We think that free will comes when we’re free from external powers and pressures. We ignore the zeitgeist and charge forward with our own agency, we’re free—fate has no control over us. This duality rests on the assumption that external being/power/state = controlled and self = free/uncontrolled. I think this is an illusion of the ego.
Rather, the closest thing to free will that we’ll ever experience actually comes from merging into oneness.
What we popularly think of as free will is actually the fate/destiny of our egos. Without knowing, we let our karma and samscaras guide us—on autopilot. In this mode, our unconscious mind is in the driver seat. Our past memories, hurts, desires push us to the next chapter. This selfishness preserves our sense of identity while keeping us from feeling the bounty of oneness. We ignore the subtle, quiet bliss that waits for us: all we need to do is stop resisting. Ram Dass talks about the universe and life being like a river. And our goal ought be floating and joining this river. That’s the life of low resistance where our unconscious mind doesn’t have the final say.