A discourse on the unfreeness of the “free-will”, and the lack of consciousness in the “consciousness”!
The expression “free-will” is misleading, because there is no true freedom in the exercise of a spontaneous will. Arising and fading away, by itself, according to external causes and conditions, our will is not our own, does not belong to us, does not remain with or emerge from any “self”, but is only triggered or spurred to function in response to external or internal, physical or mental, stimuli. Through the vast repertoire of memory and stored data of past experiences (sañña), extending back across incalculable lifetimes it is said – the will arises established on and conditioned by that karmic foundation.
the only true freewill is that which arises through renunciation: dispassion, non-desire, and non-attachment. every other form of action is in its origination dependent, conditioned, and triggered, and in its nature spontaneous, unchosen, self-unconscious, and unfree. Therein lies the difference with regard to kamma; its diminishing and extinction, or its propagation and intensification.
And the greatest renunciation is that of truly realising the spontaneity, non-self of all action. There lies in this renunciate realisation of the spontaneity of will the realisation also of our ultimate freedom and lack of a self: “this is spontaneous! This arises spontaneously! This is not up to me! This is not under my control! This is not freely-willed! This is not willed at all! This is just happening! This just arises!” Through this renunciate realisation _for any truly honest and sincere heart_ there grows estrangement, alienation, dispassion, non-attachment and non-identification, with regard to one’s own entire life of action, to which one would otherwise _that is, without such renunciate realisation_ be habitually profoundly attached, physically, emotionally and conceptually.
The problem here is that, before one attains the final goal of full emancipation, this renunciate realisation does not cause the human conditioned consciousness and will to cease themselves! The consciousness continues, and it keeps presenting its habitual findings ceaselessly: “this is pleasurable, that is painful. This feels good, that feels bad. This resembles good, that resembles bad. This is loved, that is hated. This is this, that is that. This is not that, that is not this.” Thus it rolls like thunder in the sky, never to stop, not even during sleep. And it is precisely that which makes our striving very hard, in that as we strive to remove the delusion of selfhood (represented here in viññāna), or to liberate ourselves therefrom, we do not see any evidence, that we are being likewise liberated from “existence” (bhava) as well! However much we endeavour to become estranged from consciousness and will, and however much we do become estranged from consciousness and will, this nāmarūpa, our being in this existence, subject to contact with its utterly futile forms, impressed by such contact – does not in itself cease or even diminish.
This is the finest case of vibhavatanha; our striving is lacking pañña when what we seek is the destruction of existence (or experience) itself rather than the destruction of delusion regarding existence and experience! The consciousness and will themselves cannot be destroyed, and until parinibbāna, they will never stop! And through the practice of estrangement and dispassion with regard to them, the only thing that ceases is their spontaneity and subjection to external conditions. That which is being uprooted here is the emotional attachment with regard to the experience of contact and its impact, and Nibbāna is only perfection, unshakability, of such estrangement and dispassion respecting the automatic, conditioned, and spontaneous consciousness and will.
Then as we strive with pañña, we view this aversion regarding what we have to alienate ourselves from (viññānupādānakhanda), to be a product of precisely what we strive to alienate ourselves from! I call it “punishment”, that which lovers inflict upon each other, precisely when all love is lost! Our aversion against “self”, against spontaneous and conditioned consciousness and will, arises due to our continued dependence on precisely consciousness and will! Again, it is only a case of love, being turned into hate – having been for so long so profoundly attached to and identified with this ceaselessly buzzing and active consciousness and will, when the time comes for us to alienate the mind with respect to them, we hate their very continued existence and manifestation altogether.
But let all these mental, verbal, social, and bodily actions – let it all arise, let it happen, let it “come to be” – only, never surrender the sustained attention, estrangement, and dispassion, regarding all that arises!