Freedom and the Evolution of the Soul on Earth
The purpose of this article is to explain why individual freedom is essential to the success of the soul’s embodiment on earth. Without the opportunity to make free will decisions here in time and space, the creative potential of mankind (as an individual, as society, and as a species) will be restrained. This restraint on the potential of mankind can have adverse consequences on the soul’s evolution in spirit and in matter.
Mankind has a special role in God’s creation of the universe: that of a co-creator with God in using free will to expand goodness within the spheres of human activity. From observation, it seems that almost all people have a spark of goodness deep within their character. This suggests that the soul of man is blessed with a portion of God’s own goodness as the distinguishing characteristic, or inner quality, of that individual lifestream. If this is true, then the soul of man and its human embodiments can be viewed as the spirit of God individualized. In this paradigm, each individual is given the opportunity to express his or her inner quality through their free will to contribute to the fulfillment of God’s plan for life as a whole.
Within this view of reality, God does not predetermine an individual’s life or choices. Rather, God has given the individual, through the character of the soul, an inner quality of goodness, as well as life, opportunity, and free will to use that character as a standard of behavior and a model for creative action. Thus, one of the highest uses of free will is to act according to the motivations and designs flowing from the soul’s character. That character seems to have the attribute of being appropriate for most personal and social circumstances. For example, an inner quality of honor and integrity can be used to navigate through a wide range of decisions in one’s life.
All things in the physical universe appear to be evolving and changing over time, according to certain drivers controlling their cycles of existence. Two of the most important drivers for the evolution of mankind are karma and reincarnation. Karma refers to the laws of moral cause and effect, which teaches the person in embodiment the proper way to use free will through lessons learned from experiencing the consequences of his or her actions. Reincarnation, or the rebirth of the soul on earth to learn the lessons of karma, provides the soul with ample opportunity to master the use of free will in physical dimensions. Over time, individuals gradually become aware of their special virtues and the unique contributions they can make to improve life. It is this knowledge and a desire to act with excellence and goodwill that generate within the person’s consciousness a strong sense of who and what they are as an extension of their soul which resides in spiritual dimensions. When individuals are in that state of consciousness, they are aligned with their soul and are in fact their true selves. However, one’s true self is not static. It can change over time as the embodied person gains in understanding and experience.
This process of becoming the true self requires the freedom to use one’s free will. Without a high degree of personal freedom, the individual may lack the opportunity and experience necessary to learn to make correct decisions in the religious, social, political, and personal spheres of life in time and space. For example, if the dogma of religion is too rigid and intolerant, if society is too repressive in its range of permissible activities, if politics is too controlled by narcissistic leaders or ideological rules, if one’s personal life is too closely monitored and judged by moral police — then the individual’s free will is too restricted and the needed lessons of life cannot easily be learned. As a result of this lack of knowledge and experience, the individual may make more mistakes, his or her negative karma may pile up, and the person may be locked into a seemingly endless cycle of embodiments on earth.
That is why, in most cases, a high degree of personal freedom ought to characterize modern society and its various institutions. It is only through the exercise of personal free will that individuals and mankind as a whole can realize their highest potential — individually and collectively, materially and spiritually. However, history and observation teach us that too much freedom given to imperfect human beings can also be detrimental. Finding the right balance between freedom and constraint, free will and responsibility, are essential goals that ought to be embraced by both individuals and society.