Question: Most people are appalled by the thought of having no free will in our world. How should we approach them?
Answer: That’s true since if there is no free will, there is no person either. He is not a person but a mechanical toy, a puppet controlled by strings. And it doesn’t matter that it includes you as well: A person sees in it your attitude toward him. You, sort of, discuss your own non-existence. After all, I only exist if I have free will, a personal opinion, and perform autonomous actions.
But we are talking about the omnipotent system of nature where everything is governed by absolute laws. Even if we don’t bring the wisdom of Kabbalah into it and just think logically, from where can freedom appear in this world? From a global perspective, what is freedom? Is it seemingly spontaneous actions, even though it’s not the case? Or is it some sudden desires that in fact are conditioned by the life giving force?
Where do my actions begin? As to me, I don’t see what triggers the events of my life, my thoughts and desires. What inner depths give rise to different urges in me? Out of the blue, I crave something. Where did this impulse come from?
If I found its source, it would be clear to me that it isn’t I who chooses, but that these kind of impulses are triggered in me by nature. But man has no access to what lies below the level at which nature makes decisions. He receives ready-made thoughts, desires, and actions deriving from nature’s acts.
At this level, we assign a certain degree of independence to man since it is he who had a desire or a thought. Based on this shaky premise, we view a person as an autonomous being.
Obviously, it is totally wrong. If we saw the integral picture, we wouldn’t find the slightest reason to judge a person or, on the contrary, to show him mercy. We would all feel as cogwheels controlled by the general force. The same is described in the wisdom of Kabbalah.
Where then is free will? It lies in my ability to take over the management from the upper force that sets the entire system in motion. I can govern in its place, in alliance with it. In the degree of my agreement with it, I overtake management functions and begin to activate the system myself.
What’s in it for me? By doing so, I obtain freedom and autonomy. I take example from the upper force, demand assistance from it, and thereby take part in the plea. This opportunity is available to me due to the breaking: It presented me with free will in the middle third of Tifferet, in the middle point, a very delicate intermediate state. It is from that point in particular that I can ask to take the Creator’s place.
Thus I acquire autonomy. And there is nothing else that I can call my own.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/17/2011 on The Principles of Global Education