Free Will

Whenever I write about the story of the universe of form unfolding as an expression of an idea that is already over, as I did last week (, it brings up questions from readers about free will.

“Free will” means the ability to make choices and act independently of any other power. Immediately you can see that a “person”, or “figure in the dream” as A Course in Miracles would call one, does not have a will that is independent from the split-mind (dreamer of the dream; Son of God). Every person’s story is part of an intricate, complex unfolding of the universe of form. What feels like one’s independent desires and choices is really the story of the universe of form being expressed through their seeming-individuality.

Even knowing this, your desires and choices and the actions to which you direct the self feel as though they are your own. You feel independent when you are identified with the dream figure. But knowing that the self’s story is part of a greater whole you can learn to find the flow of the universe to live more harmoniously with it rather than to try to force to happen what simply is not going to happen. (I wrote about this here: and You can find the purpose for the self in the flow, knowing that its unfolding story, whatever it is, is an essential part of a larger unfolding story.

In Truth there is only Truth so there is no need for a “will”. (In ACIM, “God’s Will” refers to God’s Extension of God in God, not to God’s desires in the world). Truth is whole, so there is nothing to desire, nothing to choose, nothing to make happen. But within the idea-of-not-Truth, not-Truth seems to have a “will” that is separate from Truth. The split-mind projects, or “wills”, a universe of form in which to play out the idea-of-not-Truth. It is free to do this, but this freedom comes from the nature of Truth, Which does not oppose. Not-Truth is undone instantly in the Mind of Truth not through opposition but simply by Truth’s All-encompassing nature. Not-Truth arising in Truth is like fire trying to start in water. It is impossible so it is over before it can start. Not-Truth is never more than an idea just as fire starting in water can be imagined but can never actually occur.

A Course in Miracles introduces the idea of free will right in its introduction:

“…Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time…”

If you read this as a seemingly-individual split-mind it refers to your experience, which certainly seems, to a new student, to be independently chosen. It feels as though you independently make the choice to learn what ACIM (or some other form of the universal curriculum) teaches. The personal experience is the narrowest reading of that passage. But if you read this as speaking of the one split-mind that projects the universe of form then it refers to how the undoing of not-Truth in time occurs independently of Truth. The outcome is inevitable but how that outcome is reached is time’s, not Eternity’s, story.

So your seemingly-individual will is not independent from the will of the one split-mind. It is an expression of the free will of the one split-mind.

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hannah said…
ah liz, thank you.
Unknown said…
Thank you beloved Liz,
You are helping me so much 💐
Anonymous said…
So helpful. Thank-you.
will said…
So as the one split mind was projecting the universe of form it had free will? And in this original projection the split mind could give the individual split mind free will? It doesn't matter, I just felt like following this train of thought down the rabbit hole
ACIM Mentor said…
The split mind is free to project the universe of form because it is unopposed. Seemingly-individual split-minds are not separate from the one split-mind so they do not have a will that is autonomous from the one split-mind. Their will is an expression of the free will of the one split-mind.

Think of a flowing stream. It represents the projection of the one split-mind. A ripple in the stream represents a seemingly-individual split-mind. The individual split-mind feels moved to flow in a certain direction in the stream. It experiences this movement as its own will. But really it flows in that direction as part of the stream. It is not apart from the rest of the stream. What it feels as its will is the will of the stream.
will said…
That's pretty good. You can almost feel the push and pull of abstract and concrete. The ego won't let it go at that, you just have to decide to stop the debate (turn off the ego); clarification if needed will come through the Holy Spirit.

The thing about the ego is it never stops. By the time you have caught yourself being manipulated and congratulate yourself it is already coming in the back door. Thought becomes the problem or is the problem.
will said…
This is really the crux of the difficulty of ACIM. It has to give equal weight to our personal experience and to the one split mind. We start out trying to learn the course with the individual mind and right away we run into trouble. Learning the course is a delicate balance of ego and Holy Spirit. Study the text but equally give time to meditation (Holy Instant).
Unknown said…
Thanks, Will, I always find your comments helpful. " the reality of your mind is the loveliest of God's creations ".
Christine said…
Yes, I find "it" bringing up "the same old stuff" nowadays...I recognize it right away....I look at it, acknowledge it, then know I don't want to "go there" anymore! Same subject matter: a family issue, if only this, or that...not going to listen whole heartedly anymore...I say, "Yes, it would be nice if that would be resolved, or if this happened..." but then I move on, with the HS now. It is becoming automatic.
Milo Anderson said…
Free will means the ability to make choices without any restrains. People need the freedom to decide for themselves. Ultimately everything happens for a reason and by the will of God

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