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The Freedom to Choose

Philosophers have sought all throughout history for the answer to the questions: “Is there freedom of choice?” They tried to define the concept of choice and reached the conclusion that there is only a limited freedom of choice in society, to those who have a developed personality.

But among themselves they understood that they would never be able to free themselves of the absence of control in their future, because there was always the possibility that they would be run over by a truck the very next day, catch a fatal illness and perhaps even go into a coma. Of course, if you want to, you can ignore such a humiliating example of the absence of freedom of choice, but that would not make life any easier. The evolution of genetics hasn’t improved our situation either, but only strengthened the feeling that we are in a closed compartment, surrounded by chains of genes from which we can never escape.

And then comes the wisdom of Kabbalah, which Kabbalists regard as the last stage of the development of science, and we find that not only are we chained by the biological genes, but we are ‘programmed’ and not just for this lifetime, but throughout a long and consistent chain of Reshimot (reminiscence) that is set in the mind, the heart and the soul. And that is what determines our lives.

Question: Do we have to ignore the question about the freedom of choice, and choose only the most convenient option of the ‘choice less’ options before us?

Answer: Humanity cannot ignore that question any longer, because it is one of the most fundamental questions in our lives. Especially now we must expand that question and research it from all sides, otherwise we will not have the motivation to change anything in our lives, or to change ourselves. We must clearly see where we have freedom to choose and what is dictated from above. On our current level of development we still can’t see the limitations that are acting on us from above.

But if there are one or two issues in our actions and decisions where we are free to choose, we must study and understand those issues specifically, because it is only there that we can express our freedom and change anything in our fate. In all other things we still remain under the laws of nature, the one we can and the ones we cannot see.

Question: Where then is my freedom of choice according to the Kabbalah? Where can I change anything, and where is it not even worth trying?

Answer: First, in our world, we are almost completely dependent on nature’s, providence. We are compelled to be born; we do not choose our talents or the people we meet in this life. We did not choose our time of birth, our family; in fact, we fell into an environment we never chose.

All my characteristics are predefined: the feelings, the aspirations, and the character. It is said that everyone is born with his own ‘luck’. Moreover, it says, “there is not a blade of grass below (in our world), that has not an angel above (a force from the upper world), which strikes it and tells it: Grow!” So is there any freedom at all?

Both nature and society evolve according to their own laws, and so do all the changes in the universe and ever- greater catastrophes that happen, hence there is nothing that depends on us.

If everything in man is dictated from above, the characteristics, the inheritance, and not only that, every thing outside us also, the forces that are meant to lead us to the end of correction, to a predetermined state, what kind of freedom then can we talk about, or even think about?

On the other hand, if we just obey nature’s orders, it is unclear what we were created for in the first place, and every thing else around us. If everything is predefined and there is no freedom of choice, there seems to be no point to the whole of creation.

The point to creation is not necessarily that everything will continue the way it has so far advanced, without any reason, but the goal is to attain completeness, precisely through free choice. Therefore, we must find where and in what do we have free choice.

All the animate, the vegetative, and man, cannot tolerate the denial of their freedom. Despite the awareness of the rigid frameworks in our world, the aspiration for independence is the one that dictates one’s life. Even animals that lose their freedom, if they do not die, they lose their livelihood and weaken because of their captivity. It is a true sign that nature will not tolerate any kind of slavery, and all living creatures want to be free.

Therefore, it is not a mere coincidence that in the recent centuries there has been so much bloodshed just to attain a certain amount of freedom.

Question: So where do we get the desire for something we cannot attain, something that doesn’t exist in our world?

Answer: Man is created in the image (similitude) of the Creator. Therefore, knowingly or unknowingly, he aspires to have all the attributes that characterize the Creator. For example, the Creator is in eternal and complete rest. Because of that we too aspire for rest, and all our movements are only a means to attain it. The Creator is one, unique and special. Therefore, everyone declares how much he, meaning his ego, is also special, different and unique. Our aspiration to what you claim cannot be attained comes from our soul, which is a part of the Creator. We in fact aspire for the situation of the Creator, who is actually free. And this is the purpose of our existence. If that weren’t possible, the concept of freedom would simply not exist.

Question: Are you saying that our desire for freedom proves that we can attain it, but we still haven’t succeeded? If so, how can we attain that freedom?

Answer: Man’s freedom, his independence, is only possible to the extent that he is freed from his nature, when he can rise above it. That is because our nature is predetermined. In order to attain the real and absolute freedom we have to activate a special mechanism to open the door of the ‘cage’ of our corporeal world, into a spiritual, eternal and free realm.

We understand that we have to fight for our freedom. Our whole life is made of struggles for bits of fictitious freedom that society obliges us to. We try to be as it would have us be, and we are prepared to fill up our lives with empty acts, just to get some recognition and respect.

At first, we fight for freedom from the burdens of parents and the family. We try to escape circumstances that were forced on us, and the duties that make our lives difficult. We invest a great deal of effort just to attain this fake freedom. But in order to attain genuine freedom, freedom from our nature, where everything is predetermined, we have to make an effort. That freedom can be attained not in the afterlife, as religions promise us, but here in the corporeal world, in this very life. But for that we need to make an effort, to rise above our nature, above our world.

Question: Now you are drifting away to upper realms and say “above our world,” but what happens in this world?

Answer: The meaning of the words, “above our world” is that man acquires spiritual attributes that are above our world. There cannot be any real freedom of choice in our current attributes, which are dictated from above. Everything is predetermined, except one thing!

Parents change their location, or change an address on their ID in order to select the place where their children will learn by themselves, and the kind of education that they want for them. They try and create for their children such an environment that they believe will guarantee their good development, and they are absolutely right in doing so. They naturally understand that when they are under the influence of a certain environment, there is no freedom of choice, and so they will try to act in the one place where they can make a difference, the freedom to choose the environment that would influence them. Many philosophers tried to analyze and measure the influence of the environment on people’s personalities. On the basis of research and experiments that were made, and also through their own intuition, they realized how strong was that influence.

The Kabbalah gives us a full analysis of the influence of the environment on man. Its conclusions are unequivocal: there is an absolute dependency of man on his environment – willingly or unwillingly. Even when he objects to it, his whole life is then wasted rejecting and trying to exit it, although eventually he will surrender and come to live in it.

Question: But still, many dream, and only a few succeed exiting the influence of the environment?

Answer: True, and yet we try again and again, because it is the only thing we have – the freedom to choose the right society for us and for our kids. That determines almost everything in our lives. It is important to understand how to build such an environment for ourselves, and what we need it for.

Kabbalah opens before us a complete and trustful picture of the upper management, which was until now closed to us. We see by it that each and every one of us, and the whole of mankind will have to accept the purpose of creation and the purpose of our lives, whether through torments in this life, or in the next, or by our own free will.

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