Questioner (Q): Can you talk about the relationship between free will, destiny, and the law of attraction?
Acharya Prashant (AP): All three do not exist.
Free will belongs only to the Truth. Your destiny is to reach the Truth. And only the Truth really attracts you.
Free will — only the Truth has free will, all other actions are unfree.
Destiny—the Truth is your destiny, nothing else is. Destiny is something that is inviolable, only the Truth is your destiny.
Law of attraction—nothing else attracts you, only the Truth attracts you. It may appear that this or that or x, y, z is attracting you, but the fact is that whenever you have been really attracted, you have been attracted only to the Truth.
Even when you have been attracted to the false, you have gone to the false in search of the Truth.
Nothing else exists, but the Truth.
What we call as our 'free will' is not free at all; it is dependent, conditioned, fickle, and not our own at all. Don’t you see how your will depends so much on your gender, nationality, age, religion, and even on your mood? When your will depends so much on so many things, how can you ever call it 'free will'? Some new piece of news and your choice changes. So, your will depends on knowledge. How can you call it free will?
Free will means to have a will that does not depend on anything, that is uncaused, that has no reason behind it, and that is only the will of the Heart. Whenever the mind has a will, it is a constructed will, it is an artificial will, it is a will with a reason. There is only one will — the will to reach the Heart; the will to reach the Truth — that does not have a reason.
Reason means benefit. Whenever we do something, we do it for some particular benefit. In free will, hence, by definition, there can be no thought of benefit involved. Whenever you do something for a benefit it cannot be called 'free will'. Whenever you do something for a purpose then by definition it cannot be called 'free will'. Because you are doing it for that and if that changes then you won’t do it anymore. Free, by definition, means unconditional, not dependent on anything. Right now, your will is dependent on that.
But there is one will which is uncaused and so very unreasonable, and it’s a very obvious will, that will is to come to the end of willing.
Do you desire, in order to keep desiring? Do you beg, in order to keep begging? Do you want, in order to keep wanting? Why do you want? So that you may no longer have to want, that is free will.
The dissolution of will itself is freewill.
Whenever you will have a will, whenever you will ask for something, it will be unfree. So, free will really is not to have a will at all, because that is your ultimate desire. To be so fulfilled in your desires that you are no more desirous. Is that not what every desire wants? To be so deeply fulfilled that the desire itself is gone.
You desired some food, if after having that food, that dish, you still desire more of it, then have you had enough of it? You call yourself fulfilled only if the desire itself is dissolved. Alright, so, fulfillment is the end of desiring, and that is freewill— fulfillment. Now, I do not want this or that, what do I want? The mind usually talks in these terms, it says, “I want that new car, I want enlightenment, I want that new certification, I want more knowledge.”
There is a quality of mind when the mind is not too serious about wanting anything—that is free will.
To ask for peace only is free will.
To ask for silence only is free will.
To ask for anything else is unfree.
So, free will really do not exist because in free will there is no will. When the will is really free, then there is no will.
But for the sake of communication let us just say that free will is the will to peace, the will to silence, the will to Truth – that is free will.
Q: Can it be said that the meditative mind is at free will?
AP: Yes, of course.
Q: Are we slaves to destiny if not then how come there are accurate astrological predictions?
AP: It is possible if you are someone who lives in patterns to predict what you would be doing next. But, it is possible only if you are someone who lives in patterns.
The more conditioned you are, the more it will be possible to predict what you would do next.
You are so conditioned that the moment you hear a particular word you become very angry. Have you seen such people where it is known in advance that such a word is going to make them furious? Have you seen such people? So, now, is it not possible to predict? He is going, he will say this, and he would react in this particular way.
Hence, the more these things are applicable to you, the more it is certain that you are a conditioned machine. If you are not a conditioned machine, you cannot be predicted. If you are not a slave to your patterns, then it would be impossible to say anything about what you would do next. Machines can be predicted. A total machine can be totally predicted.
Are you getting it?
But even in that, remember that the network of cause and effect in the universe is an infinite network and everything depends on everything else. So, it will never be possible to fully predict what would happen next because there is no database wide enough to contain all the causes in function at any particular moment. When we do not know what all is happening at a particular moment, how can we know what would happen in the next instance of time? But leave that alone. For us, practically it should suffice that if we are predictable that is a sign of danger.
Q: Because we are the slave of patterns, we are not free.
AP: Yes. Now, it is known that when the weekend will come, you will go shopping, it’s so predictable. Now, it is known that after having a fight you will go to the bar. Now, it is known that the moment an attractive woman crosses you, certain thoughts will rise. If that is happening, if that may happen, then we are machines, with machines it happens fully.
Pay more attention to the real meaning of the word 'destiny.' Destiny means that which you cannot avoid; from which there is no escape. The real destiny is Truth.
Only from that, is there no escape. From everything else, there is an escape, a freedom possible. Truth is the real destiny. And with Truth, you do not meet your destiny sometime in the future, you meet your destiny right now because you are in the Truth presently. With all other destinies you keep talking about the future, you say, “This will happen then.” Right?
Law of attraction: Only the Truth calls you, nothing else. Whatever you do, you do for the sake of peace. You enter even violence for the sake of peace. Wars are started so that ultimately peace may prevail; at least that’s the intention. Only the Truth, the peace calls you, nothing else calls you. Everything else is just imagination and pleasurable theories that can help you get bestsellers, nothing else.