What’s So Special About Free Will?
Free will. What's so special about it? Why would anyone think that free will could be of such importance or even garner such interest? It's not even something that we'd consider that much - until of course we don't have it any more, and then it becomes one of the most important things our your lives; crucial to our liberation and self-actualization.
So, what does it mean that we have it? And more importantly, what does it mean to us as a species that we have it? What is the significance of free will?
The Benevolent Universe
We live in a benevolent universe, created by a benevolent consciousness, all of it supporting us with unconditional love. To doubt this, is to doubt the existence of a benevolent creator, or God, or whatever you understand that to be. God, Goddess, All That Is, Creator, the Divine, Mother-Father God, Higher Consciousness, deity, Love. Whatever you understand this 'higher power' to be, it is divine and, by the very nature of its divinity, it is benevolent. Not all would agree though. There are those who vehemently deny that God exists, or that this is a benevolent universe, or that a higher consciousness can be attained, because we are a ‘mistake' or a ‘fluke’, an abstract 'chance', a species with no purpose or meaning, or simply that certain conditions must first be proven (which can't be) in order to classify our will as free.
There are greater minds than mine who have addressed the problem of free will, what it is or isn’t and whether or not it can be probed sufficiently to know anything about it’s truth or origins or meaning, and those great minds have dissected the subject amply, so much so that it would be impudent for me to compete with them, so I won't. Instead, I will add an opinion on what free will gives from a spiritual perspective.
Consider the sun. A small star, crucial to our existence, blazing its heat and light onto our planet unconditionally. Because of that, through photosynthesis, our planet produces plants with which we survive. Our planet produces our life-supporting nutrition in abundance and it is given freely, without condition. We could not be without plants or sunlight, both of which have been generously supplied. The unconditional generosity of our planet and it's nearest star give us insight into the nature of our universe and its benevolence.
Our Species and Others Have Free Will
Into this benevolent universe has evolved our species, the embodiment of the spirit of divinity, that is, the embodiment of Light. Originally, God Was, Wanted to Be, and Wanted to Know Itself. In becoming matter, and dividing into many different manifestations of that, God Knew Itself and in Its benevolence gave free will to all Its manifestations, including us. Now, long distanced from the Source of all Creation, we have used our free will as we pleased. And not just us. Other life, too, was given free rein to go and multiply and achieve whatever it chose; the embodiment of darkness, or absence from Light, also used free will as they chose and many manifestations of darkness exist in the world as a consequence today.
But how can a benevolent God allow Dark Side to exist, to permeate throughout the world and cause war and suffering and pain? The truth is that free will was given to all divine beings and some chose darkness to explore that reality and all its consequences for them and others. It is untrue to say that God ‘chose’ darkness and suffering for the world, because how can Light be absent from Light? Darkness was the choice of those who were given free will to choose how they wanted to be, and they chose to be absent from Light. Ultimately those aligned with the darkness will one day return home to the Light too, as they succumb to their own evolution and awakening.
Because People had Free Will, Consciousness of Different Sorts Arose; Some Light, Some Dark
So, how does alignment with Light and Dark manifest in a material sense? People have potential for both and carry both in their behavior and relationships with themselves, others and the world around them. It is the consciousness itself that carries the tendencies for them; people have free will, they choose how to be. As such, and because of free will, consciousness of different sorts arose, as some stayed closely in alignment with the Light, some chose to remove themselves utterly from the Light and embrace the Dark and some chose neither. Those who chose neither would make up the broad population of humans today; those who neither aligned strictly with the Light nor the Dark but developed a general morality that includes considering most living things - people, some animals, perhaps some of the planet - as having worth.
What does it mean to be in alignment with the Light or the Dark (sometimes also known as the 'shadow' self)? The further along the trajectory towards alignment with the Light that you go, that consciousness sees all living things (people, the living earth and all the living animals and creatures on and in it) as having equal value and sees all things (animate and inanimate) as living. The natural world, the planet itself, all humans, all animals and living things, and all inanimate things, are all composed of Light itself, are all considered 'of God' (with some believing them all to be not just 'of God, but 'God' itself) and, as such, to be honored and protected equally; a soup of life, all enjoying ‘inter-being’ with no hierarchy. The further along the trajectory towards alignment with the Dark that you go, that consciousness sees all living things as having no merit except as they pertain to the needs and desires of the observer; a hierarchy of merit with the observer being the unit at the top and all else beneath believed to be of lesser value.
(Hierarchies are alive and well in human consciousness today, with those at the top of them, supporting them, being typically wealthy, white, male, straight and able-bodied. Those who don't fit that norm fall beneath that upper echelon and are considered 'less-than', with this belief structure being the bedrock of racism, sexism/patriarchy, homophobia, capitalism and the limit to resources for all sorts of people; those with disabilities, economic migrants and those from war-torn regions seeking refugee status.)
In Part Two, we will look at how Dark Side consciousness operates in the minds and hearts of humanity and for what purpose and how to stop it. In the final of these three blogs, Part Three, we will look at the real truth about what ‘evil’ is in the world and it’s role, and in the real reason Light and Dark are in this cosmic dance together.