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Do we have free will?

I have been asked by Geoff and Ginny to talk for a whole hour on my
understanding of weather we have a will, and if that was all I had to talk about, my
speech would be very short, as I can answer that in one word: yes.

However, I would like to delve a little deeper and try to ascertain if that will is free
or not, and that is a question that have kept philosophers arguing for thousands of
years. So obviously we do not have the right paradigm in the worlds as yet, to
understand the whole concept. So I looked around for a different one that appear to
supply a better answer than the one we have so far.

So I checked out quantum theology, and found that they do have an answer, but it
is not one that fits easily into our current paradigm as the answer is in fact a
paradox, but we will get to that in due course.

Quantum theology:
A good place to start is with a brief overview of the basic concepts we're dealing
with. It's important to point out that we're not just talking about ideas here, but
about the very nature of God and creation itself. This isn't a frivolous mind-game
for egg-heads either. The book of Proverbs exhorts us to get understanding. Our
understanding of God and creation affects the way we relate to the Godhead and
our world.

So the two main established camps are predestination and free will.

PREDESTINATION: In the New Testament the concept is applied only to God


and expresses the thought of appointing a situation for a person, or a person for a
situation, in advance. It means that God has already decided everyone's "fate"
before the creation of the world. Everything's a done deal, even before it's done.
It's what we mean when we refer to God as sovereign. In fact, it's one of the things
that makes God God.

FREE-WILL: This refers to the idea that we humans can actually choose our
destinies, that the outcome depends upon our actions. It means that our personal
futures are open, as yet unmade. Our destinies are shaped by our own decisions.
It's what our experience says is the case and what ultimately distinguishes us from
the rest of creation. Genuine freedom is crucial to our understanding of what
makes us human.

If the Good Book had weighed in on one side or the other, we'd have no problem.
(Well, actually we'd have a whole other set of problems, but that's not our
problem.) Yet the Bible clearly and vigorously advocates both. In a nutshell, here's
what the Scriptural battle line looks like:

Predestination Free will


"No one can come to Me, unless the "I am the door; if anyone enters
Father who sent Me draws him" (John through Me, he shall be saved"
6:44) (John 10:9)
So then He has mercy on whom He God desires all men to be saved and
desires, and He hardens whom He desires to come to the knowledge of the
(Ro 9:18) truth (1 Tim. 2:4)
"You did not choose Me, but I chose you" "Choose for yourselves today whom
(John 15:16) you will serve" (Josh 24:15)
He predestined us to adoption as sons
"If anyone wishes to come after Me,
through Jesus Christ to Himself,
let him deny himself, and take up his
according to the kind intention of His will
cross, and follow Me (Matt. 16:24)
(Eph 1:5)
The problem, of course, is that they can't both be true at the same time. If God has
already decided my future, I'm not free to choose it. And if I'm free to choose, God
clearly can't have locked it in ahead of time. How are we to handle this?

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To reconcile these contrary ideas, philosophers and theologians have often resorted
to fudging definitions. In some discussions, predestination is no longer pre-
emptive determination, but rather God's simple foreknowledge of all freely-chosen
outcomes.

He knows what we'll choose, but does not force us to do it. (For example, knowing
that my kids will use the toilet before bedtime does not mean I'm causing them to
do it.) The Bible does indeed affirm God's foreknowledge but clearly distinguishes
it from predestination (see Romans 8:29).

In other attempts at reconciliation, free-will is only sort of free. The narrowest


interpretation suggests that we may choose, but only what God has already decided
we will choose. It's like a multiple-choice question with only one answer option:

1. Free-will means
a) choosing the inevitable

A slightly looser perspective suggests that our specific choices may be free, but
only within predetermined boundaries. Think of riding the dodgem cars at the fair:
you can steer the little car anyway you want within the electrified arena. In this
version, God allows you to choose your path; but, alas, all paths lead to the same
place.

There is a third approach to harmonizing these stubborn polarities which avoids


cheating. Unfortunately, it also avoids answering. Briefly put, we might as well
forget it. Nobody can figure it out. As a Reformed document poetically declares,
"Predestination and free agency are the twin pillars of a great temple, and they
meet above the clouds where the human gaze cannot penetrate." Lofty, but
somewhat unsatisfying for inquiring minds.

