The Question of Free Will

Posted on by Sen.

The deal with free will is that you have it when you realize that you have it, until then you are basically a puppet to your external conditioning and survival mindset. Free will is a choice which is always available to you owing to the fact that you have the capacity to create your reality (you own this capacity as your natural potential as life-energy to manifest through focus). However, this choice can only be exercised when you start recognizing that you have this choice – without this realization you will still be using your free will to follow your conditioning (which shape your beliefs, habits, outlook, attitude) unconsciously, but anything that’s done unconsciously cannot be considered “free will” because there inherently no choice involved. Choice comes into play only when you are aware of your freedom to choose, and consciously/deliberately choose a certain way of living or alignment. Anyone who consciously exercises free will is a deliberate creator of his/her reality.

You must, however, understand that when I use the term “you”, in the context of this post, I am not talking about you as this human body/mind alone. In reality, “you” is a collective presence of your physical aspect as this human body/mind and your non-physical aspect as the stream of consciousness that you are presently, and were even before your focus on this body. So free-will has to involve making a choice to allow the congruent expression of the will/intent of your non-physical perspective (which was the blueprint that created the natural make-up of your body/mind) as well as your present physical perspective.

In simple words, there are some expressions/experiences that you intended to have from non-physical perspective, for the purpose of collective well-being and your inherent growth of understanding, and there are some expressions/experiences that you desire to have from your physical perspective after having lived life this far – you can use your free-will, using the force of your human mind, to oppose the expressions that you intended in your non-physical perspective, but such an opposition will always make you feel “incomplete” within or create a sense of not feeling fulfilled. Instead, if you use your free-will to allow your natural expression as well as the manifestation of your personal desires, accrued through your physical observation, then it serves the purpose of creating a fulfilling physical journey.

As you can see, the most prudent way to use your free will is to allow your natural expression, fulfilling the roles that you intended coming in, and also allow expression of the desires, created in your present physical perspective, that are in alignment with you. So in this sense, it’s a balance – you are not just here to be a “servant” to your non-physical intention, you are here to enjoy physicality as much as living your natural expression. It’s like going on a business trip sponsored by your “generous” company that gives you the freedom to enjoy yourself to the best of your ability (checking into the best hotels, hitting the tourist spots, enjoying the choice cuisines) while you are about fulfilling the business. Your trip can be about “pure business” (with a successful or mediocre execution) or it can be business combined with pleasure, it’s totally your choice. This second part of “consciously” enjoying your physicality can only be fulfilled when you exercise your free-will to align with your personal desires, else you may just live our your natural expression (to the extent you allow) and die without really enjoying the trip to the best of your capacity.

Your desires lend your journey a personal flavor

There are many spiritual teachers who talk about not indulging in desires (of physical nature) and just dedicating yourself to the expression of life in you, with the concept of “thy will be done”. Such a life obviously affords for peace of mind, because when you are aligned with life’s expression in you (your non-physical intention) you obviously don’t have any sense of resistance within and a general sense of well-being is your experience. But I would consider such a life to be “good” but with the potential to have been better, it could have been better if you also inculcated your free-will to experience certain personal physical desires that you came upon from observing life here – it could be in the form of some luxuries, some physical/sensory pleasures or a lifestyle choice.

Of course, it’s very peaceful just to be in alignment with your natural expression and not really wanting to indulge in any other personal desires, and if that’s the expression you want as a “conscious choice” it’s totally fine – as long as you understand that you have a choice to enjoy your personal desires along with your natural expression. In simple words, “peace” is not the highest vibration possible, it’s obviously higher than low vibrations like agitation and depression, but a higher vibration to peace is an “exuberant” aliveness, which is actually the natural vibration of life-energy, which your mind/body can experience when you indulge in the expression of some of your personal desires.

