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 Against the Free Will 

contra voluntam liberam

©  Wim van den Dungen
Antwerp, 2017.

On the will

On the freedom of the will

On the chaos of free will

On the uselessness of free will

On human servitude & viceregency

On free Self-will and compassion

On the personification of chaos

My Essay on Theodicy conjectures a radical monism beyond tales (the essence of God is one Sheer Being and so ineffable - cf. Ibn'Arabî ; see also : YHVH, 1995 and On Being and the Majesty of the Worlds, 1999). The Absolute is not exclusively good (there is evil in Divinity). If we ascribe "goodness" to God then surely nothing is as good as God and absolute evil is not (cf. ps.-Dionysius the Areopagite & Scottus Eriugena). This radical monism is not determinist. Freedom is defined as our nondetermined ability to do evil when left to ourselves (cf. Augustine). The free will being understood as beyond any possible category of determination (like causality). 

It glorifies God's Mercy to stress the return of all to All, implying unity in the beginning (before creation), unity in the permutations (creation) and unity at the end (after creation). Hence, eventually all evil will return to God who wishes the happiness of every creature (cf. Origen's "apocatastasis" and the "cooling of the fire" in Sufi eschatology). Evil is integrated in the harmony of all possible Divine Names (cf. Ibn'Arabî on the "hidden treasure" and the base Archetypes). 

Our personal freedom lies in not being evildoers. 

 On the will 

The Ancient Greek philosophers had no word for "will". To them, to make a decision was the result of some vital or intellectual process (the former was bridled and the latter stimulated). The notion of a psychic faculty enabling humans to move something (inner or outer) without the activity of a (good) reason or cause was not part of their anthropology. In more contemporary terms (taking into account the fact that causation is not the only category of determination - cf. Bunge) the Greeks did not consider the possibility of a nondetermined ability to do or not to do something. Freedom was not the power to change without any other determining factor. Humans often pretend to be what they are not (cf. "hubris"). Clearly this anthropology mainly focused on the activities of reason and Greek individuality was always socially embedded. This partly explains the pessimism, fear & irrationalism encountered in Late Hellenism when the traditional city-states collapsed and a vast territory appeared which did not seem to be a safe haven to people used to be sheltered by a "polis". 

Let us for the moment consider the will dissociated from freedom. Will as the power of choice to do or not to do something made probable by a given set of vital needs, emotions and/or (good) reasons. In a postmodern context the "determination" of this power of choice is not necessarily linked with "necessity", but rather with "probability". In scholastic & modern discourses will was subjective (cf. Augustine) and opposed to objective determination (as a type of natural power to limit). This mighty steering mechanism (cf. Assagioli), characterized by the power to execute probable changes in events other that itself, stands in-between emotions/thoughts and the volitional activities of the physical body. It acts as a translator between on the one side the fluid & the abstract (emotions & thoughts) and on the other the concrete & the firm (physical actions or absence of action). 

dim = 7 spiratic reality meta-noetic spirit
gnosis
mysticism spirit
dim = 6 noetic
reality
meta-mentals intellect
intuitions
metaphysics Self/soul
dim = 5 mental reality meta-emotion reason
thoughts
philosophical sciences ideal ego
realm of the will and its relative freedom
dim = 5 emotional reality meta-physicality imaginal
emotions
psycho-social sciences ego
dim = 4 physical reality physicality deeds
actions
physical sciences body/mind

The (strong) will is (to say the least) "determined" by the "necessities" of the emotional and meta-emotional (reasonable) faculties. It is fully integrated and part of the mental mechanisms and operators. It does not "invade" the "necessary" functions of the psyche and its continuous involvement with the physical body, which in nominal consciousness should not be suspended. To condemn the will to "freedom" interpreted as an absolutely nondetermined choice comes down to limiting its radius. For a strong will is foremost the concert of an integrated, conditioned precipitator of change AND the alert possibility of an immediate, nondetermined choice engendering unexpected actions (and their reflections in emotions & thoughts). The fluidity and ease of its bi-polar pendulum-mechanism and the multiple transferences it executes between "necessity" (probability) and "freedom" (nondetermined choice) are proof of its "intelligence". Humanity (as the most noble fruit of life's evolution on spaceship Earth ?) shares in the formidable work of life, and the integrated free will is surely the stronghold of a new kind of humanity able to perceive the advantages of a global multi-culture and the utter foolishness of the disruption of peace.

Will, although less individualized, is at work in the nonhuman kingdoms too. The sense of adaptation seen in parts of the vegetal realm suggests a collective steering mechanism executed by each member of the species as a gift of the natural evolution of life on Earth. In the animal kingdom some individuals are able to complexify in such a way that they take a different course of action or may acquire particular knowledge and modify the way they coordinate their movements, i.e. introduce alternative behavior. But this is more an exception than a rule. Both the vegetal & the animal realms are generally characterized by a relative lack of choice as shown by the necessity to safeguard these kingdom against human overexploitation & abuse.

Hence a "weak will" implies that even if one knows or feels that something needs to be done (or not done) one is unable to act on it (or not). Compare the will with the first navigator on a ship serving the course set by its captain (reason) and the latter's personal touch (emotions) needed to steer his vessel as he projects & likes it. A "strong will" materializes the projects & appetites of the captain, and this against all possible resistances which try to cause the ship to deviate from its intended course & style of breaking water. In this interpretation, the will is foremost (under the sway of the grand scheme of the evolution of life of which every living entity is part) the motor of all possible human activities under the probabilities of reason and particular idiosyncratic emotional patterns.

Another image. Will as the conductor, reason as the most probable score and emotions suggesting the atmosphere to be evoked to touch the listeners. Both the score & the evocative qualities of the music influence the will who executes and performs (in the emotions feedback may occur). Then "to will" is to precipitate an entity which did not yet exist before resistances were broken and shape was given to fluid & abstract possibilities.

 On the freedom of the will 

In the "Weltanschauung" of the Ancient Greeks it was expected that individuals conformed to the intransient, given order of being. One had to acquire (cf. "Bildung") this objective reality by an intellectual, cognitive effort. Ontology was placed in front. Even in late Antiquity (neoplatonism) and in the writings of the Christian Platonic Marius Victorinus (cf. the disputes concerning Arianism - the question whether the Son is of the same substance as the Father) this view prevailed. 

