Question: Why are we given the illusion of freedom in this world?
Answer: We consider ourselves free for as long as we do not think about it much and identify ourselves with our animate body. But if we rose above our body a little, we would see that it strictly obeys the laws and processes it is subject to.
I think it is up to me when to go to sleep and when to go to work. But who is it really up to? I am placed in certain conditions and given certain internal qualities. Meanwhile, our will to receive pleasure (desire) acts as an engine that works according to a simple principle: maximal pleasure at minimal effort, that is, maximal gain at minimal investment.
This is the calculation we perform at each moment of our lives, in every aspect, any direction, any place, and in relation to everything there is. This is how our nature works, taking into consideration various conditions: how tired and healthy I am, how big the danger and possible pleasure are, and so forth. Understandably, as such, we remain inside our ego, and there is no free will there.
We have to realize that free will is possible only if I control my desire and am above it. For as long as I remain in my egoistic nature, I will always be an obedient puppet, fully controlled by my egoism.
If, however, I wish to take control in my own hands, I have to manage my desire, rise above it. In other words, free will is possible, but only above desire. And the only question is: How do I rise above my nature, by what means?
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/26/10, “The Freedom”