Free Will vs Determinism

By Leo Gura - January 18, 2016 | 211 Comments

Does free will exist?

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eddie says:

i like your videos i trying to fine a way to download them to my phone so i can listen at work i am working a regurlar job right know but i want to go back school this summer to take netwrok tech, or computer graphics and in order to do that i am going to have to save some money then get a job as a srcurity guard so i can focus on my school trade school knock it my hours are odd
and its a heavy job i have to force my self to read work out do meditation etc

anything you give me some advice cool

Orc says:

Hi eddie,
Note there’s a “MP3 download” button on top of the video, on the right. You’ll have to register on the site, and then it is easy to download the recordings.

Sandeep says:

Hi Eddie,

With regards to your first sentence, I listen to Leo on my iPhone all the time, just locate your Podcasts app, and search for Actualized.org, then you can download which ever episode you want to watch.

Cheers,
Sandeep

Matthijs says:

Hi Sandeep,

Thanks for pointing that out! I discovered Leo now as well on my iPhone and I can listen more episodes during work, cheers!

Ashraff says:

this is purely what islam is and talks about
subhanAlla…

Fairouz says:

It is isn’t it? I was so surprised as well. This is pretty much the underlying concept of Islam. I was especially surprised at the idea of God. If you check the writings of El Ghazali, he explicitly explains that God is not a figure that can be imagined by people, but is beyond time, space, and reasoning, and we can only connect to Him if we completely surrender. Also, the idea of the ego being Satan is completely spot on.
I’ve always been a big fan of Leo; his videos have helped me overcome so many obstacles in life (addiction, procrastination, victim mindset,…), but this video blew my mind! For me, It shows the authenticity of Leo as a spiritual teacher and seals his merit.

Ashraff says:

The definition of Islam ( contrary to popular belief ) is not Peace. The definition is
Submission. but with Islam you will achieve Salam ( peace ).

Decree is a Muslims fundamental belief.

Anas ibn Malik reported: A man said, O Messenger of Allah, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I untie her and trust in Allah? The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, Tie her and trust in Allah. Sunan At Tirmidhi 2517

We as Mulslims have been ordered By Allah to Have “Taquwa”.
the term Taquwa has no definition in English. the closest thing would be
consciousness.

Leo your a Muslim and you dont even know it…

Grape says:

Can we please not have your bullshit religion up here. The world has already suffered a lot from organized religion. Religion poisons everything. Let’s get right to it. Want to preach Islam? Go somewhere else.

Leo Gura says:

Just as long as you recognize that this is also purely Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Toaism, Catholicism, Paganism, Shamanism, etc then fine, you can call it Islam too.

Ashraff says:

Of course , Islam recognises all these Prophets ( ie Judaism and the real Christianity)

Human Being says:

Hi Leo,
I’d like to learn more about your perspective of a soul (unique aspect of the universal source) and personal responsibility. Did I understand you correctly when you said that your video on responsibility is ‘old news’? Do we not live in this reality whereby part of our journey is to transform (take responsibility for ourselves) our blocks by seeing the truth of it? Who surrenders?; and to what do we surrender? I feel it’s a very broad statement to say there’s no self. I hear this a lot in buddhism. Is it wise to negate ourselves before we understand what the reason for it is? And the perception of self? In other words, don’t you feel that there’s an aspect of self that bridges us to our universal existence?; that this aspect is integral on our ‘enlightenment journey’? We are born in individual bodies for a reason. Id also like to add that enlightenment is a journey because reality is in a dynamic state, ever growing. So when you refer to people that are enlightened…how do you define this?
Thank you,
HB

Lou says:

Actually had a week five months ago where I was sick in bed on my own, no wifi (the struggles..) and Leo’s enlightenment and meditation mp3s downloaded on my phone.
I spent that week ‘watching’ myself meditate and man I gotta say that was one freaky week.
I personally feel like I have verified for myself that no control exists and can be experienced.
It literally felt like my body was a marionette being pulled around by invisible strings and being shown various thoughts, sounds and images.
Extremely scary to my ego which is very confused with what to do with this information. But I suppose whatever will be will be.

Maverick says:

Is it like a rule that one cant surrender appropriately before achieving his egoistic life purpose?

sue says:

Dear Leo

The energy that surrounds this ego has come to the conclusion that you talk of here. We are robots. This ego however doesn’t want to let go because it has convinced this energy that the robot will be boring and without emotion, and of course without emotion this ego would not exist. This ego also does not want to let go because of this ego’s children. This Ego loves and sometimes hates your videos, but this energy is thankful that they are in this energies field of existence ;) please direct me to any literature to overcome this ego.

Raj says:

1) Point 5 resonated big time with me. I was always worried I will become a ‘loser’ who just wants to wander, waste time and not do anything useful to society if I let go of everything in my ego.

2) I can’t understand the part about you need to have a strong ego, to actually surrender.. Can’t even wrap it around my head. A strong ego in the past, a strong identity of who I am, has made me suffer big time. Depression twice, I was a big nerd.

3) Now I refuse to make decisions and put all my effort into something and go “all in”. What is the path way to the strong ego, and surrendering.

4) Often I see your videos, and my head is straight. But I return back to myself when I get affected by everything around me. What is the prescribed method of constantly doing this as a habit. There is too much materials to keep watching everyday. I want to etch it in my head permanently.

5) Mind bending and cool – haha, exactly my sentiments :)

6) Beautiful linking of religions and spirituality. I realised a little while ago. God means completely different things to different people.

7) Who is holding the illusion? Is the ego holding the illusion of itself?

8) Movie analogy… mind blown.

I was almost teary eyed many times during this video. Thank you.

Rex says:

Do we have Choice?

That question again? Alright then…

I know there is this popular belief in traditional eastern teachings especially, as well as in those minds who have become somewhat of a follower or product of those teachings whether they realize it or not, that there is no choice.

That’s only partially true from the perspective of the ‘small self’, or: The Receiver of Experiences.

From the Higher Self Perspective, or: ‘The Giver of Experiences’ (which the smaller self then receives) – there is nothing but free will!!!! How else could Life take form?

It is only through the freedom of Consciousness’ Infinite Intelligence to choose how it desires to experience itself at any given space/time or time/space reality, that realities can come into view.

The universe is made up out of consciousness only, and consciousness chooses through its infinite extensions ALL THE TIME. Consciousness is The One’s single agent with infinite extensions… Of which you are one.

There is no single random event in the universe, or in anyone’s life, anywhere. Promise.

To say “there is no choice because there is no personal self” is to say so from the perspective of the perceiver of experiences: personal self… How Ironic.

Now it wouldn’t be quite as ironic if the personal self would believe ‘that there is no choice’… for from its limited view, that can seems quite true. However, it becomes rather funny when the personal self takes on a view that says: “There is no choice BECAUSE the small self doesn’t exist.” When that small self then calls that contradicting view ‘non-dual wisdom, I advise you to get the hell out of there and don’t drink the poison of spiritual victimhood.

hihi

Also, don’t take my words too seriously, ever. Especially when I sound serious. It’s all a joke.

Ok, returning to topic:

The more we deepen in our inner Seat of Consciousness, the more the communication channel between the smaller (innocently ignorant) self and the Higher (intelligently awake and one with Infinity) Self open, and they start to become one Being, more and more. Integration.

You start to remember precisely how things work. Slowly, speculation and doubt start to leave your consciousness, and make room for conviction, backed up by powerful confirmations, and yet the sweeeetest humility of seeing all as equally The One, and yourself as at the beginning steps of the ladder of this cosmic joke! Ommmmm
Emoticon smile
Emoticon heart

The veil of forgetfulness and ignorance starts to become transparent, and what previously appeared as Enlightenment, now seems like a mere intellectual – and somewhat dead – understanding, applicable and somewhat helpful for a small period of time from the perspective of the physical focus only.

Limiting indeed. Appreciated, as a step up, but oh so limiting if not gone beyond, if not let go of in one’s own good time. If you feel ready to drop all that heavy traditional guru stuff, please do so. They are equal to a piece of turd. Literally. If they are genuine and good at what they do/are or did/were, they’d agree!

Yes, the receiver of experiences doesn’t have a choice. But where do these experiences that you don’t have any choice over come from? Where are they given from? Who provides for you to even be able to look at experiences and go: “I don’t have a choice!” ?

YOU do! These experiences come from YOU as well.

The more you start to see this, the more you will become this higher perspective, and thus, Free Will again becomes a reality. In fact, you see that ignorance and forgetfulness, and the spiritual illusion of ‘no choice’ was a very conscious choice you made.

Going beyond traditional teachings and beyond the idea of ‘there is no choice’ is beyond marvelous and can be free from egotism entirely. It is the true beginning of the adventure into infinity, it gives rise to deeply enjoyable humility/confidence and it leaves all talk of non-dual horse shit so far behind its trail of joy, that it will never again grab you by the nuts as ‘true’.

Oh my, the suffering that’s present in these traditional, limiting, self-righteous yet disempowering beliefs. I love you all so much. I cry for all your pain, as it is my own, and rejoice in knowing you are beyond fine and exactly where you desire to be, as I see that in myself.

Please also realize that Indians aren’t any closer to the truth than any other culture. They are AS stupid as any other group of human beings on this planet.

In fact, enlightened or not, most of them are quite densely culturally biased. Quite biased and blindsided indeed. Even the holy ones. There, I said it. So don’t take their word for it (nor mine) just because their white beards (I don’t have one yet, darn it!) stand out so nicely against their orange mala’s and brown skin.

Don’t become one of these slaves to “there is nobody here” unless that still really resonates for you (in which case it’s helping you!).

I hope this addresses the issue, or at least rattles some cages…

If you dislike this post, you can do one of two things:

1) Take it as a beautiful opportunity that my article evoked some deep nonsense-beliefs that you didn’t realize you carried around with you, look at it within yourself and transcend through love and realization, or:

2) Blame me for your own discomfort with these ideas that on some level of your consciousness must ring true, because they simply are… I recommend this option if you still prefer that state of disempowered self-victimization, afraid to lose your beliefs.

Either way, you can eat away all you want at my trail of joy, and thus awaken it within yourself, for the source of my trail is your very own, and it is inexhaustible. YEahhhhh
Emoticon grin

Endless love, sincerely, humorously, and seriously,
Bentinho

Rex says:

Leo this is Bentinho Massaro, an enlightened human being. To me his teachings are the most advanced that we can find on earth. Check out his Trinfinity Academy, the dude is amazing he is able to offer a path of Self Realization (enlightment path) and Self Actualization (empowerment path) all togheter. Please check him out and let me know what you think about him because especially for you that you seems to be very attached with classical eastern teachings he will blow your mind

Rex says:

Read also this, how beautiful.

“On Acceleration, and why Free Will is the dissolution of the ego-effect”

Brook: “Bentinho, could you explain what you mean when you use the term ‘Acceleration’?”

