Monday, August 27, 2007

Q: What about free will?

This came in response to the August 16 posting, Treatment and the Lord's Prayer:

You say, with logic from your class notes re The Lord’s Prayer, that “it is divine law that its will is done.” This sounds lovely and assures perfect harmony.

Unfortunately, however, I presume, it is not divine law that “only” divine law be known by man. We seem to have the capacity to observe—even invent—our own laws that govern the universe. We have free-will in what we will think.

Having free-will in our thinking can have some drawbacks, but this too is God’s good will, isn’t it?

CS offers some good training. Thanks for sharing your class notes with us.

See, here's the thing. Christian Science actually doesn't include the concept of free will. The question is: Free will to do what? What else is there but God?

In Christian Science, God is all. There is nothing outside God. There is nothing to know outside of God. All creation is governed by His will.

Consequently, that which aligns with God's will is genuine, actual, real. That which is contrary to His will is unreal, delusional, nothing. Our seeming ability to think, live, and act outside of the divine will is a dream, an illusion. In an absolute spiritual sense, we do not have any such ability.

We walk in this day-to-day, apparently sharing a dream with each other. Humanity has tried to explain existence here through various means, including things like the doctrine of free will. But human explanations all stem from the same initial false premise—that the material universe is real and was created by God. Christian Science, however, takes the position that God, Spirit, could not have created anything so unlike Himself. Like produces like, creation is the image and likeness of the Creator. Our walk here is, if anything, symbolic, but it is not the substance of reality in its true form.

If you appear to be able choose evil and you do so, you're really just spinning your wheels. You've chosen unreality, so of course it will eventually demonstrate its unreality by turning to dust. You'll find that you actually chose nothing, which is the practical equivalent of not having chosen at all.

Reality will remain, the only choice available. Since it's the only choice, it's not really a choice at all. It just is. It's all you've got. Hence, no free will—only reality.


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3 Comments:

At 8/28/2007 12:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous 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.

 
At 8/28/2007 02:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous 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.
-ObiDon

 
At 8/28/2007 07:04:00 PM, Anonymous 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.

 

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