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Other Jivas Do Not Have Conscious Choices
Arlindo: Free will is a function of a self-conscious subtle body operating in mithya. Apparently, human jivas are the only “intelligent” self-conscious beings on this planet. All other beings respond to the environment by instinct. They have no choice. They are programs and they have no sense of right or wrong. There is no free will or karma for them. In mithya, only human jivas seemingly have free will. The knowledge of what is right and what is wrong is built in to the causal bodies of all human jivas.
We all have this clear instinctive knowledge of what is proper action and what is not. But the problem with free will is that humans can “more intelligently” choose between objects, and by doing so they develop a taste for what is liked and a distaste for what is disliked. With time, this initial preference develops to become craving and addictions. Once these preferences grow to become “binding vasanas” human jivas are no longer able to exercise their free will according to their human nature. Violation of dharma = violation of one’s own mithya nature as a human jiva.
For example, we all know that it is natural to wish not to get hurt. Instinctively or subconsciously, all beings come into life with this self-preserving knowledge. Human jivas come with this knowledge as well, and we know that everyone else also wants to avoid getting hurt because if we try to hurt other jivas, instinctively they will try to protect themselves. Knowing that it is in everyone’s nature not to want to get hurt and die, why then do we human jivas hurt and kill other jivas? The answer we already know: because of binding desires and fears not in harmony with our mithya nature.