Augustine also embraced Christianity. This did not make him less philosophical, although later in life he placed more emphasis on man's servitude and his dependence on Divine grace. Early he realized the consequences of the possibility of "a motion of the soul" ("voluntas est animi motus") which "cogente nullo" ("in absence of all possible coercion" - cf. De duabus Animabus, X.14) was able to acquire or relinquish something. In his Civitas Dei (V.10) he indicated that our acts of will are really ours and that all these acts do what they do because we will this. For they would no happen if we would not will them. A couple of lines later he adds : "Sed potestas Dei", i.e. the fact that we are able to will comes from God ... 

Each individual has the possibility of a "mala voluntas". Immoral acts are no longer attributed to disordered appetites (a mistake of Nature) or ignorance (lack of cognitive texture), i.e. to objectivity, but effects of a free cause defined as a "movement of the soul", i.e. a transient subjective state unprotected by the walls of the city-state or the necessities of an ontological order and its for all eternity fixed chain of beings. In the Enchiridion (VI.18) he acknowledged the possibility of knowingly doing wrong. The Socratic Oath was broken. Individual conscience came to the fore. If we ask : what was it that caused the free-will choice of evil ? the answer must be : (1) evil is the free-will choice to sin and (2) free-will choices have no causes. This Augustine rejected. Evil according to him is the result of free-will on the part of intelligent beings. The first evil will however must be totally outside reason & affect. Also Augustine's claim that God guides my will in such a way that His omnipotence & omniscience remain unhampered can not be maintained. For free will necessarily implies the "incomprehensible", i.e. an auto productive cause.

Augustine distinguished between "will" ("voluntas" - French "volonté") and "free will" ("liberum arbitrium" - French "libre arbitre"). When using "arbitrium" he aims at the conscious power of choosing among alternatives. "Voluntas" on the other hand defines the core of the moral personality and is wholly free and hence undetermined. For him the "will" is a general constitution only Divine grace alters. The "defective movement" of the will (making one turn away from God) leads to activities which run against the order of being. The "freedom" of the will makes the manifestations of the perversities possible, i.e. the free-will choice to evil that has no prior cause. But this "freedom" is a spurious enjoyment. It is a false freedom from which we are liberated as servants of God ("servi Dei"). God's Grace gives true freedom and that is the freedom not to sin. Hence the freedom of the will means that we are free to do evil if left to ourselves. In all other cases we do what God wants us to do and in that case (not unlike the angels) freedom equals necessity.

In scholastic (Christian) philosophy "necessity" was linked with "determination" (or "predestination" when projected in religious contexts). Freedom was understood as man's Divine gift par excellence. Because of this ability to choose, man could make a conscious choice to be what he really is (or turn away). As for the Medieval scholastics "nature" implied "necessity" (cf.Ptolemian cosmology and Aristotle on the heavenly spheres and the sub lunar), freedom was "subjective" and could "interfere" with the natural cycle (projected as a sort of Divine mechanism, "Deus ex machina" included). The subjective interpretation of the will (triggered by biblical concerns) bonded with an attitude of disapproval concerning the empirical study of nature. The direct influence of Arabic sciences (embedded in an Islam interpreting all of Nature as the "signs" of the Almighty) on the Italian Renaissance (which spread all over Europe) can no longer be denied (cf. the school of Padua & Averroism).

The Sunnite (orthodox) theology of predestination clashed with the Catholic doctrines regarding free choice. No compromise seemed possible. Absolute determinism and radical salvation "in Christ" could not be reconciled (in the same dimension of thought). If God has absolute foreknowledge then everything done by the will is part of Divine Consciousness and if that is the case then (from the standpoint of the Divine) clearly no being has "free will". Both systems of thought cherished a neoplatonic interpretation of "evil", i.e. chaos was not part of being but absence of being.

If we posit God's absolute foreknowledge, then there is no room left for any kind of "cause" outside of the Divine Comedy (not in potency and not in fact). Real free will and hence objective responsibility are only possible if God's foreknowledge is understood as part of a "process" (of autodivinification, i.e. the Play stage of the Divine Comedy for the sake of all possible being) and so only deemed "relative" (but nevertheless truly Divine, i.e. able to transmute, transform & transfigure states of matter, information & consciousness at Unified Will in all possible events). If we allow the antinomy of an absolutely foreknowing God (objectifying in Absolute Consciousness all potential -abstract- and actual -factual- events or happenings) AND a free creature able to assume identity and be responsible for its own actions, then no arguable spiritual metaphysics is possible. If God is relatively foreknowing (knows all abstractions but not all possible facts before they actually happen and then -instead of any creaturely perspective- knows them all at once), then we need to understand how Absolute Unity is maintained in an Absolute Consciousness able to limit Itself (namely by creating the possibility of another "causa sui"). This does not happens "outside the Unity of Being" but nevertheless suggests dimensional differences measuring a variety of modes of being.

The "freedom" of the will is its ability to be "causa sui". Spinoza (to name the "mature" version of rationalistic determinism) denied free will any existence. According to Spinoza only Nature, the One Substance or God Is the only Being able to create Itself. So Nature or God is the Only Necessary Being. Leaving only a tiny spark of voluntarism to the beings would deny Nature its absolute predestination. It was unthinkable that God moved. Hence "de more geometrico demonstrata" (algebra & differentials are excluded). An identical conclusion regarding free will was formulated by Luther in his De servio arbitrio (1524) : "we must go to extremes, deny free will altogether, and ascribe everything to God". In determinism (whether religious, metaphysical or scientific) a conservative "laissez-faire, laissez-passé"-mentality ensued because nothing and nobody is able to "change" the chain of determinations. Nothing is done besides that which absolutely follows all determinations (conditions) involved. No difference can be introduced. The pursuit of the wholly free & undetermined is useless. In the same style one argued that small causes generate small effects. The chaotic notion of a small cause engendering massive effects was too elliptical to be part of an overall linear approach to reality and man's place therein.