If you just want to stay with peace, you are welcome to it, as long as you realize that you have the choice to up the vibration towards exuberance in many moments – it’s a choice you can’t live unless you consciously exercise it with your free-will. For example, you can have a peaceful day living your natural expression in all its simplicity and call it a night, or you can “liven up” your experience of the evening by reclining in a comfortable couch with a glass of your favorite drink, in the company of your favorite people/person, watching a movie of your choice in HD – the latter experience is created through manifesting your personal choices/desires, the former experience is living your natural expression, in a bare minimum manner, minus the “bonus” experiences you can avail.

It’s high time humans start recognizing the simple truth that we are “equals” in this universe because, in essence, we are the same life-energy that created this world, no force is condescending or patronizing on us. For some reason our minds have so much fear about taking charge of this power of being an “equal” with the universal force – most of us just want to hide behind the security of being a servant, a follower, a messenger or a foot soldier to a higher force, we always want to hang our own divinity onto some external image and worship it rather than realize our own divinity (without adding some imaginary idea of holiness to it), to consciously realize that we are inherently the same life-energy that creates worlds. We are so inherently afraid of being an equal with life, it’s the biggest inferiority complex that’s been instilled into human minds through years of misguided religious teachings.

What about the pointers of surrendering to life?

I constantly give this pointer of surrendering/allowing your life’s pull, and letting go of your mindset of struggle. This conscious “allowing”, or surrender, or letting go, is also part of exercising your free-will. When you consciously let go of the choice of entering into struggle, you are exercising your free-will to allow your life force to orchestrate events in the most comfortable manner to realize the expression of your desired reality. The pointer of “surrender to your life’s pull”, or trust your life-stream’s movement, is just a pointer towards letting go of your struggle-based mindset – stop using your personal will as a force to exert yourself into a struggle-some life, it’s totally unnecessary for you to struggle and it’s very counter-productive towards realizing your desired reality or living your natural expression.

Struggle is always a choice, no matter what your excuse of the moment is, all your excuses are inherently saying “I don’t trust life enough to let go of my struggle”, so basically you lack an understanding of life and hence lack the conviction in the intelligence of your life-stream to provide you a congruent reality that’s free of struggle. Whether it be to live your natural expression, or to manifest your desires, letting go of your struggle (or mindset of struggle) is quintessential towards a smooth orchestration of events. If there is one pointer I would like you to take away from this entire blog it would be – “let go of struggle”, period. If you can just live this pointer, you can’t help falling into alignment with your life-stream. To let go of struggle is your prerogative, it entails a conscious free-willed choice on your part. All the understanding, perspectives and pointers are so that you can finally feel confident enough to let go of your struggle-mindset – this choice solves everything. For example, if you are struggling with your mind to get rid of negative thoughts, the simple pointer is to drop your fight and “allow” your mind the full freedom to produce negative thought whenever it wants, when you do this you will see your mind losing its negative momentum on its own, it’s that simple.

The pointer of “surrendering to your life force” does not mean “don’t have personal desires”. To have a personal desire means that you consciously acknowledge that you desire the manifestation of a certain reality – your acknowledgement is important because that’s the “force” needed to remove resistances within you towards the manifestation of that desire. By “acknowledgement” I don’t mean that you have to do affirmations or write it down a hundred times, I just mean that you need to internalize the desire by accepting that it’s what you want to experience as a part of your journey. Once you’ve acknowledged it, you can leave it your life-force to orchestrate the events towards the manifestation, you can drop your struggle (including vying for some “specifics”, knowing that your life-stream has the bigger picture) and allow your life-force to inspire the right actions in you that lead to the unfolding the “essence” of your desired reality – so again surrendering to your life-force, and living your desired realities, is all part of the same equation just that the force required for the manifestation of your personal desires needs to come from “you” through your conscious acknowledgement that you want to experience that desire

(of course desires that are not in sync with the reality of Earth consciousness can’t get enough force to manifest, plus the specifics of your desire need not manifest if they are not in alignment with your well-being, or best experience, what manifests is the essence of the desire. I’ve explained this in the post – Insights on deliberate creation)

