Throughout my readings of non-duality I have come across the writings stating that free-will and freedom of choice do not exist. Does this mean that all actions are pre-determined by Oneness? What about criminals and drug-addicts for example? Can't they just decide to stop doing what they are doing? Or is it this way because they have no choice in the matter and have to follow their 'script'?
Could you please clarify these points?
Non-duality deals with ultimate Reality. Ultimate Reality is what is true in the ultimate sense. Most people who read non-duality get confused because it is not their own level of awareness and so try to understand with their mind. Understanding with the mind is like trying to figure out the territory through looking at a map of it. It can't be done.
Let's start with the basics. You are a human being. The first thing you know is the human-part and its memory. Most people live and pass away without knowing anything deeper than that. The human-part is a 'becoming-process.' It has a beginning, middle and end. It is always striving, seeking, wanting, needing but never arriving going in circles. What is it seeking? What does it really want? What is the end goal of the human? Believe it or not, it is its own 'Being.' The 'Being' is perfect love and always lives NOW. It is fresh, innocent, happy, relaxed, allowing, forgiving, accepting and contented simply because it is pure BEING!! The human believes that happiness, power, fulfillmnt comes from outside through the world and thus never gets fulfilled.
Let's take it one step further by understand the difference between SOUL and SPIRIT. The human is the soul and the Being is the Spirit. The soul is eternal just like the Spirit. To understand this better, picture the One Ocean as the Spirit. Then picture the waves upon the surface of the ocean as different and separate souls. The waves are unique, separate and have different expressions but they are still the One Ocean. Similarly with us -- we seem to be separate and different souls but yet are ALREADY SPIRIT but do not yet know it. The soul goes from lifetime to lifetime repeating this pattern learning from its many journeys until it merges with the Spirit and realize it has never gone anywhere but HERE. The soul evolves and learns but the Spirit is always NOW and perfect. While the soul moves in time, the Spirit is forever timeless.
There are over 6 billion humans on this earth but there is only One Being. This One Being is the 'I' -- the human calls itself 'I' also but makes it separate, different and personal. As the soul evolves it automatically begins to awaken to its grandeur and vastness never losing that sense of 'I' until it sees that we are all ONE BEING. This One Being is the ultimate Truth.
When you read about non-duality you are reading the ultimate truth of your nature, which is of course confusing to the mind. However, as you keep the mind open (which means empty of opinions, beliefs, concepts and memories) then in that emptiness of mind there is the opening to see deeper than the mere ego. When you keep asking, "Who am I?" in this now-moment your ego will rebel because there is no answer to it. It will feel lost as if losing its preconceived identity which in truth never really existed. The ego believes strongly that this personal 'I' is the me-idea as separate body. However, this 'I' which seems personal is really Oneness itself looking and living as 'you.' It is mind-boggling isn't it?
I am a hypnotherapist and when people come to see me with deep emotional pain I take them back to the source of their problem. It often leads to a past life incident that is carried over in the cellular memory of the body. The moment they see clearly the source of the problem they are healed. This would seem that we all have past lives and it also seems that past lives run into the thousands as the soul evolves with each lifetime learning its lessons in love. These lifetimes seem as real as your lifetime right now. Therefore, if you believe you are living a lifetime right now then you have also lived before. It is really as simple as that. However again, as you begin to awaken to the possibility that there is only NOW, you will start to realize that there is only NOW, which also means that there is no 'you' but NOW itself appearing as YOU. Did you get that? If not, read it again and again until you get it!!
Once my 'clients' start to realize that NOW is their true aware-presence and it is all one, then their unconditional love awakens and they are freed from personal bondage (ego).
I used to believe that I had many choices and was often confused by so many decisions. I was always inquisitive by nature and so questioned the 'decision-factor' itself. Finally I realized that I had only two choices -- to follow truth or falsehood. In other words, there were only two choices between truth and falsehood. Then it struck me that I must be crazy to choose falsehood consciously and deliberately. The moment I chose Truth I realized that there was no choice at all. The Truth has always been the One Choice but didn't know it.
This led me to know that there's only One Will -- the Will of the Divine Oneness. The Will of the divine is goodness, love, peace, joy, harmony, happiness and everything that was fulfilling. So, I had the realization that the One Will of God was also my own Will. They were One. Gradually I began to see that there is only Oneness playing the role of Burt and this happened in the year 2000. Everything became crystal clear.
I continue doing hypnotherapy which I now call "Supersentience" -- Supersentience is more effective than ever because it deals with Quantum Forgiveness. We do not forgive another but ourselves and within that self-forgiveness there is healing to the 'other.'
How about the drug-addict and the criminal? They are karmically hooked into their predicament created by their own actions in the past. Oneness is ONE -- therefore if I hurt you in some way, I have to carry the burden of that pain I caused you in myself to learn compassion and forgiveness. Do you get that? The criminal is hooked into his/her own personal life of greed and selfishness and that carries with it tremendous pain and suffering. The suffering is not punishment imposed by oneness but by oneself through unawareness of oneness (love). When the soul (which is eternal) recognizes its oneness with All-That-Is then it merges with Spirit and there is no longer reincarnation or suffering, but it also realizes the ultimate -- there never was suffering and separate lifetimes. There is only NOW eternally living as YOU!!