Daniil Andreev. «The Rose of the World»
Book II. On the Metahistorical and Transphysical Methods of Knowledge

II. Chapter 3. Points of Departure — About the Freedom of Will

There exists a misconception, a particular mindset held by a large number of people in our time, that has been assiduously inculcated into the minds of many peoples over the last four decades. It is a train of thought that leads the thinker to the conclusion, which in time grows into an axiom and dogma, that religion supposedly deprives people of their freedom, demands blind obedience to higher powers, and makes them wholly dependent on those powers. Furthermore, so the thinking goes, since those powers are only figments of the imagination, it is people's dependence on all the very real human institutions that endeavor to exploit the ignorance of the masses that is actually increased. That is the essence of«religious slavery,» from which humanity is supposedly liberated by science and the philosophy of materialism.

To dispute this argument would require writing a tract refuting the basic tenets of materialistic philosophy. Such tracts have already been written, and if they have been insufficiently known in Russia, then the reason for that has more to do with politics than philosophy.

As for the claim that all religions demand submission to higher powers, there is no doubt that some religious doctrines have indeed preached predestination and the virtual absence of free will among humans. That is a fact, and I least of all am inclined to defend without discrimination any and all religious forms. But to make that charge against religion as a whole is no more justified than to claim, for instance, that literature is essentially reactionary, and to substantiate that claim by citing examples of individual reactionary writers and schools.

I would like to explain forthwith the fallaciousness of such an accusation in relation to the worldview of the Rose of the World.

First, I would like to voice some puzzlement: no science or philosophy (except subjective idealism), materialism included, disputes the assertion that the human will is dependent on a host of material factors. That very same philosophy of materialism even takes special pains to emphasize the will's heavy dependence on economic factors. Yet, no one is bothered by human subordination to natural and historical necessity. No one expresses outrage at humanity's bondage to the law of gravity, the law of the preservation of matter, the law of evolution, the laws of economic development, and so forth. Everyone understands that there is still enough room for the exercise of our will within the bounds of these laws.

The worldview of the Rose of the World, however, does not add a single new, supplementary factor to the list of factors that determine our will. What is important is their interpretation, not their number. That boundless and endlessly diverse something that is summed up by the phrase «the higher powers» acts on our will not so much through supernatural intrusions as through the medium of those same factors-those same laws of nature, evolution, and so forth-that we have just agreed to regard as objective facts. To a great extent those sets of factors determine not only our consciousness but our subconsciousness and superconsciousness as well. They are the origin of the voice of conscience, duty, instinct, and the like, which we hear within ourselves and which determine our behavior in a tangible manner. That is how the link between «the higher powers» and our will operates. True, there are some phenomena that could at first glance appear to be violations of the laws of nature by the higher powers. They are called miracles. But in cases when such phenomena, as opposed to tricks of the mind, do occur, they are not at all «arbitrary» violations of natural laws by the higher powers but the actions of those powers through a number of other laws as yet unknown to us.

What frequently appears to us to be the single, monolithic, and indivisible mover of our actions-for example, conscience- is in reality the extremely complex result of the interaction of various factors. Conscience is primarily the voice of our monad. But whether it gains access to our waking consciousness is determined by other factors-for example, some incident that serves as a shock to waken us to the monad's voice: a manifestation of Providence, the action of powers of a Providential nature.

Thus, people's choices are predetermined by three sets of forces: the Providential powers, which utilize the laws of nature

and history to achieve their purposes and which gradually enlighten those laws; the demonic powers, which utilize those same laws and work to strengthen them more and more; and the will of our own monad, transmitted within the range of our consciousness by the voices of our heart and reason with the help of the Providential powers. Therefore, whether we view the laws of nature and history as mechanical, lifeless necessities or as the tools of living, individual, variomaterial or spiritual beings, the degree of our freedom will neither decrease nor increase.

It follows that the degree of our freedom of choice is no less from the point of view of the Rose of the World worldview than it is from the point of view of materialism. But the determining i:> factors are interpreted differently and are more precisely bro- ken down into their component parts.

