My Spiritual Journey — 22 — Free Will vs. The Perfectness of God
The debate over whether “free will” exists or not has been going on forever, from the philosophical angle, the biological, scientific, neurological angle, the sociological angle… Beyond the debate of whether the belief in free will is important for our sanity (which does not look at whether free will is “true” or not, just whether we should believe in it), I will try to discuss the topic of free will from a metaphysical perspective. In this article, we start with the premise that God exists. It’s just not your “typical” bearded man in the sky kind of God.
First, let’s explore a metaphysical premise on which this article rests: all is God, and all is Perfect. There can be nothing outside of God. God is past, present and future. God is all that was, is and will be. You can view God as simply a consciousness which is so powerful that it is conscious of being everything at the same time. Right now, as you are reading these lines, you are conscious of being yourself in this present moment. But shift your attention just a bit and you can also be conscious of being whatever you were experiencing yesterday. Well, God would be a consciousness which can be aware of being everything at the same time. In that sense, there is indeed no “right” or “wrong”. There is just “beingness”. It’s as if reality was just an infinite set of still paintings which you can experience sequentially (as we do) if you want to, but these paintings are eternal. When you look at a painting representing war or violence, you don’t stop to think about whom you should punish, who is evil and who is righteous, you admire the painting, the minute details, the perfect stroke depicting an agonizing character or the accurate capture of hatred and anger in the eyes of a murderer.
Now, from the perspective of God, does it really matter which sequence of paintings are being experienced by a sub-set of it’s infinite consciousness? In other words, does it matter to God, the eternal, infinite being, what a part of him/her/itself has chosen to experience sequentially?
Hardly. And at the same time, later in the article, you will see that there is one fundamental rule that still governs what parts of God are being experienced…
Note at this stage, that if your consciousness is so powerful that you can experience all that IS at the same time, it is the same thing as experiencing nothing at all. I will write about this in more details, but understand that in infinity and eternity, there is an opposite action for each action. In other words, it’s like if you experienced being born while dying, or eating your favorite food while vomiting from a hangover. Experiencing this is thus the same as experiencing nothing since it sort of “cancels” itself out. Hence, the need for us, relative time or creating a world where you can experience all that is sequentially.
The interesting part is that since nothing can be outside of God, our emotions, our feelings, our “opinions” about right and wrong are also part of God! This means that while the eternal part of God is just happy in it’s state of perfect infinite awareness of all that is, the relative part of God, which fools around experiencing infinity sequentially and with an illusion of separateness, does care about pain, violence, injustice, murder, rape, death etc.
And thus, whenever you really dive deep into metaphysics, you must recognize that our binary or dual logic is ill equipped to really capture the complexity of God/infinity. A tetravalent logic, on the other hand, does the trick. In a tetravalent logic, you have to add to the binary right and wrong two more options: both right and wrong, and neither right nor wrong. In this instance, God cares and doesn’t care. An there is no contradiction there. It is simply a matter of perspective, just like if you could shift points of view in the movie theater as you watch an action movie: switching back and forth from being a spectator and enjoying the show, or a protagonist in the movie about to get shot by the villain. And of course, you’ve all felt it: a sense of empathy for the victim, cheering for the hero, from your movie theater seats even though you know that it’s all fake. That experience gives you a taste of what it feels like to be God. During the movie, you don’t feel like finding the actor who played the villain and killing him, you don’t feel like calling up the movie director and change the script because you don’t agree with a death or two (unless it’s Game of Thrones… Even God makes exceptions). I think you get the picture. During the movie, you feel simultaneously empathy for the actors even though you know it’s fake, and yet you don’t act on that empathy, you just sit there and watch, you admire the “show” from a distance. It’s a tiny hint at what it feels like to be God.
What does all this have to do with free will you might ask? Well, if all exists already, past, present and future, and if we are all parts of God experiencing what it feels like to be him/her/itself, does it even make sense to talk about “free will”? In many esoteric readings, you find concepts such as destiny, (re)incarnation, the afterlife and many other ideas which point to a “level” of free will which is above you. That is, imagine if God was diving deeper and deeper into a form of “dream” state to be able to experience him/her/itself to the point of forgetting completely who he/she/it is originally. You might find that our whole world is but a “dream” of a higher “version” of God, which is slightly more “aware” of being God then we are. Basically, it’s the idea that we are a tiny splinter of a soul (pure energy which is part of God), kind of like a leaf at the end of a branch on a huge tree, and that leaf is being “controlled” by the branch it is growing on. Of course, whatever happens to the branch directly affects the leaf, but whatever happens to the leaf only slightly affects the branch. It’s this idea that a “higher version” of ourselves has made decisions for us in advance that we will experience no matter what. And of course, that “higher version” controls several “lower” versions of itself, just like a branch can have multiple leaves growing on it.
