Freedom of Will

Of course we have free will don’t we?  When I got up this morning I chose what to have for breakfast, what clothes to wear and throughout the day I made many more choices, didn’t I?

Granted there are some things in life in which I don’t have any choice. I didn’t choose where or when to be born or to what parents and like most people I don’t expect to choose when I’ll die.

However in the time between being born and dying, how much free will do I actually have, and how much are the choices I make actually down to the  influence of my environment and the qualities I inherited from my parents ? If I had been born to different parents and brought up in a different environment even the food I eat or the clothes I wear would be very different.

Science even goes a step further describing the brain as a physical system and tells us we  no more have a choice about the way it operates than we do about the way our heart beats or our liver functions. It suggests that all human behaviour is down to  neurons firing, causing other neurons to fire, which in turn cause all our thoughts and actions right back to our birth.

So what does Kabbalah say about freedom of will ?

Kabbalah explains we have no free will at all according to the common perception of it, but rather all a person’s actions are unconscious, and are performed according to our egotistical nature which works in the way that whatever we do is either in order receive pleasure or to avoid pain. Freedom of will is therefore only possible if we can learn how to rise above our own nature. This is precisely what the Wisdom of kabbalah teaches us to do

“’We are all like machines, operating and creating through external forces, which force them to act this way. This means that we are all incarcerated in the prison of Providence, which, using these two chains, pleasure and pain, pushes and pulls us to its will, to where it sees fit.

It turns out that there is no such thing as selfishness in the world, since no one here is free or stands on his own two feet. I am not the owner of the act, and I am not the performer because I want to perform, but I am performed upon, in a compulsory manner, and without my awareness”

Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom”

Blogger – Monica is a long term dedicated student of Kabbalah with Bnei Baruch.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *