~Invictus, William Ernest Henley
Generalities about Free Will, Destiny and Karma
Many people at one point or another in their lives stop to ask if they really have free will or if everything that happens during their lives is just some type of interface with destiny. Some even question if we have free will at all. The answer to these questions is: yes, we do have free will.
What many fail to realize is that every human being, and even certain sentient animals, came to life equipped with Free Will; what varies is the degree one can express and live their Free Will.
Inexorably, Free Will is intimately related to the Law of Karma: you are responsible for the ripples resulting from your acts. The Law of Karma is not a punitive law, but it is a law of balance. This is the reason it is known as the Law of Cause and Effect. Mankind has the right to a degree of Free Will, through the choosing of its actions and concrete realizations, contributing greatly in the shaping of its destiny. In one way, the destiny of someone is nothing more than the resultant summary of one’s work, actions and thoughts during a life time, under the auspicious care of Karma.
On another hand, we may pause to explain a concept that may seem a bit complex at first. This is the Dharmic side of Destiny. Just as everyone takes upon a physical existence in this lifetime and receives the right of Free Will, so to do they also receive a Dharma. While the notion of Dharma involves the idea of life purpose and Divine mission, it also expresses itself as retribution and freedom. When one reaches a point where one is able to live deeply the design of their Dharma, one would have balanced one’s karma enough to be able to upgrade the level of consciousness and awareness, therefore allowing the individual to expand the degree of Free Will.
There is a close relationship between the expansion of one’s consciousness and the expansion of the individual Free Will. It does not mean that other individuals, with a reduced level of awareness and consciousness, will be impeded to exercise what they think they have the right to do. It means that there will be accumulation of Karma that, in one way or another and at some point in time, will have to come to be balanced. This is part of a greater Cosmic Law, the Law of Evolution.
"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it.
You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
You are responsible for your rose…"
~The Little Prince
It is necessary step for humans to evolve to be in contact with duality and to experience themselves as a Divine part of God, gathering the results of experiences in the realms of Good and Evil. It is only through this experience that one can work towards expansion of consciousness,
The right to choose allows us to act our Free Will in the world, but does not give anyone the right to violate any other cosmic law, or anyone’s right to exist and act. Every law corresponds to an action and a reaction; exercising Free Will undermining or depriving others of theirs will undoubtedly result in balancing consequences.
In this way, we see that the concept of Free Will does not damage or invalidate the idea of Destiny. Instead, it complements it; since we are the builders of our life plan and Masters of our Destiny. We have the right to choose how our earthly paths will be traced and we will also have the chance to enact the Divine part of our life existence and realize in full our Dharmic program.
Undoubtedly, the higher the development of consciousness and understanding of the works of the immutable laws that maintain the balance of the Universe, the easier is to understand these concepts and to free yourself from the traps of duality. Once this level is reached, the Soul also will have conquered Karma and its effects, and therefore graduate from Earth School.
This is the Path of Self-realization.