The freedom of a strong will is part of an integrated whole, namely the balanced interactions between intellect, reason, emotions and actions in general and the function of the bridging mechanisms of will in particular (allowing for the execution of the complex interactions between intellect, reason & emotion). This "freedom" is the ability to choose patterns of execution which differ from the ones dictated by enlightened reason or suggested by our imaginal. This ability is necessary to realize that reason & emotion alone are not sufficient conditions, so that reasonable & affectionate determinations are only partly responsible for what eventually happens as fact (concrete event). This realization frees us from certain of our animalistic settings (cf.the limbic system and its role as guardian of our emotional balance) and is even powerful enough to enlighten our reason with the important insight that reasonable determinations are not always sufficient

Thus a meta-level is suggested. A level beyond reason, emotion, (will) & action : the intellect. The freedom of the will is essential in the evolution of nominal humans (consciously operating on the first 5 dimensions of the cosmos and aware of only one focus of their consciousness, namely the empirical ego). By choosing one is able to realize the differences between the results of one's real, inner Self (operating on the 6th dimension) and the transient fancies of the ego and its ape, the mind (between the law of "my Lord" and "my law"). For every time a wrong choice is made (i.e. not based on Self-will) resistances built up and finally the system is unable to evolve (complexify) and fossilization ensues. It is this crucial role of our ability to choose which is denied in absolute determinism and religious predestination. It offers also the best pragmatical argument against it. For if nobody is responsible the notions of justice, righteousness & moral uprightness are absurdities, which by itself is an absurdity. Hence, free will exists.

The freedom of the will is limited by its strength (which is only possible if also reason & emotion come orderly into play). Enlightened reasons and satisfying emotional communions influence the will and partly direct it. The freedom of the will is initiated outside all determining conditions. Usually it operates through denial (mental negation, emotional disgust) but vehement affirmation also occurs. The ability to consciously integrate this crucial evolutionary mechanism is essential if consciousness wants to steer well on the waves of the Water of Life and its superdynamics between order & chaos. Does consciousness choose for the chaos which is opportune at the moment or is it the pigeon-whole wherein chaotic forces temporarily make havoc and tragi-comical histories are repeated ? The ego has the choice.

This brief analysis reveal three aspects of the "freedom of the will" :

(1) in nominal humans it is a necessary evolutionary mechanism with extremely random characteristics (suggestive of the complex and chaotic movements from which it emerges as an autonomous natural possibility). Its importance is such that at this level the ego is wholly "volitional", i.e. depending on the freedom of the will to rapidly adjust to new environments ;
(2) for those in need of a spiritual life (integrating the 6th dimension), this ability to execute life-long effects without anterior determinations my be a tough way to discover what precisely the effects of violating the scenario of the Divine Comedy are and (through rebounce) to grasp the impact of adding an egological string (by misusing the freedom of will) to the general schemes, namely : resistance, disasters, catastrophes, crisis, suffering of all kinds, unbalances & unhappiness (i.e. the traditional "natural" and "moral" evils). In this sense, the freedom of the will is a spirito-educational tool (cf. crisis & observation) ;
(3) when it is realized that one's freedom of will is actually the Self-will (6th dimension) which executes the predestined abstract within Absolute Consciousness (7th - 10th dimensions) then all purely material and personal manifestations of freedom are experienced as so many causes of evil and the freedom of the will as useless. Hence the Will of all really free Selves is against the freedom of the will left to its own.

"Sub specie temporis" (from the standpoint of the transient) the freedom of the will is necessary and inventive. "Sub specie æternitatis" (from the standpoint of the eternal) real freedom is to be just that what one is before one became. When consciousness has established the focus of the Self and has moved from circular to elliptical, then it is able to encompass both, either by circumambulating both foci or by entertaining a pendulum-movement between both and by doing so establish an center of identity in the ego or in the Self. This 6th-dimensional consciousness executes its Law and its freedom is the swiftness & the ease with which the objects of this Self-will factualize. Everything that happens is part of this Law. The 6th dimension offers an absolute determination of the abstract & factual conditions of each particular realized Self manifesting through the liberated ego. So the freedom of the Self-will is not "causa sui" but "causa finalis". Nothing willed by the Self will not eventually manifest. Finally, each Self-world is a fact. All these facts together shape the final realization of the Perfect State of the cosmos (the sublime "Jubilee" of the current order of worlds), involving the restoration of all chaos and the beauty of all order.

 On the chaos of free will 

Due to the exercise of free will, the fullness of being is disrupted in local regions of space-time and hence the introduction of emptiness into the fabric of relative existence is a fact. The association of evil with emptiness is suggested by the disrupting nature of chaos, destroying the bonds between the beings, clouding their prehension of each other and isolating an element from the whole to reduce its possible complexification and level of interaction with its environment.

The Cloud of Freedom (dim = 8) involves nothing less than the probability of chaos or the presence in actual things of a nondeterminated choice different than the pre-determined order of events possibly leading away from order. Absolute Existence (dim = 9) is the "most beautiful" Oneness of noble and base Names, but creation (dim = 8 ... 1) is prepared in the cloud as a mixture of both. 

Although the Creator is a perfectly actualized Archetype containing all other Archetypes, this First Actual Thing exclusively creates order and so exclusively creates noble actual things. The Creator (the  alternation-point between the 9th & the 8th dimension on the mirror of Self-disclosure) only actualizes the noble Divine Names. The Creator Knows the base Archetypes but does not create any locus for their manifestation except for the nondeterminated choice given to (essentially orderly) actual things. The freedom of some beings (their nondeterminated choice) results from a valuation of the base Archetypes as possible digressions -in the realm of relative being- from the pre-determinated, perfect course of events. So in the Cloud of Freedom all possible evil is present but kept absolutely latent. Each time a choice against the Self is made, parts of this latent evil finds a place to manifest. If a creature exists in concert with its essence (by knowing its Self and by executing the qualities of its eternal object), then all (in principle) is pre-determinated. Disorder or chaos is made possible, even probable (although completely unlikely in the 8th dimension) by the power of free movement away from the allotted course of events. So we are only free to do evil, not the good (for the latter happens anyway).

