I don't mean for the title to sound antagonistic. I am trying to put these puzzle pieces together and they're not fitting. I don't understand how there can be free will and no self. Where is this will coming from? Everything you ever do will be from your self.
Everything you ever think or do is the result of your brain's program which is a result of your past experiences. You are nothing but an Inevitable vessel carrying out inevitable actions, no different than a tree that grows and then is blown over in a storm and degrades into the ground again.
Okay, so we all agree there is no self, and none of your actions are otherwise. So...how is there free will then?
And even if there is free will...how can it truly be free? The word will implies a goal is involved. In order for there to be a will, there is something the will is willing, which I liken to a goal. So where does this goal come from? You're telling me that one's will could be trying for a goal that is not based on something that previously happened(just like the self does)? For example, how could a will try for a goal that it does not know that it wants or does not want? If it knows that it wants it or not, then that is the exact same mechanism of the self...a mere program.
Free will would have to come from a yet unknown and incomprehensible plane. The free will would have to be able to do the Opposite of what it wills to do, and doing the opposite could not be the thing it was going to do all along. It would have to be independent of all processes we know of.
I could accept that. But this is where I get really confused. I read things that equate "mindful" decisions to be free will. So if you analyze your life and decide not to drink alcohol, then now your free will is imposing its goals over your self. Umm well I think you can see how that is ridiculous--that is just more of your self wanting to abstain from drinking. This is my self wanting to learn about Buddhism. It will be my self that motivates me to seek a master to learn from. It will be my self that EVER does anything. I have read a bit about Zen and I understood their acts of spontaneity(think student slapping the master in the face suddenly and they both laugh about it and confirm the student knows Zen) as their version of free will. If they could do something spontaneous enough, before the brain has a word, then that is their free will. But now I must disagree with this as well. Surely that spontaneous act originates from the brain, out of instinct, or habit, or genetics. It comes from the program.
It just doesn't make sense. I appreciate that it doesn't need to make sense. But this skepticism has served me well and kept me a free thinker this far, so I'm not going to stop now.
p.s. And this doesn't even start on karma yet!
from Buddhism https://ift.tt/2z548XO