This metaphor is actually quite accurate. However, I believe it doesn’t call into question the existence of “free will” at our level, on our “plane” of existence. While it is true that a leaf depends on it’s branch, it can still flutter freely in the wind in an infinite number of directions. The kind of “limitations” or choices that our “higher selves” make for us are very generic and far from restrictive. From what I have read and experienced, the kind of decisions made are of the type:
You will experience treason
You will experience friendship
You will experience love
You will experience shame…
And of course, there are an infinite number of ways that you can experience any of the “choices” above.
Let me give you a “hint” as to how our “higher selves” may operate in creating our experience. Has it ever crossed your mind to imagine a “scene” or a situation you are in while you’re day dreaming? Imagine if that thought actually materialized in some parallel Universe and played out exactly as you have imagined, except for all the rest of the story leading to that moment which could be anything and everything. It is very similar to this idea of “destiny”. Our “higher selves” imagine something for us, and we will get to experience it no matter what, but there can be a near infinite number of stories leading to that experience. Also, as I have pointed to above, the “restrictions” are only dealing with very broad feelings or emotions, not specific events. You could experience shame while peeing your pants at 3 years old during a family dinner, or being humiliated publicly on national television. This is where our choice, our free will comes into play. As long as the feeling rings “true” (or vibrates at the right frequency, to use the esoteric language), you’re off the hook! And the reason why it works this way is because our “higher selves” are operating outside of linear time, which means that for them, whether we experience something at age 3, 30 or 90, is the same.
A further question is: why would our “higher selves” set ourselves up for these experiences in the first place? The answer to this question is delicate and requires to re-explore the very nature of God. What do you think is the only rule that God applies to the Universe? The only rule is that the Universe/God cannot be anything less that what it already is. This means that if in infinity, if in all that can possibly exist, there are humans, then the Universe will necessarily, inescapably, unavoidably lead to the emergence of humans. God can be found especially at “key” moments in the Universe. Moments which I call transcendental. These are: the emergence of the first photon, the emergence of the first atom, the emergence of the first star, the emergence of the first living cell, the emergence of the first human being… These are moments where various elements combined to form something greater than the sum of their parts, reaching a further level of complexity, in a seemingly “magical” way, almost as if it was pre-destined or pre-determined. Well, indeed, it was. You will have to read my other articles, especially the one about time (article 17), to understand how this works.
In any case, God has one rule. And this rule is then implemented in various ways. In order to “steer” the story of the Universe in a direction which unavoidably manifests all that God is, there are many strategies. Imagine if our “higher selves”, being outside of time, had not only the knowledge of God’s ultimate rule, but also understood how to juggle with a mindbogglingly complex “algorithm” or puzzles to make sure that across several hundred “incarnations” in linear time, they would lead an “over soul” made up of a number of humans generation after generation, to manifest the next point of transcendence. It is akin to a “star”, somewhere in the future, which gave little prods and bumps to hydrogen atoms in the “past”, bouncing around to make sure that after a certain amount of time, it would all “click”, fall into place, and “manifest” that very star in the future in linear time. So our “higher selves”, basically, are just very “high level” story tellers which give us humans, who are one “incarnation” of these higher selves, light “prods” or nudges to steer our “overall” life in a direction which, collectively, as humanity, will lead to the creation of something bigger than us. As if each human was one cell in a much larger organism. For instance, peeing your pants at age 3 in front of your family reined in a potential for the development of an arrogant and pretentious character and managed to avoid you growing up to harm other people which would create a chain reaction of events which would be very hard to make up for by our “higher level” selves.
I will give you this other metaphor: imagine if our “higher self” was like a new born baby, and that baby’s body is composed of cells which are individual humans. Now, this baby exists as an idea, a concept somewhere in the future. It is like the idea or concept of a star which had to manifest no matter what because without a star you wouldn’t have planets, without planets you wouldn’t have life, without life you wouldn’t have humans etc… Are you starting to get the picture? God is everything and if we as humans “fail” to become something greater than the sum of our parts, we are “violating” the very first rule of God, which is, that he/she/it cannot be anything less than what he/she/it already is. So that new born baby basically sends “signals” into the “past” (in linear time) to make sure that he steers the past towards “merging” with its existence, in linear time (in the third dimension).
Now I hope you get the picture of where our free will sits. We do have free will, and yet, some things are pre-destined and certain.
