Karma Series : Free Will


In this series we’ve explored karma, or action, which has three constituents.  First is latent action, or the intent – the pre-disposition to act – the seed.  Second is action itself, and third is the consequence or impressions of the first two.  And as we saw in past articles, these impressions of past karma create the cyclical patterns for the behavior to be repeated.  We also discussed how nature, and in fact all of physicality, is a manifestation of ever-complex karmic influences.  In essence, karma is the software of creation.

So, with this understanding, the question comes up – so what about free will?  If we are all just products of karmic impressions, then is everything pre-determined?  All our actions, all our lives, our destiny – is it all just a foregone conclusion?  In a word, no!  Being a human being means to have the capacity to influence karma.  Take a moment to ponder this, how amazing to be born as a human being and therefore have the divine capability to change the course of how creation plays out in your life path.

Karma follows a natural law.  If a karmic impression has already initiated, then it will play out and we must experience it.  However, if a karmic impression has not yet initiated, then through yogic practices it is possible to neutralize or at least minimize un-manifest karma.  That is the magic of what it means to be a human being.  We can act consciously in this moment, in every moment, exercising our will freely.  This moment’s karma can be one of freedom, rather than bondage to past karmic impressions.  It’s noteworthy to restate a quote from a past article on karma: According to Sadhguru, if we take charge of our physical process, 15% to 20% of our destiny will be in our hands.  If we take charge of our mental process, 50% to 60% will be there.  If we take charge of our life energy process, 100% of our destiny will be in our hands.  In fact he does not stop there!  He goes on to say that if we can become fully available to pure consciousness (grace, God, or Allah, Ishwara, or Brahman; whatever we may choose to call that which cannot be described) then we can influence creation itself.  That is what is called a miracle in everyday language.  That capability is available to human beings, and we know of such occurrences throughout history – whether it be Jesus, Buddha, or saints, sages, yogis – so many examples of miracles having been performed.  These are simply examples of ones who have transcended themselves, and in whom all karmic limitations have been surpassed.

Now if that level of capability exists as a possibility for human beings, then not only is there free will but an incredible potential to use that free will to open up new dimensions of expression.  When that dimension of being is available to human beings, then do we not owe it to creation to develop ourselves along that path instead of being mired in the chaos of the ego?  That is why enlightenment is called liberation – a freedom from karma and the compulsive cycles of life.

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