Do you have Free Will to put your hand in a fire?
Let’s say, I offer you a hundred dollars to put your hand in a fire, do you have Free Will to do it?
Mostly likely you will answer that you could do it, but you sure wouldn’t.
And this illustrates a fundamental point – you have Free Will, but you wouldn’t do it, because it is a stupid, self destructive thing for you to do, and so you wouldn’t do it.
When we talk about Free Will, we don’t mean the theoretical ability to do something. We mean there has to be a real challenge, a real fight. Both sides have to be appealing, both choices have to have merit, and the human must be able to go either way.
The problem is that if man were created with just a Spiritual Soul and an Animal Soul, there would be no Free Will because the Spiritual Soul of man is so pure, it simply won’t let him do something wrong. It would never allow him to do something selfish, or cruel, or mean. It would rebel, and scream out. ‘How could you do that? That’s nasty. You are hurting another human being! What right do you have to put your self interests in front of another person’s?’ Granted he would have the physical ability to do things that were wrong. But he wouldn’t do them; much like you wouldn’t put your hand in a fire. And therein lies one of the greatest dilemmas in creation: how do you take this pinnacle of greatness, man, who has a soul that is considered holier than an angel, and counterbalance this loftiness? If the goal in creation is to have a level playing field, where man can truly exercise his free will, how do you balance out against the majestic soul of man?
To solve this thorny dilemma, God in his infinite wisdom gave man just such a balancing agent: Imagination. When God created man, not only did He implant the two aspects of a Spiritual Soul and an Animal Soul, He introduced this third component of Imagination to interplay between the two. This quality of imagination serves as an equilibrium between our logical thought process and our emotions. Now when man approaches an issue, he isn’t only limited to pure thought. Now, the very way that he looks at things is subjective. If I want something, if I desire it, my emotions can affect my entire way of understanding that issue. No longer is it something that I know is wrong but want to do anyway. I now have this ability to create- almost by instinct- entire rationales and theologies that change my view. My emotions color my opinions and thoughts process, and affect the very way that I view life. And now my sense of morality is no longer set in concrete but can change at will, because I no longer think only with my logical side, I also have this component of creative imagination that mixes into my very thought process. Now man can in fact do exactly as he wants. If he wishes to chose selfish interests his Spiritual Soul can’t stop him, because in his convoluted sense, what he is does, whatever he does, is right. So when that Voice Inside screams out “do something meaningful with your life”. Now there is an answer, I am doing something. I am doing something noble, and proper and right. And it is so, because I will it to be!
And now finally, I am Free. Free from the shackles of having to do what is right because that higher side of me demands it from me; free to chart my course in life exactly as I see fit. If my agenda is self serving aggrandizement, within arms reach I can create an entire thought process that not only justifies this, but uplifts it to a grand thing. I am no longer restricted to doing only what my Spiritual Soul tells me is right. Because I have the ability to change what is right and wrong. Now, I am no longer restricted by the rules of logic as guided by absolute truth, I can shape that logic. I can rationalize and create entire philosophies that at least on a certain level, I believe. And since I make the rules of what is right and wrong, no one, not even my Voice Inside can lecture me. Now I am free to chose my course in life, because not only do I have Free Choice in how I act– I now have Free Choice in what I believe — I can believe what I want to believe.