header pic header text

Volume V - Spiritual Liberty



There are two forces in the universe, Qaza, the divine force that is working through all things and being, and Qadr, the free will of the individual.

If the divine will is working through all things and beings, and man is but the instrument through which the divine will works, he is helpless, and how can he be responsible for his deeds? Man is nevertheless held responsible, for the free will of the individual is the perfect will, working through the intelligence of the individual. This may be illustrated in the following way. A merchant who owns a factory employs many hands to work in it. It is his will and wish that all shall work harmoniously together, but the success of the factory is equally the responsibility of each individual worker, for the owner of the factory runs it by means of the workers. If anyone works contrary to his will, things go wrong, and the one working thus is responsible for it. In like manner the will of the whole Being works through all, yet it is the responsibility of the individual to carry out that will. If we consider this carefully we shall find that this will is also our will, and when we act contrary to it, we get no satisfaction, for we have not carried out our own will. We are, as it were, a pole, at one end of which is the limited individual and at the other end, the perfect self.

In seeking to carry out the will of God, our attitude should be that of a child who is kept from doing wrong by the thought that he might vex his parents. In the same way we should watch our every thought and action lest they should be displeasing to God, the perfect Self. The question may be asked, 'Is it just that human beings with intelligence should have to give in to the perfect or divine will, which seems so contrary to the ideal of freedom?' This question may be answered in the following way. Let us suppose that one wishes to move forward, and the feet move in the opposite direction, or one wants to look straight up while the eyes, against one's will, look down. Would life be happy although the feet and eyes in acting so, are only using their free will? The answer is no. For in so doing, they are working against the will of the whole individual being. In like manner the inharmonious free will, which may be called sin, disturbs the whole Being, the harmony of which is maintained by each individual, from greatest to least, and from highest to lowest.

checked 4-Mar-2006