Most people live life like a leaf. A leaf in the wind. Blown in one direction to another. Hither and tither
The debate some people have is there a free will or is it just all predetermined.
Does the leaf have a free will?
Now a leaf that blows towards favorable direction feels happy and when it blows in an awkward direction, it begins to ponder and gets depressed. Looses interest in life.
So what does this have to do with spirituality?
Lets take another question? Why do things occur in three? Life events, is that I am referring to
Why do I see multiple patients with the same disease and a different disease the next day? It should be random.
Many of Yogananda disciples were depressed during world war 2. When they asked why? Yogananda said they are catching on to the vibrations of the cries of the people in anguish from Europe during world war 2
In the past I have talked about the yugas. Hinduism has recognized a pattern about different time spans in human history. Sat yuga where everyone has the tendency to be pios, Treta yuga where the desire for the world has increased but they maintain spirituality as much as possible, Dwapar yuga where people become crafty in achieving worldly desires and Kali yuga where they will do anything possible and being wicked is the norm
Guess where we are right now?
So what is happening?
The leaf is the individual. The cosmic influences is the wind here. And the leaf not being pure, not anchored to the tree of purity blows in every direction. The goal is to remain anchored to the tree of purity so you are not blown everywhere
For example, lets say there is a cosmic influence of hatred. What happens is that the wind of hatred spreads around everywhere. Immediately everyone has the thoughts of anger and hatred. Each one will respond differently though. Some will resort to gun violence and killing others. Others will just bear resentment and some will actively engage in speeches of hatred (politicians). The same cosmic wave goes around everywhere. Now the leaf anchored on the tree will not be influenced and be so strong that even the cosmic wave around him disappears and there is no hatred with him….or around him ! And that is the sign of reaching purity
So back to the question, is there free choice? And the answer is yes…but only some can see it. Like the leaf. What happens in life? There is an outside vibration in the cosmos. Aurobindo called it by different names. That outside vibration stimulates something in us. Depending on the level of purity and past experience, we immediately respond to it. And then act on it. If there is stability then you can reject the outside influence and remain anchored in the divine. So are we aware of the outside cosmos vibration? Yes but that initial stimulation occurs very deep within. We only realize it when it comes on the surface. Suddenly you get hungry…or need sex….or have a thought of an old friend. You only know it when it comes to the surface. Someone who is stable knows it before it comes to the surface and even sees it in the cosmos. And that is stability. That is known as Stith Pragna, meaning the innermost self is stable and cannot be unsettled by the outside cosomos
So these outside cosmic influences can also make us suddenly depressed. Often we can attribute it to a reason, but we dont know that it was an influence of the cosmos. In order to progress, we have to learn to reject the cosmic vibration first on the surface and then realize the deeper layers and then we realize the deeper layers were nothing but a puppet to the cosmos because it was not anchored in God.