The Illusion of Free Will (the reason why we blame and criticize others)

words & design by Brian Thompson.

So many people are addicted to blaming other people for their life's woes.

The whole world is somehow at fault for their unhappy state of mind, and they accept no responsibility for their wellbeing whatsoever. They have resigned themselves to being nothing more than a helpless victim, one whose only avenue of expression is one of resistance, denial and critique.

Little do most people realize however, that they are only a victim to their own ignorance—nothing more.

You see, when someone places blame or make judgements about another person, it bolsters their ego and falsely puffs them up, making them believe, “I’m better than you”. It gives them a false sense of superiority—a very brief one—but nonetheless, one that arises from the false perception of who they believe themselves to be.

They reject the reality of the other person’s human predicament, not realizing the shared essence-of-being which truly unites them.

When we slander someone we constrict ourselves into a tightened ball of resistance and self-delusion. It’s a desperate attempt at psychologically dominating someone; a verbal act of aggression that comes entirely from a sense of personal lack and self-loathing. But when we are critical of another person, we only harm ourselves by strengthening our reliance on the false ego—which is the object-of-thought responsible for all suffering.

So many people are habitual blamers—no matter what happens to them, it’s always someone else’s fault. We need to realize that this crass behaviour exists only because of the unhappiness they feel inside of their own selfishness. It’s a terribly lonely place to be, thinking that you are all alone in your own self-centered world, and that everything happens to you, rather than through you.

Blamers and bullies are truly hurting inside, it’s the only reason why they lash out at the world.

They’re lost inside of themselves. They have no idea of their true Self nature, so they lash out like a wild animal, trapped inside a cage.

Once we recognize this as truth, then we owe these bullies and aggressors our compassion, rather than reacting to their harsh criticism in a similar, like fashion.

If we remain unwilling to awaken to the truth of our interdependent co-arising—our mutual inter-being—then we will continue to only focus on the illusion of separation that we believe exists between all of us. And so, if I place blame on you for something “you” have done to “me”, it's caused by nothing other than my misperceived belief that my personal "self" is separate—and better—from yours.

But no person is an island unto themselves. Any division that appears to exist between us, exists only within mind. You are not independent from that which has conditioned you. "You"—your physical body/mind (not your true Self)—is a product of circumstance and environment.

No one is truly responsible for anything all on their own—that would be like saying a lake is independent from the river that feeds it, or that a tree is independent from the soil from which it grew. The thoughts you think and the actions you take are predetermined by that which has shaped you—which is all things that have come before.

In other words, there is no free will.

So if free will doesn’t actually exist, then what sense is there in attempting to place blame on someone? In the dreamworld in which that person resides, in which they were conditioned by, they had no other choice. This is their reality, no matter how delusional it might be. As long as a person is lost within the dream of unconsciousness, then their actions will appear to be mindless—when in fact, their behaviours are caused entirely by mind, its falsely created self, and of course, the ego it so desperately defends.

So, to assert that free will exists is to imply that there is a "doer" who does all of our actions. But there is no "I" that exists within us to assume such a role. "I" is only a thought. There is no "self" to blame. There is no "doer". There is no independent entity other than the body/mind organism—but we are not our minds!

No matter how convincing the freedom of choice appears to be, our thoughts and actions arise spontaneously from nowhere. You cannot control the thoughts that appear to you. The arise all on their own. We—our aware presence of being—is only the witness to our thoughts. We don’t own them, nor do we create them—they just appear. Likewise with our body and its multiplicity of simultaneous behaviours—we have no control over what it does, or when, despite the very convincing illusion that we do.

At all times, we are under the control of whatever delusions we currently believe in.

We are a puppet tied to the strings of our own unconscious projections. Such is our so-called fate—our karma—our life’s dharma we are to learn from and overcome.

Our behaviours and actions are always aligned with our present level of awareness and consciousness. So if we remain asleep in life, then we have no control in our lives whatsoever; our so-called fate will rest entirely in the hands of the madness the mind creates for us.

But when we awaken from the dream that we have unknowingly been sleepwalking through, we regain a modicum of control in our lives. We're able to see through the fallacy of the delusional thinking we formerly assumed to be true. We become wise to our own delusions. We awaken to our true Self, our inner-awareness, who is witness to the lack of free will of the body/mind.

To awaken from the dream of life is to blissfully abide in the awareness that perceives it.

No longer be hypnotized by the drama of life's game and its false appearances. Rather than being so emotionally involved, peacefully observe it unfold, unattached to its outcomes.

When you realize that free will doesn’t actually exist—that it is an illusion of mind—any burden of blame that you’ve been holding onto is lifted entirely, leaving you with a lighter, happier and freer presence of being, one that is accepting of whatever the present moment contains.

See your conditioning and be free from it.

Realize that your Self is the same as everyone else’s, and that in truth, there is no one to blame. There is no doer. There is nothing done to no one. There is only the perfection of the non-dual reality. We (our human persons) are all at the mercy of our mutual circumstances, each of us destined to follow whatever path has been placed before us—meanwhile our True Self, our Aware Presence, just peacefully observes.

The thing is, we’ve been the witness all along, we just merely assumed we had control—when in actuality, we were simply walking the only path available to us.

In truth, we are not unlike a rat in a maze who believes it has the freedom to turn either left or right. However, we know otherwise—there really is no choice at all.

When you know your true Self as the Universal Consciousness that flows through all appearances, you realize there is no blame to be made. Any criticism, slander or judgement that you cast onto another person is only a sad reflection from the unhappy, false ego. It is not reality. It has nothing to do with the True Self, the aware Self we all share.

So be easy on yourself—and on others too. Know that at all times, you’ve done the best that your present skills and abilities allowed, which is the same for everyone else as well… no matter how dire or vile their behaviours or actions might seem.

You are the Absolute Awareness through which every experience becomes known.

Realize that you are not that which you perceive, you are the essence of perceiving, observing the cosmic joke of consciousness as it plays out before you.