Your personal desires are a bonus that you can enjoy in your physicality and are not a necessity. If you simply stay in alignment with your natural expression your life will have an undercurrent of well-being all the time. In truth, your personal desires are “interweaved” into the journey of your natural expression quite congruently by the intelligence of your life-stream – your natural expression always has a higher importance. Just like the main purpose of a business trip is to fulfill the business, your natural expression is the significant part of your journey here and the personal desires are the “perks” that you can avail for yourself. Without living your natural expression you will never really feel a sense of inner fulfillment. Hence, it always makes sense to first come into alignment with your natural expression by letting go of struggle, and from this place of inner wholeness/alignment you can incorporate your personal desires – the added benefit is that the desires that come from a place of inner wholeness are rooted in a sense of wisdom and are not coming from an imbalanced perspective.


  1. jan

    This reminds me of a line from Marianne Williamson’s poem ‘Our Greatest Fear’:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

    1. Arpit

      Excellent lines from the poem. Even i remember a couple of lines from Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If”, whenever i see Sen stressing on the mindset to let go of struggle and trust life’s energy,

      ‘If you can dream and not make dreams your master,
      If you can think and not make thoughts your aim’

    2. Peter

      Thank you jan! Great quote. Love it.

  2. abet

    Sen everyhting is going so well in my personal journey, but there is a connection I am struggling to make.

    Why is it that when personal will ebbs away we stop being bothered by any kind of negativity?

  3. Courtney

    Hi again. I was thinkin’, the fact that I don’t have to put any effort and to “just be” has to be the biggest stress reliever and simplest way of living life! It’s just so easy and laid back. Since reading your blog and many comments, I’ve gone into this transformation by never ‘trying’ to let go, but to just be aware like you mention.

    Lately the same question keeps poppin’ into my brain! Do I always just let life take action? I realize that my life stream will always work for me, but at times I feel a sense of “urgency”. Not necessarily out of fear or anxiety. I wanted to ask you, Sen, do you think your “life stream” would allow you to take such bold and straight forward action at times? To where it wouldn’t be coming from your ego based mind to act on an impulse, but a force out there that is saying “Do this right now because it is right” It gets confusing when my anxiety has diminished but I still feel a need to act instead of allowing.

  4. Peter


    WOW. Just WOW. This really hit home with me.

  5. Hrishi

    This entire blog makes one main point. While we are not our thoughts, feelings or emotions, we are more than them…by allowing their free existence, we make choices. We allow all thoughts and fears to exist without suppression or control, and then choose to either follow or not follow a thought and the path it indicates. We thus ultimately become our choices. Dumbledore says the same thing to Harry in Harry Potter, or rather JK Rowling does, in her 2nd book, if i can bring in a little fiction here!

    And these choices are best realized by surrendering to our inner life force, which is essentually free will.

    1. kay

      Thank you for that, Hrishi. In deciding what to follow I have learned to ask “Is this true?” and then listen to my body. There is a sense of strength and knowing that does not come from thoughts but can be felt when we learn to discern. This is about living our Truth. I love this blog.

  6. tcb

    Enjoyed this very much been struggling all my life. Thank you!

  7. Anu

    Dear Sen,

    Beautiful post. Loved it.

    I do have a question.

    What is the difference between “Will” and “Desire”? You mention it is ok to have a desire but let go personal will. In your post “Beyond Will Power” you mentioned that personal will fuels “Mental Momentum”.

    Based on reading your posts, this is what I understand:

    Personal desire – it is ok to have a desire. That is what is natural to us.

    Personal Will – Trying to force action to attain what we desire.

    Please advise.


    1. Sen Post author

      Anu, that’s the right understanding, what I term as “personal will” in this post is basically the will of a fear-based, or lack-based, mind to move into struggle/force

  8. j

    Dear sen,

    Greatly appreciating your blog since i stumbled upon .

    I do have one question.
    If a man seeks to align oneself. And may eventually head to a direction which is different from what was planned or how the family would expect.

    And may cause disappointments/bitterness/sadness on family member due to their strong egoic perception.
    How would one deal with having to cause negativity on others?

