thoughts, words, and actions have very real consequences for which wewill be held accountable..Buddha stressed the importance of intention, will, and responsibilitybecause these determine our karma or the consequences of our actions.Choosing to practice meditation and the Eightfold Path helps us better understand this concept of karma. Again, however, the so-called "choice"or "will" to practice or not practice is not "free" but is determined by anindividual’s unique past causes and conditions.For practical purposes it's good and even advisable in living in a worldgoverned by conventional thinking to act "as if" free will exists, even whilerealizing that it doesn't. Ironically, transcending the experience of havingfree will and realizing that our sense of self or ego is simply a continuouslychanging composite of body, feelings, perceptions, thoughts, andconsciousness, leads to spontaneously and un"self"ishly becoming morecompassionately responsible for ourselves, others, and the universe.This spontaneously increased compassion results, not from theconventional socialization that leads to greater maturity, but fromtranscending the ego. Transcending the ego is characterized by thedissolution of the subject-object or I-other dualistic relationship and theresulting realization that "I am That" or "I am You", that there is only aninterrelated and interdependent unity or oneness without an opposite. Outof this realization of unity, compassion naturally and spontaneously arises.Or perhaps better stated, this realization is compassion.
All our experiences, including the separation of self and other, result fromcategorizing, creating boundaries, and dividing the unified whole or oneness into the multiple dualistic appearances that constitute what weperceive as our individual physical and mental reality. Our physiologicaland neurological limitations prevent us from perceiving and experiencingthe subatomic molecular interconnections and interactions between our body, the air, and the objects around us. We mistakenly take as real theillusion or appearances that we created in order to function practically in anapparent dualistic universe. The Hindu Vedic scriptures are referring to thismisperception when they state that “What is real is unreal, and what isunreal is real.” Our perceived reality of independent and separate objects