A further proof that we have free will is the fact that we experience hesitation. If there is no free will, then there could not be hesitation. The mere fact of experiencing hesitation is proof that things are not working like clockwork. If your brain would take decisions like a computer or a neural network, then even if a decision is 50.000000001% more “likely” to be the “right” thing to do, based on the interactions between all your neurons and connections in your brain, then there still wouldn’t be hesitation. You would just DO it or be conscious of taking that decision. For a computer, there is no difference in taking an action with 100% certainty, or 50.000001% certainty. In the end, it translates this information to a 1 or 0, a “yes” or “no”, a “do” or “not do”, a binary option. So basically, God is so powerful that he/she/it can lead the story of the Universe to manifest all that he/she/it is, even with free will! And God only needs to intervene via small “nudges” to make it work!
A very good example of this is the following. Imagine an “open world” video game, kind of like Minecraft, but where you also have “official” quests and levels. You can dick around in “level 1”, create castles, fight monsters, kill other players… that doesn’t mean that level 2 doesn’t exist. It exists, and it’s waiting for you. And imagine also, that your “soul” was a certain amount of energy which you had at your disposal to play the game, and the one fundamental rule that you cannot break, is that you have to get to level 2 by the time you spend the energy that you have been given. Imagine if that energy allows you to “incarnate” the lives of 1000 individuals (so in total, 80.000 years if each individual lives up to 80 years old). The “game” is configured in such a way that if you’re reaching your “limit”, and your energy is running out, you’re going to get very strong nudges to get to level 2. And this is what we are experiencing now, as humanity, with all these esoteric messages, what some refer to the “ascension process”, or going into “higher dimensions”. It does feel like we are reaching the “limits” of our civilization, that we are facing a major “collapse”. But these are just signs that we need to get a move on and finish the “level” we are currently at. This process is flawless. You can think about it by picturing an electric ark or lightning. It has a certain energy, and that energy courses between two points: the point where it initiated, and the point of arrival. The objective is that one of the branches of the lightning manages to reach it’s destination. A lightning bolt can spread it’s energy thin and barely make it to it’s destination (the idea of incarnating 1000 times to reach level 2) or it can go in a more or less straight line wasting very little energy coursing through the air (through linear time and multiple incarnations). The same applies to us. We can go the “easy” way (humans wake up to what they truly are and start behaving as such, now) or the “hard” way (humans continue to kill each other and take another millennium and a few “Mad Max” moments before awakening to who they truly are).
I would like you, also, to consider why we have free will at all. There are two major reasons: one, because of perfect symmetry and the other, because it doesn’t make a difference to God.
The “perfect symmetry” reason is simple: if all is pre-determined and certain, then existence would disappear altogether. Free will is a pre-condition for the Universe/God to exist. Perfect symmetry can be summed up as this principle: for everything that exists, it’s opposite exists. If +1 exists, -1 exists. But then, why do those opposites not simply revert back to being 0 or nothing? Thanks to “free will”, which acts as a form of “scrambling algorithm” which prevents two otherwise perfectly symmetrical realities from cancelling each other out. Thanks to the “chaotic” state of a certain layer of logic in the Universe (for instance, atoms appearing and disappearing, crashing into one another in an early Universe ruled by quantum uncertainty, or humanoid sentient beings constantly hesitating what to do and changing their minds), two perfectly symmetrical mirror images of the Universe/God can keep from cancelling each other out.
The second reason free will exists, is that the Universe, or God, is so “smart”, that it can work with free will and nevertheless reach a certain result. Our body functions in a similar way. When you cut yourself, and the wound needs to be disinfected by the body, it is not as if each and every single white blood cell has a pre-determined, pre-destined “role” to play. Rather, the body has a form of collective intelligence whereby it knows how many white blood cells it needs to produce to ensure that the job of disinfection gets done within a margin of 99%. So it produces a certain number of white blood cells in excess to reach that level of certainty, maintaining a perfect balance between 100% randomness (white blood cells doing whatever they want in a totally uncoordinated manner) and 100% determinism. A balance between order and chaos. And should those white blood cells fail to do their job, then there is a fall back plan to fend off the infection by other means again, with the same 99% certainty (or the likes). This is why you are still alive, and why you didn’t die at the very first scratch that you had being a toddler or baby.
