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Free Will

Free Will

Is human being free or not?

The answer is neither yes nor no.

Freedom is a matter of growth. At the lowest level one feels completely bound to the necessities of life, even an alternative does not present itself.

At a next higher level some alternatives become conceivable but not actually translatable. At a next higher level alternatives are really presented and there is even an actual exercise of choice, but one knows that one's choice was bound and one could not have chosen otherwise.

At a still higher level, alternatives are presented, there is even exercise of choice and at the time of making a choice one feels that one was free to make a choice. But retrospectively one finds that one's choice was not free.

At a next higher stage, there is presented to an individual a choice of good and evil. Here there is a conflict in the consciousness but more often than not, passions are so strong that one feels entirely incapable of choosing anything else than what passion dictates.

At next higher levels one strongly begins to feel that even when one was driven to do an evil action, one could still have chosen good in preference to evil. At this stage one begins to have not only a feeling of freedom but even an actual experience of the exercise of free will. But even then there is a mixture of pull towards evil and pull towards good and the life of battle between good and evil. A point is reached when one begins to choose good more and more frequently even when evil could have been chosen.

At a still higher level one finds that one is bound to choose good and he becomes incapable of choosing any one of the goods presenting before him. This is the stage where one begins to grow in oneness with Supreme will which is forever free.

Having reached this stage, one finds retrospectively that even at the lowest level of bondage there was the free acceptance of one's condition of bondage and one could have chosen not to come at the stage of bondage at all. In other words, one finds that all bondage is in the ultimate analysis a freely chosen bondage.

Free Will

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