Answer: Acceleration is simply the increase in awareness of the truths of your existence…

In a sense nothing structurally accelerates, for existence is already complete and all parallel possibilities already exist in the timeless/eternal here and now. So structurally speaking, nothing accelerates or evolves. For if it would evolve into some new creation, it would mean that that was already part of the realm of possibilities, and since time is an illusion, it has to be already existent before we became aware of it as ‘real’.

So evolution, expanse, or acceleration is simply the stepping up of how CONSCIOUS our RELATIONSHIP with this structure of reality and the endless possibilities of consciousness itself, is.

Consciousness (we) are already moving our focus billions of times per second, through different points of view of the One existence, so in that sense we cannot accelerate the rate of consciousness of things itself. Acceleration thus refers to the degree of awareness we have OF the fact that we are already all powerful and shifting all the time on automatic.

The more conscious we become of the all-powerfulness of our nature, the more we flip the switch on a particular level of agreement with reality from ‘automatic’ to ‘manual’. In other words: form unconscious to conscious. From Fate to Free Will.

Thus, we rise more and more into our original nature of Free Will… As Co-Creators, as Gods.

This increase in awareness of our infinite nature and our infinite power to ‘create’ or choose entire universes, is what acceleration points to.

So the bliss we experience every time we become more aware of a deep truth of our being… is because we release the beliefs that were on ‘automatic’ that sort of ruled out life without us knowing it really. We turn those beliefs from automatic, to manual, and now can make vibrational choices as to how we continue to expand and move about.

Remember, we only attempt to control life (ego-effect), because we believe we’re not in control…

As we rise in awareness of the amazingness… the never ending amazingness of our god-nature, we regain our original seat of free will, and thus lose the egoic effect of control. Control simply means you don’t believe in your power to be free, choose and freely create.

This is why ego has nothing whatsoever to do with free will. But the two are often mixed in as one, and this confuses a lot of people in the spiritual and maybe especially non-dual circles.

More power is Less control. More control is less awareness of your power.

Cyril says:

Dear Leo,

Thank you for this great video, I really like how it talks nice and please the rational part of my ego.

I have personnaly experienced the state of consciousness where “life happens”, and there is no input whatsoever from the ego (“the voice in my head”). Even my own body seems to move by itself, and what I am is then something different from my ego. When this happen, I am identified with the field of awareness where things happen. In a way, I am everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I think this is pretty much what Leo is talking about.

Now, when I am in this state of “enlighted consciousness”, I can’t deny there is no “free will” as commonly understood, as like Leo says, there is no input from my ego. The voice in my head just becomes something which appears in the field of consciousness which I am, just like any other “thing” (a desk, the walls, the curtains..) appear in this field.

Nevertheless, I am not sure yet that it totally destroy the concept of Free-will – maybe it just takes it to the upper lever, to the higher self. I am still investigating this point by self exploration, but it might be that the field of awarness is actually governed by a “ultimate free will” if you want, that is the power of creating what appears into it. This power is not at all an output of the ego. It would be an output of a “vibrational field”, or a “divine will” (which is who you truly are), contained in the field. Still I can’t be 100% sure about it now – it requires, to investigate this, to stay for a certain period of time in the enlighted state of consciousness, and it doesn’t happen to me everyday :-).

Thanks again for this video.

WingWizard says:

Alright. So what happens to taking one hundred percent responsibility about everything in our life? If there is no free will isn’t everyone cast in stone to be doomed and not be able to do anything about it? Now what are the implications of your – How to Stop being a Victim episode?

Leo Gura says:

Being a victim is a self-fulfilling prophecy in most cases. If a video can convince a victim that he can take charge of his life, and he does, it becomes true.

It only looks contradictory to someone who still views the world from the perspective of “I had control and now you tell me I don’t.”

WingWizard says:

Can you say something more about the nature of this ‘self fulfilling prophecy’?

Leo Gura says:

When you believe you can’t do something, then you have made it so.

This doesn’t mean you can do everything. It just means that you can do a lot more than you might initially think.

Victims don’t understand this.

WingWizard says:

My gratitude to you. Thanks.

Valberes says:

This was one of the best, if not the best video so far. It puts together a lot of what is said in earlier videos and goes one step further.

I also found it pretty hilarious at times, when he denies the ego and free will to our faces.

Maciej says:

Hi Leo,
What happened to Video Transcript? Is it possible to implement that feature again (like with old vids)?

Leo Gura says:

Transcripts are time-consuming, tedious, and expensive to produce.

Andrew says:

Hi Leo

Interesting video , you mentioned that you first have to build a strong ego before you can let go of it. I have been doing Self development on and off for years but only really just properly got on board . Do I need to keep building a healthy ego before I can get into the consciouness/enlightenment work or can you do it simultaneously ?

Leo Gura says:

Sit down and try to do some self-observation work and see how far you can get at your current level of development.

Andrew says:

Thanks for your reply Leo !

steffanyrae says:

long time watcher, first time commenter ….

“i” must be incredibly enlightened from the get .. each week and each video seems to align with what is already occuring .. maybe the openess to it and your ordering of information surrounding are just so .. regardless of the way, much thanks for it !

googling “noself” once hearing about it circles back to actualized.org
after having seen several of the more basic “how to (obvious daily problems)”
not enough is out there concerning “noself” in internet search results

those “how to (odp)” began popping up after this .. disappointment and frustration since “i” just wanna hear more about how “i” dont exist …
but now its as if patience has paid off !

Frank says:

Yes I like the video, I can see you put a lot of thought into things, read a lot, take out the essence.
No doubt you have seen the essence that is left most come to a similar conclusion and what you have done is to try and make sense of it.
And when you take away preconceived ideas look at it objectively it is amazing the thoughts that go passing through your mind and by listening to them you find many things in life that were puzzle are explained, when you think along these lines you get an avalanche of new thoughts and ideas.
You have an ability to put those thoughts into words in a very clear way and these thoughts are very exhilarating as it puts many of my thoughts into words which I am not able to do( not yet anyway ) therefore I am going to find all your videos interesting because I’m eager to see what other thoughts you have discerned and discovered from this inner I or inner self.

Vladislav says:

Thank you very much! Great video and, what is more important, in the right time.

I was following you for more than a year, and have been reading and reflecting on enlihtment materials for years. I thought I got and it was heaven, but after a period of an enlihtment flow I fell into a severe existential depression, because even though I was easily achieving everything I dreamed of, it did not make any sense for me…

Now I understand that it was an attempt of Ego to fight back in order to regain control.

This video gave me the key I needed, so now I can just move further, enjoying my amazing life! Your explanations and metaphors were perfect as always.

Thank you Leo!

-Russians watch you too ;)

Galyna says:

and Ukrainians, lol

Dave says:

Wow leo…this one really has seemed to hit home and untied a few knots…been listening all day at work and the feeling of being free from all the this has hit me like a tonne of bricks…just one worrying thing though is what if I was involved in something bad…do you still accept that you had no part in the happening of it..

Leo Gura says:

Point to the “you” who is supposed to have had a part in it?

Mayur Ghule says:

Hay , leo I just can’t stop………..Actualizing .:D Thank you !

Uldis says:

On practical level this concept can be very beneficial.
In theory (as you present it) every phrase contradicts itself e.g. to choose to surrender control when you can’t choose anything and you haven’t control in the first place ;)
May be our language isn’t adequate for such concepts.

Definitely I’ll try that out (although I cannot decide that ;)

Andy says:

Well done.

Wouter says:

Leo,

Did you even discover the “no where” were toughts come from??!! Really looking forward to that episode :-) (although every episode is a golden nugget in my opinion)

Thank you for all your amazing content.

Leo Gura says:

I’m working on it.

Deb says:

If we have no free will then where do addictions come into play?

Brett Miller says:

Adding complexity to the animal behavior doesn’t change the fact that we lack a first mover for all processes (at least a single, quantifiable one).

The human being encounters a substance, gets a reward. Mindfulness of reward mechanism gains a memory. Each time “addiction” gets exercised, memory is strengthened, often addictive substances have reward receptors in the brain, such as CB1, etc. The subject quits when reward is no longer sufficient or external pressure such that behavior changes.

The important thing to understand is that when something occurs, it does so because all the causes and conditions were there for that phenomena to arise….not because the situation was under some person’s illusory control.

Barbara says:

Does that mean that ‘we’ are at the mercy of cause and effect?

andrea says:

THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST VIDEOS I HAVE SEEN THANK YOU LEO FOR SHARING THIS I KNOW IT WILL CHANGE MY LIFE.

Cia says:

Awesome insights! Amazing video! I get what you are saying because I am a student of A Course in Miracles. ACIM concepts are another version of this video.

Fantastic to hear how you’ve evolved! Your explanations for why you made “ego stemmed remarks” and “taking control of your life’s path” from your past videos, make perfect sense. You had to start somewhere.

I know if I let go of my ego, life will happen naturally and with the best and only healthy outcome because life is about natural progress and growth. Everything else doesn’t exist. Thanks for a powerful summary of this vast subject.

Barbara says:

Hi CIa – I too am a student of ACIM or at least have taken ‘stabs’ at it (I have tried exercising the daily lessons, but then get distracted or feel I’m not ‘getting’ it, and then drop it for awhile – then take another ‘stab’). I do watch Marianne Williamson lecture on livestream every Monday. Her latest one was her best, I think, as far as really teaching the basics. From my experience with the material, it almost seems that we need someone like her to help interpret the text. I’ve found her daily guide book especially helpful to keep the principles fresh in my mind, as far as living them, day in and day out. I do think, though, that my ego interferes in my advancement (as far as sticking with the lessons, and advancing with the ACIM text.) – BUT, I would not miss a Marianne W. lecture – no matter what!

There are some differences in the ACIM teachings, though, and what Leo has stated in his teachings. I have felt conflicted between the two teachings – and it’s been only with this latest video of Leo’s that I feel the two concepts are starting to align (for me). I keep thinking – when I hear the way Marianne speaks of the ego – that this is what she should be referring to as the ‘devil’, but she has never called it that. She has never even hinted at this, but when Leo referred to ego as the ‘devil’, there was some validation there for me – that maybe I am ‘getting’ these concepts after all.

How far into the text and the lessons are you? You are surely farther along than I am, and that may be why you see more similarities between ACIM and Leo’s teachings than I do. Is the concept of no-self brought up in the advanced lessons or the later teachings? Marianne never discuses this – although she does say that (ACIM teaches) there is only ‘one’ of us here (the sonship), and that IS why the ‘you’ that is ‘you’ is also the ‘me’ that is ‘me’ and ‘they’ are ‘us’, etc. – we are all one, and we are spirit. Care to share your thoughts on this, (as it relates to the concept of ‘no-self’)? Maybe this concept does relate to the concept of no-self, and I’m just not advanced enough to see the similarity.

It is comforting for me to read here that there is an ACIM student out there who also follows Leo. Let me know your thoughts when you get a chance!

Brett Miller says:

Great job. It seemed inevitable that you would tackle this big one sooner or later.

Jeff says:

You completely contradict your “Take 100% Responsibility” video with this. And trying to rectify that with insinuating that is has to do with being an advanced concept is absurd.

You either have free will or you don’t; being aware or unaware; being advance or a beginner in self development does not affect this. You have free will or you don’t….period.

I still lean in the we have free will camp but I do find the topic very interesting.

Leo Gura says:

You would make a terrible Zen student.

Jeff says:

Well I’m taking your Life Purpose Course so maybe you’ll show me how. :)

Leo Gura says:

When your mind feels confused by paradox, become one with the confusion, grasshopper ;) This is a sign of true progress!

Byron says:

Hi Leo,
love your work and your course. This video was amazing, thanks for all the hard work you are doing, it is already having great positive effects.

A question came up watching this video, let me know if you have any hints:
– So, what is the observer, what is that which enjoys, goes-with and works-with the flow?

Is it the collective of organisms, the universal collective or everything and nothing. Man, this is some amazing stuff to contemplate.

Leo Gura says:

That is the ultimate question. It won’t do you much good to here me say it. You have to directly experience it. It is what lies at the end of the self-observation journey.

Byron says:

Great, glad I asked.

Vipasana strong determination meditation like you mentioned is very effective for these experiences. Not sure if you have looked at VR but I had some very interesting insights during Oculus Rift VR sessions also.

Peter says:

Hey Byron,

can you tell me more about these insights you had with VR? How was the program called you played with oculus rift?

Byron says:

Hi Leo

interesting fact, I also was a game designer, and I have experienced success as a fine artist ‘painting/drawing’. To explain the context to you, currently I am fully into design virtualised interactive learning experiences for a registered training organisation. The virtualised 2d/3d scenarios and environments are used to accompany diploma courses to provide the student with workplace related situations and narrative.

Ok, enough about me, I’m pretty excited you asked. I have tested over 100 demos so far which can be found on share.oculus, but mostly I kept the duration short as I find it very intense and involved others to share my excitement.

Some of the most amazing titles are: don’t let go(where you should not let go of the keyboard, even though the virtual hands are not your hands, when attacked by virtual bees you just want to swipe them)

Titans of space – a guided tour amongs planets, this has brought one of my ‘tough’ tradesman friends to tears.

Kira – is my altime favorite, so far. it’s like stepping into the world of avatar

Gopro footage – snowboarding down a mountain

The cryogenian – 3d fractal morphing landscapes

Celestial chants – floating through 3d fractal tunnels towards the light with angels singing, who doesn’t like this for relaxation

the list goes on, I am particulary excited about music concert demos such as the shapeshifter demo, where you are on stage with the band, it is truly an incredible experience to be completely immersed, take the goggles of and have to adjust to the fact that you are in this body in this room.

There are also a list of meditation and relax demos some of which are great.

I think if you have done introspective work and so on then the experiences you have are undeniable and mindboggling, at the same time it is also another piece in the puzzle through experiencing the observer within reality within a reality:) I’m sure you understand where I am going with this, in line with look for the youtube: NASA Physicist Tom Campbell: “We Live in a Virtual Reality,

I’m not saying this is the case but it is interesting food for experience and contemplation.

Also loving the course and the videos, it is allready reconnecting me with me, thanks again for all your work

byron says:

Sorry Peter that should read Peter, not Leo:)

Gavin says:

Hey Leo,

Great stuff! Struggling with this one…

How does one as an organism, get coaxed onto the path of actualization, if he cannot make the choice himself? Is it merely through the happenstance of stumbling across and being exposed to the enlightening information?

On a side note, I’d love to see you do a video on Romantic Love – what it is and our predisposition to monogamy vs. polyamory :) (Though perhaps not quite as important a topic)

Leo Gura says:

Hey Gavin,

How does a monkey learn to crack a open a nut?

Monkey see, monkey do! ;)

Yes, I’ve thought about covering that topic at some point.

Ragnar says:

Haha.. This monkey would love to watch this:D

Gavin says:

Haha, makes a lot of sense!

Monkery is favourable to Chimpery :P

lee says:

hhhhhheeeeeyyyyy leo, i would say how are you doing, but we both know that wouldn’t make any sense, and by we i mean nobody. Anyhow i feel like i am questioning every word that appears before my eyes as i type, but obviously i simply have no choice what emerges. Every second of “life” is a mystery. I say this not offhand just as fact. But hopefully i shall arrive at the actual point soon, and i think it is coming. yes here it is lol. If we have no free will, and your life has been a build up to producing this video that you had no choice but to do, and we apparently had no choice but to watch, then how is it you have been chosen to touch on a subject about having no free will that you had no choice but to make and we had no choice but to watch. and i had no choice to comment on. and if you comment, had no choice to comment on the comment. Does what i said make any sense or is it just complete gibberish, and if it is i am definitely not taking responsibility for it. Man my head hurts. i think. HELP!!!! ;)

yuri says:

hay lee , you are not alone !, I have the same question

Sonia says:

I just realized why I love movies so much!!! I think I am a really control freak but my 37 millions cells are showing me that I am not… it gives me peace to think I am part of the Universe, it gives me peace to surrender.
Thank you Leo!!!

Barbara says:

That’s 37 Trillion cells – not million – huge difference…(I would guess)

Cybersyn says:

Dear Leo,

I have been following your videos for about a year now. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about consciousness and what it is, and how it relates to free will. I’ve started getting into cybernetics and the idea of distributed systems and how they can form an ’emergent’ phenomenon. Cybernetics to me is really the key to it all. When you said I am actually ‘an output of the system, not an input’ it really all clicked in a spectacular way. I had to pause the video and let it all come together for a while.

Just wanted to thank you for triggering these changes in my consciousness ;-). Please keep doing what you do.

Cheers,
S. Allende

Sunita kaur says:

Hi Leo,

Your video’s are always spoken depth. This video made totally sense and I started to accept that we humans have no free will when I follow a video from Sam Harris on this subject. You continue to impressive me on your intense learning and sharing your powerful knowledge to the public. I somehow see you speaking on a Ted-talk on a challenging topic.

Along with a few influence people such as Tony Robins, your one a the person I follow regular due to my main objective in life to achieve high Personal Development.

I do serious hope that one day I could be in direct contact with you in a potential interview discussing issue’s on Human Behavior.

Though I’m sure for now you have bigger and more important things on your list to do :)

Warm Regards

Sunita

Leo Gura says:

Be careful about creating a belief: “I have no free will.” That would be a trap.

Demonstrate it to yourself through self-observation work. A mere belief in no free will will not transform your life in any meaningful way.

Jacques Poirier says:

Great teaching Leo, thank you, this is like an “Exorcist”… kicking out the Ego once and for all.

Mark says:

Hi Leo,i think i have learned a way of dealing with my ego,e.g.say i have to go to the gym,there’s always a thought comes into my head looking for excuses,such as your shoulder hurts or you have to much to do,its to cold,all sorts of excuses come in my head to try and prevent me from going.Every time i have things to do my ego tries to stop me or it says leave it until later or do it tomorrow.Now i dont take any notice of these first thoughts.I have second thoughts that tell me to go to the gym saying how good it is for me they also tell me to get things done other wise they will just build up and before you know it you will have lots of things to do,so now i do things straight away,makes me feel so much better.Just wondered if this is how other peoples thought patterns occur and im guessing that the first thoughts are my ego?Regards Mark

Barbara says:

Hi Mark – I’m no expert, but since Leo hasn’t answered, I thought some insight from a similar teaching might help. I follow Leo, and also follow teachings from “A Course in Miracles” (ACIM) – some of the concepts are quite similar, especially with regard to the ego. There is much talk in the ACIM teachings about how the ego operates – and that is that the ego always speaks loudest, and speaks first. It is, then, the ‘small, still voice within’ – the ‘Inner Teacher’ – that we need to be patient enough and still enough to listen for and to follow, AFTER the very loud ego blasts us with its trickery.

Arik says:

I rewatch these kind of foundational videos over and over every few months and keep getting new realizations or hints in which directions to look even deeper. This for me is incredible work.

Sandeep says:

Hi Leo,

In your video ‘Paradoxes Of Personal Development’ you mention there are many Paradoxes…

I am not enlightened, and I far as I understand you aren’t either yet, so I propose that instead of switching from the camp of ‘Free Will’ to ‘Determinism’ we keep an open mind until we are enlightened and know for sure, as I’m guessing it’s like one of the Paradoxes where ‘Free Will’ and ‘Determinism’ co-exist simultaneously. Thinking of them as not opposites yet as complimentary thoughts that need each other to exist.

Can this be a possibility?

Thanks,
Sandeep

Leo Gura says:

All beliefs are ultimately false. So yes. The only real purpose of my talking is to convince your ego to start doing self-observation.

All my talking is just talking. It’s not truth. It’s merely persuasion for the ego plus some practical techniques you could use. I am fighting illusion with illusion here. So don’t turn my ideas into dogma or grand revelations of Truth. All of that is a fool’s game. Real Truth is nothing that can be spoken of.

Sandeep says:

Thanks Leo for your response, and drilling right down to the point, none of our beliefs matter, experience is what counts.

Suffice to say this video disturbed me enough, that I can’t stop observing my mind, I’m like it can’t be true… Can it? Let me check!

Thanks Leo Gura or should I say Guru (Teacher) :-)

Ake says:

That was a mind-blowing!
I red books on enlightenment, went through mediation training, and engaged into occasional self-observation, and I could sign under every sentence you said!
I love this deep philosophical material even more than some of your earlier more practical videos.
This spiritual aspect of your work it what makes you so different from all other self-development gurus and life coaches who only touch the surface of human psychology.
Funny to say but I sometimes worry about Leo’s safety because saying such bold things on youtube can potentially get him into troubles with some stupid religious fanatics. I know the majority of people are not even intelligent enough to understand what he is saying but who knows.
So Leo, please be safe and be blessed with long and healthy life!
Ake :)

Ragnar says:

Ake I agree with you , Ego will try to protect it self from Truth .And this religious fanatic people they are not religion fanatic, Actually they are illusion fanatic and Ego driven , right!8)

James says:

I like how you mention taking notes on your speeches at the end of the video. Too often do we binge watch videos for instantaneous reward (a feel good state) to distract us from doing the hard work. Application of what you say, and remembering what you say are quite difficult for me. I often find myself backpedaling over and over again to make sure I’m listening fully. Forget trying to explain any of this to another person… I often find rebuttal of these topics in the first 30 seconds.

Neil says:

Cheeseburger. Yes! You have done so so so much work to fill in all the gaps in the presentation of these thoughts.

Chandana says:

Enlightment is understanding the fact noself is noself by noself.

Pretty contradictory isnt it. Thats why enlightment is so difficult

(follow theravada buddhism, vipassana meditation for real experiance..!!)