The major difficulty confronting most systems of being (ontology's) is the harmony between unity (the Platonism that if being is not essentially One nothing can exist - principle of identity, idealism, verticalism) & variety (the Aristotelism that existentially being is never alone - principle of contradiction, realism, horizontalism). This may be tackled in a 10-dimensional matrix of all possible realities. The top dimension (dim = 10) being Absolute, incomprehensible, ineffable but principle of unity but Self-disclosing (dim = 9). The subsequent eight other dimensions expressing the various strands of relative variety operating in the cosmos, in abstract probabilities (dim = 8) or through the three fundamental cosmic operators called "consciousness", "information" & "matter" constituting the process of operational being (dim 7, ... 1). 

This valuation & polarization of being is such that order and chaos, perfection & imperfection are both made possible and balanced in the Perfect State of the cosmos, i.e. its most likely state realized when all its actual things are what they were in Absolute Existence before they became part of manifest being (cf. the Divine Name used to fashion it). Here the utmost veil is reached. So all imperfections are demanded by being itself for only because of imperfection is the nondelimited perfection of the Real (dim = 10) made possible. For all otherness is imperfection (i.e. all dimensions except the 10th are chaotic).

10

Absolutely absolute
absolutely transcendent
Sheer Being

Worlds of Mystery

9

Absolute Conscious Oneness
potential being
eternal objects

World of The One
Oneness of all Names
base & noble Archetypes

8

the Cloud of Freedom
Perfect State of the cosmos
latent all possible chaos

World of Purity :
pure order
latent chaos

7 the Creator : creative being
source of all goodness
Divine Presence

Worlds of Becoming :
 order
intermixed with chaos

6 my Self : noetic being
5 ego & ideal-ego : imaginal being
4 ... 1 body & mind : nominal being

Unity leads to order and probable initial states with their predictable tracks. Variety introduces complexity and with at least three autonomous cycles in any system chaos occurs. Predictability fails and linear order is broken down and replaced by elliptical, nonlinear dynamical movements which are very sensitive to minute changes in the initial conditions (cf. the Butterfly-effect). In this state only little material input is necessary to trigger massive informational & meaningful (i.e. conscious) changes. The effects of free choice suggest that chaotic movements are involved. So the exercise of this freedom depends on the presence of chaos in the system. In simple, linear systems (like circular movement) no chaos occurs and all factors are absolutely predetermined. These systems are exceptions. As soon as sophisticated organization occurs (cf.minerals & plants) chaotic movements are more rule than exception.

The step from chaos to evil seems a category-mistake. Nevertheless, all movements which randomize the prevailing architecture are chaotic. Natural disasters and moral evils always add entropy to the cosmos, and scatter organized, complex structures. As the modern difference between "determination" and "lawlessness" (reflected in the pair "physical" and "human" sciences) is superceded by probabilism, chaostheory & super dimensional models (cf. the super string), the difference between "natural" and "cultural" becomes less pronounced. Culture and the freedom of the will move hand in hand. Human consciousness -despite of it being amidst forces leading to probable states- is able to introduce novelty by making a free movement in the phasespace of its chaotic state towards higher (more complex) order, i.e. allow the processes at hand to be organized by the strange attractors of human existence (like fate, luck & Self). Culture is therefore impossible without the presence of a chaotic movement coupled with the conscious and integrated exercise of the freedom of a strong will to manifest better living conditions for all beings. 

Unfortunately, our cultures (even after this violent, cruel & amoral century) still do not fully understand the chaotic states and so are unable to clearly recognize the fact that chaos is an important physical condition for the exercise of free will. Augustine was correct when he claimed that left to themselves (i.e. the circular ego without its Self), people's exercise of their free will only produces evil. This leads to the important notion that all free movements of the will exclusively aiming at  material & personal satisfactions are evil. Hence, the majority of our present cultures are actively engaged in the production of chaos, education-in-evil and the massive destruction of human, animal, vegetal & mineral life on Earth (and luckily only here). The consequences of this folly may only be partly overcome by a century of cleaning-up and de-intoxication following the strategies of a global, planetary plan for world peace implemented with fierce discipline & boundless compassion.

The chaos necessary to enable humans to exercise the freedom of their will is natural at birth but due to conditioning (the assimilation of external projects) becomes less and less automatic. If too linear modes of existence are chosen and the system fossilizes accordingly, then the ability to make a conscious free choice vanishes. Instead, the mentality of the slave ensues. In this condition one's will serves the commands of somebody or something else and even reason & emotions become secondary to a outside, overpowering source of dominance. Although when left to itself the free will is cause of evil, it is essential that this ability to make an individual choice is not replaced by an outside control, censor or master. If people need to be wrongdoers in order to realize the stupidity of such a choice, then wrongdoing is to be preferred above the effects of the repression of individual freedom and the inability to stand on one's own two feet. The freedom of the will is one's individual access to chaos, both in the physical sense that the actual mechanism of freedom takes place in a chaotic phasespace and also morally as an instrument to test the ethical validity of certain actions undertaken under the sway of an exclusively personalized expression of the freedom of the will. 

Regarding the characteristics of the strange attractors involved when the freedom of the will is used to increase the complexity of the system (and not to decrease its level of order) consider the following. When left to itself, the free will is not attracted and this triggers a chaotic turmoil leading to an entropy-increase. Because of the strength of the architecture of any complex system (a product of its evolution) this abuse of freedom causes suffering (both internal & external) and these effects appear in due time (after corrosion & corruptions reduce one's resistance and make the cornerstones of the architecture unreliable). 

