Kabbalists try very hard to explain the main moment of our work: how we arrive at free choice. They start by explaining that we have no freedom whatsoever. Findings in biology, ecology, psychology, genetics, and other sciences make it evident. We are not free.
Every person is born into a family he didn’t choose, a society he didn’t pick, a nation he didn’t decide on, with the traits that were not his choice. He was schooled at a place that he didn’t select either. And how could he have made a choice himself? His family, kindergarten, and school provided the environment, under the influence of which he developed.
Very seldom, as if accidentally, a person finds himself or herself under a foreign influence, for instance, of the books, and develops slightly differently than his surroundings. There are very few people like this, and they being guided from Above.
With regard to everything else, as Baal HaSulam writes in his article “The Freedom,” I’m not independent in the way I sit, eat, sleep, dress, or speak. In general, it is not me. Everything is imparted on me by the environment, the priorities of which force me to hold myself and behave in a certain way even when I’m alone. I have internalized the values of the environment and they have become my own.
Initially, I was a drop of semen; I received everything else from the environment: my parents, the close ones, educators and teachers, friends, street, city, and so on. Even a drop of semen itself wasn’t me either, but a set of traits I inherited from my parents.
It follows that man has no freedom, has nothing that could be said to be his own. From one side, it is very hard to agree with this, but from the other, scientists have discovered it already and subscribe to it completely. Only in the human society we nevertheless judge a person by what he or she is, even though in reality, a person embodies the environment which “sculpted” him or her.
From the spiritual point of view, given the conditions in which we find ourselves, we can’t talk about ourselves as such. In spirituality, each of us begins with a drop of semen called the “point in the heart.” When a person begins to feel this point within himself or herself, he or she is brought to the appropriate environment.
From Lesson 1, WE! Convention 4/1/2011