Audio version read by Rev. Steven Lane Taylor, B.Msc.
Is your life one of free will or is it one of predestiny? Philosophers, theologians, and wise men, throughout all of time, have pondered this age-old question. If it were just fascinating metaphysical speculation, that would be one thing. But this question is far more than speculative musing. It is a critical issue concerning your life and the lives of everyone else. How you live your life can very definitely be influenced by whether you accept that you have been given free will by a creator, or God, or that God has you living a predestined life.
Most schools of theology will agree that humankind is given free will. Yet, at the same time, they will speak of messiahs, prophets and the like, who incarnated on this earth with definite predestined missions for humanity. Is it, then, that some have a predestiny, while others do not? Or is it that all people, even though they are not messiahs or prophets are also subject to living a life that is predestined?
In actuality, the truth of whether life is one of free will or predestiny may lie somewhere in between. A soul, as an example, may incarnate into the physical dimension of the planet Earth, and have free will within the geographical and cultural framework of the time in history during which the incarnation takes place. The soul can make choices or express free will within the boundaries of geography, culture and the time in history. While expressing free will and making choices, the soul must still do so within certain parameters.
Next, we enter into the realm of metaphysics and the karmic question. Is one’s present life based on the law of cause and effect as an outgrowth, reward or punishment of a previous life or lives?
Is it predestiny that some are born wealthy and others born poor? And some are born in countries that know long periods of peace and prosperity, while others are born in countries that are constant battlefields of war, destruction and poverty? Is it all just coincidence or is there a rhyme and reason to the cosmic drama that seems to engulf people’s lives?
Cause and effect is a universal law of life. Whatever is currently taking place is the effect brought about by a prior cause that put it into motion. Therefore, when you think about predestiny, it could be that everything taking place in your life, whether good or ill, is as a result of a prior cause. If this is the case, and it is, we can then say that everything in life is predestined and based on prior causes.
The main point to consider here is that nothing is coincidental. Everything is as a result of cause and effect. Because of the law of cause and effect, predestiny cannot be denied. There is a biblical truth that underscores the law of cause and effect that sets up predestiny, which says, “As you sow, so do you reap.” A person may have free will, but it will be operating within the boundaries determined by prior causes or predestiny.
The word Karma means action. The actions can be positive or negative. Whatever your actions today, whether they are physical, mental, emotional, psychical, or spiritual, they will result in a like-natured manifestation in your future. You are creating your own predestiny through the Law of Karma or, your present-day actions. If you are currently consciously causing hardship for others, you are creating a prior cause or negative Karma or predestiny of hardship in your future, whether in this lifetime before you leave it, or in a future lifetime.
Nothing is by coincidence; all is based on prior lifetime causes. All is carefully calculated according to divine mathematics, and nothing is left to chance. In the case of higher, more evolved souls, the decision-making is theirs. In the case of young, unaware souls, the decision is made for them based on prior causes and karma.
As the soul matures and grows into adulthood, the soul is predestined to be positive or negative, based on previous Karma. The exception to this is that a higher soul may be forgiving of a soul who acts negatively towards them, thus putting an end to a repetitive karmic go-around, lifetime after lifetime.
This is an important law of forgiveness that, if practiced often enough, minimizes and eventually eliminates conflicts with others. The only exception to this would be in the case of a high soul whose truths might antagonize those whose motives are questionable.
Every day, as you engage in the daily business of living, constantly be aware that you are creating a predestiny. Everything you are doing, every action is a prior cause that is creating your predestiny. Therefore, with free will, choose your actions carefully and wisely, physically, mentally, psychically and spiritually, for these are the building blocks of your future. This is where free will really does exist. For example, you have the free will to create your predestiny! This is how free will and predestiny divinely interact, and why both are needed to cause the soul to grow and awaken to its divine potential.
If you turn over your personal will to the will of God for your life, you will be intuitively guided by God as to how to exercise your free will in making right choices and decisions. If you are living a difficult lifetime, it will be made easier through God’s companionship. If you are living a wonderful life that seems to be filled with good karma, you will exercise free will by using your good fortune to help others.
In so doing, you are creating a positive predestiny in your future, whether in this lifetime, between lifetimes, or in another lifetime.
The ultimate truth is that both free will and predestiny co-exist, each complementing the life of humankind, as souls make their way through spiritual growth, awakening, and the enlightenment process that leads to their reuniting in the light of God.
Dr. Paul Leon Masters
Text taken from Dr. Paul Leon Masters’ “The Theocentric Way of Life,” Volume 3: Module 17.
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Intro and ending music © “Night Radiance” by Maxim Kornyshev