Let us take some time to consider about possibility, and we'll use the phrase 'world of possibility', which could also be thought of as a dimension of existence. This world of possibility is not separate from our ordinary physical world. Rather, it is sort of inside the ordinary world, or subsistent in it. For the world of possibility is the dimension of freedom in the world. When one has freedom, there is possibility; but without freedom, there is mere determinism. A quick mention at this time is that many scientific minded philosophers argue that there is nothing but determinism, if we accept that every physical event has a physical cause and that there are no 'mental events' independent of physical-causal events.
I don't want to go over a whole debate here, so I will simply and boldly pronounce that there are degrees of freedom, both in the physical world and in the mental realm; and these degrees of freedom involve an indeterminacy. In other words, it is here postulated that there are degrees of freedom and indeterminacy, both in the physical world of nature and in the mental world of man. The reason I qualify this with 'degrees of' will be explained below. Thus, our meaning of 'possibility' here is not simply reduced to unpredicted determinism, but rather I am postulating that there are 'open possibilities', whereby at any moment a natural event or a human decision has an indeterminate possibility to go this way or that.
Now, freedom is of course a relative power and so is possibility. In other words, one is not free to fly, or one may not have enough money to always travel wherever one wants. So there are physical laws and also social and economic circumstances which prevent us from engaging absolutely freely in the world. We may not have absolute freedom, but we can have relative degrees of freedom - freedom in our intention and freedom in our personal actions. But even these degrees of freedom, in our intention and action, require a liberation from self-habits and compulsions, whether these be physical, emotional or mental. Consider mental habits; can one be free of how one habitually thinks and decides? Is there any possibility for freedom from mental habits? There is, but we should also be cautious of over-assuming such freedom, because habits do run deep and they are often unobserved by the person of that habit.
So the big question here is if we can become free from our usual patterns. If we can reach a state of mind where there is such freedom, then this is the world of possibility. Then, one is in the very state or experience of possibility. This is the most important understanding about possibility; for although we might have various possibilities in the physical world, nothing really new will ever happen without free-possibility in the mind or the mental world. We can all experience such freedom in the our deeper meditations, when we have shed off the many layers of habits, compulsions and preoccupations. Then, we enter into a space of freedom; whereby spirit is free, mind is free, and intention is free. In this space, there is also the realization or experience of possibility. One is now in the 'world of possibility'
Now it is possible for something truly new to unfold, rather than the same old stuff of the past, the same old karmas or the same old habits of mind. This state of conscious being might also be called new mind or new beginnings, or it might be called the freed mind. It is empty, it is new, and it is free. And here is the beginning of real spontaneity, not an illusory spontaneity masking the conditioned habits of our usual personality. In other words, this real spontaneity is not merely an unreserved expression of the conditioned personality. Instead, it is a creative spontaneity of the newly awakened mind and the emergence of our deeper soul-being. Real spontaneity, real freedom and open possibility is now at hand. But would this then mean that one might do anything? That is a question often posed by those who fear freedom and spontaneity, or those who think that people must always be governed by religious rules in order to keep in check their animalistic impulses. This sort of fear, or we might well call it paranoia about the free nature of man/woman, is an attitude which holds many back from fully letting go to the inner world of freedom. The attitude needed is trust, not fear. Trust in your inner nature, for this is your divine soul.
When one enters the inner world of freedom and possibility, or reaches that state of new and spontaneous mind, then our inner divine soul is free to spontaneously emerge. The inner soul now comes forth.
But, one might ask: Isn't this a kind of determinism or compulsion, though now it is from the soul rather than the more socially conditioned personality? In a way this is true, for the soul now becomes determining and guiding, as it emerges through the mind, emotions and body. But here is the difference, here is the explanation: the divine soul (as reflective of Divine Will) is not compelling any specific decision or action. It is influential and guiding to our decision and behavior, but this is in a general way. The soul determines and guides generally, not specifically. It's not like the soul (or God) has a specific plan for every moment of our lives. The Wisdom Way emerges from the soul, and we all probably want to act with wisdom; yet this Wisdom Way is not a specific or rigidly delineated plan. So the Way of the soul, the Way of the divine disciple, the Way of Wisdom, is not a rigidly defined path. There are general directions, general purposes, general principles, general guidances, and general intentions; but no specific plans and no specific impulses. So the soul, or the Divine, does not compel deterministically in the same way as the conditioned lower (personality) self.
The soul has no specific habits or compulsions, no fixed and rigid beliefs, and no conditioned emotional reactions, as does the conditioned and mechanical personality. The soul is free and independent of all that stuff. The soul is truly free; though its expressive influence on decision and behavior is based on the qualities of its inherent nature. So only in this general sense is the soul deterministic and compelling. The soul's intention (its will or its nature) is for goodness, wisdom, love, harmony and beauty. But the exact expression of such qualities are indeterminate, which means there is a realm of freedom and possibility between the soul's intention and the world of actual expression.
