I know this is a hot topic right now and that there is confusion in the 3 Principles community. There are some who are teaching that there is no free will. This is directly counter to what Syd taught.
He taught that “free will and freedom of thought are the same power with two different names.” In The Enlightened Gardener Revisited, page 126, Janet says to Andy, “So what I hear you say is that everyone on earth has what is called free will, and with this free will we have the power to pick the thoughts that we want to become alive, and ignore and discard the ones we don’t. We don’t have to act on every thought!”
Later, on p. 147, Janet stated to Andy that there are many scholars who would disagree that there is such a thing as a free will; Andy’s response was, “If their personal opinion regarding life isn’t their free will in action, what is?”
Even before I had any understanding of the Three Principles, this question has never really been an issue for me as I’ve always basically felt that we do have a choice. However, I used to see that the choices we made were based on external circumstances. I didn’t know that innate wisdom or lack of wisdom drive our choices.
Syd always talked about ‘free will’ and how understanding the Principles allowed us to make wiser choices. This makes perfect sense to me.
The way I see it is that we do have a choice, even though at times it appears that we don’t, simply because we don’t know better. So we do the best we can, given the state of our thinking. Being ‘aware that we think’ is like a pause button; it gives us a moment to choose wisely.
Mental evolution is what free will points to. In other words, the choice we have between listening to wisdom that frees us or listening to unhealthy personal thinking that can keeps us locked in the past and old habits.
Some point to the ‘Oneness’, saying that if we’re part of the Oneness, then the Oneness makes the choice for us. That doesn’t make sense to me. Why else are we in this physical form of life, blessed to be able to use the formless energy to create form, if not to evolve. The Oneness is form and formless, playing the game of life. The game is to evolve.
Free will and freedom of thought is the path to inner evolution. It’s important that people ‘see’ free will and levels of consciousness as gifts for humanity to evolve spiritually and psychologically. Free will gives us the choice to make wise or not so wise decisions. After all, isn’t the purpose of understanding how we create reality the path to creating a healthier, happier experience?
When we make unwise decisions, this is the classroom of life, a way of life educating us and pointing us ‘inside’ where wisdom resides. And it’s the ‘feeling’ of wisdom, also called our true nature that guides us.
The nature of Thought is spiritual energy. We are blessed to be able to use this spiritual, formless energy to create form, the form of our experience. Although we can’t ‘control’ thoughts, we can choose a direction we want our thoughts to flow. For example, we may have the thought that we’d be happier if our spouse would be more financially responsible. As we add more troubling thoughts to that dynamic, we become frustrated, as does our spouse, who is feeling the heat of our judgmental thoughts.
Here’s where free will or choice comes in. Instead of focusing our thoughts on what’s ‘wrong’ with our spouse, focus on ‘what’s right’ with our spouse. The feeling of judgment will dissipate, and clarity and wisdom will emerge, offering a solution. When we’re in the feeling of judgment, there is no clarity. When we’re coming from wisdom, solutions appear, seemingly out of the blue.
Focusing on what’s right in my world was a transformative insight for me. All my life my attention was on what’s wrong and consequentially, my world was not a happy place. From the time that I realized I had a choice on how I perceived my world, and focused on what was right, my reality changed for the better. For me, this is the proof of the pudding; my life changed.
Look to your own life as you began to realize who and what you are at the core. See your own evidence of how you’ve changed. Evolution begins with recognizing the spiritual gift of free will and freedom of thought.
Finally, I strongly recommend that whoever is interested, read Chapter Twelve, The Enlightened Gardener Revisited, Sydney Banks.