Audio version read by Rev. Steven Lane Taylor, B.Msc. – Self-Will versus Destiny
On this earthly plane of existence, humanity exists in a Cosmic House of Mirrors. What seems to be reality is, in truth, but an illusion of limited five-sense perception. If one is to understand one’s own life, one must understand life itself. And to do this, a person must be able to discern what is real from that which is not.
Throughout recorded history the subject of will has played a significant role. The idea of exerting one’s personal will to make things happen in one’s life plays a major part in giving value or existence to the false sense of personal ego identity. Many books and commentaries have applauded the use of will power to accomplish goals in life. Exerting one’s will over others is often suggested as a means to an end. The world is filled with countless people who are going through the motions of pushing forth through life by what they believe is the power of their personal wills.
For a moment let’s suppose that some people believe that their self-wills are causing them to accomplish what they are in life. Of course, to have self-will necessitates basing one’s identity on a false sense of personal ego selfhood: A person is thought to be one self or identity, and others are seen to be different personal identities. Thinking in this fashion means that one’s mind is accepting that everyone is separate from one another.
Further, this mental acceptance of separateness causes division amongst people, which, in turn, opens the doorway to disagreements or conflicts. What this means, is that even if some individuals were successful—and crediting their successes to will power—they would still not be fulfilled or feel whole, in spite of their worldly measures of success, due to living in a state of separateness. Such persons would still feel a sense of lack or feel threatened by other separate selves—each using personal will to possibly dethrone the success.
In other words, the exertion of personal self-will, while seeming to produce results, is not really producing a lasting fulfillment and peace within a person’s soul, because of a sense of separateness. And, mystically, there is a reason for this: the personal ego identity does not really exist, except as an illusion of the outer senses. But more directly to the point, if the personal ego self does not exist, how then can something nonexistent produce a power that can be presented as a “doing” power known as will-power or self-will?
In mystical Reality there cannot be self-will, because there is no real personal self to generate it. So, if some people seem to produce results in life, but those results and will power are only an illusion, what else could be present to account for the strides or advances in one’s life?
Does the soul have a destiny, and is it really destiny rather than the illusion of self-will to which credit should be given?
Of course, destiny conjures up predestination. Predestination rightly suggests a future that is preordained, or, more specifically, a future that already is. To state it another way, in God’s Cosmic Clock of Time the future is preordained, because past, present, and future make up one singular moment of time.
In mystical Reality every soul has already lived successes, for which they mistakenly give credit to self-will.
In mystical or Absolute Reality there is but one Life in this Universe. Hence, any will that exists is the Will of One Universal Life, or God. Whatever good happens in life is by the Will or Grace of God. By worldly measure, whatever is the opposite of good is the result of separateness from one’s Source for Good—or God.
One may ask, then, why is it that so-called evil people with immense separateness and super-egotistical wills flourish by worldly standards? Actually, they have nothing to do with their successes. Certain souls have reached levels of consciousness where they need to experience extreme materialism, so that they may vanquish such cravings, allowing their souls to progress to higher spiritual states. These souls are also used as examples, demonstrating to other souls that material achievement on the physical plane will, in the final analysis, not bring fulfillment.
The Christ Mind that was in Jesus responded to this same question in the simple, yet profound words, “What profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” The soul can be described as one’s spiritual connection to the Eternal, or God. Without such a connection, the soul becomes what could be described as a lost soul, roaming aimlessly through existence after existence, trying to use an imaginary will power or self-will to find lasting happiness, lasting fulfillment, and lasting peace—which remain illusive.
If all already is—and there is only the Will of God—why is all this illusion allowed to take place?
Because without the illusion of separate identities and the byproduct of self-will, the Universal One Life of God would remain One Life without creation—without human life or other forms of life. The One Life that is God creates the illusion of many lives or separate selves living within an illusion of time, and giving the appearance of being created at different times. Hence we have baby souls, old souls, and those in-between. Yet, in Reality, only One Life and One Moment of Eternal Time really exists. In the Eternal Maturity of God there is a purpose to it all.
In the dualities of separateness, love or oneness is highlighted as being far more valuable than separateness and the resultant loneliness. Evil based on extreme separateness further demonstrates the value of Goodness. It highlights the choice to be made in the human soul—the choice between darkness, separation, and destruction, or Light, Oneness, Love, and God. The futility of the illusion of self-will or will power yields itself to the Reality of Oneness and the Truth that, in the beginning—which is one and the same as the ending—there is only God’s Will; that the path of every created soul can, of Reality, lead to God’s Oneness, for in Absolute Reality it has never been separated from God. As alluded to in the Bible: “Within Him (or God), we live and move and have our being.”
In summation, there cannot be an opposition of self-will versus destiny, for self and its will do not really exist, and destiny is a future that already exists.
It is God’s Will to create the illusion and fill it with souls, so that each soul in the illusion might come to an awakening of the Eternal Moment and give acknowledgement of God’s Existence—that the One Life Allness of All in All may convey The Presence, “I AM THAT, THAT I AM.”
Dr. Paul Leon Masters
Text taken from Dr. Paul Leon Masters’ Book, “Mystical Insights: Knowing the Unknown,” Pgs. 42–45. Copyright © 2016 by the International Metaphysical Ministry.
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Intro and ending music © “Night Radiance” by Maxim Kornyshev