Higher order is achieved when strange attractors are sought. The most evident attractors relate to our ordinary experience of the flow of time (thermodynamical, astronomical, subjective). When higher complexity is realized by returning to a known situation (invoking memory) then the chaotic movements become "fate"-attracted and order comes into play as the confirmation of past patterns & solutions, the consolidation of a forgotten strategy now rediscovered & the conservation of the history of events. Clearly "fate" feeds on the past and our ability to remember. When an unknown, expected situation is called upon (invoking the future) then the chaotic movements become "luck"-attracted. Order is possibly a disruption (always a novelty) and a letting go (forgetting) of what has happened, opening up towards the discovery of the mystery of tomorrow. So "luck" feeds on the future and our ability to forget. When neither past nor future come into play, implying a contraction of consciousness establishing the "eternal present" of Self-reflection (consciousness observing consciousness) then inner stillness and detachment are sought. The "Self"-attractor involves a zeroing of consciousness amidst chaos and annihilates the destruction of order by observing the movements without interpretation. It is an escape from ruin by neutralizing both recognition (past) and expectation (future). The "Self"-attractor differs from the other two because neutrality implies no antithetic movements and no pendulum-movements (from "fate" to "luck" and vice versa).

 On the uselessness of free will 

If the conscious choices of the strong will solely depend on our reason enlightened by the intellect and our rich but bridled emotions, then we are bound to act in accordance with what we are : to be nothing more and nothing less than one's own essential, substantial nature. Socrates was right to posit his determinism. Of course, to properly understand him, we have to read his appeal to reason in the (unwritten) context of the intimate unity between discursive thought (reason) and intuition (intellect). In the actual life of Socrates this unity was reflected in the bond between on the one hand his continuous dialogal reasoning seeking universal ideas and on the other hand his faith in the Oracle of Delphi, his interactions with his personal "dæmon" and last but not least his extraordinary character. Scholars used to depict the Greeks as models of reason, but this perspective is incomplete. Like the Ancient Egyptians not a few intelligent Greeks summarized the role of intuition as "harmony" (cf.the goddess "Maat"). If enlightenment (as the light of intuition) is abrogated (not unlike leaving out the role of the "chorea" in Classical theatre) then reason is "left to itself". 

For Perfect(ed) humanity there is no need for a nondeterminated choice. For them being is necessity and freedom is Law. The necessity of the realized Self-Law is the experience of unopposed action. Because of this absence of resistances, the Self-will is not defined as the measure with which hindrances have been countered, but as the intensity of its conscious manifestation as factual, concrete events which carry the unique seal of one's wholeselfship. The "I Am" in the Self coincides with the "It Is" of reality. The uselessness of the freedom of the will is only obvious to the Selves. The Self-will always follows its Law. It never needs to compare. It is never tempted to know the difference between "good and evil" (cf. the Edenic state in the mysticism of Beatrice of Nazareth & John of Ruusbroec). So the actual exercise of the freedom of the will, the choice against, belongs to the circular ego able to confirm or deny (whereas the Self only confirms its Law). 

This experience of the Self is like participating in a movement which by its own momentum & spontaneity ignites, unfolds, blossoms, withdraws, transforms & transfigurates. The choices made to execute parts of this movement are wholly integrated into the phasespace of the process (each part being a fractal of the Self-Law). There is no need for a nondeterminated choice. In that sense, the Self-Laws seem somewhat 'Platonic' : intransient ideas in the Absolute Consciousness of The One. They represent "solar" archetypes. Stars do not need to compare. However, the Selves are not Platonic ideas, for they are individual and do not encompass more realities that the objects of their particular Self-will (the Selves are the particular properties of the universal Divine Names).The notion of a "lunar" (tidal) movement other than the one prescribed by the Self-Law is inconsistent with the infinite possibilities given to each Self (within the limits of its Law) to "seal" its manifestations (incarnations). The thought of such a choice may still be present, but nothing happens which can not be interpreted as a manifestation of the Self-Law, i.e. consciousness is responsible for all the events it witnesses. This necessity, manifesting a deeper, more interior strand of reality, suggests that the freedom of the will is an evolutionary dead end which has to serve a Work of Art. For only Art is able to compose meaning with the useless.

Some say. If the freedom of the will can be "used" to allow human consciousness to compare its own true being with the nebulous quasi-being of chaos, then some "usefulness" can not be denied. Also : if people are able to satisfy their socio-psycho-physical needs by exercising the freedom of their will, then again absolute uselessness seems unarguable. To compare what happens when freedom is unaided with the condition of the original state of being may be a possible argument. How to make sure that before any comparison can be made consciousness (due to loss of innocence, corruption, degeneration, deterioration etc) does not forget about the original state of being ? True freedom is achieved when all Selves manifest their Kingdoms in the Perfect State (cf. "the perfect Earth").

If suffering (growth-through-crisis) and catastrophe (crisis-and-observation) are still part of one's eventspace then chaos has to be mastered and the exercise of free will is important and dangerous. Risks are part of life. Only a peaceful heart survives amidst this kind of terror. The others relinquish to be anything at all (dreamwaking).

 On human servitude and viceregency 

The idea of absolute nothingness (total emptiness) is not rooted in being but in the mind steering towards chaos. Together with the freedom of the will (the cause of evil) it feeds human ignorance of the interval of his/her true being and makes him/her unaware of the fact that all except the Majesty of the Worlds & Sheer Being (i.e. all dimensions except the 9th & the 10th) are (re)created to worship the Creator and hence submit to be a servant of the Absolute. Worship is the Real state, Self, reality or face of the servant. As soon as consciousness gains true knowledge of itself, it realizes that everything in the cosmos (except humans) obeys the command "Be !" and hence prostrates itself before the Majesty of the Worlds without any prescription. The same happens with the servant who knows its true face, the Self. Then it fears to belong to those who merit chastisement (because of the possible abuse of freedom caused by the ego, focus of mind & emotions). 

Know your Self to know your Lord (cf. dictum of Apollo, "hadîth" of Muhammad). Then and only then have the lowliness, subjection, need & misery of the ego left to its own become so apparent that nothing else is sought than to disclose that station for which consciousness has the preparedness given in the interval of its being by the eternal object which is it essence, the property of a particular Divine Name (one with all other Divine Names). The Self does not ascribe the Divine Names to Itself. Because of the complete servanthood of the ego (ruled by the Self), consciousness becomes qualified by the Divine Names and manifests these qualities through the servitude of the Self (assumed by Absolute Consciousness), and this in spite of the reality of the assumption of the traits of the Names (i.e. the genuine "adornment" of consciousness). Hence, adornment only takes place as a function of the perfection of the servanthood of the servant. The Self is the "proof" or signifier of the Absolute for what the Self signifies is the Existence of the Majesty of the Worlds that supports it.