For two thousand years or more this whole discussion has been locked in the realm
of the merely philosophical. It was idea versus idea, interpretation versus
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interpretation, and like speculating on the number of angels that can dance on the
head of a pin.

But now, a new paradigm is emerging. I offer you an amazing feat of doctrinal
dexterity, one not only firmly rooted in Biblical orthodoxy, but brilliantly
illuminated by hard, experimental science. Welcome to the world of quantum
theology where the impossible is indeed possible and where infinite contradictions
live together happily ever after.

Quantum physics is the science of the inconceivably small. It deals with events at
the sub-atomic level which form the building blocks for everything we experience
as the material universe. In the quantum neighbourhood we meet a menagerie of
odd players with funny names like quarks, leptons, and bosons.

Since the 1920's, with the advance of technology, physicists have made a number
of amazing – and strange – discoveries. Many of them run counter to our sense of
how the world actually works. In fact, the more we learn about quantum reality,
the more we begin to question assumptions about our own. It turns out that the
universe is far stranger than we had thought. We are truly Alice in Wonderland
where the wildly unorthodox explains the orthodox.

One of the best known implications of quantum theory is uncertainty. In 1927 a


man named Heisenberg argued that the key physical quantities position and
momentum are linked. As a result, they cannot be accurately measured at the same
time. The more precisely one is measured, the less precisely measured is the other.

Take an electron, for example. Because it's so small, any method for measuring its
position would alter its momentum. The energy used to locate it would also change
its speed. In the same way, methods for measuring the velocity of the electron
result in uncertainty about its precise location. In other words, we can know either
of these two things about the electron, but not both at the same time.

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Some scientists believed that this was simply a limitation of our measuring
techniques. But Heisenberg took a more radical view. He believed that this
limitation is a property of nature itself, not the result of imperfect experimentation.
We don't know both because we can't know both. According to Heisenberg, the
mystery is built into the machine. Uncertainty is certain.

One of the most intriguing experimental observations concerns the nature of light.
The question was whether light was made up of distinct particles ("quanta" or
"photons") or behaved in a wave-like manner like sound or radio. In experiments
designed to test for wave-like properties, light created interference patterns just
like waves do (like converging ripples in a pond). Particles don't do that. So, light
is a wave-form.

However, when experiments tested for particles, it was found that light was indeed
made up of little, well-defined packets of energy. Photons are real and not at all
like a wave. The conclusion: light is a particle.

Both conclusions are verified by experiment. Light doesn't seem to mind that it
breaks the rules. We get what we're looking for.

The next step in this quantum worldview is even stranger. If light waves can act
like particles, might there be situations in which sub-atomic particles acted like
waves? A French physicist named Prince Louis de Broglie decided to find out. He
discovered that, if a beam of electrons is passed through a pair of slits, diffraction
and interference appear – exactly what we'd expect of waves. If the beam is slowed
to a single electron (particle) at a time, the detector on the other side of the slits
will still gradually build a trace that looks like an interference or wave pattern.

This is impossible to explain. If each electron goes through either one slit or the
other, the pattern would look very different. The appearance of the interference
pattern suggests that they don't simply go through one slit or the other. Does each
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particle somehow "know" where to line up by studying the paths of previous
electrons? More bizarre, the results seem to imply that not only light, but all
subatomic citizens have two distinct natures. This observation, known as the
Wave-Particle Duality, indicates that two "contradictory" realities can exist as
one.

Schrödinger's Cat
As we've discussed, quantum uncertainty means that we can't know for sure where
an electron will end up. All we can determine is the probability of finding one in
one location rather than another. (The picture on your television, which is created
by an electron gun, is only a probability.) True, a particle may actually end up
someplace, but the distribution of all possible outcomes described mathematically
looks like a wave. This mathematical description, formulated in 1925 by Erwin
Schrödinger, is known as the Schrödinger Wave Equation.

