Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Q: More on free will and choice

I love a conversation when everyone's right.

Here are the comments from the blog entry on free will:

Anonymous #1 said...

Thanks, Laura, for your interesting thoughts on free will—they’ve given us a lot to think about! I’m not sure that I entirely agree that the concept of free will is incompatible with Christian Science. There are several instances in Science and Health where Mrs. Eddy seems to stress the importance of good human decisions. She says, for example, “Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they take.” Also, “How important, then, to choose good as the reality!” And, “The point for each one to decide is, whether it is mortal mind or immortal Mind that is causative.” And, “To decide quickly as to the proper treatment of error--whether error is manifested in forms of sickness, sin, or death--is the first step towards destroying error.” It seems that, in the relative at least, we do have choices and they can be quite consequential in our spiritual growth. I’d be interested in your take on this.

Anonymous #2 said...

good points, Anon, but in my observation of mortals, even tho they think they have free will, they do not; captured as they are by Animal Magnetism in one of its multifarious forms: food, money, television, internet, games, gambling, sex...etc.

Another anonymous! said...

My two cents worth:
It is logical to assume that God has free-will. Right?
Then, if so, man, created in God’s likeness, at least has the LIKENESS of free-will—call it what you will.

For the record, I'm so okay with people posting anonymously! And, as is my wont, I agree with everyone.

Yes, as Anon #3 says, God has free will. Definitely. Actually, by definition, what God does equals the divine will. What He does is like Himself. And, if He does it, it's good. According to Christian Science, He's only going to do things that align with Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, Love. God only does that which is real. He's not going to somehow stray outside His own existence to do something that supposititiously exists there. Nothing exists outside of God's being for Him to do.

Likewise, in an absolute spiritual sense, we exist in alignment with the divine will because there's really nothing else. Anon #1 talks above about the relative. I love that passage from Science and Health about choosing good as the reality. We do have an impact on the relative—this mortal seeming—when we choose good. We're not changing absolute existence, but we are bringing the relative in line with it. And, being captured by evil, as ObiDon says, is indeed a form of giving up your freedom of choice to something that enslaves you.

But another point I'd like to make is the infinite number of good "choices" there are, and the comparatively limited number of bad choices. For example, I can choose to be a lawyer, an entertainer, a dancer, a bowler, a mother, a restaurateur, a traveler, a mechanic, a physicist, an accountant… That list is truly infinite. And, I can choose to do more than one of these things, or switch off over time and try different things… In my own career on this planet I've already been a clerk, a secretary, a word processing coordinator, a marketing associate, a mother, an editor, a manager, a librarian, a practitioner, a volunteer, a freelancer… It could be that as we grow spiritually, we'll do everything, one after the other. There is infinite good to be expressed. I can express God fully in a myriad number of equally valid settings or activities. There's no limit to good!

We tend to think of bad and good choices as equal in weight and attractiveness. But they're not. There's so much more good to choose—the preponderance even in this world is good. Most of us spend 99.99% of our time being good—productive, harmonious, loving. We get distracted by that 0.01%, and it's true we should try to dispel it. But it's not all, or even the most, that we are. And to me, the bad choices, the ones that would limit me, have become less and less attractive as I've explored all these gazillion other choices.

Look at your own life. How much good have you done already? That has been your expression of the divine "free will," and you've been aligned with the Divine every second.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 8/29/2007 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

reason for anon posting: because the system doesn't recognize me and my password, so I gave up on that. I've had this trouble with other blogging systems as well...


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