(There are many vipassana meditation centers in Sri Lanka for free – 4 day 10 day courses)

Sophie OShea says:

Leo, thank you! You’re convincing me to stay on track when my ego inevitably raises a million questions to make enlightenment seem absurd and ridiculous! Thank you.

A few questions still remain to consistently penetrate though and I’m sure maybe even with yourself…
So possible future videos
1) Suffering: some people are born into appalling mental/emotional/physical/environmental (or all of the above conditions). Birth therefore seems unfair, some people get a shit deal whilst others are already half way there. I know you have a video which goes something along the lines of the Shakespeare’s quote – there is no good or bad, only thinking makes it so, perhaps a misfortune could turn into a blessing but what if someone is born with the most debilitating mental and physical disability, with no “power” for any self inquiry at all. Are we then going into the territory of ….
2) Reincarnation and breaking the cycle of karma. You really do have to take a leap of faith with this one, otherwise it’s understandable for the rational mind to look for evidence to say that life is just one big miraculous accident with no rhyme or reason or preference for anything.
3) Is everything then pre-determined? If there is no free will then there is no choice for us to free ourselves, it’s either happening to us or not.
4) Are all the animal and plant species destined to experience our great illusion or is this just something for the evolved human brain condition. Or are they at lower phases than us with slower evolving brains.
5) Does consciousness exist everywhere and is the nothingness/emptiness or is it just an output of brain activity.
6) How can we be sure that we aren’t just a product of someone’s computer simulation and most scary of all; what if that entity is evil and unethical? It would certainly explain the unjustness of question one.

I mean, I could go on, there are heaps yet paradoxically I know deep down that all of us can only find out via empirical means.

Still these are important questions don’t you think?
Thanks as always xxx

Leo Gura says:

Ask yourself what those questions actually are. They are thoughts. And what are thoughts? Mental images and mental sounds. And what significance or meaning do mental images and mental sounds actually have? None what so ever!

The mind is tricking you by sucking you into a vortex of content. Your job is to see that content & meaning is an illusion.

Investigate the following question very deeply: What is a thought actually?

Sophie OShea says:

…..haha I knew you would say something along these lines. Mooji teaches the very same thing. There’s a block that won’t let me get past these points for some reason though. I will continue to do more meditation x

Leo Gura says:

That block is called monkey mind. It is the human condition.

You believe you will arrive a truth or enlightenment through questioning or reasoning or knowledge or beliefs. But this is impossible. This is actually the only thing keeping us from truth. But me saying this is not enough for you to get it. You actually have to force the mind into submission first. The mind’s job is to hide truth. Because the mind shuffles around content, none of which is absolutely true.

Yann says:

Great presentation, as usual.
Like you I studied philosophy and like you I was in the camp of free will, because I thought: since nature set up some agregates (us) it might as well (on a creation point of view) set up some personalities rather than some automatons.
But in the end, I think you are right and that separation is superfluous, not essential and that we are one (although please note the importance of the first two words of this expression). As for the free will vs determinism debate, I suppose it’s amor fati all over again!

lee says:

hi leo just a quick one, but i can’t understand how we are expected to do self inquiry to discover these concepts if we have no real power over our thoughts, are the thoughts that appear to us deceiving us? Can we trust what we think we learn? I’m sorry if this sounds stupid, its very interesting but also confusing at the same time. If you can shed some light on this that would be great. thanks leo.

Leo Gura says:

In the same way you wake up every morning and go to work.

Kevin says:

Once enlightened, you recognize the truth of infinite free will. If your stuck in Determinism, your ego deceiving itself and is resisting true freedom. The trick if you will, is identity. You are the creator of your world.

Maureen says:

So the essence of human existence comes down to If/Then?

TheSkip says:

Leo, the only choice you have is what you want to experience :)

What is your opinion about it?

Leo Gura says:

There is no choice about anything.

TheSkip says:

In my opinion, the whole “no choice” is just a dogma. You are limited by the dogmas you believe in. So if you believe to not have any choice, you will not have it.

But who would even want a choice ?
Having a choice indicates that we don’t have any free will.

If you take responsibility for your self the choice disappears, because it was a prison.
The main problem with this whole issue is that, when you start to believe you are not in control, you will have no control, but when you believe that you have control, you will have it.

Any statement is both true and false at the same time.

Believing is not thinking something is true. It’s a lot different, but I can’t describe it. Try to observe it for yourself, and don’t believe what i wrote here.

Leo Gura says:

If you believe you have control, you are simply deluded. A belief in control does NOT create control, it merely creates an illusion of control.

But don’t take my word for it. Go down the rabbit hole and discover what’s true for yourself. I am just here to give you ideas.

TheSkip says:

I fully agree with you that there’s absolutely no control from the “lvl” that you are talking about in the video.

This thing is very very tricky, and the control i am talking about is not what normally comes to mind when one thinks of “control”.

I write this, because i want you to experience this, to shine some light on it for others or to destroy my illusion if it is one.

So this is what i mean (and be aware, that the message you will read is just an interpretation of your illusion, one of many, so try to think of all the possibilities before you try):
1. Go to the place where you experience the thing you call “nothing” in this video.
2. That thing is also controlled, what comes to you is relative to your current state of mind/feeling.
3. You believe at this moment, that the feeling is an product of your thinking, “i” say it is not, it is just a belief.
4. Follow the path of what controls the stuff that controls “you”, and see what the real you controls really.

I can’t say what it is, because you have to be awake to do this. And when i’ll suggest the answer, there would be a danger that you would look for something else ignoring the important stuff.

It is not control by fear (programing / this is the method “you” are driven by right now). Control is a really unjust word for it. We think we want controll, but we really don’t. The controll most people want is against them.

And no, i’m am not enligtened, i just observed it by following the signs left by you and others. But it is really really really important.

When you look at the both sides (control and that) you will know how/why anything happens. I know it is the key to many things, because i had to face great fear and ignore it, to get it, and now i know why the fear was there.

This thing i’m talking about does not shatter the illusion, it just shines light on it. A really lot of light.

TheSkip says:

After that, when you will know what i was writing about, go and look behind the scene of the “Garden of Eden” (the garden of one (translating to human language)), and you will know why we think we are divided, but we indeed are one.

Look at quantum computers theory, and you will see why there is no time and there is only now.

The irony of this reality we experience is so big, that i’m 100% positive you will laugh hard on this :D

TheSkip says:

Ah sorry, there is one more important thing to do this, you must fully drop the concept that your body is you or you are anything.

To do this the easiest way it to look at you like a piecie of hardware/software but not separate to you.

There is a really lot of control, but not in the illusion. It simply adapts. Drop the need to control it, control that what you can control and observe. If you think at the same time it isn’t it, but it can be connected to a thought.

By the thing i mean something close to emotions, but not emotions literally (because emotions are description of it).

The most control that you can have is when you feel love (if you can’t, try happiness) and the least control is when you feel fear, then one becomes pure robotic.

The state requires no meditation, just the clarity of mind.

The division we experience is an illusion, but when one does not accept “love”, one can’t get out of it.

And i don’t mean love like all that hippy bullshit, i mean looking at others and everything as not separate to you and accepting it for what it is. Then and only then things can change.

The “division” is mirrored in everything up and down into infinity. Well if you cut infity in half you will get 2x the infinity of things. The thing i observed was that the two infinities are in sync, like current in transformers. Movement in one causes movement in the second. It doesn’t matter how many divisions are there, the whole is always in sync. If you don’t look at something and understand it as a whole, you wont understand it at all, because the parts just don’t make sense.

The most problematic thing right now to understand is how to break from the loop of mistakes. Drugs for pain can be a good example, if one takes substance A, one feels good, but it disrupts ones system, than one feels bad, but the system regains it’s balace, than one confuses the pain with the lack of the drug and takes it again and again and again and the cycle continues.

If you discover the root of some three of problems like that and remove the root, the problems disappear.

The root of most of our problems is not giving enough love to our selves. It simply means creating divisions and playing accordingly to the illusions it creates. (The concept of “love” is hard to describe, because it’s not a concept, and it’s not what one normally thinks. Everyone must see it for themselves)

If you will threat your body as something separate to you or think you are only it, than no enlightenment work will ever work.

That rises the question “If i will fix myself will everyone be fixed to, if they are the same as me?”. The answer is “yes” and “no”. Simply everyone in your environment will be affected, but the further away, it will be less effective, visible and delayed in time or space. You are not in the past or future, or 10 meters from here, or 5 km from here or anywhere else. You are here and now and this you can controll.

The trick is not to confuse the echo with now.

Sorry for long and confusing post, but as you know it can’t be described. The urge to share this observation didn’t originate from me, it originated from you and i simply acted on it, multiplied it and gave it back.

This video is correct or fully wrong, depending how you look at it. If it’s describing the illusion of the illusion to the illusion it is true, but it gives nothing. If it’s describing thruth to the truth it is fully false and gives nothing. But while it is nothing and gives nothing it still points a direction. And all spiritual work can be only done for one self or it wont last, and the confusion will come back.

“Can nothing do the work for you?” :)

And if one follows the sign, and is in the illusion, he can get out, but if one is in the truth and follow the sing, he will get in.

This mental world is travelling both sides at the same time if you look from the center, but go to 3rd person view and now it’s one rotating thing getting aware if itself.

atzil says:

Awesome. I feel taken away when I listen to these vids!

Nem says:

Nem
Will be watching this one over and over again
Thank you Leo

Lee says:

Hey Leo. You know it’s amazing that most people can go through life without ever even coming across any thought provoking content like this. Where were you twenty years ago when I needed you lol. But I remember watching some science program on tv that was studying the brain, and they discovered that like you are saying the “thoughts” have already been queued up decided many seconds before we are even aware of it. So when you’re driving along the road like I do coming back from work and there is this junction I can take which sometimes might be quicker and sometimes not. But it feels like even up until the last second i don’t know if I’m going to take it or not and even when I’ve “made up my mind” to not take it, at the very last second I turn down it. Which is very weird because in reality many seconds before I had already decided I was going to take it.it just hadn’t caught up yet. Kinda freaky, kinda cool. You da man ;).

Barbara says:

Hi Lee – I often do the same, when it comes to a fork in the road. Sometimes I think I have decided against it, and then, SURPRISE, at the last minute I take it! So – ‘what’ has made that choice? Is it a compilation of all of the knowledge and all the past experience that these 37 trillion cells in this body have accumulated, and all of the forces of nature that those systems and its subsystems that ‘I’ think of as ‘me’ that is making the choice? Would that also include all of the drivers around me and all of the knowledge and experience contained in their systems and subsystems – since we are all one consciousness – all of these factors are making this decision, that ‘I’ think ‘I’ have made?

Leo – are you there?… anyone???

Marc says:

Trust, that there is something deeper… I was listening to the video lying down, at 4 AM because I could not get back to sleep. When I got to the end of the video, I wanted to close my laptop, and by mistake (I was not looking at what I was doing), I clicked on the left arrow, which rewinded the video and it played one sentence: trust that there is something deeper…

I did not do this consciously, so my ego would say this happened by mistake: My finger hit randomly the button, pressed it for some random amount of millisecond, got to some random place in the video, and played some random sentence: trust that there is something deeper… Yeah… right…

If I interpret this along the content of the video, it could go like that: Some subsystem of my whole body wanted to bring to my consciousness one sentence from this whole video: “trust that there is something deeper”. But to do that, this subsystem had to: remember this sentence, where it was in the video (the time), make my finger hit the left arrow button for a precise amount of millisecond (which involves a calculation using the time in the video the sentence plays, the speed at which the video rewinds and the amount of time I have to keep my finger on the key). If this is what happened, wow…

Leo Gura says:

Or… even a broken clock is right twice a day ;)

Neil says:

And the tide flows twice in a day

C says:

Thanks for the video.

I have had multiple moments in the past where I have felt more ‘awake’ (and a few meditation experiences of something approaching the truth). However, whenever ‘I’ have these experiences I feel terrified and panicked. ‘I’ go into overdrive and try to get ‘control’ of myself through whatever means necessary. This fear is normal isn’t it? How can I overcome this fear? It’s preventing ‘me’ from doing self-observation (as I’m afraid to ‘detach’ from myself). It’s also made me very reluctant to do meditation.

Also, do you have to kill yourself to become fully enlightened, with everything that killing yourself would entail? If so – what happens then? I suppose you just become One?

Finally, how do enlightened beings relate to other people? Do we all share the same Awareness? So do enlightened people think that we are all the same thing?

(It would be a pleasant surprise if you answered these questions haha).

– C

Leo Gura says:

Fear is normal. Just feel into it and keep pushing. It will pass after a while. Use it as evidence that you’re on the right track and that the ego is full of shit.

Enlightened people generally relate to other people as though they were not separate, with compassion.

Neil says:

They should understand that we feel everything. Every hateful thought. Every deed. Every spoken word. And the thoughts to…..oh I already mentioned that.

You are right Leo. It is limitless. Except when it’s not! The “haters” always drag us down. Like the other crabs in the bucket.

Neil says:

Forget about killing yourself. It’s a bunch of mumbo jumbo spoken by the drama “queens”. There’s a difference between dissolving your identity and shooting yourself. But it’s what happens. The only way to ever get to higher ground is to forget the ways that kept you on lower ground. Rise up for yourself. You’ll never do it otherwise! Never!

Neil says:

Can’t you see it!? It’s at our very core. Feminism was the tool of destruction. It hits at the neediness between man and woman. It exploits us all. I can see why the gay people are gay. But that’s still a comp to solving the problem. Ass sex between men is disgusting to me personally.

But it doesn’t stop the establishment from thinking that the use of biblical things regarding feminism and masculinity are “forgotten”. It has only just begun.

As Paul Elam said. “Imagine a gender war where Men showed up”

Arik says:

In my self-inquiry meditation today I had 30-40 minutes of solid clarity (probably because of the 2 hour strong determination sitting I did last night which always has profound effects on me) where I was able to get a notion that I don’t know my next thought, being drawn into a mental movie and having a thought story while having a thought of my “self”.

Leo, are you able so far to see thoughts come up from no-where and go back there? My thought of “experiencing a thought” first comes up when I’m drawn into it and I guess there is key wisdom to find in the appearing and vanishing of thoughts.

I’ll keep practicing and look what I find.

Leo Gura says:

To see thoughts arising out of nothing and dying back into nothing will take years of work. And an enlightenment or two.

Philippe says:

Hi Leo, I’m 52 and I practice Karate for a while but I don’t feel myself at the top of if “I’m Awerness of my…”
Anyway, English is not my mother tongue but I can appreciate your talk.
I’m very impress about you.

Shahid says:

Hi I am shahid,
I have been watching your videos for a while, things you been telling i am already applying in my life, and I am very happy I learn a lot.
Your last video about free will and I agree with it, because I submit my will to God. Something I am trying to do with my free will, but I just can’t do it but it happened with the will of God.

The reason I am writing to ask you question, why I couldn’t attract any women in my life, I rad all the books about suduction available, for last seven years i approached thousands of girls, but not a single date, just getting rejected left and right.
I have free will to talk to a girl but I have no control over her will to like me back.
I am submitting my will about this particular situation to God, I won’t give up either, because I have no option except keep approaching these women.

I know you are not dating couch but maybe you figure out what’s going on wrong. I will be 40 year old this summer and I am still virgin.

I hope you will reply.
Regards from Paris

Raj says:

Hey Shahid,

I have two thoughts on reading your comment. One, that must be frustrating and I am so sorry to hear that. Two, bravo for the continuous and amazing perseverance. I might be able to help you out.

Have you meditated and investigated the emotions that arise when you approach women? Are they positive or negative? Have you tried approaching women just for conversations rather than the goal of relationships/sex? Usually if you care about the outcome things keep going bad, as you will constantly try to impress them.

Plz get in touch with me on charmformula site contact page.

Shahid says:

Hi Raj,

Thank you for your comment, answering your questions I am always positive every aspect of anything in life, approaching women now become so easy now and I don’t feel rejected at all.

I just don’t talk just for sake of talk, I mean did in past but conversation goes no where it’s so phony to talk to women for no reason even after long ass conversation they’re not interested to go on date with me. I never ever care about out come and never try to imperss.

Leo Gura says:

If you have approached over 1000 girls and you still haven’t gotten laid, then you are clearly doing it wrong.

Take a pickup bootcamp ASAP. RSD is a good company for that. See their site.

Wouter says:

I once heard a nice quote on this topic: “You can do what you like but not like what you like.” I think it came from Schoppenhauer. It really resonated whit me because that was how I felt about this topic, without being able to state it explicit in words.

Barbara says:

Either I don’ ‘get’ the quotation, or it’s been mis-stated. Did you mean to write, “You can do what you like, but not like what you do” – ?

just wondering…

WingWizard says:

I have a practical question to ask.

I am not an experienced meditator, but I became interested in it very recently. I meditated a week before, for about 20 straight minutes. I don’t understand why but all of my traumatic past thoughts rushed to my mind the next day and I was depressed and disgusted for about a week. Why did this happen? What else am I supposed to experience if I want to pursue meditation further?

Chandana says:

This is very natural and ego is resisting you to continue.

push forward continuously and with time it will vanish.

when meditating first experience is weightless body.

Leo Gura says:

Welcome to spiritual purification.

How do you suppose long-term meditators have calm minds? They have burned away all the impurities in the mind, all the bullshit ideas and beliefs and personal stories it carries. And how did that happen? Through the exact effect you experience: that shit has to be purged by the mind. That purging process isn’t rainbows and butterflies, it’s gut-wrenching. Like vomiting from food poisoning.

So you got a tiny bit of poison out of your system. That’s how you know the meditation is working. Keep going with it. Never ever stop.

Barbara Fairbanks says:

Hi Leo – I have been wanting to ask this of you. I have seriously begun meditating, and have been guided by your lectures on meditation – I have found all of your lectures to be fantastic eye-openers, as well – and it is all slowly sinking in. Thank you so much for being ‘you’, and all that you do for us.

My meditation has become more comfortable – started out with 20 minutes, and am still there but no longer feel that I am being tortured, e.g. – ’20 minutes is FOREVER – did I even set that timer correctly?’ So, now am even feeling a little disappointed when time is up, and will begin increasing.

Could you comment on something that I think is a valuable insight that came up for me in a recent meditation? I heard a voice – not the voice of thoughts that arise in the mind – a different voice that clearly stated, “Afraid to participate”. This was weird because I was not contemplating over what it is that’s keeping me ‘stuck’ in life, at the time. Though I have felt immense frustration over the feeling that I am running around in a little hampster wheel, and not advancing or following through even on some of the basic ideas I have that I think would be positive for me to pursue. I have to force myself to do just about everything, and always at the last minute, because there is always this self-struggle that I am held back in some way. I am not motivated to follow thru on anything until the 11th hour is approaching. Not at all a feel-good way to live life! I feel that this statement, ‘afraid to participate’ coming out of the blue in the midst of my meditation was a clear insight – in plain English – as to what is actually keeping me stuck in life. If I were consciously contemplating my ‘stuck’ problem, and trying specifically to find a cause, the ‘I’ that I think is ‘me’ would have worded it very differently – something along the lines of ‘generalized anxiety’, ‘depression’ ‘avoidance’, ‘laziness’ – and so forth. But to hear it in these exact words seems profound. It deeply resonated with me – and it has stuck with me day after day – goading me into doing something about it. Of course I know the solution is to just get out there and start participating without thinking about the ‘what if’s’ . I realize, of course, that the completed statement would be, ‘Afraid to participate in life!’

Can you give me some insight on this, Leo? Not as to how I should follow up – I know what I need to do – but do you think this was a genuine insight from my ‘higher self’ (for want of a better term – well of course there has to be a better term, as there is no ‘self’ – the concept of which I can accept intellectually, but is not yet empirical knowledge for me) – or is my ego playing a trick on me? What the heck is going on here??? Any thoughts?

Leo Gura says:

A wisdom function can activate as you quiet the mind and go deeper.

Take the advice if it seems good, but then get right back to the main task of discovering who/what you are.

Don’t take your eye off the prize. Don’t get distracted by detours or pretty lights or pleasant emotional states or hallucinations. All of those may arise. Notice that you still do not know WHO they are arising to. Who is it that’s perceiving all of this “stuff”? Who are you? What are you?

WingWizard says:

Bloody hell. I am scared. Pursuing meditation is seeming analogous to walking a billion miles in complete darkness without even knowing why I am walking or what lies at the end of this walk. I want to meditate, but I really don’t know why I am doing it or what I will get out of it.

Neil says:

They “use” other people’s names. They lie. They say they are gay so the women can’t tell till they are under the spell. Guess that means they are actually doing the disgusting “ass sex” thing in order to fake that lie. You are right. It is the devil’s work.

And they are all devils for those works. Man up fools. You can’t expect to affect politics or whatever with your foolishness. You’ll lead dead end lives and die never knowing what it is to truly live. Even though you have “all kinds” of “things” to show for it. Lol

Neil says:

Yep, he’s an “ass spelunker”. You know who. That was sharp of you to figure that one out Leo. That old snake is really gonna get hurt this time.

He has hurt countless lives.

Maybe they’ll put South Park back onto Netflix soon!!!!

Neil says:

And yes, there is usually and I must say very likely a woman behind that man that is getting blamed. So, think about what’s going on here!

That doesn’t slide by. You can’t fool yourselves! With your ridiculous haiku’s “female”.

Men wake up!

Tony says:

I came to the realisation that we have no free will a while ago.