The assumption of the base Archetypes does not lead one to become a "master of chaos", for even the wrath of the Majesty of the Worlds is experienced as part of the service which comes natural to Perfect(ed) humanity.

The cause of knowledge of The One is one's Self-knowledge. The One that I come to know through knowing myself is "my Lord" of "my belief", the water which has assumed the color of my cup (cf. Junayd). The Perfect(ed) humans exist in constant sobriety because of their extreme nearness. Only by manifesting servanthood do they exist in the "Station of No Station" (cf. Ibn'Arabî). The universal servant serves every Name and so perfection is found by the servant of the Majesty of the Worlds who brings together all Attributes. Likewise, the Perfect(ed) humans gather all stations and merge them, entering "no station", possessing no attributes, delimited by none.

The Absolute is Unity in Essence (dim = 10) & Oneness in Existences (dim = 9). Duality is rooted in the essence of being or Sheer Being and some "other" party claiming this Unity (namely The One Majesty). The first mode of being is Absolute Self-Disclosure as the All-Merciful All-comprehensiveness of the reality of an Absolute Will & an Absolute Consciousness, called "al-ilâh", "The God" (and not "God"). The reality of every possible "otherness" is affirmed. But all otherness is imperfection. 

From the standpoint of the Absolute in its absoluteness (dim = 10) the Majesty of the Worlds (the Oneness of all Divine Names - dim = 9) is imperfect were it not for the Oneness of this Majesty, perfectly reflecting the Unity of Essence in the One Existence of an infinite number of infinite essences. So the entities of the 9th dimension derive their Real power not from the Divine Names (or archetypal relationships between the Absolute and creations) but directly from the superforce of Sheer Being in which all is pre-determined and which is All in all. An infinite variety of Absolute expressions is rooted in the Names. Each variety bringing about its own eternal objects, or properties of these expressions. Real distinctions exist between the Essence of Being (the "Level", as the Sheikh al-Akbar puts it), Absolute Consciousness, the 'gods & goddesses' of the Names, the Creators and their cosmoi.

BEING Absolute Being

dim = 10
not manifest and not unmanifest being Real
essential Unity
Sheer Being
nothing but being
Worlds of Mercy
Relative Being
in
Absolute Being
unmanifest being

dim = 9
Real Oneness of existence the Majesty of the Worlds
unreal
existence
potential being
abstract manifest being

the Cloud of Freedom
dim = 8

operational manifest being Real Firstness of actual things
dim = 7
Perfect humanity
the Creator
Worlds of Compassion
unreal existence eternal Selves
dim = 6
actual things
dim = 5 ... 1

What is the ultimate state of consciousness of Perfect(ed) humanity ? Retired in the house of one's nothingness one is dispossessed of everything and everybody and in this "Station of no Station" one throws oneself wholly into the supreme service involved in the act of "dhikr" or "remembrance" of the Absolute. This practice is perfect because of the Self-annihilation in the eternal object or Divine Name which assumes the form of one's own Self or "Lord". Dwelling in no station, one determines the properties of every station. This all-comprehensiveness submits all properties to the Lord in the form of servanthood. The latter declares incomparability, always practicing remembrance and thus abiding in the Station of perplexity, awe & bewilderment.

But ... the highest possible enlightened human is the perfect manifestation of its eternal object and so a living and acting Lord or viceregent devoid of all traces of servantship but abiding in the form of servanthood. When our awareness of this happening is concentrated enough, the whole cosmos comes under the control of consciousness, which leads to a spiritual tranquility of an unfathomable dept & extent. Adorned with the highest knowledge of Being, mastering a tremendous power, Perfect(ed) humanity is like a deep calm ocean without shores (cf.Rumi). If the mind slackens and loses concentration even for a moment (which very often happens), this ultimate consciousness becomes again aware of its impotence & servantship. In this way, gathering and separation are the faces of the perplexity of the reality of the perfect(ed), realized life, perpetually under the sway of and transcending the coincidence of opposites.

This exalted life of Perfect(ed) humanity is only bearable through service. For the more one grows in knowledge and love, the more the inaccessible nature of Absolute Consciousness and its incomparable source, Sheer Being, are constantly being clearly unveiled. The more one grows in power and eventually masters the cosmos itself, the stronger the evidence that the curtaining never stops. This witnessing of the Absolute from the unique perspective of one's own Self finds its completion in the sparks of the Oneness of Absolute Consciousness. And this Consciousness is Absolute Self-disclosure, not essential Being ! It is the pinnacle of relative being. Hence the most exalted Perfect(ed) Life can not be anything else but subservient. To assume the Divine Names without the measure of service (which is the faithful execution of the moral maxims of one's Self-Law) entails imperfections because the base Archetypes are activated without the ability to sustain the harmony of the superdynamics between order & chaos.

Perfect(ed) humanity confronts the results of the evil will with its objects. This speeds up the process of being and precipitates the Perfect State.

 On free Self-will and compassion 

Consciousness and will are ascribed to the Majesty of the Worlds (dim = 9). So this Oneness of all Names involves Absolute Identity (an Absolute I). The mystery of the "most holy ingress" (between "absolute" and "relative" being, between absolutely ineffable, nondual Sheer Being and the worlds of duality) pertains to the act of Self-manifestation within the Absolute. For even Absolute Consciousness is imperfect were it not for the sublimity of its Oneness which is the absolutely perfect reflection of the Unity of the Essence (dim = 10). The latter transcends the dimension of the Majesty of the Worlds. This Identity is a mere reflection. As the Absolute has "no second", the Majesty of the Words is (paradoxically) only the Absolute Existence which contains all possible essences of being (i.e. the eternal objects of each actual existing thing given by its interval), not the Absolute in its absoluteness beyond any possible determination or denial, i.e. the original root of all being which remains absent, withdrawn & incomparable. Of the essence of being nothing can be said or witnessed. So what motivated Absolute Self-manifestation (the Essence reflecting within Itself the form of Existence of essences) remains hidden like the Essence of being Itself. Oneness alone is our first metaphysical object/subject (or Absolute I). Is it possible to ask what motivated The One to manifest the worlds ?

The Divine Names (an infinite number of infinite possibilities) urge towards manifestation. They exist in a state of inner compression which is relieved by "breathing" them out. Representing so many relationships of the Absolute I with the worlds, their "interior tension" is so tremendous (inspire) that they burst forth on the Mirror of Self-manifestation (expire) as so many worlds. In the Sufi tradition, the "driving force" behind all movement is love. So the emergence of the cosmoi is caused by this Divine Love. Without this, everything would remain in the state of eternal rest within the potential being of Absolute Consciousness. These manifestations are important. Without them, the Absolute I would only possess absolute Knowledge & Existence, and never temporal, relative knowledge. It would Exist only in the forms of the Archetypes. Just in the same way as imperfections are necessary for nondelimited perfection to Be, so does Absolute Knowledge allow for temporal knowledge in order to perfect the Absolute's degree of Knowledge (encompassing the eternal/absolute & the transient/relative).

Hence, the root of Mercy is Divine Love. 

It is also very important to understand that the Absolute I, the Creators & the creations all happen within Sheer Being which as the "Water of Life" interpenetrates all in all. In principle, all possible worlds are created when being becomes. Veils & disclosures are endlessly renewed in the ennead of relativity. From the perspective of the cosmos (witnessing the remoteness of the Absolute), the Majesty of the Worlds is "transcendent". From the perspective of this Majesty, Absolute Essence is "transcendent". However, from the perspective of nearness, all being is rooted in Absolute Consciousness and is a manifestation of it. Hence, although nothing is like the Absolute (as Essence -dim = 10- or as Existence -dim = 9-), we can turn nowhere without witnessing Its Face. This leads to the conclusion that the present theology of being involves panentheism : the Absolute transcends the cosmoi in Essence but everything in the worlds Self-discloses Its Existence.

These acts of creation are disclosures (manifestations) of the Mercy of the Absolute I, "overflowing with bounteousness" (Ibn'Arabî, the Platonic tradition). This Mercy is the objective side of the all-comprehensiveness of the Absolute I (cf. Hegel's "Natur"). The Majesty of the Words being extremely wide and always preceding wrath. The exercise of Divine Mercy being the process of Self-disclosure of the Absolute I, the command : "Be !". It involves all possible being, also the quasi-being of chaos.

The Self-will of each individual executes the particular Law of that particular form assumed by the Absolute I. Awareness of this leads to Self-annihilation and rebirth as a spark "in" Absolute Consciousness, i.e. servanthood & Lordship. The freedom of the Self-will and the necessities involved in shaping the "Magnum Opus" or the Artwork of the Self completely overlap. Compassion, or the creatures reply to the command "Be !" is always a form of action and the movements of the Self-will always lead to : "Do thy Self" (or "be what You are"). This can not be said of the freedom of the personal will. Here prescriptions are necessary for the Law is clouded. 

These prescriptions should not only try to eliminate unwholesome free movements of will. Opportunities should be given (each time in accord with the process at hand) to make controlled wrong choices so as to be able to compare between the results of the ego-will and the fruits of the Self-will. Also : to better identify the works of free will and their catastrophic tendencies.

Compassion is the sound reply to existence. Only in the dimension of the mind (dim = 5) does emptiness subsist and only in a perverse reason (abrogating, steeling or abusing the light of the intellect) lurk dualities which cloud judgment and produce chaos which is unfavorable or unwanted. That compassion is necessary is not perceived. It may be felt, but no mental form of compassion is available. This implies that thoughts arise which run counter the Law of that particular individual. Because of the freedom of the will, unnecessary actions may be done which may have major consequences for all kinds of beings. As a result of all this, people may find themselves shipwrecked by their own little adventures outside the pre-determinated scenario. Not understanding that the scenario rarely needs change but mostly only one's "turn of will" to improve one's character ... 

Compassion is more than just an adequate answer to the call of being. It is the experience that all possible being is essentially a form of life, and that life (forms of order) is present in chaos (cf. strange attractors), amorphous matter, crystals, plants, animals, human beings, angels, the cosmos, the worlds ... the Majesty of the Worlds. So compassion also and foremost invites charity, or actions that break the chains of material, informational & conscious lack caused by chaotic forces and  the unenlightened egoism of fellow human beings who activate the base Archetypes and become the "loci" of manifestation for chaotic, anti-order, centered around the ego and its animalistic tendencies & fears. Compassions does not aim to help in humanitarian "first aid" and "peace keeping" alone. The root of compassion involves guidance to rediscover the forgotten Self so that people may stand up by themselves and be compassionate towards others too. True compassion invites compassion.

 On the personification of chaos 

It is difficult to initiate a relationship with an impersonal entity. Even more so when the existence of such an entity is not anthropic (or a being part of the evolution of life on Earth) but rather a quasi-mode of existence, a mixture of original Divine Existence (namely of the base Archetypes) and the destructions, disruptions, reversals, perversions, aberrations, eccentricities, anomalies, unbalances, in short, the imperfections caused by Selfless free movements and their disastrous effects on the harmony of the superdynamics between order & chaos. Mostly people negate, repress, forget, deny, withhold, postpone, disregard, flee the many probable encounters they had, have and will have with chaos. They seek order and do not know that it keeps the seeds of destruction & death dormant to allow for a nondeterminated choice (as a result of evolution and complexification). Probably this pre-human reflex to flee chaos is due to the massive suffering living beings have experienced during life's evolution on Earth (from monocellular microbes to complex human beings). So nondetermination had its price. Did it encode a deep scar in the architecture of life ? Not fear of death but fear of life being characteristic for the "homo normalis" ? The eat-and-being-eaten law of the animal world together with the fight-or-run characteristics of our emotional make-up (cf. the limbic system of the brain) clouds our awareness of the fact that complex, human life demands that one is actively & consciously engaged in the pursuit of a real, operational harmony within the superdynamics between order & chaos.

Chaotic states (i.e. random phasespaces wherein hidden corridors to a higher order may be discovered) give expression to the base Divine Names which at the beginning of the cosmos (i.e. at the pinnacle of the 8th dimension) existed in a state of latency. This "primordial", and pre-creational chaos (cf. the eight "pre-creational" gods of the Old Kingdom in Ancient Egypt) adds nothing to the orderly and pre-determined creation of a unique cosmos (at the pinnacle of the 7th dimension, the "Kether" or "Crown" of qabalah). So the act of creation is exclusively good. Evil is not part of the Creator's "I Am" and "Be !" (a tiny spark on the infinite mirror of Self-disclosure). The Perfect State (of this world) IS. To further knowledge-in-movement (intellect through love) in harmony with the all-comprehensiveness of the Archetypes, chaos is introduced into the order of things as something existing "in an Abyss" as an in-between states, a gap, a necessary "ring-pass-not" in the irreversible, unchallenging, omnipresent, total harmony of the superdynamics between order & chaos. 

This total harmony between order & chaos is the "Law" of our current cosmos and the highest expression of the unrivalled Divine Name used by our Creator to fashion the beings in it. Chaos is introduced as the possibility of a nondeterminated choice away from the pre-determined order executed by the Self-will as the straight, golden path of compassion. The Creator did not fashion evil's awakening out of latency. The Greatest only gave human beings the ability to deviate from the path instead of towards it, to move against the prescriptive command : "Do thy Self". This move fashions evil.

Primordial chaos "awaits" a random opportunity to manifest. This when freedom is abused by the ego. As the evil will freely executes that which is not part of the emancipation of consciousness beyond the egology of the nominal dimensions, moral evil ensues. Eventually, for the servants of the Majesty of the Worlds, if hardships are humbly accepted, evil -the anthropic mode of chaos- is understood as an excellent transient method to test & discipline the ego (crisis-and-observation) so that it may deviate towards its own Self WHATEVER THAT MAY BE in regard to its own unique Law, will and Selfhood (we are absolutely free to BE OUR TRUE SELVES). In the case of Perfect(ed) humanity, all Archetypes being part of the form of service engaged by the mastered Self-will, particular active participations in the superdynamics become possible and the exchanges between order & chaos are harmonized in a deep and powerful way.

Chaos assumes quasi-existence through the mistakes of life itself. In this way chaos is made after the form of Divine testing, probing, finding and verifying, i.e. Absolute Knowledge. This also shows why absolute evil does not exist (except as the subjective idea of absolute emptiness or ultimate negativity, only at work in the mind). Nothing stands "outside" being. Being is absolute continuity-with-breaches : paradoxical Absolute Unity of Being reflecting Absolute Oneness-of-Multiplicity seeking Knowledge & Love through Self-Disclosure, i.e. creations. Nevertheless, the pre-determined order really broke down in the operational dimensions of the cosmos. Primordial chaos awoke when unlawful deviation took place. Base opportunities emerged which infested those dimensions providing measures for the architecture of the "operational" realm (the first 7 dimensions refer to the process of being through the operators consciousness, information & matter). 

All world religions have personified chaos and its many ingenious manifestation as natural and moral evil on Earth. Hence, chaos became "the devil", a nebulous entity personifying death, destruction and all possible moral degeneration. Is there ground for such a personification other than oversimplification ? If chaos has to be personified, then only in the contexts of training (crisis-and-observation, growth-through-crisis) and the spiritual restoration of chaotic forces (named after the entropy they cause, balanced & neutralized). Here adequate idiosyncratic, local, transient considerations determine effectiveness. But ontologically, there is no ground to assume that chaos may contract to a continuous, stable identity without leaving phasespace (and thus moving towards order). Chaos is a random phenomenon which derives its volatile, transient quasi-being from the entities it destroys. The "fall" of the devil is the antipode of the exceptional gift made to Adam (namely to know all Divine Names). 

The possibility of angelical beings to be "loci" for the base Archetypes is not excluded in the present ontology (for postmodernism acknowledges the importance of the absent). Hence, postmodern "spectrology" has a "demonology" which studies the possible pathologies of angels (refusing Adam Kadmon ?). The context of this study is the imaginal or : suggestion, fiction, illusion, daydreaming, dream, vision, phantasm ... (cf. the dreamworld of depth psychology, the qabalah of "Yetzirah" : the world of formation with the triad "Yesod" -Foundation-, "Hod" -Glory- and "Netzach" -Victory-, the astral & mental planes of theosophy & the "intermediary world" of the Sufi masters). Does the presence of chaos in physical systems suggest that the human evil will is not the sole cause of the awakening of the base Archetypes ?

Observe how our mind projects its parameters on the random nebula of active chaos, calling the result "moral evil". If obsessed by these limitations, the evil will ensues. The devil is mostly another name for the human evil will. It assumes forms in accordance with the number & the power of diabols or split-signs we experience. Natural evil on the other hand is only "evil" from the perspective of those suffering because of it (whereas ignorance remains the greatest moral evil). Considered as part of the chaos which is part of the life of large complex systems like the weather or the shifting of the tectonic plates underneath us, most chaotic events of the natural worlds eventually contribute to the all-encompassing harmony of Nature.

The Archetypes of Chaos (the base Divine Names) are not personalized. The Oneness of Absolute Existence being such that within Absolute Consciousness all possible Divine Names are harmonized in all possible ways, and Mercy always precedes Wrath (cf. the Right Pillar of the Tree of Life & the qabalah of Chesed, the forth Numeration).

Perfect(ed) humanity deals directly with chaos. It realizes that even quasi-being is part of being and that it too will be restored at the end of this cosmos when its Perfect State is fact. Chaos has important active strongholds because of the accumulated bad habits inherited from the past and the present continuation of their essential entropic patterning within the superdynamics between order & chaos. To deal with these comes first. On the other hand, care must be taken not to relapse into the no-chaos thinking of modernism. The naming of one's chaos comes next. Finally, the integration of that segment of chaos -discovered to be part of one's own reality- leads to the active ability to allow the chaos which suits each event and this co-creative with the harmony of the superdynamics of the process of operational being exalting the Water of Life.


       


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initiated : 28 X 1999 - last update : 25 XI 2005 - version n°2