According to Schrödinger's equation, the final outcome may be determinate (the


electron's ultimate location), but we can only know what that is by measuring.
However, as we've also noted, the act of measuring affects the outcome we record.
As long as we don't look, the whole spectrum of possibilities remains intact; when
we peek, the wave function collapses. The act of observation transforms the
world of possibility into one of destiny.

The problem of the relationship between measurement and reality is illustrated by


a famous thought-experiment involving a poor cat. (Remember, cat-lover's, this is
just a thought experiment!)

The cat is in a box together with a canister of poisonous gas connected to a


radioactive device. If an atom in the device decays, the canister is opened and the
cat dies. Suppose that there is a 50-50 chance of this happening. Clearly when we
open the box we will observe a cat that is either alive or dead. But is the cat alive
or dead prior to the opening of the box?

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According to the dominant view (what is known as the Copenhagen
interpretation), the probabilities become determinate only on measurement. This
means that the cat is neither alive nor dead until the box is opened. The cat is in an
indeterminate state. It merely has some probability of being alive or dead. Until
the wave function collapses, there is simply no reality to be described. When we
open the box, the wave crashes and the cat is one or the other.

This interpretation raises all sorts of problems. How could both states be true at
once? Maybe electrons can cross-dress, but a cat? And at just what level does the
wave function actually collapse? Why should we assume that our observation is
responsible for the collapse of the wave function? What level of consciousness is
needed to determine something? Is the cat conscious enough to fix the outcome of
the experiment? Doesn't it know whether it's dead or alive?

Perhaps God collapses the wave function: For example the Godhead conceives
("Let there be light!") and it appears as all other unrealized options evaporate
forever. If this is so, wouldn't his divine foresight be sufficient to predestine?
(Somebody get me an aspirin.)

You are here (probably)


You may well ask, what do free-will and predestination have to do with
Schrödinger's cat? Just this: the world of quantum physics demonstrates that
irreconcilable realities do not necessarily need to be "reconciled." Contrary to
human logic, conflicting ideas or beliefs that cannot be brought into harmony may
be equally true.

We do have the power of making free choices that are unconstrained by divine
will. God has foreordained all things and is working out everything in conformity
with the purpose of his will (So says the bible in Ephesians 1:11). The particles of

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our unrestricted capacity for self-determination co-exist with the wave of the
Godhead’s absolute and meticulous sovereignty. But they cannot be reconciled.

Quantum theology may help us negotiate other divine incompatibilities too, like
love and wrath, grace and judgment, or faith and works, to mention a few. It might
even help us entertain the greatest enigma of all: Jesus Christ the God/Man.
Moreover, quantum theology might shed light on troubling disparities like
unanswered prayer, unfulfilled promises, and the fate of those who never hear the
Gospel.

But it would be a mistake to assume that all questions have answers. Heisenberg's
uncertainty principle reminds us that the root of existence is mystery, and it's here
that quantum theology joins hands with its classical sibling. There are things we
simply cannot know, not because we lack information, but because mystery is the
foundation of knowledge itself. It's woven into the very fabric of being. As the
writer of proverbs reminds us, it is deep respect for that mystery that opens the
way to true wisdom.

And so, perhaps, ignorance and knowledge can ultimately co-exist too. The
Apostle Paul speaks of holding to the mystery of the faith, the mystery now
revealed in the form of an even greater mystery: Christ in us, the hope of glory.
The mystery can indeed be articulated, even verified, but it cannot be reduced. The
Psalmist understood this and sang: Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is
too high, I cannot attain to it (139:6). Genius may be recognizing that it is the
things we cannot see that give substance to the things we can.

So far so good for the big picture, but there is other aspects I’d like to mention
which is much closer to us than the broader concepts of quantum theology. That of
individual will and volition as arising from thought.

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So we ask ourselves how free are our choices, do we have free will? Do we
actively choose what makes us free? We need to consider the influence of ego,
higher ego, emotions and discarnate entities on our choices.

In order to see if our choices are an active participation in free will we need to
exercise discernment in each of the above categories.

Discernment means that we should consciously and carefully evaluate our own
thoughts to check if these are positive and constructive for the good of all.

