Question: Atreya, what is free will and what is its purpose?

Free will is the intention of awareness that has the whole force of the universe behind it. When awareness is identified with form, it puts its force behind the preservation of bodies and thoughts. In this state there is an exclusive “me” that feels it has many choices, paths, options, worries, and decisions to make.

Sometimes the persona drops away for second and there is a glimpse of our true nature-pure awareness as the observer of the “me.” This can happen through many different avenues-an experience that takes our breath away or “mind away.” Something beautiful, or something painful.

On rare occasions, the “me” becomes absolutely one-pointed and obsessed with using its free will to discover that state as a permanent condition. Free will then turns into intense inquiry, which leads to deep surrender, which leads to the annihilation of free will itself. Leaving all that is left: Intense Un-manifested Awareness.

Actions are still performed in this state, and from the outside a person may look completely normal “like everyone else.” But on the inside there is nothing but concept-free space; and actions are performed spontaneously without any sense of doer-ship or attachment to the outcome. It is like falling asleep on a plane and arriving at your destination hours later without feeling any connection to the many actions that took place to get you there. There is no center that cares whether it arrives or the whole thing goes up in flames. Consciousness is always home and has no exclusive connection to the mind or body.

Atreya Thomas