If anyone can bring up a provocative question, it is you Rob. And as far as the answers go I am very impressed by the intelligence illustrated in the responding posts. We indeed have some quality people here.
Okay, let’s look at your question.
“Your post only seems to reinforce the idea that we don’t have a free will.
“When it comes to spiritual progression, the only choice we have is how fast or slow we will traverse The Path. But we are FORCED to traverse it. Sure, we can stand still, become a dark brother, be recycled, waste untold billions of years of opportunity, but ultimately we are put back to square one where the only choice is to progress. Kind of like that childrens’ game Snakes & Ladders.
“God also setup the parameters of this universe, using pain & pleasure to bumper us along. When we step off the path we experence increasing pain, and increasing pleasure when progress along the path. This is indistinguishable from cohercion.
“The truth is supposed to bring with it joy. But the idea that God forces us to do something, even in the tiniest measure, leaves me feeling flat, nevermind it being completely at odds with how you teach God & the White Brotherhood are supposed to operate.
“How does one reconcile the concept of free will with what sounds like coerced progression?”
First let me clarify that there is no absolute free will in any organized system. Let us look at the creations of humanity who are reflections of God.
Throughout history and around the world we have created various civilizations and always within the framework of laws that have manifest freewill has been restricted in a number of areas.
Every civilization had attempted to restrict the individual’s freewill do harm to others and forbid such things as murder, rape, kidnapping and theft. The goal is not absolute free will but maximum free will. To achieve this we must limit the power of obnoxious people to do harm to others and take away their free will.
If anarchy is attempted to achieve absolute freewill then mobs of harmful people will take away the freewill of the whole.
Point 1. The goal is not absolute freewill, but the maximum freewill possible within any desired organization.
I believe you are in error in thinking that God just conjured up all the laws of the universe and then created or put everything together. Instead, He figured out the basic idea of what He wanted to create and certain natural laws began to manifest during creation.
The key to understanding is to realize that natural law is different from civil law.
Civil law can tell us the speed limit is 35 MPH, but does that mean that we cannot go 40 MPH? No. We can go 50 MPH if we decide.
On the other hand, we have a naturally occurring law of gravity where objects fall at an acceleration of 32.2 feet per second. Can we jump off a cliff and just decide to change this to 2 feet per second so we will not get hurt?
No. We cannot violate this law as we can with the civil speeding law – instead we must work with the law.
Man’s law tells us we cannot steal another person’s goods, but people violate this all the time.
On the other hand, when you turn on a flashlight the light speeds forth at 186,000 miles per second (relative to you) and there is nothing you can do to change that speed as it goes through space.
Unlike the laws that man makes that can be violated, natural law is set and we just have to work with it.
The foundation of natural law is the Law of Cause and Effect, which cannot be altered. Intelligence can direct cause but the interplay of cause producing effect just is and always will be. God did not create cause and effect but it just is and is the engine that powers the life of God as well as our lives. Without cause and effect there would be no God and no us. We are all co-eternal and interdependent. When the power of decision is applied to cause and effect then life as we know it manifests.
Point 2 Natural Law just is and is not created but is an aspect of cause and effect. All intelligence must work with natural law.
As intelligences from God on down find themselves in this universe governed by natural law we find ourselves forced to confront the decision to work with the laws manifest and make the best of the situation and progress toward greater freedom and joyousness or to go backward toward chaos and non existence. I find it odd that you feel free will is infringed upon by the fact that all people eventually chose the path that brings the greatest fulfillment.
What is the alternative?
It would be to force us in the opposite direction toward non existence.
To not force us will result always in all lives eventually choosing the path of greatest fulfillment.. The choice of this path is the result of free will, not taking it away.
Let us suppose our government discovered a mountain of gold and had all the money it needed and then told us, “You do not have to pay taxes this year if you do not want to.”
If no one paid their taxes does this mean their free will is violated because they all chose the same thing?
It is a natural law that all lives everywhere will eventually make choices that further their sense of joy and fulfillment.
Instead of taking away free will this law can only operate through free will. Without free will we will go toward death and disintegration.
Point 3. Natural Law, which was not created by God but by cause and effect, which creates the very life of God, does not negate free will but allows for the maximum free will possible. Free will, will always choose the good the beautiful and the true in the end.
Intelligence created the same hydrogen atoms at one end of the universe as the other for the foundation of matter. This is because intelligence everywhere discovered that this is the foundation that must exist if a universe such as ours is to be. This happened because of freewill, not because it does not exist.
Copyright 2011 by J J Dewey
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