F R E E W I L L
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, March 28, 2006
Urusvati knows that We do not approve of artificial or mechanical methods of achievement. All the best things come naturally. In ancient days, when man's nature was coarser, certain artificial methods were sometimes needed to discipline the free will and to create and support the bond with the Higher World. But it is certainly very clear that man may know all numbers, memorize all sacred names, and learn all the secret meanings of the alphabet, yet by doing so he will contribute very little to the evolution of mankind.
The gifts of nature are more precious when they are received naturally and as the result of previous accumulations. Science will approach Higher Knowledge through such observations. It is essential to acknowledge to what extent nature assists evolution. To force is to act fanatically, or in other words, against nature, and only the consciousness can reveal when one learns and works for all humanity.
Supermundane I, 246.
One should in no way violate the free will of people. The Teaching of Light transforms life when the spirit voluntarily recognizes the necessity of ascent. Therefore, do not burden others with admonitions. People will improve and attain by themselves. In the history of mankind one can see how the spirit of people finds its way toward Light. By its light each spirit finds the path in its own way. Many are unwilling to accept everything proffered, seeking by themselves some secret approach to Truth. One must exercise the greatest care with such independent aspirants; not everyone likes the principle of a chorus. Observation will prompt the most appropriate measures. However, one must calmly accept human peculiarities. Even grains of sand differ from one another. But who should revere individuality if not the servants of Light! Thus, one should establish nothing by force. It is said, “Though today a man may not search for Light, tomorrow he may weep for it.”
Fiery World I, 622.
The present time demands different conditions in all of life. In the letters of the Mahatmas, which are being translated, one can see how Our Guidance, which took place in accordance with the highest plan, was farthest away from earthly actions. The law of free will does not permit approach to the immediate actions. But now the conditions of the planet have changed, the norms of the law are strained. We must look for measures of close guidance, cautiously straining the essence of free will. Thus, the task becomes very complicated. Even the slightest infringement of the free will leads to the most ramified consequences.
Urusvati knows the true meaning of influences. Man constantly experiences the effects of many influences, from astro-chemical rays and cosmic currents, to the flow of human thought — everything can uplift or repress the consciousness. It will be asked, “How then can the free will act if man is enslaved by so many different influences?” To such a question you will often have to reply, “The free will determines the main direction of man’s activity. If the will directs him to the creativity of good and to the common welfare, man can develop such a strong magnet that the most powerful influences will become his helpers.”
Supermundane IV, 872.
Urusvati knows about the limitlessness of all mental processes, of which the free will is one. By means of the free will people can oppose even cosmic forces. Be not surprised if I tell you that even cosmic laws can be shaken by the efforts of free will, which is why there are so many karmic misfortunes. Instead of following the cosmic way, people provoke great upheavals, and by the insistency of their free will affect the harmony of Cosmos.
Supermundane II, 445.
The most negative manifestation of free will is seen in outbursts of war. People refuse to think about the terrible currents they evoke by mass murder and the consequences it will bring. ? How sad We are to see free will, which was bestowed as the Highest Gift, manifested in this horrible, uncontrolled way.
Supermundane I, 88.
Urusvati knows the true meaning of willfulness. Some people do not understand the difference between willfulness and the free will, though there is a distinct difference. Free will, properly applied, acts according to the law of cosmic rhythm. It produces good, whereas willfulness produces disharmony. One who lapses into willfulness can cause unimaginable calamities.
Supermundane IV, 899.
Urusvati knows how the free will is transformed in higher spheres into cooperation with Cosmic Mind. It is difficult for people to understand this process. Some think that the free will is suppressed, while others think that it simply disappears. There are various explanations, but it is quite rare to find an understanding of the harmony that occurs in which the power of thought is consolidated. There can be no slavery or force in this process—only attunement with Infinity.
Similarly, it is difficult for people to understand that the free will also exists in the Subtle World. They do not want to acknowledge that the Subtle World is like the physical one, but of another dimension. Those who have already achieved discipline in the earthly life and understand the meaning of harmony, can apply these achievements in the Subtle World immediately after their passing. Such a consciousness is called blessed wings, for it accelerates one’s evolution.
