"Does God make mistakes?"

Charles A. Hillig chillig at JETLINK.NET
Thu Jul 10 05:31:34 CDT 1997

At 06:29 PM 7/10/97 +1000, you wrote:
>At 04:06 AM 8/07/97 -0700, you wrote:
>>     The Self "thinks" and the illusory "you" SEEMS to be having the thoughts.
>>     But any so-called conflict is only in the "I" of the beholder.
>..........But if a violent thought occurs it comes from the illusion of
>separation. If that comes from the Self in Oneness (impossible) then we may
>as well go to Adolph Hitler for satsang.

     But Martin, how can anything NOT find its origins in the Self?  Where
else would (or could) it be coming from?  The Self is all that there is.

>>     But maybe there is no real "goal" to be arguing about.  For that
>>matter, maybe such arguments are also illusory.  Maybe there's only the Self.
>..........Then what are we talking about?

     "You" and "I" are not talking "about" anything simply because "we" are
not really "here'.     Only the Self is truly present..

>>>>Q. But what SEPARATE one is really there to sense this so-called
>>>A. There is no separate one. The division is only imagined at particular
>>>points in space and time. The separation is believed.
>>     But, by WHOM?
>............The Self. Separation is believed temporarily.

     But, once again, WHO is the believer of this illusory separation?

>>     WHO is there who is going to get rid of this sense of separation.
>.............The Self perceives disharmony and in that perception it stops

     Perhaps the Self does not distinguish between harmony and disharmony.
Perhaps such differentiations are left to the illusory ego.

>>>     When I have seen violence, it's always been appropriate for me to try
>>to stop it in any way I can....even though nothing is really "wrong."
>...........I would say that at that moment you were more conscious than the
>violent others!

     Was I?  Maybe the next time it will be more appropriate for me to
instigate the so-called "violence."   Who can say?   We seemingly "do" what
we seeming "do."

>>>>Q. The problem may only be in believing that there is a quintessential
>>>difference between the "victor" and the "victim."
>>>A. Before or after the violence?
>>     Actually, at any time.
>............The primary belief of difference is before the violence. If
>there was no belief in difference there couldn't be any violence.

     Nor non-violence, for that matter.   Things are as they are.

>>     The thought of separation is still a thought.  But then you still have
>>to deal with the Thinker of this thought.  Who is that?
>.............It is the momentum of misperception within the Self.

     The Self has nothing either "within" it or "without" it.

     St. Paul once said, "Outside of God, there is nothing."

>>     To be against anything is to validate its apparent separation.
>.............Fair enough. I should say when harmony meets disharmony the
>harmony wins because it is the nature of Oneness.

     Perhaps the Self does not distinguish between harmony and disharmony
nor does It concern Itself with who (or what) is either "winning" or "losing."

>>     If the oneness has always been there, then the problems were never
>>really present either.
>..............I can think all soughts of things, and experience problems and
>suffer, or I can realise a line of thought is wrong and stop it. So to with
>the Self.

     You have as much choice in "realizing a line of thought is wrong and
stopping it" as I do in writing these words.


                           With Blessings,

                                Chuck Hillig

>From  Thu Jul 10 15:19:19 1997
Message-Id: <THU.10.JUL.1997.151919.0400.>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 15:19:19 -0400
Reply-To: chandran at email.econ.ag.gov
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at EMAIL.ECON.AG.GOV>
Organization: Economic Research Service
Subject: Re: The Karmas and our destiny
Comments: To: ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Venkat Puntambekar wrote:
> Namaste to all:
> I read in a book that prarabhda karma is like a arrow which already=20
> left the bow and is in flight. Our lives are just like this
> arrow in flight. The arrow will follow the path it has to follow and=20
> will hit the target, not necessarily the one one you want. Then how
> can we say we are the creators of ourdestiny. Granted the fact that=20
> this life is a result of our previous karmas, but I do not know when=20
> the first karma was created(I am not sure if anyone should care).

