An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Acceptance is of Results and Free Will is in Action

“Spiritual progress is based on acceptance as a matter of free will and choice and thus everyone experiences only the world of their own choosing. The universe is totally free of victims and all eventualities are the unfolding of inner choice and decision.” — David Hawkins

Christine, a Facebook friend, posted this excellent quote from David Hawkins. What puzzles many is how can one talk of “Acceptance” and “Free Will” in the same breath?

They seem to be anti-thesis if one were to go by the popular narrative. But are they really? In fact we are talking of how the Acceptance could lead to Free Will? In fact there is no Free Will without Acceptance! Will doesn’t remain Free anymore if we fight instead of accept.

The central verse from Bhagwad Gita (God’s song) – a Q&A between Sri Krishna and Arjun is:

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि॥२- ४७॥

karmanye vadhika raste ma phaleshu kadachana; ma karma phala he tur bhuh, ma te sangvasta karmani; (2-47)

(You have a right over your Action, but don’t have desire for the result.
Don’t engage in action for its result, and don’t even attach yourself to inaction)

Attachment to result and desire for results can never lead to Action. If one were to be fuelled by desire for results, as we all are, then we are only engaging in RE-action. We see something happen to us, for which we search for a cause. But our search is from a prejudiced human perspective. We have created frameworks like “Good” or “Bad” based on our traditions. For example, on a hot tropic island culture fashioned by reaction to hear and humidity, an eskimo’s cultural dress would be a “Bad”. Deviant. and so Bad. Whatever such a culture perpetuates thereafter will define the narrative of Cause and Effect.

The search for Cause, therefore, created a framework of how things happen to us.. as they happen. Now, if they happen the way they happen, then it must be some kind of “Cosmic law”, since our little well is as good as Cosmos for us. No matter that in the gigantic expanse of this Universe, our entire Solar System is but a speck!

Our framework then lays down rules (morals/edicts/religious orders) which lead to conjectures on if the past is to repeat in future, then what actions would lead to what result?

The circle of a result, “action” and subsequent result is complete. Except, that our equation is based on a conjecture and cosmos doesn’t give two hoots for our morals. Galaxies continue to gulp other galaxies with great enthusiasm, divine law of kindness be damned!

When the results don’t follow our predictions, then the die-hard religious have even more hallucinating alibis. “They deserved the earth-quake. After all though Christian, they had worshipped the devil 20 years ago.”

But there is an alternative way to live.

Acceptance is of Results and Free Will is in Action

Whatever occurs to you today. You accept the moment as it was your own responsibility (which it is, consciously or unconsciously), and do what needs to be done in that moment Free of any limitation of the predictive effect of the past while worrying of the future. Do what needs to be done as per your best knowledge and ability. Whatever it may be. Even if that means to kill or to be a butcher.

If on the other hand, you do not “Accept” the results of the past, then you are attached and limited by them and their predictive effect of how your future should be fashioned by your current actions. It is a LIMITED action.. and limited will. Not Free Will.

Free will means no one.. and nothing limits your action. Not even God. You can only accept what is yours. For a test, try accepting the pranks of a neighbor’s kid and then think of how you will you react differently if it was your own kid?!

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