If the materialist is not bothered by the limitations placed on our freedom by utterly impersonal and lifeless laws of nature, then how can we view as demeaning the limitations placed on our freedom by the will of the Providential powers? Only the limitations placed on our freedom by the will of the demonic powers can gall us. It does indeed gall us, but after all, they are those powers, those age-old enemies of ours, the disarming, conversion, and enlightenment of whom is our goal. We will cease to feel galled only when we render ourselves insusceptible to their influence. The evolution of life on Earth raises groups of beings up from a minimal degree of freedom among the simplest forms. The voice of a microbe's monad almost always fails to reach its embryonic consciousness, and its behavior is primarily determined by demonic powers acting on it through the medium of the laws of nature. The higher animals are much freer than a microbe; the amplitude of their conscious action is far greater. In humans conscious action is increased to an incomparable degree.

Opponents of religion as such argue that it demands the renunciation of our individual will and the subordination of that will to God's. In regard to some religions of the past, they are right. But the Rose of the World is not a religious teaching of the past. It is a religious and social-moral teaching of the future. The Rose of the World will not demand submission to the will of God, for only what humans do voluntarily, not under compulsion, is of value.

It will not be demands for slavish submission to God's will that will sound from the churches of the sum religion. From there will sound forth a call to universal love and free divine co-creation.

The Divine Spirit is our unchanging, inexpressible, and highest yearning. It is the power that creates spirit, that is active in all souls, that is not silenced even in the depths of demonic monads, and that is directing worlds and worlds-from microbramfaturas to supergalaxies-toward something more perfect than good and something higher than bliss. The higher the stage reached by a monad, the closer its will coincides with the creative will of God. And when, having begun its cosmic journey from the simplest forms of animate matter, it passes through the stages of human being and national, planetary, stellar, and galactic demiurge, it merges, through the agency of God the Son, with God the Father, and its will completely coincides with God's will, its power with God's power, its image with God's image, and its work with the work of God.

Divine co-creation is the creative work of Light of all ascending monads of the Universe, from humans, elementals, and enlightened animals to giants of unimaginable grandeur, the galactic demiurges. That is why one sees here so often the word Demiurge, a word almost never used in the older religions. Everyone who works for the greater glory of God, out of love for the world and its Creator, is a demiurge.

God is absolutely good. The old theology also asserted that God is omnipotent. But if God is omnipotent, He is then responsible for the evil and suffering in the world. Therefore, He is not good.

It would seem impossible to find a way out of that vicious circle.

But God creates of Himself. All the monads flowing out of His depths possess, as inalienable attributes, all the properties of those depths, including absolute freedom. Thus, divine creation itself limits the Creator, it fixes His power at a line beyond which the freedom and power of His creations begin. But freedom is freedom for the very reason that it offers the possibility of different choices. For many monads, it took the form of a negative choice, through their assertion of self only, through their rejection of God. That is the origin of what we call evil in the world, the origin of suffering, the origin of barbaric laws, and therein lies the possibility that evil and suffering can be overcome. The laws protect the world from descending into chaos. The demons, too, are forced to operate within them, if worlds are not to crumble into dust. For that reason, they do not try to overturn laws but to strengthen them. Laws are blind. And they cannot be enlightened in the blink of an eye, not by a miracle, not by divine intercession. They can be enlightened through the protracted cosmic process whereby monads that have rejected God renounce their evil will.

In God, all-embracing love and inexhaustible creativity are blended into one. All living beings, humans included, draw closer to God through the exercise of three divine properties innate to each: freedom, love, and divine co-creation. Divine co-creation is the goal, love is the means, and freedom is the condition.

Demonic monads are as free as all monads, but their love is grossly disfigured. It is directed exclusively inward: a demon loves only itself. And since the entire great reservoir of love in its spirit is focused on that single object, a demon loves itself with a degree of intensity no human is capable of achieving.

Demonic monads have also not lost their ability to create. But divine co-creation evokes nothing in them but extreme hostility. Every demon creates for its own sake and in its own name only.

People's creative work becomes divine co-creation from the moment and to the extent that their irresistible creative impulse is guided by their will and faith not toward the attainment of one or another egoistic goal-fame, pleasure, riches, the service of a cruel and base teaching-but toward the service of the God of Love.

Freedom, love, and divine co-creation are the three words that sum up the Rose of the World's perspective on art, science, education, marriage, family, nature, and even on those aspects of modern life ignored by all religions: social justice and harmony.


to the next part: 2.3. Points of Departure Being and Consciousness
to the previous part: 2.3. Points of Departure The Origin of Evil, Planetary Laws, Karma
to the beginning: «The Rose of the World». Table of contents
 
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