When you see me as different from you, you get into the idea of “This” and “That”. When there is an “Me” and “other” there is a question of “This” and “That”. In Indian philosophy we call it dvait (द्वैत) or duality. There is a whole philosophy in India on duality – Adwait Vedanta. I am neither an expert nor have I read much about the vedanta so I wont be commenting on those lines.
When Maria suggested this topic, I felt this is a unique and interesting topic. However, my line of thought did not go beyond the Indian philosophy of Adwait Vedanta. The mind suddenly moved to “free will” and choices when This Vs that came to my mind.
Are we really free to make choices? Science may suggests now that our perception of free will is a kind of illusion. Perhaps, in future we would prove with big data analytics that there is no free will. I am sure we can do this with analytics as I have been involved with analytics on various levels and have personally seen what decision and output we may get when it is rightly done. So how a person would react in given situation may be predictable and the choice of “This and That” may not be the “choice” actually. Our choices are influenced by what we have been exposed to, how our mind is conditioned. I think a game of chess can explain how we make decisions – we make one decision and if that works we may say this was right. If that decision fails we may say the other option we skipped would have been better. [relevant blog here]. So the free will of This and That makes us rational individuals but that rationality is also under question.
I love how the Buddha has put things across for such kind of situations. Free will seems to be an illusion – “Go meditation”. Free will is not concerned with you. Does God exist? “Go meditation” that question is irrelevant. Though I am not Buddhist (This) nor I am staunch Hindu (That) or follower of any other religion as such but somehow I love the way The Buddha has explained his line of thought. It is “This” and “That” together – Interdependent co-arising.
This topic was suggested by Maria, for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently nine of us write on the same topic every Friday. I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort. The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order – Ashok, gaelikaa, Lin, Maxi, Padmum, Ramana Uncleji, Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!
Image source – https://pixabay.com/en/crossroads-signpost-directions-wood-303896/