    I know this is just thinking ahead and not being in present but cant help but think that not everyone will live in awareness, many people remain unconscious. And by my act of seeking alignment only on my own, others who are identified with ego may suffer more.
    Is there any way to help others be more conscious/aligned?

    I would hate to see myself all aligned and content while my family suffer and being held of strong egoic forces.

    (I initially attempt to send through your mail but i wasnt sure if it went through, therefore i post here, please disregard one or the other if it is a duplicate, thanks)

    1. Sen Post author

      When you are leading an aligned life you will be in a position to bring well-being to others who may be dependent on you. In fact, you cannot give to others what you don’t have yourself – so if you don’t have an inner stability/alignment you can’t be a source of stability for anyone. So focus on finding your alignment first irrespective of whether your family understands you or not, people who really care for you will always be there, and as for the people who don’t, well their presence shouldn’t really matter to you – it’s best to dissolve relationships that were never true to start with.

  9. Awareness

    Hello Sen,

    about free will:

    Many realized beings say that such thing does not exist and it makes me very confused to read always different points of views for that.

    For example, i copy a passage here from “I am that”, a Book from Nisargadatta Maharaj:

    Q: Surely, I am not the master of what happens. Its slave rather.
    M: Be neither master, nor slave. Stand aloof.
    Q: Does it imply avoidance of action?
    M: You cannot avoid action. It happens, like everything else.
    Q: My actions, surely, I can control.
    M: Try. You will soon see that you do what you must.
    Q: I can act according to my will.
    M: You know your will only after you have acted.
    Q: I remember my desires, the choices made, the decisions taken and act accordingly.
    M: Then your memory decides, not you.
    Q: Where do I come in?
    M: You make it possible by giving it attention.
    Q: Is there no such thing as free will? Am I not free to desire?
    M: Oh no. You are compelled to desire. In Hinduism the very idea of free will is non-existent, so there is no word for it. Will is commitment, fixation, bondage.
    Q: I am free to choose my limitations.
    M: You must be free first. To be free in the world you must be free of the world. Otherwise your past decides for you and your future. Between what had happened and what must happen you are caught. Call it destiny or karma, but never—freedom. First return to your true being and then act from the heart of love.
    Q: Within the manifested what is the stamp of the unmanifested?
    M: There is none. The moment you begin to look for the stamp of the unmanifested, the manifested dissolves. If you try to understand the unmanifested wtih the mind, you at once go beyond the mind, like when you stir the fire with a wooden stick, you burn the stick. Use the mind to investigate the manifested. Be like the chick that pecks at the shell. Speculating about life outside the shell would have been of little use to it, but pecking at the shell breaks the shell from within and liberates the chick. Similarly, break the mind from within by investigation and exposure of its contradictions and absurdities.
    Q: The longing to break the shell, where does it come from?
    M: From the unmanifested.

    So does that mean that such realized beings are seing reality from a more higher point of view, that they are saying this or is it just that they put their beliefs in, which would not make any sense.

    1. Sen Post author

      Awareness, the way I see it, any extreme stance is a sign of rigid thinking, so to say “there is no free-will” or to say “there is only free-will” are both extreme stances. The stance of “there is no free-will” takes away any sense of “personal responsibility” makes a person feel passive, and it can be used an excuse for any kind of wrong-doing, saying that “I am not responsibility, it just happened, it’s God’s will, I have no free-will” – imagine how easy it is for a terrorist to use this excuse to defend any crime that he commits. The stance of “there is only free-will” is also imbalanced because it dis-regards the fact that we are part of the whole – it’s like every cell in the body has an independent will (using its own intelligence) but it’s also affected by the intelligence of the body, if it was totally independent there would soon be chaos. So there is free-will but there is also intelligence of wholeness at play, like everything else “black and white” thinking causes delusion, the truth is always in the grey areas.

  10. sankar

    Brilliant…The simplicity and clarity in your writings amazes me. It seems a fact that most spiritual teachers confuse their students with their teachings even though they dont mean to…

    As someone on this blog rightly said – this is not the “mind” but life itself speaking and when it speaks it echoes for an eternity.

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