Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Anaheim, CA, U.S.A., April 3, 1993
(Originally in English)
Q: Dear Master, all things are said to come from the inner God Nature. If so, is there real free will or free choice?
M: No, we just dream that we have free choice. We make a lot of mess with this free choice, which we should have given up in the beginning, anyhow. But we can only do that with sincere devotion to God or whomever we believe in. And we can only do that through enlightenment, because then we know it's not we who do things, it's the Universal plan. Then we will not reject our job, we will not throw away our wife or children, get a divorce, or anything; we will know what it is and we will lead a more contented and happy life.
You see, this is free will: for example, God's plan is that I have to put my umbrella here. But now I don't like to put it here. Why should I put it here? I feel I should put it there, and so I put it there. Why not? Now I upset the environment and the plan for a while. Then I feel very uncomfortable, and my umbrella breaks over there, and I don't know why. If I had put it here, it wouldn't have broken. So now, eventually, I will have to bring it back and put it here.
Suppose you divorce your wife or husband or reject your job, and think, "Now I am free; that's it, fantastic. I have taken the matter into my own hands, and I am free of her or him." And you think you have done a decisive and very wise thing; and what happens? Maybe a few days or a few months later you meet someone else, maybe worse than that one. So, you have to go through the experience anyhow. You think you have changed it. But no! It's just been postponed, or maybe God lets you turn the corner, but you go back onto the same road again.