        Some excellent ideas were expressed by Vidyasankar and others to
clarify the issues on Destiny and Freewill. I have seen this issue being
raised in other newsgroups and also in study groups. I am also sure that
these issues will be again raised in future and that is part of our
life! As long as mind behaves like a monkey, intellectual debates on
freewill and destiny are also likely to prevail!=20
        Let us examine our thought process with a new born child. The new born
child is an execellent example for a realized Brahman! The child has
neither freewill nor destiny.  At the moment of its first contact with
the world, the child cries to express its presence. Its destiny and
freewill are created by the child, the parents, the neighbors, the
relatives, the teachers, etc. All such creations in Advaita are
illusions due to Avidya!=20
        Let us suppose that the child is blind. Is it its destiny?  No!
Definitely not!  It is only our own perception of the behavior of the
        Let me suppose that I am blind and have no contact whatsoever with the
rest of the world. Then I will not be able to discriminate between a
blind child and a child with the vision.
        In conclusion destiny and freewill are both our own perception and
illusion due to Avidya.
        Let us try to analyze the archer example in the context of a new born
child.  Just like the archer, the child has no control over its life and
freewill and destiny is determined by every living and nonliving entity
of the universe!  The subject and object get united and everything
becomes the Brahman!
        When I try to raise my child, it is necessary for me to remember that
it takes a "village to raise the child! My ego due to Avidya makes me to
believe that I can convert my child into a doctor, an engineer, a poet,
a philosopher etc.! But unfortunately I am not the only actor and there
are infinite actors around the child who also influence the child in its
growth.  I am definitely not the only person to determine my child's
destiny.  I tried very hard to put my Indian accent to both my kids but
fortunately they just retained only the American accent!  The children
had more interaction with the Americans than Indians and that determined
their destiny! =20
        The archer example is nothing more than a summary of the beautiful
statement from the Upanishad, "Life is a bridge, enjoy while crossing
but don't try to build a castle!" Destiny and freewill are the castles
that we built to rationalize our life.  Such rationalization of human
actions will start an endless intellectual debate. According to Vedas,
knowledge (Vedas) has no beginning or end. Those who try to find its
source or destination are likely to be trapped within the endless do
loop of mind bungling debates!
        Destiny and freewill are discussed in Bhagavad Gita in a more subtle
fashion.  Every entity in this world has a role to play. The role of the
flower plant is to bloom and the role of a fruit tree is to supply
fruits. The roles of the parents, teachers, warriors, king, citizens
etc. are to complete their obligations! The role of Arjun as a warrior
was to fight and there can be no escape from that obligation. When Arjun
is born as a Pandava, his destiny has been determined by the whole world
that includes Kauravas, Pandavas and others!  Lord Krishna informs Arjun
that he has to change his attitude and free his SELF detached from the
fruits of his action. This message is not just for Arjun but for
fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, teachers, warriors, computer
programmers and particularly for intellectual debaters like us! We the
debaters seem to believe that everyone is going to agree with our logic
and we continue the debate propelled by our ego! When the work is
conducted with a =91Yagna' spirit, we are able to depress the ego and
ignore the fruits of action!  The action gets momentarily burnt when we
free our Self from the confused thoughts on Destiny and Freewill!=20
        Lord Krishna in Gita doesn't claim that it is easy for everyone to
develop an attitude to conduct their duties with the Yagna spirit.  One
needs the Wisdom (Vidya) to practice Karma Yoga (conduct actions
completely detached from the fruits of action).  When Ego-centered
Actions are redirected to serve the Divinity ( practice of Bhakti Yoga),
Wisdom (Vidya) prevails. This dissolves the duality between Atman and
Brahman and Action and Reward. In spiritual life, there is no room for
any thoughts that include Destiny and Freewill. In fact time constrained
birth and death will be also irrelevant. Let me stop with the
realization of the truth that my intellectual debate is also irrelevant!

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