Posts Tagged ‘free will’

The presence of choice

September 23, 2010

I didn’t have any other choice.

I have heard this reasoning from lots of people to validate the decisions they’ve made. I’ve used it myself.

People’s lives are largely based on the choices they have made throughout their lifetimes. The circumstances they find themselves in are often the result of decisions they have made. If they enjoy their circumstances and love the lives they have, and if they keep using the same choice and decision-making process they have always used, they will probably find themselves in similar circumstances most of their lives. Even if some disaster out of their control sweeps their lives out from under them, if that person’s way of being is to be happy and enjoy life, that person will find a way to make their lives happy and enjoyable once again.

The same holds true for people who are not enjoying their lives, who are unhappy in their circumstances. Even if someone comes along and plucks them out of their miserable state, if the person rescued does not change their way of being in the world, they will eventually find themselves back in a similar miserable situation.

The kind of choice-making I am talking about is reserved for those who have free will and the capacity to enact the changes that they seek. There are those who are exempt, like infants and babies. But as soon as children develop awareness of self, they start making decisions. And we learn a lot of our decision-making behavior from the adults around us.

As children witness other adults’ decision-making behavior, I am not sure how much choice they have about adopting those behaviors. In survival mode, we all rely on what we know works because we witness it. Even if it other people’s behaviors do not work and their lives are miserable, if we have not witnessed a different behavior to model, we will rely upon what we know.

Until we wake up.

Once we grow and differentiate from others, we all have the capacity to change our way of being in the world and change the way we make decisions. We have the capacity to discover what is the best choice we could make given the kind of life we want to have.

As my friend, Laurie at Speaking from the Heart, would say: “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

the presence of free will

July 24, 2010

On my internal quest to reconcile the God of my childhood with the reality of who I am, I struggle with the all-encompassing definitions of God.

In the July 2010 issue of Science of Mind, the 22nd daily guide, the quotes and text define God as humans being God. A quote from Emma Curtis Hopkins says “No word can express your understanding of God. You are It.” I can interpret this two ways. First, “It” is me. In other words, I am God. A second interpretation is that I am my understanding of God. My question is: If this is true, is it true for all humans? Even the ones who commit atrocities against the earth and their fellow creatures? Are they God, too? Or, are they expressing their understanding of God? Our entire history up to the present moment is full of examples of people behaving stupidly, disregarding other’s beliefs, disrespecting boundaries, and preying upon the weak and helpless to express their God or their understanding of God.

A second quote says “The only God man knows is the God of his own Inner Life; he can know no other.” This quote indicates that God is a manifestation of our own creation. You are reading this and you know what God means to you. What you might be thinking is that I don’t know what God means to me. I suggest that you suspend that thought for a moment and consider that I am God struggling to define my presence and define myself through this human being everyone calls Barbara.

As a human, I have my human conditioning, limits, beliefs, and free will. I choose whether or not I believe in the existence of God. I choose whether or not to become more conscious and aware. I even choose how God is expressed through me. In spite of my belief that we are all God (the One, Spirit, Divine), I don’t believe that I am a marionette dancing to the pull of strings upon my body and soul. When I am in touch with my own eternal spirit, my true presence who ventured into human existence, the touch of God is inherent in my being. In those moments, God is no longer struggling to define his/her/my/itself. And it is not because I discovered who God is or how God behaves. It is because eternity’s wisdom becomes one with my human existence and my feelings, thoughts, choices, and actions come from the all-knowing, the all-understanding. This knowledge and understanding are not whirls of timeless memories of all that has ever existed. Rather, they are intentions and ways of being that I have evolved in my eternal presence.

Because I came from God, because I exist within God even with my free will, all that I express is God. The only decision I need to make from moment to moment is how I want the God who is me to live and be seen.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass