The Paradox of ‘Freedom of Will’

According to the paradox of ‘freedom of will’, when a being achieves freedom of will, it becomes more ethical and less destructive towards the other beings. The paradox is that a completely free being cannot possibly do anything, as any action would certainly be destructive to one being or another. In fact, everything that happens in the universe is destructive in one way or another. It’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics applied.

The paradox of an awakened teacher is essentially the same. It is not possible for a completely awakened being to even exist in this universe, all the more so to teach anyone anything.

An interesting thing follows. Gautama (also known as the Buddha) couldn’t possibly be a fully awakened being. The Buddha Paradox sort of confirms that too. This makes a certain degree of sense if we think about the Middle Way, which tells us to avoid extremes. And you know what? Absolute freedom is an extreme!

It is perfectly possible then that complete freedom is not a final goal at all. It’s the path itself. In other words, it’s just a safe way out, like an emergency exit that is not to be used in most cases.

Absolute freedom is totally unnecessary. The world was created by free beings, and it was created to restrict that freedom. What happened is that we forgot about it and lost our way.

The true freedom is therefore not about doing the right thing, but about knowing what the right thing is. What a being actually does is irrelevant.

This is a very dangerous concept. It means that it’s OK to do literally anything. It’s OK to steal, kill and other stuff that is usually frowned upon by major religions. No wonder such thought is not very popular. There is one important condition, however: it’s OK to do anything as long as those doing it understand what they do, why they do it and choose to do it willingly. And it doesn’t mean an explanation like «I steal that money because it makes me richer and because I want to». It means a thorough understanding of all the underlying processes, including all the effects the action has on the universe as a whole and on all the other beings. One could argue that a being understanding all of that would never steal, but I wouldn’t be so sure. Assuming that this world was created by beings who knew what they were doing, it follows that they must have known that it would be possible to steal, kill and cause all kinds of suffering in the world being created. That didn’t stop them, apparently.

I am assuming Gautama understood all that and was living according to that. That would explain all the paradoxes. If the enlightenment doesn’t mean achieving Nirvana, but only understanding what it is and how to get there, then it’s perfectly fine for an enlightened person to stay in the universe and to teach the way to others. Therefore, the paradox of the awakened teacher is resolved. The Buddha Paradox still means that those who achieved Nirvana cannot possibly be known, but those who know the way can. So this paradox is resolved by moving away from the binary awakened/non-awakened distinction. And, finally, the paradox of ‘freedom of will’ is not a paradox at all. A free being doesn’t have to move towards awakening. It is called freedom exactly because there is a choice.