The way I see it is this. Reality is a continuous chain reaction of events. An infinitely complex interplay of cause and effect. Every being, object, molecule or atom is affected by events that preceded the present moment, and will continue to be affected in every moment after. Everything that occurs in the universe is a result of the preceding circumstances.

We like to look back through history and ask questions like ‘what if’ or ‘if that had been different’ or ‘if that hadn’t happened that way’ etc But I realise that all these ‘branches’ are illusory. Because everything that ever happens only happens the way it does. There are no alternatives, no ‘what ifs’, no different paths or possibilities. Reality is linear and everything that every happens, from the creation of reality, the formation of stars and planets, the creation of ‘life’ and the history of an individual person, it was all going to happen the way it did because that’s exactly what did happen. It was never going to be any other way.

We look back in our lives and ponder how things could have been different or ask why our lives have become the way they have. We wish we had made different choices, done different things. We blame ourselves and others for the way things have gone. We torture ourselves over the alternative life we could have had ‘if only’ we had made different choices. But the fundamental truth is that there was never any alternative. Even our thoughts were always going to be the way they were.

Every thought, decision and action we take was always going to be what it was and will always be what they will be. We think that thoughts are spontaneous and personal, that our decisions and actions are chosen from these thoughts. But from the moment we are born, from the moment the universe began, every thought, decision and action, everything that ever happens to us, is already determined. Because it all happened, and continues to happen the way it did and does. There is no other way. Reality is linear. Every ‘choice’, every branch, is an illusion because there is only ever one outcome – the one that happens. The only one that was always going to happen.

You may say ‘well I’m going to stand up now and leave the room. That is my choice to do that, that wasn’t predetermined.’ But it was. You were always going to do that at that moment in your life. From the moment you were conceived it was already going to happen, because it DID happen. You can’t beat the system because you’re a part of the system. Any attempt to beat the system was going to happen anyway. Whatever you are thinking right now you were always going to be thinking right now. If you win the lottery tomorrow you were always going to. If you don’t then you were never going to. If you die in a car crash today, it was always going to happen. You can’t say it wasn’t your time to go because you DID go, and you were always going to, so it was your time. There was no alternative.

There is no alternative to the reality that occurs. It is liberating when you realise that you are on a ride, an observer of your own life, or reality. That you never had any control. That there was never any alternative to the life you have been living. Because then you don’t find yourself questioning and ‘what iffing’, trying to defy the reality that happened to you. Your future is determined but you don’t have the means to forecast it. Every thought you will have until you die will be what it will be and will always have been that way. Every decision, action and outcome will be what it will be and will always have been that way. Accept and enjoy the ride and stop fighting it. There is nothing to fight.

People who have near death experiences report making complete peace with themselves and life once they realise that they have no control of the situation, moments before they believe they will die. They surrender to reality, have complete acceptance and the result is peace. So why can’t we cultivate this concept without the threat of imminent demise? After all, we are all going to die sooner or later anyway. So why not surrender to the lack of control, have acceptance and cultivate peace right now?

Leo Gura says:

Ego won’t let that happen. Ego IS the desperate clinging to control. The ego’s job is to control stuff. Little does the ego know that it’s all a sham. A near death experience humbles the ego because death is one thing for sure that ego is powerless against, and even the ego knows it.

LaRue Nedd says:

Leo: This could be your best video yet. I really liked the parts where you compare us to the devil and the one about Santa Clause.

Dan Haynes says:

Evolutionary Psychology is what Leo needs to study.

Italo says:

Hi there Leo,

Thanks a lot for this video. It really covered up some of my egos doubting and resistence.
I am reading Amit Goswami “The Self-Aware Universe”, and it is also, clues and marks, pointing to a place that cannot be written or spoken… but stil there is the need of intelectual understanding it first, realizing that there is an ilusion, and after that… living the only thing there really is.
It is not easy when living among a lot of distractions tha keeps the ego reinforced. Among so many people that don’t even think about this stuf…
Have you read this book?? I think this guy is really coming to the point where science, philosophy and religion come together as they would or where someday because they ultimatly seek the only thing there is behind te courtain.

I know it’s not “me” wrighting this, but “I’m” pretty thankfull for living the begining of having answers to questions that are with me through all “my” life, and the better thing is that the answer is really, there are no questions, for there isn’t anyone asking them.
That feels like freedom.
thanks again (sorry for the bad english)
from down here in Brazil, but not separated.
Italo.

Ramona says:

These words are from my own direct experience: there is no ego here! Stop this schizophrenic story about some me and some maleficient ego. There is only consciousness experiencing itself and enjoying the identification with the person. It is a complete nonsense to suppose that there is something in me that can shake this consciousness into de-indentification. If it wants to do it, it will happen naturally, if not, not. Everything takes place inside this space, all forms, all expressions, all persons, all concepts. It’s a fantastic play of existence and there is no one here to “become enlightened” or to overcome the ego. One cannot overcome something that does not exist.

Leo Gura says:

Yup!

PG says:

Hey Leo,
Great video as always. Definitely don’t quit the video business. Your way of teaching about enlightenment as you pursue it yourself is very powerful and contagious. I’m fully on board and have been working on this ever since I discovered your first enlightenment videos. I’ve watched each one many times and get new insights all the time. I’ve read a couple of the books on your list especially Ralston’s The Book of Not Knowing and I’m actually going to one of his retreats. Any suggestions on how I can get the most out of the Ralston experience? Thanks and keep the videos coming!

Leo Gura says:

You’re in for treat ;)

Just come with a totally open mind.

PG says:

Can’t wait for the retreat.

Would love to see a video on your thoughts on how to raise my level of awareness. I get to where I’m a perceiver and I’m sitting somewhere in the middle of my head but then I can’t get past that. I’m just blank. Since all I know is to perceive and since I have no perception of this perceiver, I just go blank. I feel like I need to raise my level of awareness to go beyond this. Or maybe I’m totally wrong…

Thanks again!

Leo Gura says:

You just have to sit and look and look and look and look and look until you’re in tears and agony.

Try the meditation technique in my Mindfulness Meditation video. If you practice that one A LOT, you will develop tons of awareness. Try doing it 4 hour per day. Or try doing self-inquiry 4 hour per day.

You will not break through the illusion of ego without hundreds of hours of sitting (preferably, all in one go). You will be bored and frustrated out of your mind. That is the technique! The mind has to be totally melted down until it finally surrenders.

You actually have no control over when or how this happens. It will happen spontaneously without any input from you (because you don’t actually exist to provide any input).

If you’re doing only 1 hour per day of looking, it will be VERY slow-going because each day your mind is distracted for 23 hours and has to start almost from ground-zero the next day.

That’s why meditation retreats are so powerful. They force the mind to focus for 100 hours straight. You don’t really even get to sleep without being in a meditation daze. After 100 hours straight, the mind has been melted down so much that cool shit starts to happen all by itself. You become hyper-conscious of everything.

PG says:

Great! Really appreciate the advice. I’m actually going to a one day meditation retreat this weekend. I’ll work on melting down the mind. I like the idea of doing longer and longer sessions – makes a lot of sense, just hard to find the time but will have to do it anyway!

Thanks again and looking forward to your upcoming videos!

Pal says:

Hi Leo

I ve been asking this question, Why people are born different, who decide to make one person nice, attractive, rich or poor specially if there is no free will ?

Ragnar says:

Leo , what your views on
astrology , zodiac signs etc .

Ragnar says:

Leo , what are your views on
astrology , zodiac signs etc .

Mayur Ghule says:

Isn’t consciousness bounded or limited for humans in the Total reality , is it ?

Ahdriam says:

I have come to the conclusion that no free will exists a long time ago but through mathematical induction and I have also realised that no randomality exists in the world, there is only the ilusion of randomality, and that any future state when given enough data could be theoreticly percived. I tried to explain it to people and I could even prove it but they refused to agree.
Later I read that albert einshtein also said the same things and no one took that seriously, so what could I say. (at first I thought they are scared or preffer to deny it, now I realise as Leo said that they are just playing their part in the movie, reading the script, so no need to blame anyone, not that I cant choose wether to).

Any way I wanted to ask, regarding the nervs studies, is it found that the nerve order to raise the hand is given before the order to create the ilusion as this was due to a decision?

Neil says:

MASTERY by Robert Greene has some really neat reports from neuroscience accounts of the “before and after” of sensation or perception.

Pal says:

You can read Sam Harris work in Utube as he is expressing the same as Leo but in a different way that there is no free will and he is a neuroscientist telling that until the end of the universe everything is already programmed.
But when we see day today activities and how karma works or why we are born different , there should be a free will. but nobody is able to answer this question still.

As Leo says if there is no self to decide a free will. There should not be enlightenment as well. because without a self who needs enlightenment.

I think understanding that there is no self is probably called enlightenment and there seems to be no light show then :)

George Lawson says:

So if all actions are determined, then what are they determined by? Our ego?

Leo Gura says:

Hehe, no… ego is an illusion.

They are determined by the physical laws of nature, or who knows what. But “George” has nothing to do with it.

Neil says:

Try a book by CS Lewis “the abolition of man”. The free will is like the idea of many paths to a very similar destination and what can only be coincidences to some or “predetermined stops” to others. It is an illusion but it’s not, at the same time. That’s a glimpse of divinity in the eyes of some.

Barbara says:

Yep – that’s about what I was thinking. Glad you clarified that for us, Leo. Thank you!

It does sometimes feel like it is the ego (calling the shots) because if we buy into the illusion the ego exists (and nearly everyone who doesn’t study or think about this does), it feels like the ego is controlling things. So, being an illusion it has no power to control – but if we believe it is real, then it does have
(illusory) control – right?

So, Leo – is it so very difficult to make changes we think we want in our lives because of the stronghold our beliefs and habits have over us? Or is it because we can’t make the changes we think we want because we are on a predetermined path, and these changes are not included in the ‘plan’? I hope that’s not the case, because it makes change seem not just difficult, but impossible! But, then again, if we let go of the ‘wanting’ and the hurculean efforts to make changes, and just go with the flow – the changes we want will just happen naturally? This is such a mind-boggling puzzle, my brain is fried! Thanks again, Leo, for sharing your wisdom with us!

Neil says:

Powerful illusory control. And yes, sometimes you can only go with the flow. But you can control the direction of the flow with a gentle touch.

You must listen and create each when they are appropriate. Think of something that oscillates about a moving reference point. Every experience you have shifts you emotionally around a central state while there are level after level of reference frames that encompass “the now”.

It can be useful to identify emotions as past, present, or future when thinking about their origins.

Brian says:

I’ve been following your stuff for about a year now, but there’s one part you always leave out when discussing the birth of all religions; What’s your view on Demons who “possess” people as well as people levitating in the air during an exorcism? From your radical open-mindedness video you said that we don’t know these thing, and that we take them up on faith, but different cultures from many different backgrounds have reported about these things, so what’s your take on it?

Pal says:

Hey Leo

Just watched the full video, it is a great one. Those terms , centralized, taking the credit, motivation are used in proper places to give the full meaning.

