Location: New Delhi, India
Dear Francis, The defining characteristic of the way I now experience the world is spontanaeity. I do things and have thoughts, but there is no sense of choosing. In your experience, is spontaneous action the normal way that humans behave in the world? Is the feeling that one is making a choice inconsequential and unnecessary? Sincerely, Brian
You asked two questions:
We must first agree on what we mean by spontaneity. I would say that a spontaneous action is one that is part of and in harmony with the universal flow, with the Tao. Spontaneous doesn’t mean instantaneous. A reaction can be instantaneous and still originate from a sense of separation from the rest of Reality. Conversely, an action may be deliberate and delayed and still be harmonious. For instance, we may take a trip to provide assistance to a friend residing overseas. This requires some planning and some time, but still originates from love, from our fundamental oneness. Most of our practical daily routines would qualify as spontaneous: eating, sleeping, filling up the tank of the car, paying the bills, etc In addition to those, anything we do for the sake of truth, love or beauty also qualifies. Any action that can be traced back to the sense of being a separate entity doesn’t qualify. That being said, yes, spontaneous action is the normal way for normal humans to behave. The problem here is that most humans are impaired by the ignorance of their real nature, which leads to abnormal behavior.
It depends on the nature of the “one” your question refers to.
If this “one” is a separate self, this sense of separation will distort the choice which will be biased in favor of this illusory entity, and conflict with the universe. Such feeling is unnecessary, but not without consequences. It will bring about conflict, disharmony, suffering.
If this one is the universal Self, or even simply this ordinary consciousness of ours, whatever it may be, without any superimposed limitations or absence of limitations, then the feeling that one is making a choice may or may not appear; if it appears, it doesn’t have negative consequences and it was necessary. It is also part of the universal flow and in harmony with it, whereas the feeling of a separate chooser, although it is also part of the universal flow, opposes it.