Is there free will in Buddhism? The Buddhist discourses known as the Pali Nikayas attribute suffering and discontent in part to the lack of control we feel when we emphasize the self by grasping for individual identity.
Karin Meyers, a visiting professor at Princeton and George Washington universities, presents “Freedom, Meditation, and (No-) Self-Control in the Pali Nikayas” as part of the St. John’s College Dean’s Lecture Series at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26.
“The discourses also teach that we can gain extraordinary degrees of control over our mental and physical states, and free ourselves from suffering through the cultivation of the Buddhist path,” Meyers said.
“Until modern times, Buddhists didn’t worry about the sorts of things that give rise to the problem of free will in the West, such as concerns about the origin of evil, just reward and punishment, or causal determinism and moral responsibility,” Meyers said. Their central concern is “what we can do to free ourselves from suffering.”
See Meyers speak in the Great Hall in the Peterson Student Center at 1160 Camino Cruz Blanca. There is no charge for admission. For more information call 505-984-6000 or go to sjc.edu.