I’ve been listening to many other thinkers but this one is a good one.

Thanks for sharing your views.

Ryan Gleeson says:

Hey Leo, This is Ryan from the United Kingdom.
First off I want to thank you deeply on every single one of you’re deep insights and powerful video’s because they really have changed my life in an ultimately drastic and hardcore way, that it even some days brings me to freaking tears thinking about it. I just wanna say…

oh man, I’m 19 and have just had two midlife crises already where I think what the freaking HELL am I ‘not’ doing with my life! what the fuck am I doing!…I have these deep realizations and oh my god moments every single day now and keep a journal with me documenting all these thoughts and feelings so I know where i am at, where i am going!

You are truly inspirational Leo Gura. I tell people about actualized.org a lot, I guess they are so conditioned from the life without it that they think this is a bit all airy fairy but it don’t matter because ultimately I know I just gotta keep going where i’m headed down this road of pain and grafting work to get to where I truly want to be in my magical existence of this reality. I want to make something beautiful as do you.

I got this elite career at one of the best hotels in the United Kingdom now but that’s just the side for financial external reasons. What I really want now Leo is to get to the truth of my life Passion and it’s true deep purpose. I want to thank you for the insights that are breaking my ball and shackles + handcuffs around my wrists that have been there since I was a little Kid… day by day my reality is becoming more extraordinary, my life is more extraordinary!!!! YOU DID THIS LEO! I feel like you’re my best Buddy, the kinda buddy I have always wanted to grow with who gets how this life is Beautiful.

Thank you dearly Leo. from an admirable invisible pal across the Ocean, called Ryan Christopher Anthony Gleeson. You’re incredible.

Craig says:

Leo, you are a mother fucking dick sucking titty-ass bitch!

Sorry, I had to say it cause I don’t have free will

P.s. I’m kidding. I learned a lot here. This video was absolutely fascinating. Thanks

Floris says:

You’re (or have been) following the Navigator series by Jed aren’t you, ya basterd!:D His great anologies are shining through so now and then

Leo Gura says:

No.

Be careful about assuming anyone has a monopoly on enlightenment. This is a universal truth which is spoken about by many people in many different and similar ways.

Jed may have you believe he’s one of the only enlightened guys on the planet, but I can assure you there are many many others.

Floris says:

Hold it there cowboy, I said no such thing! But I’ve thinking about this as well, so let me ask something else:
So Jed says- well, he used to, he changed his approach- indeed that some guys have just a different state of consiousness, which isn’t enlightenment. And indeed some guys like Peter Rallston talk about different stages on enlightenment, but how can seeing/being the truth have stages? You talked about this with some enlightened guy or something? (honest question)

Thanks

Leo Gura says:

There are indeed stages to enlightenment. It’s a deepening of sorts and it’s difficult for people to understand because they have a hard enough time just understanding the first stage.

I will shoot a video on the stages of enlightenment at some point.

For now, think of enlightenment like a jewel with 10 or 20 facets to it which get revealed to you one or two at a time. It takes decades of work to see the whole jewel.

And yes, it’s true that many people confuse higher-consciousness states or meditation highs or drug highs with actual enlightenment. Enlightenment is not an emotional state or a state of mind. Or a state of any kind. It is what is. And you are it.

Yann says:

Life runs us totally, ok, fine, but life needs a rudder inside us and that rudder is called “impression of free will” or “impression of control”. Even animals have it, only at an instinctive level, whereas we have more extravagant needs, because of these thoughts that cross our minds. We could even say that animals have an ego, why not, after all ? They look so proud sometimes. They fight for themselves, as we all do, all our life. Of course as usual we could say that it’s only instinct, but if life runs us totally, what different does it make ?
Now some smart humans ask : is this tool, this trick of nature, this rudder inside us called “impression of control” based on real control ? And enlightened people have the certitude that the answer is no. But the thing is they still have the “impression of control”. Impossible to remove that. It’s part of the configuration. Like a part in a machine, really. And I think that if this part was removed, all our stimuli could not be processed properly. We would go completely crazy. But yes, enlightenment is worth it in seeing the impression of control as just what it is, an impression, and getting rid of the unbearable weight of (supposed) real control.

Joseph says:

You mention about doing 1000 hours of self-observational work. Haha… I typed into Google “1000 hours in days” and it gave me 1000 hours = 41.667 days.

If I’m not mistaken, Jesus Christ himself fasted for 40 days and nights. That’s some hardcore self-observational work right there ;)

Hengame says:

Watching this video for many times without commenting because Leo, subject was difficult for me to fully understand, this time I was crying during listening. If I say I got the main point I am lieing. I am confused and disappointed, can u pleas help me to find your self observation video I need to watch this to get deeper understanding. Thanks, I am following ur video, ur my teacher. Thx for all.

Key says:

This gem was important for me so I’ll share. Be careful not to run from the symbolic meaning of ego and everything it encapsulates. Full alignment with truth (enlightenment) includes the epitome of understanding the “meaning.” Don’t avoid it. Don’t think that “nothing” or the “void” is really no-thing. It’s everything And nothing. As Leo states. A special nothing. Pattern recognition is a huge tool. To transcend systems is to become one with the (high) System. Die to the (lower) systems. Admit you’re completely wrong about reality to be right about it. Surrender. But don’t get lost by rejecting the truth and continue to chase yourself.

Hengame says:

Thank u for responding, the think is i try my best and I see the result in me. But is not enough I am really serious of my personal development I am reading books suggested by Leo , watching all his videos more times but as I am not English native speaker my progress is slow I try hard not be disappointed. I am serious but sometimes the subject is too difficult for me to get all the importance points. But I do not give up even I do not get direct answer to my questions.

Key says:

While Leo is definitely at the tip of the Spear, he’s not the only one. Surely there are enlightenment concepts in your native language. Just remember the concepts point. Meaning isn’t a concept it’s truth. Imo :) The meaning of this special nothingness just is.

Hengame says:

You mean. because of language I am suppose to leave Leo websit although it helps me? What a tip! Thank you for that. I love and enjoy his videos.

Key says:

Lol just a suggestion. And I never suggested you leave anyone. Work on your ego, your all or none thinning

TheSkip says:

The truth is literally nowhere, like the control. One creates simply from nothing and nothing IS required (clarity of mind – absence of any thought) :)

It is simple, but at current state it is hard not to slip back to the illusion, where you lose control.

Only “love” gives everything. Divisions take everything (because they take nothing from you). But there’s a bright side to that, because divisions don’t exist, than you are only doing nothing while believing them.

Note: don’t take this as my words and my only. This came out of nowhere :)

The things that come to you are synced with your state of being. You can create your own thoughts to, you just have to do it nowhere and from nothing.
But keep in mind that they are not your own and will travel to other people. Thats why all the nasty mystics encrypt all the stuff really hard, and its shared in the light of day but decoded properly only by those with the correct keys.

De says:

Hi Leo

The story I hear when imagining the ego is of a mechanism created by the brain that will do anything, say anything to protect the vessel, aka the body, from harm and death… It keeps us comfortable, always seeking pleasure and as far away from the truth so that we cling to life, never wanting the body to die because as long as the body is alive the ego has a purpose. It’s really hard to put it into words now that I’m trying. Not sure it makes complete sense but hopefully you can kind of sense what I’m trying to say. Any thoughts?

De

Lina says:

I’m listening and I can see your point, it’s so strange! I feel sad, but at the same time I feel like I knew it all along but chose not to take notice. Like I was fooling myself but in such a big way. It’s so bizarre the way I feel right now. I’ll have to think about it more to try and really wrap my mind around it. Thank you.. I guess :) just kidding!

David says:

First of all, another great video. One of the best i’ve seen, and some very deep topics here. Not that i agree with all of them. Like when you say ‘the universe seems very mechanical’. I think the days of newtonian thinking are far behind us. What is your opinion on quantum physics? In newtonian physics, everything was determined and very predictable, but we know now that just the oposite is true. In quantum physics nothing is certain, in fact…uncertainty is a major principle. If everything, at the basic level, has to be expressed in probabilities, then it’s actually determinism that is the illusion.

David says:

The ‘nothingness’ you speak about, is also ave very ‘quantum physics’ concept. Thought’s can’t spring from nothing in newtonian, deterministic, physics. In quantum physics however, there is something like non-locality. A quantum physicist would even go further and say…the nothingness is nothing, but at the same time holds all possabilities in it.

Ikramini says:

Hello everybody !! this video is the best video ever.. he said it all here.. if he stops posting then he would have does his job already.. Leo. u r awesome..

Eduard says:

How can the self realize that it itself does not exist? if the self does not exist in the first place? Im confused :(

It would make sense to me if it exists and thinks it has free will but does not.

Leo Gura says:

It can’t. The idea of you as a self simply dies and that is the realization.

karin says:

Hi, are you still suggesting the ideas from your previous videos at the moment, if you have come to such realization? Do I understand right, that rather are feelings/ bodily thinking right than verbal thinking?
I am sorry, if you have answered those in some videos.

Leo Gura says:

Your question doesn’t make sense to me.

karin says:

Thanks! I was thinking what means free will in my opinion and I think it is more bodily thinking/senses than rationally constructed theories. But theories can also be based on feelings at the beginning. It is a bit like creating contemporary dance coreography, when you start abstract movments and later if you have to give verbal meaning to your practice, it will get structure. So I would answer myself that all the ideas in your videos are useful for analyze.

chris says:

Hi Leo. Thanx for all the great videos.
U seem to be equating freewill with absolute freewill exclusivly.
I just came across compatability and practical freewill in Dan C. Dennents Intuition pumps and other tools to enhance thinking.
Personaly I dont see how that could work either.

Leo Gura says:

There is a feeling of free will of course. That is called Maya in the Hindu tradition.

I wouldn’t take Dennett too seriously. He’s a materialist philosopher and I think his paradigm of reality is fundamentally wrong because he doesn’t have direct experience of non-duality.

Eric Cross says:

Wondering why my ego is pushing me to share this advanced video with family, certain folks on social media, and people I care about; who do not even appear to be on a self development journey?

Coming me is not powerful enough but coming from someone more advanced I want to share this. Almost like I need to other to agree with me when I know this is TRUTH!

Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this, or has feedback on this powerful urge?

Leo Gura says:

Two forces are basically at work here:

1) Ignorance & Ego: you still don’t realize that this information will lead to the demise of your self. Your self still hasn’t fully grasped how serious that is! The ego is turning into a “spiritual” ego which feels superior and extra-special.

2) Wisdom: there is a tiny part in you that is conscious and wants more consciousness. It wants absolute truth and it wants to increase the consciousness of the whole universe.

Wolf says:

I know.
: / it’s just so difficult to be on this journey alone…cause I don’t know about you but I now realize how final death is and how precious and beautiful this life is and I want to honor it man!