The same principle applies to us humans. God, the Universe, has it all covered. If you don’t do something, someone else will do it. That doesn’t mean you are not important, it simply means that you cannot “mess up” God’s ultimate plans or God’s ultimate rule for the Universe… For some, this may be daunting, but I find it reassuring. It allows me to claim my ultimate freedom to do what I truly want to do. We should all take example on our body. It is the perfect metaphor for how society should function. Each cell knowing what it’s “purpose” is, and fulfilling it with joy. A skin cell doing the job of a skin cell, and getting all the necessary support to do that job. At our level, it simply means to practice introspection and find out what is truly our heart’s desire. What we “feel” is our calling on this Earth. Do we want to be a dancer, a doctor, a scientist, a spiritual teacher, a basketball player, a nurse,… What is the thing that we can share with humanity which would bring us joy while we do it? It has not always been easy to reason in this way, notably because of the way our financial system works, but all of it is about to change. The very “definition” of what is “work” or to “do” things has to change as well. From what I have understood from the way this Universe works, is that our only purpose is to be, not to do. What you do is irrelevant. Ultimately, your only purpose is to be the “bridge” between two logic layers of the Universe, and once that bridge is built, you will become a more or less “fixed” building block of the Universe (just like our cells and DNA are building blocks for our body, or atoms are the building blocks for our physical reality). It doesn’t mean that you will stop evolving, just that the “chaotic” interactions between those building blocks will gradually disappear. Many “myths” about human society will fall apart like the idea of “hard work”. Do you think it’s “hard” for grass to grow? For a bird to fly? No. They just do it because that is who they are. It’s natural. That is what we are here to learn. To be humans. Right now, we are still at the “mutant chimpanzee” level, but once we will truly be humans, then all that we thought was difficult will become easy and natural. We are still like very young atoms that didn’t figure out yet the “optimal” arrangement for the orbits of electrons or how to stabilize their core between neutrons and protons. We are not human yet.
Notice also the interesting “interplay” or co-dependence between your “free will” and that of your individual cells. The cells in your body remain subject to your “free will”. If you decide to cut your arm off, the cells of your arm will suffer greatly. However, I don’t think your cells are losing sleep over this dependency since it is in your best interest to keep your body, and thus your cells, healthy. Well, I would imagine the same relationship applies between us and a “higher being” which is composed of 7,5 billion humans. It loves us all, and would very much like to “heal” the few cells which behave like an auto immune disease (aka: war; which is the same thing as if your stomach was at war with your liver… pretty dumb thing to do). Also, from the perspective of our cells, once the body understands that it is one giant collective organism, cells can worry a bit less… The way that our circulatory and digestive system works is very much akin to universal basic income! Every cell gets whatever amount of energy it requires to do it’s job. My intuition is that we will also transition from the current financial system to one where the basic needs of everyone are taken into account, once our consciousness rises to a sufficient high level.
I would like to conclude with an idea which has emerged time and again in esoteric circles, by so called “no bullshit” spiritual teachers: the fact that we do not need to incarnate, that we are “perfect” as our eternal selves, and that there is nothing that is required or asked of us. This is true in a sense. We can indeed bail out on this “level” of reality and never return to the third dimension if we don’t want to, however, I would issue a stark warning to those who “buy in” to this stuff. You will indeed “return” to bathe for all eternity in God’s infinite love, remain a part which is happily reunited with God, but you will never leave the nest and be your own “version” of God. Of course, these spiritual teachers may have “understood”, at some deeper level, that you can move on to the “next” level and stop incarnating as a human, but in my mind, they often fail to convey why you can stop incarnating, what are the conditions for that, and what are the consequences if you decide to “stop” with the whole “incarnation” thing with the wrong mind-set or understanding.
The “ultimate” reason why we incarnate and bother to live through all of these experiences is in order to accept God in it’s entirety in order to become a “seed” which can recreate God in another part of the infinite void.
What… you thought that there was nothing beyond God? Of course there is. Infinity and eternity mean what they mean! It means that there is an infinite void of pure potential, which is just waiting for it’s own “seed”, it’s own God to transform all that pure potential into “somethingness” which will create a “story” which leads to manifest itself (God) again, generating new seeds in the process etc. This is the way God reproduces and also what is beyond God. If you cannot accept all that IS as God and you reject part of it, then it would be like a spermatozoa reaching an ovum and saying “Hi, you’re pretty, but I don’t really like that gene, and can you get also rid of this one…” No. Perfection is perfection. God is perfect balance, perfect symmetry, perfect equilibrium between all that is. Reject just a small part of it, and it is out of balance, and it will not be able to manifest all that it IS again. It’s like a tree which you would artificially “bend” to one side or another. How high do you think it can grow? My guess is that what is beyond God is a sort of “neural network” of all Gods which forms another being altogether, and this process repeats into infinity. At our level, we don’t need to worry about it. I just wanted to point out that if you want to become that which you truly are (a fully fledged God), and at that point, stop being a “part” of God (like a spermatozoa spending all eternity in God’s testies) and you wanted to become the whole thing (just like a spermatozoa and ovum can manifest an entire human being on the basis of an existing one), then you have to go through this process of incarnation. You have to go through childhood and adolescence in order to become a responsible parent. You have to go through incarnations and linear time in order to become a responsible God. Of course, the necessity to reincarnate does come to an end, once you have understood, in a very profound way, what is God and what it takes to be God (unconditional love for oneself and of all creation). And again, no judgement, if you want to spend all of eternity in God’s testicles/ovaries, that’s perfectly allowed and perfectly fine! :-)