Ego (or body consciousness) – which is concerned with decisions about our
material wellbeing, social status, and being successful. About making choices that
maintain the status quo to suit the ego. The ego will make us feel insecure, so we
try to bolster it up by buying the best of everything. We aim to keep up
appearances and maintain or increase our social standing, sometimes by belittling
others to get there. There need not be a great conflict between the little and higher
ego, although the aim may be the same the reasons and the pathway may be quite
different. The higher ego looks at lessons as a whole as development of talents
whereas the little ego may exploit these talents to its own end. The higher self
works in concert whereas the little ego takes over.

Higher self (Higher ego) – can show you what is the best choices, but it doesn’t
make you do these, unless specifically asked to help. I’m unsure of its jurisdiction
– but I think it can show you your life plan blue print, but we can choose to follow
directives or not.

Higher self – Discernment


You can only make a free will choice if you are aligned with your higher self. Ask
yourself if your choice reflects the choice that is for the good of all.

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Emotions
Emotions are created by our body’s chemical cocktail resulting from the interplay
of our chakras. Strong emotions can override reason and we then make choices
that reflect that state. We often allow our choices to be influenced by negative
emotions such as fear, fear of loss, of love and personal rejections. Ego and
emotions are somewhat tied together, emotions can be activated by the ego in
order for it to get you moving in the direction it wants to go. We also tend to be
influenced by the positive emotions we have experienced, the ones that appear to
bring rewards and this will undoubtedly influence future choice to appear to be
free ones.

Emotional - Discernment
Refrain from making decisions when emotionally upset, or experiencing any
strong emotion. Gather your energies into your heart chakra for a while so that
your energetic system may become balanced, then make an impartial choice.

Our choice of actions are often a reaction to circumstances we find ourselves, that
is, karmic situations that come into play in our life, but we make decisions based
on emotional defence mechanisms and we may think we are free to choose, but
they are not free choices, but just reactions.

[Entities]
Most people are not aware of where their thoughts originate from and why. They
have not developed the deeper sensitivity to determine this. Therefore, there is the
danger that any thought thrown our way from an outside agency, however
spiritually evolved that outside entity may be, will gain ownership inside us. I say
danger with good reason.

If the discarnate entity is not very evolved we may become its playground, and
vehicle for working off its Karma, which is not our own. This is not allowed in

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polite spiritual realms and I know that the hierarchy of spiritual beings that works
through me wage a constant war on this kind of behaviour. We don’t easily know if
some discarnate entity is using our body as a vehicle to work off their Karma.

[Entities - Discernment]
We have to bring greater thought to any action we choose and discern if it has
arisen from our own self or from an outside influence. I we do not discern our
thought patterns we leave ourselves wide open to outside influences and possible
abuse. Our actions will not be our own and we may suffer physical pain and
mental cloudiness as we cannot reconcile our being with our thoughts and
consequent actions. Entities are attracted to us when we experience strong
emotions. If we actively refuse to comply with the choice presented to us by an
entity, and/or are sensitive enough to feel the presence in our system of such an
entity. We may actively try to remove it. The entity may spitefully and actively
cause pain as it is chased around our energetic system.

So how will we know if our thoughts are our own? We need to ask ourself a few
questions, and often.

Am I experiencing spirallic or circular thought forms that may be caused by the


smaller ego or a discarnate entity.
Does my choice feel right, is it for the good of all?
Are my thoughts full of negativity and weighed down by depression?

The more thought we bring to bear on any decision we make, however small, will
effectively eliminate a discarnate entity’s ability to curb our thought patterns to
their desires, if these differ from our own. If we make it a habit to discern our
reasons for willing anything, it will soon prove impossible for a discarnate entity
to use us ‘against’ our will so to speak, they will give up trying, and we will be free
of such influences.

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Conclusion
The concept of having free or not so free will are both correct.
But...
At any given moment we have the power to choose how we feel about anything,
and this can change a situation. That is the only truly free choice we have.

The energy bound up in any given situation, can if we chose become liberated and
be redirected and this may affect change.

Ultimately we are free to choose to move closer towards freedom of choice


inherent in the godhead.

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