Supermundane III, 467.
Urusvati knows that it is especially difficult for people to reconcile the seemingly contradictory concepts of free will and guidance. Some cry for the elimination of the idea of leaders, and others object to freedom of the will, but life itself reveals that only equilibrium permits progress and advances evolution.
In daily life one can see how both concepts can coexist harmoniously. The teacher presents a certain task and adds, “Apply all your abilities in order to make better decisions.” This simple example illustrates how peacefully both concepts can exist together. Guidance simply develops the free will and, in turn, the free will, in its development, accepts the role of guidance. But everyone will have to return to this question many times.
People, it seems, divide themselves into two irreconcilable camps. The lovers of free will call those who follow teachers regressive, and those who adhere to the principle of guidance call the lovers of free will destroyers! Such is the misunderstanding that deprives people of the best possibilities. One should seek the unifying concept that can reconcile these extremes, and contemplate life in infinity, under whose dome all concepts are united. In this way measures will be revealed that can eradicate arbitrary divisions.
It is essential that a real teacher should encourage the free will, and a prudent pupil, while exercising his free will, will learn to value the importance of the teacher. You may note how often We return to discussing the seeming opposition of guidance and the free will. People must learn to reconcile these inseparable concepts. A better future depends upon the harmony of opposites. Those who do not want to understand this salutary doctrine expose themselves to much suffering. The teacher cannot change the stubbornness of the pupil if there is no room for the exercise of good will. Good will is free will.
The Thinker pointed out that goodness, freedom, and beauty live under one roof.
Supermundane III, 485.
Urusvati knows that the free will is of value only when it is truly free. Pitiable is the madman who imagines himself to be free, when in reality he is burdened with all kinds of fetters. Can the will be called free when it is blind and deaf, and crawls in the mire of prejudice?
They will ask, “What kind of life is it when on each step one meets with ignorance in its most criminal forms?” Indeed, humanity has chained itself with heavy fetters. All through life, even in the cradle, man is subjected to fabrications that have nothing in common with reality. There is often more wisdom in fairy-tales than in the opinions of people. True, it is unavoidable for one to encounter ugly monsters, yet the free will will liberate one from fear and lead beyond all obstacles.
Freedom of spirit is the gate into the Supermundane World. One’s entire earthly life can be transformed through the manifestation of the free will. A free man will not dispute with ignoramuses, but will offer them alms in such a way that they will not even notice it, though this small generosity will help them on the way to the Supermundane World. Everyone passes on this way, and the free will is a wise leader. But be certain that the will is truly free.
The Thinker warned, “Do not turn the luminous gift of free will into a kind of madness.”
Supermundane IV, 778.
And it is also said, “The scales of man’s karma affirm their measurement of free will.” That is to say that the quality of karma reveals either a high or low degree of a person's will. The will is the main factor and creator for all that exists. Thus, man is punished or rewarded, not by the High Forces, or Divinity, but is drawn to this or that environment or sphere only because of the affinity of the atoms that enter the whirl of his aura with the atoms of the corresponding spheres. It is said that karma cannot overburden a harmonious body; therefore, let us strive to perfect our energies. Perfectment will lead to balance, or harmony.
Letters Of Helena Roerich II, 8 June 1936.
I consider it necessary for Us simply to provide opportunities, for freedom of the will must not be violated. Whoever wishes to will understand! Explicit formulas should never be given. There must be room for free will.
Agni Yoga, 220.
We return many times to this concept of voluntariness. It is the foremost condition of discipline. The least thought about forcing destroys all achievements. Not only does the Teacher not compel, but the disciple also must not force himself. The discipline of Good is a self-generated joy.
Supermundane III, 559.
We must tell people about their free will, and not leave them with the idea that it is worthless. Free will is the highest gift, and the time has come for people to learn how to use it.
The Thinker taught about free will, which can make man divine.
Supermundane II, 258.