Paradoxically, I also believed throughout most of my life in free will: the power to freely act to change the course of events.
Why did it take so long to realize the obvious inconsistency?
Simple. Harboring both beliefs allowed me to have it both ways, theoretically anyway. So, it is no wonder it took me so long to sober up and drop the illusion. Looking closely and honestly at life can be very sobering; it is easier to remain intoxicated.
This reminds me of chapter 81’s, True speech isn’t beautiful, Beautiful speech isn’t true. Here, I see beautiful synonymous with attractive, pleasant, desirable.
I’m also reminded of chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita, when Krishna the God of Yoga, appears before Arjuna in his true infinite form, where upon Arjuna freaks out and cries out to return to the easier, “PG-13” human-rated view (1).
We end up responding to a projected reality where our own emotions, fears and needs, paint the picture of what we think is “out there”. I suppose we so busy chasing down the loose ends of that projected reality, we seldom devote effort to emptiness, sincerely watch stillness, and ask ourselves what is going on “in here”.
(1) Here’s an excerpt from the end of chapter 11…
11:45 In a vision I have seen what no man has seen before: I rejoice in exultation, and yet my heart trembles with fear. Have mercy upon me, Lord of gods, Refuge of the whole universe: show me again thine own human form.
11:47 By my grace and my wondrous power I have shown to thee, Arjuna. this form supreme made of light, which is the Infinite, the All: mine own form from the beginning, never seen by man before.
1:48 Neither Vedas, nor sacrifices, nor studies, nor benefaction, nor rituals, nor fearful austerities can give the vision of my Form Supreme. Thou alone hast seen this Form, thou the greatest of the Kurus.
11:49 Thou hast seen the tremendous form of my greatness, but fear not, and be not bewildered. Free from fear and with a glad heart see my friendly form again.
11:50 Thus spoke Vasudeva to Arjuna, and revealed himself in his human form. The God of all gave peace to his fears and showed himself in his peaceful beauty.
11:51 When I see thy gentle human face, Krishna, I return to my own nature, and my heart has peace.