Kabbalists About Freedom Of Choice, Part 1

Dr. Michael LaitmanDear Friends, please ask questions about these passages from the great Kabbalists. The commentaries in brackets are mine.

Does a Person Have Freedom of Choice?

We are all like machines, operating and creating through external forces, pleasure and pain, which push and pull us to their will, to where it sees fit. It turns out that no one here is free or stands on his own two feet.
– Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom

When we examine the acts of an individual, we find them compulsory. He is compelled to do them and has no freedom of choice. It’s because the upper governance has placed him between pleasure and pain. And there is no difference here between man and animal. And if that is the case, there is no free choice whatsoever, but rather the upper governance leads everyone wherever it wants, without asking their opinion in the matter.

Moreover, even the type of pleasure (what to eat and how to dress) is entirely out of one’s own free choice, but follows the will of society. Furthermore, in most cases, I do all of it against my will, which is to behave simply and dress comfortably. So you tell me, where is my freedom of will?
Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom

Related Material:
In Search For Freedom
Free Will Is Above Desire
True And False Freedom

One Comment

  1. We’re one to risk the mathematical analogy, the only two “objects” outside the finite, that limited by cause-and-effect, is Infinity and Zero. These are opposites, but of common form, so to speak, in their complete intrinsic “freedom of will,” sandwiching the finite — as boundary conditions upon the all-else so bound by cause-and-effect.

    In such a view, would then the Creator be the first, Man — with the point in the heart, the second, and through group, teacher, and books — the second transcends the finite to reach the first — they become One? [As “On that Day, He (the Light) and His Name (the Vessel) will be One.”]

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