“There is freedom; nor indeed can any creature be rational, unless he be endowed with free will. For that which has the natural use of reason has the faculty of discriminative judgment, and of itself distinguishes what is to be shunned or desired. Now, everyone seek what he judges desirable, and avoids what he thinks should be shunned. Wherefore, beings endowed with reason possess also the faculty of free choice and refusal. But I suppose this faculty not equal alike in all. The higher divine essences possess a clear-sighted judgment, an uncorrupt will, and an effective power of accomplishing their wishes. Human souls must needs be comparatively free while they abide in the contemplation of the Divine Mind, less free when they pass into bodily form, and still less again when they are en-wrapped in earthly members.” ~Boethius
Freedom and Free Will
It is impossible to do either good or evil if you don’t have any free will. A good deed is good only if you choose to do it. Therefore, we have to be able to choose. That doesn’t mean, however that we have free choice in everything. We can’t choose to stop breathing for hours at a time. We can’t choose completely stop eating. But we can choose, within legal restriction, what we eat.
Boethius says different beings have different degrees of free will. That makes perfect sense to me.
Degrees of Free Will
In a typical business, the average worker has very limited freedom. He must do his job according to what the supervisor tells him. The supervisor, and other managers have a little more freedom in the workplace. The President or CEO has the most freedom of all.
Free will in general operates much the same way. The most advanced beings have the greatest amount of freedom, the more primitive and materialistic have less. But to some degree, there is a catch-22 to this.
Angels and beings of light have the greatest amount of freedom of all. Because they are just below God in the universal hierarchy, they must. The catch is, they are less likely to make use of that free will than other beings. Because of their position in the universe, they know that the best thing to do in all circumstances is obey the Will of God. God knows more than they do. Lower beings that are part spirit and part matter (us) have less freedom because they ave forgotten how to know the will of God. So for the safety of the whole universe, their free will must be limited We can’t have some idiot deciding to make the moon disappear because it is keeping him awake. But your free to choose which shirt to wear.
Moving on Up
The good news is that if you want more freedom, more free will, you can get it. You simply have to climb to higher levels on the ladder of spiritual consciousness. The higher you get, the more free will you will have. But freedom isn’t everything. Sometimes it’s best to let the expert make the decisions. God is the ultimate expert.