Question

Since I was a little boy, I have always been intrigued by the metaphysical problem of freewill and destiny and have after a very long reading process realised that Western philosophy can never help me understand the truth to this most fundamental paradox. Many people believe in absolute freewill and yet others say we have no freewill whatsoever, that all thought and that all action is determined by what came before it. When one considers space/time as a dimension then everything that can happen has already happened, which seems logically and intuitively correct but goes against the sense of freewill of there being a "doer" behind individual action, something it seems most of us whether conscious of it or not identify with in order to cope and communicate as a human living in the World. Some people say that the only beings who are free from destiny are liberated beings who have transcended their karma and are independent of it? Whatever this body is to do and whatever experiences it is to pass through was already decided when it came into existence. To me it seems therefore that these awakened masters are suggesting that we do not pass through time but time passes through us. Therefore even in practicing zazen it was destined to happen through previous karma and this goes for everything else including the question I am sending you here now via this contact form. Therefore the future already exists as a block of space time which has not passed through this body/mind mechanism yet. In your opinion, is freewill and time an illusion and will the continuous practice of zazen enable me to influence my destiny?



Thank you for sharing your knowledge and considering my question.



sincerely



Andrew

Answer from Master Keisen

In short I believe in freewill. Namely of course everyone has his own karma, but at the same time at each instant everyone can change it, change his mind and as we see the world through our mind, change his own world. Embrace both. Go beyond this apparent contradiction.

Time has no being, only beings exist. So time is just our perception of the length which separates the phenomenons of our lives. Time is then a word that we use to name what separates the events of our life. In this respect the beings are the time. I believe that we can change the events in our life. And this is good.

Of course zazen will influence your all life, everything we do influence our life. It will influence your life in an elevated direction, deep knowledge of yourself, if you take it as an inner spiritual way, and not something external that you only do. Look for all these things in yourself not only in terms of concepts to be resolved logically. Life is an experience, the way of Buddha is our experience of life, it is on our own hands. The questions are: what to do with it, how to behave, how to be a real human being in our world. For that you have to decide yourself, you possess this freewill.

Regards,

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