QUESTION: If there is a benevolent God or a Vairochana Buddha endowed with compassion and skilful means, how is it that we human beings have not been simply converted to good thinking and behaviour?
ANSWER: If these transcendent powers symbolised with the various titles were to bring this about by their omnipotence, it would convert human beings into mere machines, where someone presses a button marked Spirituality, and the result follows. But the cosmic process is that the human beings are in their deepest consciousness, themselves God or Vairochana Buddha, and they are steadily freeing themselves and others from illusion of individual separateness and limitation. The course of the process cannot be fully understood or accepted by the sleeping Buddha or even the partially awakened Buddha. The latter has the bodhisattva impulse to free himself and others, but in a sense the freedom cannot be imposed.
In a remarkable 19th century novel, a girl with a good natural voice is hypnotised to practice and practice. She does so, obsessively, and does indeed develop an amazing voice. But it has no musical value. The practice has been mechanical and musical expressiveness has not developed along with it.
If freedom is given by an outside agency, it may not be fruitful. Goldfish long imprisoned in a bowl, when released into a large pool, still tend to swim around in little circles. Freedom has been given them but they cannot use it.