What is the nature of human free will?
Our free will is not visible and does not have material existence. However,
such factors do not render its existence impossible. Everyone has two (physical)
eyes, but we also can see with our third (spiritual) eye. We use the former
to see things in this world; we use the latter to see things beyond events and
this world. Our free will is like our third eye, which you may call insight.
It is an inclination or inner force by which we prefer and decide.
Man wills and God creates. A project or a buildingís plan has no value or
use unless you start to construct the building according to it, so that it becomes
visible and serves many purposes. Our free will resembles that plan, for we
decide and act according to it, and God creates our actions as a result of our
decisions. Creation and acting or doing something are different things. Godís
creation means that He gives actual existence to our choices and actions in
this world. Without Godís creation, we can do nothing.
To illuminate a magnificent palace, we must install a lighting system. However,
the palace cannot be illuminated until we flick the switch that turns on the
lights. Until we do so, the palace will remain dark. Similarly, each man and
woman is a magnificent palace of God. We are illuminated by belief in God, Who
has supplied us with the necessary lighting system: intellect, reason, sense,
and the abilities to learn, compare, and prefer.
Nature and events, as well as Divinely revealed religions, are like the source
of electricity that illuminates this Divine palace of the human individual.
If we do not use our free will to flick the switch, however, we will remain
in darkness. Turning on the light means petitioning God to illuminate us with
belief. In a manner befitting a servant at his lordís door, we must petition
the Lord of the Universe to illuminate us and so make us a ďkingĒ in the universe.
When we do this, the Lord of the Universe treats us in a way befitting Himself,
and promotes us to the rank of king-ship over other realms of creation.
God takes our free will into account when dealing with us and our acts, for
He uses it to create our deeds. Thus we are never victims of Destiny or wronged
by Fate. However insignificant our free will is when compared with Godís creative
acts, it is still the cause of our deeds. God makes large things out of minute
particles, and creates many important results from simple means. For example,
He makes a huge pine tree from a tiny seed, and uses our inclinations or free
choice to prepare our eternal happiness or punishment.
To better understand our part, and that of our will power, in our acts and
accomplishments, consider the food we consume. Without soil and water, air and
the sunís heat, none of which we can produce or create despite our advanced
technology, we would have no food. We cannot produce a single seed of corn.
We did not create our body and establish its relationship with food; we cannot
even control a single part of our body. For example, if we had to wind our heart
like a clock at a fixed time every morning, how long would we survive?
Obviously, almost all parts of the whole complex and harmonious universe,
which is a most developed organism, work together according to the most delicate
measures to produce a single morsel of food. Thus, the price of a single morsel
is almost as much as the price of the whole universe. How can we possibly pay
such a price, when our part in producing that morsel is utterly negligible,
consisting of no more than our own effort?
Can we ever thank God enough for even a morsel of food? If only a picture
of grapes were shown to us, could all of us work together and produce it? No.
God nourishes us with His bounty, asking in return very little. For example,
if He told us to perform 1,000 rakĎas (units) of prayer for a bushel
of wheat, we would have to do so. If He sent a raindrop in return for one
rakĎa, we would have to spend our whole lives praying. If you were left
in the scorching heat of a desert, would you not give anything for a single
glass of water?
How can we thank Him enough for each bodily limb? When we see sick and crippled
people in hospitals, or when we ourselves are ill, we understand how valuable
good health is. But can we ever thank Him enough for this blessing? The worship
God Almighty orders us to perform is, in fact, for our personal benefit and
spiritual refinement, and well as for a good personal and collective life. Furthermore,
if we believe in and worship God, He rewards us with infinite happiness and
bounties in Paradise.
In sum: Almost everything we have is given to us for practically nothing,
and our part in the bounty we enjoy here is therefore quite negligible. Similarly,
our free will is equally negligible when compared with what God Almighty creates
from our use of it. Despite our free willís weak-ness and our own inability
to really understand its true nature, God creates our actions according to the
choices and decisions we make through it.