to be a sign of a ‘thinking’ or a ‘feeling’ man. I am not going to criticize this mindset of the society. Enough is to say that there is a state of mind that is superior to thinking. It is the silent mind. Experiencing it is similar to the freshness and clarity we feel after a good sleep, but in a much higher degree because when we sleep, our mind goes to the sub conscious state, but in a silent, still mind, we are fully awake, conscious and aware. It is very vital to give breaks to the constantly chattering and manipulating mind to feel the intensity and direction of the flow of life. It is only by quieting the mind, or by meditating, if you prefer that word, that we can decode complex situations of life. Karma and free will are not two discreet forces but they are two constantly negotiating, interchanging and evolving forces .It won’t be possible to seek clarity at root cause level while being influenced by the mind which incessantly tries to define and interpret situations.

Physics says that a perfect balance state is essentially a motionless state, a state of no activity. But it’s this very stillness that holds the motion.  So with the still mind. It is in such a state that the whole activity of the cosmos is contained.  It is the only state where the forces of dualities cease to influence us. It is in this state that the faculties of the mind, namely the reasoning and emotions, reset themselves and align with the natural flow of life. It is here that the inner guiding voice can be heard clearly.

Meditation is a big subject in itself. It is not the aim of this article to discuss it in depth. But if we could take it as a lead and start practicing silence/meditation at least for a few minutes in a day as a beginning, then we may realize how the quality of our perception of life has greatly improved. Let the silence speak and guide us through the labyrinth of Karma and free will into a more beautiful life. I will conclude with one of my favorite quotes of Lao Tzu;

“To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders”


Photo credit: Trigger Image


4 thoughts on “Karma or free will? Let inner Silence guide

  1. I’m happy with being introvert. Like the inner Silence and the moments of interaction with Ego. I thought before that this is having something to do with a kind of unsoundness of my mind, but now I know – that’s normal. I’m happy also with the articles that can’t be just read in one pass, but will induce massive close reading, without to mention the efforts to engage with semantic hygiene. It is extremely difficult to project the dilemma on own life. I’m a bit over 50 and this magnitude of lifetime offers some retrospective. I can observe from this proximity some milestones along the lifespan and I can even questioning my decisions…and can put it on way: any other choice I had? or did something forced me to decide so? Honestly, yes and yes! I had some choices, and yes I was under pressure of the forces that were in action totally independent from me, i.e. these forces would act anyway, with or without me. Can’t recall who’s Demon is this, sorry can’t quote the author, but let’s pretend to imagine a creature that would be able freeze the Universe for a moment, and take a shot of it, by means to locate and compute and remember every single atom that exists and every single force that is influencing the interactions between atoms,..after the release, would this creature possess the knowledge of the final destinies of each atoms? Looks like no room for free will?! And to deepen into more: Who is the entity that is supposed to choose and make decision? There is a claim, that the logical unit is processing the information from our sensory system and before decision is readily made by conscious mind, that was already simulated and decided by the brain – the logical unit made of atoms and functioning according to well defined laws of nature. I’m not sure what is more scary and bizarre : if we are predetermined or not. No matter what the truth is, looks like traces of this dilemma can be found deeply rooted in ancient philosophies too. Thank you for sharing. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many a times I too have felt this way… That every thing is predetermined and there is nothing called free will… But in
      my silence, I have realized that all these choices, and the mistakes that occur because of the presence of choices, really does not matter in the end. Some how life has its own way of neutralizing and balancing everything… That is the common mind. All our individual thoughts and energies dissolve into that common mind, and there is no right or wrong in that ocean of common consciousness, which people call God. And some believe, me included, that this ocean can be felt in silence, surprisingly not through feelings or intellectual analysis. Thank you too, for sharing your profound experiences. It’s wonderful to relate.

      Liked by 1 person

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