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Swami Kriyananda once said “Virtually everything is pre-determined, even the choice of the shirt you put on this morning.” Analyzing Swamij's quote from a perspective of quantum physics and consciousness as the ground of all being, and addressing how we define “I”, if we think of ourselves as the object in quantum measurement (Goswami, 1989, 2000; Rosenblum & Kuttner, 2011), also known as "quantum collapse of the observer-quantum-phenomenon", in psychological terms known as the "ego", in spiritual terms the "immortal soul in delusion due to its attachment to this body and personality (Yogananda, 2007)", then as objects that have made repeated identical choices when made in the presence of the same stimuli, we have little free-will.
When a quantum collapse occurs for the first time, it is due to absolute free-will of a choice made to a specific stimulus, creating the "appearance" of a subject-object split, the appearance of "reality". The quantum-self, along with the human brain, simultaneously record the event in their respective memories. In the future, similar stimuli will trigger the brain to search its memory which will cause a choice similar to the original observation choice. Each occurrence of similar stimuli causes memory to be reinforced with the same choices, which creates a disruptive influence on free-will called psychological conditioning, habit, or addiction.
With repeated selection of the same possibility, the mathematics of possibilities is affected by a reduction in available possibilities to that one quantum self for each future choice due to similar stimuli shaping our behavior (Goswami, 200). In spiritual terms, these choices result in positive or negative karma (Yogananda, 2007). However, free-will is not lost, it just takes an increasing amount of energy to make a different choice (Goswami, 2000).
Why live like a zombie by surrendering free-will to automatic conditioned responses of habits, or worse yet, addictions? You can choose freely, with compassionate thought and purpose, each time to every the occurrence and event? Awakening from the delusion of ego consciousness, or the dream of "Maya", is the primary purpose of life. This can be accomplished through deep, daily mediation (Yogananda, 1946).
Goswami, A. (1989). The idealistic interpretation of quantum mechanics. Physics Essays, 2(4).
Goswami, A. (2000). The visionary window: A quantum physicist’s guide to enlightenment. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books.
Rosenblum, B., & Kuttner, F. (2011). Quantum enigma: Physics encounters consciousness (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
Yogananda, P. (1946). Autobiography of a yogi (1st ed). New York, NY: The Philosophical Library.
Yogananda, P. (2007). Karma and Reincarnation. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity.