hairetikos--Greek–able to choose
The God-given gift of freewill is one of the attributes which sets humanoids apart from the lower animals. This freewill is what enables us to choose, but we are not as free as we think we are. The “choices” we make are based almost entirely on the conditioning that our consciousness has been subjected to since birth. The freedom we think we are experiencing is determined and validated within and by the social and cultural matrix into which we are born. The set of choices we make in one culture would most likely be prohibited in another. Where is the freedom in that? True freedom transcends all social/economic/cultural limitations. To be truly free of all artificial restrictions would enable us to choose to do as we will.
So does this mean that we can just do what we want,whenever we want to? The answer depends on a perfect understanding of the role of the ego and the law of karma. Without this understanding, the actions we choose will bring immense pain and suffering to ourselves and others, and these effects will ripple through time until the karmic debts are paid in full.
The humanoid ego is entirely self-serving and other-destroying. Every aspect of our lives is continually manipulated by the ego for its own edification at the expense of our well-being and the well-being of others. In the process of serving itself, the ego initiates tremendous karmic consequences which will enslave the consciousness and prevent spiritual growth.
Spiritual growth can not and will not occur simply by believing that it will. Growth can only occur through deliberate, willful right thought, emotion and action which strives at every decision-moment to analyze and understand the machinations of the ego and synthesize solutions to the problems it creates. In subduing and annihilating the destructive egos we free individuated consciousness which is an expression (likeness) of the primal Cosmic Consciousness which permeates and surrounds the multiverse.
In choosing and committing to walk this path of liberation, we initiate consequences which will involve much pain and suffering for ourselves as we let go of all those things (chains) which serve the ego and keep us from truly loving others. As we annihilate egos and “pay off” our karmic debt, we free consciousness, die to ourselves and begin to learn how to sacrifice for the benefit of others. In this “enlightened” state of consciousness, we experience the freedom to do as we choose, but the choices we make are selfless and other-centered.
We are truly able to choose. We are truly able to love. We are truly heretics! It is no wonder that so many religious authorities have felt so threatened by heretics and persecuted them so heinously!
Pranam, namaste and shalom!