Scott Adams of Dilbert fame has written a beautiful book on free will. How much of free will is free ? That is debatable question Shree!! Though certain choices we take may seem individualistic, but do you think it is so ? All our choices are interlinked and to put it more correctly we are like electrons who are impacted by the behavior of electrons of the neighboring atom/molecule. All our choices are interlinked and free will is free to a certain extent of our knowledge. I would love to know your thoughts on this. – Aarthi from timesinteresting
Is free will absolutely free? Don’t our choices impact others and if they do, does it mean that it’s not really free?
The short answer : Yes, it *is* free.
The long answer:
When we exercise our right of free will, it is completely our doing. No one can trespass that , not even God. Choices and free will are intertwined. We can’t really separate the two, and the hard fact is that every time we make a choice, we exercise that free will.
We meet with choices every moment of our lives. It’s always this or that. At times the fork on the road may have more than two branches but it will always have at least two. And free will allows us to choose which path we are going to take.
In the movie Exploding Sun, a woman leading a small band of wearied, hungry people to safety makes the decision to seek refuge with a group of terrorist. For her that is the best plan to keep the others safe. With her is the daughter of the leader of that terrorist group and she is certain of his help because his daughter is safe and she’s bringing her back to him. However what happens is not what she expected. Surrounded by men with guns, he tells her that he had disowned his daughter a long time ago and would prefer her dead than alive! Then, handing a gun to her, he tells her if she wants refuge she would have to kill his daughter. If not, he will turn them back. Amidst the girl’s piteous cries reminding the lady of her promise to keep her safe and the internal battle she fights seen so plainly, she shoots the girl in the head. Based on the storyline of the movie, it could have been as little as an hour the heroes safe the day. The sun doesn’t explode and everything goes back to normal.
It was a terribly hard choice to make, but she made it. And yes, she used her free will to do so.
Here’s the thing: No matter if something free as free will exists, the consequences of our actions will follow. That is the law of the Universe. It doesn’t mean that free will isn’t free. You just get something for it. It’s like getting a free meal. It’s free, you got the meal. Whether you enjoyed it, got ill after eating it or break out in a rash…it was free.
The consequences of our exercising our free will, will be ours to bear. That in itself is not a bad thing! Sometimes we need to make choices that lead us to learn some thing valuable. And it does cause a ripple effect. Everything does. It’s energy. As energy changes it changes the flow of energy all around it. It’s never static. It’s always flowing. So yes, the choices which we make with the gift of free will , will affect not only ourselves but those around us. Does it not say that the flutter of a butterfly’s wings leads to a hurricane in another part of the world?
That is why, according to the Edgar Cayce readings it is so important to base our choices on a spiritual ideal. Herbert Puryear, the author of The Edgar Cayce Primer suggests that its a process and like all process it needs practice and fine tuning, so start with small decision and as we get used to the idea we can handle the big stuff. Our choices, our actions, our thoughts…they all are infused with our intent. When our intent is based on a spiritual ideal of love it will give out the same sort of energy. The effect will be different from if it comes from a place of negativity. It’s like bottled water. It’s water, but different sources of water will taste different. So too our intent will manifest into it’s form.
The bottom line is that free will is indeed free. With our free will, we make our choices. Our choices in turn flow out like the ripples in a pond. Therefore, we as owners of such a powerful gift will need to exercise responsibility when we use it.
I’d like to share parts of the chapter called “Free will and Choice” from the book The Edgar Cayce Primer by Herbert Puryear:
The concept of man’s free will is perhaps one of the most misused, misunderstood, and most debated. All of us feel that we should be able to make our own choices. Yet, all of us are too quick to blame others for the circumstances or difficulties which we experience.
We are capable of choices that are truly free because we are children of God, spiritual beings and as cocreators with Him, capable of truly creative expression which is neither wholly determined by previous choices nor any others predetermining factors, including karmic tendencies.
Having given free will, then — though being omnipotent and omnipresent — it is only when the soul that is a portion of God chooses that God knows the end thereof (Reading 5749-14)
I wonder what you, dear friend think? Does it feel a little clearer about the free-ness of free will, or does it still bug you that something just doesn’t smell right? I mean, what’s that expression, “There’s nothing like a free lunch”? 😉