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Syndicated Columns

Listening to your inner voice will urge you toward free will

Posted March 4, 2006

Q. Can you comment on destiny vs. choice and free will? -- E. B., Lake Worth

A. This topic has been debated for millennia. It is the basis of The Iliad by Homer and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. Aristotle, Plato, Nietzsche and Goethe all pondered this matter. Fortunately, there are two camps on this issue. So whichever side you favor, you will be right.

Let's look at both sides. Johann Friedrich Von Schiller says, "There is no such thing as chance; and what seems to us merest accident springs from the deepest source of destiny."

But Daw Aung San Suu Kyi states, "We achieve everything by our efforts alone. Our fate is not decided by an almighty God. We decide our own fate by our actions. You have to gain mastery over yourself ... It is not a matter of sitting back and accepting."

Somewhere in the middle, I believe our free will is our greatest gift. It is the manifestation of the spark of Divine (Spirit) within us all. It is what separates us from the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms.

When we act out of anger, jealousy or rage, it is our impulse, not our free will, that determines what we do.

Have you noticed when you are about to do something mindless or habitual, something inside, usually a quiet voice, urges you to make a higher choice? If you listen to that voice, you have initiated free will.

But how many of us squander this gift by not making full use of it? How many of us ignore the call to right action? Just as our muscles grow weak through lack of exercise, so does our will.

The more we exercise our free will, the more open and aware we become to the opportunities that are evolving.

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