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 (http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2016/12/what-if-you-knew-that-ending-was-happy.html), 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: http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2015/03/in-flow-of-universe.html and http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2015/04/one-story.html). 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.
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