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  • Rick Repetti

'Meet the Author' Podcast: Rick Repetti, Buddhist Perspectives on Free Will

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

Here is a link to the podcast, Episode #261, of my interview by Ted Meissner of The Secular Buddhist. Ted generously afforded me quite a bit of time here, first asking me all about my academic background, how I got involved in Buddhist meditation, and then about my edited collection, Buddhist Perspectives on Free Will: Agentless agency? (London: Routledge, 2017).

In answering the first question, I discussed how my academic journey and my interest in free will actually grew out of my very first meditation experience, in which I inadvertently had an out of body experience, which permanently altered the course of my life, as it called into question my understanding of reality and made it clear to me that it was previously inadequate. My subsequent meditation practices generated more exceptional experiences, including such highly complex precognitive experiences that I could not simply explain away as mere coincidences, and which called into question free will. For they involved glimpses of a future that were contingent on so many individually unrelated free choices among so many different unrelated individuals, such that the outcome could not be known if all those individually unrelated choices were genuinely free, unless there is another way of understanding the directionality or flow of time, or some way in which the mind could access a timeless dimension, or information could travel backwards in time, and so forth. My philosophical curiosity about this issue eventually led to my dissertation on free will.

There's a lot more that is interesting and worth hearing about all of that, and certainly about the book. We spoke about each of the 17 articles in the collection, so the interview is a great way to get a fairly comprehensive understating of several leading views on what Buddhists think, can think, and perhaps ought to think about free will from a Buddhist perspective.

It's quite a long interview. But I think you will find it worth the listening time. Enjoy!

Click here to listen to the podcast:

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