Even before birth, man has a character and an inheritance that determines to a large extent who he is and what he will become. This is, of course, the soul.
The soul is God’s creation. It is unique in its relation to a given being, but it is not a completely unique construct as such. Rather, it is a divine inheritance that is the product of Millenniums of inner development and refinement. It comes from the continuous flow of life and God. It is in the process of refinement on this earth, and on this earth, future souls are planned and created in the divine plan. The soul is not a mechanistic creation removed from the life-forming process. It is not “implanted” into man as a surgeon would implant an artificial organ. Rather, it is part of the natural order and a development made in this world, as much as it is removed from this world and a part of the higher transcendent order, as this world is as natural as it is transcendent.
Man reaches perfection when his inherited soul is allowed to express itself as it is. There is no “ideal” man for all live up to, nor are there “ideal” archetypes nor absolute ideals that can be expressed the same way for all individuals. Rather, a man’s ideal exists solely within, and it is his duty to express his ideal in the world in which he exists in such a way that his given world allows. Although man does not have absolute imperatives that necessitate given actions or ways of life before an initial movement on his part, he he has a duty to recognize within himself a given, dominant tendency within his inherited being, and to synthesize his actions so as to put himself in positive relation with the divine order that has been bestowed upon the earth from the dawn of time.
This process of recognition involves both an inner and outer realization that occur simultaneously within a being. The two poles of man’s inner self and the outer expression of this self exist in one world and are not removed from each other. Therefore, man cannot “act” in the higher sense without first recognizing his higher principle, which seeks both inward and outward expression. A man cannot claim to be A, while his actions express B. The soul cannot be in one place, while the body is in another. They are necessarily interconnected and work together to create the reality that one exists in. Therefore, upon recognizing an “inner tendency,” one moves towards a path of action in a given framework with the goal of expressing one’s inner perfection in the world. Through acting, one also hopes to make the world perfect, one again, from the perfection that one has resting in one’s self.
This type of thinking impresses on a new reader a sense of “fatalism.” In the modern world, many find themselves acting without a sense of one’s inner perfection nor with a sense of one’s meaning in the world at large. Today, the concept of “free will” has been reduced not to one’s own “right of action” but rather mere “reaction.” In a world over-saturated with stimuli and where reflection is frowned upon many simply seek out sources of this “positive” stimuli and enjoy their interaction with it without ever opening up their higher faculties and sensing any sort of meaning in thinking or actions. To clarify that is not simply preaching on my part, there is of course no imperative for them to do so. It is, of course, up to the person to decide whether to find these things.
Again, many today feel like living in the way described above sounds “enslaving” or”fateful.” The idea of having an inborn, let alone pre-born, character is an anathema to many who follow the modern way of thinking. Some even posit that one’s character is “one’s own creation” or that one “can be whatever one makes oneself.” They believe these things without limits, reaching for the stars without even first having their feet firmly planted on the ground. Freedom, though, is a two-way street. Before one can seek true freedom in the outer world, one first needs the inner recognition of one’s own limits and one’s dominating tendency or way of acting. By doing this first, one understands freedom not to “be whatever one wants to be” at a given time, but rather, to be the best possible outward expression of one’s given self in the world which one lives. This requires roots: something that men are often not born with today and believe to be the very antithesis of freedom.
Many philosophers have debated on the truth of “free will” or “determinism,” both dogmatically competing to prove absolute supremacy over each other in the world at large. Ironically, both of these ideas have become manifest in modern thinking and delusion. How often does one hear the two positions of the “freedom to create one’s character” and the notion of “progress” posited together? The most extreme version of an “individual freedom” and a notion of an absolute direction of history have become popular today, and nobody notices this blatant contradiction?
The silliness of these two contradictory notions aside, one can recognize the role of “free will” in a being to mean the choice one has to choose the conditions where one’s qualities are expressed in the outside world and not to mean the ability to choose in a sort of vacuum whatever one imagines. The freest will is also not one that has the most of what it wants nor one that does not suffer denial but rather the will that best expresses the inheritance given to it in a tradition or way of life that is best suited to it for its mission.