But then I feel like, “okay, i have no job, zero money, bills to pay off, no food, I have a visions and goals, values I have identifies with my strengths..but I feel stuck”

I sit alone in my apartment, I am 19, I love who I am deeply and know I have too much potential somewhere in me but cant find a way to express it..

That’s why it feels lonely to me, I love being alone but not hopeless and directionless, stuck in my bubble from all my past till now..

it hurts but I know in my heart I will get through..sigh, I guess it’s time to start stratagising huh? :'(

Thanks for reading pal..good luck though :(

Key says:

There is no final. Unless you desire it.

Wolf says:

Eric, I do the exact same.
Starting to feel like I should just keep all this stuff to myself now and just grow myself that was. Exploiting everybody else I see unconscious around me.

Not with superiority but wisdom. Would love to talk about this, you sound like me hahahaa

Kevin says:

Same here! For a few years now. In my opinion, the the learner is ready, the teacher shows up. And both are one and everything is in divine order so yeah, when the time comes to share, it will happen effortlessly. Easier said than done. I have audio recordings on my phone recorded to send to people I care about but no longer send them because their unconsciousness rejects it and I can’t take the disappointment. I got nothing…

karin says:

I think it shows wisdom, if you are analyzing existing thoughts and in result you can put your own ideas in between somewhere. I also think it is not possible to think 100% same with some other person. It happens that people tell exactly same sentences, but it shows only a tiny part of a hole world of individual’s thoughts. In conclusion I would trust the opinion that you have much more if I also know that you are aware of bigger picture of thinkers and their ideas.

Shannon says:

Leo-
Thank you for helping me in this journey. What a relief to let go of the hell I was creating for myself out of being lazy and afraid. I realize I was always going to get the hang of this. My ego and hard work have led me to a career of being a passionate occupational therapist, with undergrad bachelors of psychology, lol! I have always looked at things wholistially from a young age. I have always looked for peace. My passion and life experience for always looking deeper has led me to your videos. It really makes sense…..now to live it is exciting.
Thank you-
Shannon

Hasan says:

Hi Leo,

I can open my mind to the possibility that I (my ego) don’t have any free will. My question is that is there any entity in the universe (e.g., cells, nature, spirit, system, nothingness, etc) with free will?. If we cannot attribute free will to any entity, then, how does an INTELLIGENT system function?.

Thank you!

Leo Gura says:

It’s not that you don’t have free will. It’s way worse than that. It’s that there isn’t a you at all!

The problem is that the mind only understands reality in terms of “entities”. In fact there are no entities. There is only consciousness & nothingness. All the entities you believe in are just that, artificial beliefs.

What you’re referring to as “intelligence” is simply inherent to the fabric of reality. It’s an awesome thing when you come face to face with it. It’s not a human intelligence. It’s a spiritual intelligence in a sense that transcends the ordinary notions of intelligence. Ordinary intelligence refers to mental activity. Spiritual intelligence is NOT mental. It is not a series of thoughts. Thoughts are actually quite dumb. Thoughts of “entities” is what separates you from the natural spiritual intelligence at work in you.

Existence itself, awareness itself, is the deepest intelligence.

In religious traditions, when you read of someone encountering “God” and being in awe…

Well, that’s what it sorta feels like when you realize you are an illusion and that all of existence is self-aware, lit up like a Christmas tree with pure awareness. It’s like real magic. And it totally floors the ego-mind. It’s literally AWEsome ;)

joachim says:

Hi Great video!!
I do agree on no free will, but how to use it is confusing/conflicting..
I still have to feel as if i had an ego, so i still want those feelings for my ego.. and when i don’t get them i get sad/frustrated..

Dont you think that those 37 trillions cells made that ego for a reason?

And is it not clever to feed that ego so you can feel as good as you can in youre life?

And if you are succesful of feeding youre ego it will stear youre life towards a good life?

Leo Gura says:

Well, what I’m telling you is to STOP feeling like you are in control of anything. Just drop that whole notion of “I am doing stuff.” No you aren’t! You ain’t doing shit.

So applying it is pretty easy. Every time the mind arises and says, “Look, I did that!”, you look very closely and notice that it isn’t true.

Those 37 trillion cells made the ego for a very good reason. That reason is survival at all costs.

Except look where it’s gotten you. Why are you here? Why does your life suck? Why do you feel bad so often? Why are your relationships miserable? Why are you incapable of acting cohesively? Why do you have all there problems over and over and over again?

Here’s an idea: it’s not life, it’s YOU! Life isn’t supposed to be like that.

You’ve been feeding the ego all your life. It hasn’t made you fulfilled yet. And it here’s a secret: it never will. It’s not supposed to. It’s only supposed to stall out the clock until you’re dead. Meanwhile you will suffer every day for your illusions.

If you like suffering, keep doing what you’re doing. But then you should probably stop doing self-improvement work because, hey, you like suffering and you like life how it is. Your strategy is successful, so you don’t need be here. Go enjoy your ego-feeding strategy. Have fun! Don’t let us hold you back.

Yann says:

It’s perfectly normal that a conscious body has a conscience of itself (as opposed to a conscience of what is not itself). Separate bodies animated with universal conscience : that’s the apparatus.
What is erroneous, from this simple “conscience of” we have (plus all the thoughts that cross our brain), is to build up a spiritual entity (our mind, or our soul) and then call the whole lot “me”. Because then this “me” mechanically claims that he/she autonomous and in control !

Key says:

There is One mirror image of the ego that is pure Self. You are That and it has pure personality “type” characteristics. Don’t fall for the ego rabbit holes.

Hengame says:

You are right Leo, I believe your response.

Galyna says:

Hey Leo,
I just wanted to stop by and thank you for this video.
I have watched it probably twenty times, and today one of those days when I feel emotional because I cannot influence the outcomes in my life.
This video is a great tool for me to remind that there is no point to regret. Just relax and watch the movie! Listening to you in this video is very soothing, but, hell, it is so hard, so hard just to “watch the movie” and to let go people from my life that I love…it is painful to realize that I am just a tool through which Consciousness does its business.
I need something to lean on to feel better.
Much love to you,
Spasibo! :)

Leo Gura says:

That’s the thing: you DON’T need anything at all.

Galyna says:

Thank you, being with you almost a year, I feel that I do not sink in the dreaming state anymore thinking about my future(that does not exist), I try to focus more on the present moment, and when I had that insight when watching you last year, really something has changed. I still hear your words in the backyard of my psyche where you are saying:”By just thinking about it(time perception) it is going to lead you to full Enlightenment”, don’t remember your exact words.

Kelsey says:

I’m struggling to understand how we get to “right action” in the absence of moralizing or “doing” versus being? Right action by definition would require both.

Specifically, Are determinism and “right action” mutually exclusive?

Leo Gura says:

At this deep level — at the existential level — which is what we’re talking about here — there is no such thing as “right” action. Right/wrong is a conceptual, egoic distinction which has no basis in reality. It’s used purely for practical purposes. It’s a convenient fiction designed by your mind so that you can fulfill your egoic agenda more effectively. But that doesn’t make it true.

How on Earth could there possibly be a right or a wrong action? The notion is ridiculous if you really think about it. Right/wrong only has meaning for an ego.

Kelsey says:

I had a breakthrough just yesterday while driving and “thinking” about the impossibility of making a mistake. Travelling to a friend’s house after getting verbal directions, I came to a T in the road,
I sat there for a minute (nobody behind me luckily) I couldn’t remember if it was left or right. I turned left and thought “what if this is the wrong way? Then it hit me that I wasn’t actually in control and I that my choices are not my own. How was it possible for a “wrong” direction to contain all the complexity and potential for an entirely different future. There is only one reality. I was meant to turn exactly the way I did, even if that meant turning around eventually and heading heading the opposite direction?

Corey says:

You write your own story/movie. You write the script. You either do it right or wrong. Your choice.

kyle says:

okay so if i put my hand into a fire or cut my finger off its not me doing it your saying if i want kill my self its not me doing it thats kinda funny lol so i have no control

Leo Gura says:

It’s even weirder than that!

You in fact cannot kill yourself. Not your true self. The body can be killed, but not what you actually are!

kyle says:

what are we actually are then why are we leaving here why are we breathing u say we don’t exits that means were purity much dead all rdy before we are born if we don’t exist i kinda felt this way my hole life even wen i was a kid i felt like that brain a living thing but no one knows not even u why we are here why everything around us do u know that question i bet u don’t but no one dose what if we are like movie or video game no one knows so there for there no life in general u are saying i am still going to live my life thanks for videos they opened my eyes good i am not saying your wrong but u don’t know why the fuck we are here no one dose no one will if u think u do id like your input buddy don’t take it wrong way that i seem like i am being a dick i like to question people it good to u lean shit i truly get what your saying these videos opened my eyes more i new something was not right even when i was a kid they thought i was crazy or loony u know what they did put me in room with mental people they thought i was depressing kid u totally helped me out i haven’t i haven’t felt like this my hole life i thought i was only crazy one

Galyna says:

Dear Leo,

I wrote you a month ago here and you left me a comment. This is probably my 101 time when I am listening this video. Could you please help me

Recently my spouse and I had a big stress thinking about divorce. It was horrible experience for me, I do not want to overwhelm you with details. I listen to you to come down. My ego wants to be in control and is in panic when I think about possibility that I can lose my hubby. I have this sinking feeling of fear in my stomach. I know I do not have any free will,actually before this happened to my marriage I was so confident that I understood this, but now I feel I do not know myself at all and I did not understand anything in practice about not having a free will.

My question is please tell me what can I do to illuminate this animal fear that I am not in control.I literally have an anxiety, realizing clearly that life can throw at me anything at this very second. How to fight and transcend this ego who does not want to relax and trust Life as is. I feel it is struggling so much, like a fight when you are drowning and want to survive by any cost.

Leo Gura says:

Practical steps include:
– Self-inquiry
– Deconstructing the ego through journaling
– Neti neti method
– Mindfulness meditation
– Any other forms of meditation
– Any other way of working towards Enlightenment

But all of these things require MASSIVE practice. You can’t just do them for a month. You gotta do them every day, for years, very seriously.

The only way you will understand that you have no free will is to psychologically die. The ego is the illusion of control, and it will not give up until it is totally deconstructed into oblivion.

Vercingetorix says:

Hi Leo, wha is exactly the “Deconstructing the ego through journaling” method?

And what is most direct method to experience there is no free will?

Also in day to day life a method that I found quite useful to cope with suffering and negative emotions, is to see everything that happening as the “universe’s will”, if my mind can accept this and surrender it “shuts down” and I can be happy. Is this a valid method that can advance me or its just a cheat?

The best, Mickael

Leo Gura says:

Sit down with journal and simply ask yourself, “What am I?” “What is absolutely true?”

Keep doing that for hundreds of hours, clearing out all the bullshit that isn’t you.

Yeah, that’s good — the Universe’s will.

Vercingetorix says:

Thanks universe :)

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