Have you ever noticed how you still think of things even when you’re not intentionally thinking?
Thinking just happens, all on its own. Even if you try to quell your thoughts for half a minute, you’ll immediately realize that you really have no control whatsoever.
Any belief that you control the contents of mind is an illusion from mind. It’s tricky that way. It likes to deceive itself, for the sake of its own survival and perpetuity.
Thoughts arise within awareness spontaneously and in quick succession, unprompted and uncalled upon. “You” don’t think, you only observe thinking. You perceive thinking, as it appears within your conscious awareness.
While your thoughts might appear to present you with decisions and choices that need to be made each and every day, this appearance of "free will" is merely an illusion.
You really have no choice at all. Each choice is almost entirely predetermined.
After all, can an ice cream parlour honestly profess to have a limitless selection of choices if they only have two flavours available? Obviously not. In truth, the parlour has no choice to offer whatsoever.
Your life is no different. You cannot make a choice whose option isn’t made known to you. If you’re unaware of a possibility, then it’s simply not possible for you. And this is why free will does not exist, at least not as its commonly perceived.
Your mind is dreaming inside its own false reality, limited by its own delusions, and confined by its own ignorance.
The only true choice you have is whether or not you are going to feed each thought with the focus and energy of your continued attention. But in order to employ that level of conscious control in life, you need to be fully aware of your thoughts, as they appear. You need to continually observe the continuity of thought and be mindful of whatever it contains.
When you aren’t aware of your own thinking, thought continues all on its own and you become lost in them. Quite literally—you lose your true Self inside the process of thinking. It gets noisy in there, and you identify with the restlessness of thought itself—or rather, the ego that thought created.
If you aren’t aware of your thoughts, as they arise, then you subconsciously assume the voice inside your head is yours. It becomes the Voice of Unquestioned Truth in which you place your implicit trust.
This is the condition that most people are in—unconscious and asleep—completely unaware of their human predicament, hypnotized by the falsity and misperception of their egoic thoughts—with no free will to exert whatsoever.
To those who remain asleep within the dream of life, its drama is overwhelming.
They perceive life as being cruel and unfair, dominated by duality, conflict and suffering. It is a world of pain and pleasure, with little true peace or happiness found in between the two polarities of physical sensation. To those who remain asleep, everything is personal.
Awaken from the dream of mind and see it for the illusion it is. Perceive your own perceiving. Abide in your presence of awareness and observe the false reality your thinking continually creates, rather than being entangled in the drama of its confusing delusions.
To the awakened, the world is virtual—it is a projection of false appearances on the screen of mind.
None of it true, none of it real. It’s an illusion that appears within conscious awareness that no longer demands any needless emotional investment.
You regain your choice.
This is when the veil is lifted and the True Self of awareness is revealed to be unbound, choiceless, infinite and eternal—a state of being where the truth of our innate happiness can finally appear, unclouded by mind.