We Can’t Control It

William B. Turner
2 min readFeb 18, 2022
Chenrezig, The Buddha of Compassion

We can set the direction. We can, we have to, choose to sit and meditate every day. That part is critical and up to us.

But past a certain point, the practice takes over. This stands to reason. I have seen no one even try to give a reason for it, but consciousness is doing what it will and we are its effects. If we understood fully what it is doing, we would not be here. Maybe the Buddha understood fully and chose not to explain it, for whatever reason. Maybe he did explain it, but no one now understands his explanation. I don’t know.

But, since all of our knowledge and understanding, even our perceptions, depend on consciousness, it makes sense that consciousness ultimately controls the process and the best we can hope for is to shut up and listen to its silence.

The Puritans had the idea of double predestination. This wacky idea is logically necessary if one posits an omnipotent, humanoid deity. It holds that this god guy has decided, for reasons that we mere humans cannot fathom, to give unearned salvation to some humans and to deny salvation to others. Lawyers call this “arbitrary and capricious.” This is only one of the many hazards of positing an omnipotent, humanoid deity.

What I call “consciousness” under the Buddhist description is similar in that I cannot explain why it operates as it does. But Ajahn Sumedho is very clear…