This freedom is of profound consequence, for there is now the potential for undetermined creativity in the world, undetermined and spontaneous expression of the soul - through the inner and outer vehicle of man/woman. This means that the soul has various [undetermined] possibilities of expression, or many possibilities of choice. Still there are general purposes and qualities inherent in the soul which will generally determine the expression, but the specific expression is an undetermined, open possibility. In other words, the soul's expression has a large degree of specific indeterminacy and freedom.
Thus, the soul is on a journey of creative free expression. This is our real, true freedom. And when we come into the consciousness of the soul, we become conscious of this freedom, and also we find ourselves in the world of possibility. At the same time, we are confronted with real choice, and this is not always an easy thing for the personality to handle, which is why so many people revert to specific rules or specific religious paths or popular social norms. But the soul is courageous in its freedom of creative choice and expression.
Each soul has a spiritual will to choose, to be, and to creatively express in life. This is all related to the creative freedom of each soul. For the human soul is not merely a determined being. Rather, the soul seeks to determine its own path and to be creative in its own unique way. It's not like, here is my set of instructions and I will try to perform this with as much exactitude as possible. No, the soul is on a creative path, similar more to an artistic path. For each soul makes its expression by way of uniquely synthesizing all that is so far known. So each soul has spiritual will, and an aspect of this spiritual will is the freedom-to-be and freedom-to-choose. Of course though, the power to be free is limited in each individual.
Freedom itself is a spiritual quality, a quality of Spirit. So we can even think of the spirit of freedom as having its own will, as it were; in other words, the will of freedom, or the spirit of freedom. And this freedom is striving to expand and increase through each individual. Thus, spiritual evolution also involves an increase in freedom and choices, and diversity in general.
Every individual expands their existential freedom by first expanding their realization of freedom. First one has to realize one is free before actually acting as free. First realize the possibility of freedom. Then, freedom actually begins when one realizes there is choice and one can make choices. One does not have to be just like everyone else hopes, or be conforming to whatever group one is in.
Freedom can be a liberation from a previous accepted bondage of false inauthentic morality, the false and limiting social-cultural shoulds conditioned into us. This could be a liberation from unnecessary bondage, which has often been cloaked under the pretense of religion or spirituality. So spiritual freedom is, in part, to break free of this conditioned bondage, yet without dumping all sense of morality whatsoever. Everyone needs a sense of morality, but in the mature person this can be re-realized with one's individual conscience, rather than blindly accepting a whole bag of past social moralities. Then, as individuals break free of worn out moralities and prejudices, the overall social morals will evolve.
One of the important values in having individual freedom of mind and soul, and being able to make individual choices, is that one can be free of cultural and other social influences. If not for our [potential] individual autonomy of mind, we would merely follow the mind-set and beliefs of the social groups in which we live. This would impede social and spiritual evolution, for then our beliefs and choices would keep following the status-qua. The value of social uniformity is social harmony, but this tends to devalue new spiritual creativity.
So in understanding spiritual truths it is important that this freedom is discussed, because religion and spirituality can be loaded with false and unnecessary bondage, based on limited assumptions. This is not an indictment of any set of rules in particular; rather, the issue is about a general attitude -- whether one primarily places their trust in traditions and fixed moral codes, or one primarily trusts their own spiritual intuition and conscience.
God within us is ever seeking to be free of bondage and limitation; but of course not seeking a freedom to be immoral or harmful to others. What is important is a realization and attitude of freedom, having the feeling and experience of being truly free; though at the same time being centered in a natural-spiritual will-to-love and a spiritual desire to be kind, respectful and helpful to all others, including all living things.
We are all involved with conformity, to some degree; even if we do not realize it. This is because we are each linked into some kind of group and influenced by this group, this group-mind as it were. Even a 'non-conformist' is linked to the non-conformist group, and thus influenced by this group or by this mind-set. Our assumptions of individuality, in the sense of individuals being absolutely free, is greatly overstated. Each individual is much more in a group-mind than one would assume. But this is not a bad thing; for it does create mental and social interconnections, and it makes us relational beings. For example, religions and social traditions function as 'forces of conformity', for they value people who keep in unison, conform by their rules, and behave in about the same way. Yet this can be quite a good thing, in many ways, since it creates a social harmony and unity.
What can be problematic, though, is if we get caught up in a group-mind and cannot break free in order to know and express our unique being. Our being is partly collective and partly unique; so let is not neglect either part.
Each of us is interconnected and interrelated. We are all linked together in some way, not necessarily directly, but in some way. Each of us are in groups, various groups. These might be religions, cultural, ethnic, political, business, or social. But these groups can also be emotional or mental. That is, we are each linked into various groups of emotion (emotion-groups), and also groups of common ideas or beliefs (mental-groups). In the esoteric science, this is all generally called the mind of humanity. These are group-spheres of emotion and thought-form, which make up the aura or being of humanity, and which interpenetrates the physical world. In esoteric language these are the three lower worlds - the physical, emotional and mental worlds - in which humanity exists in and continues from. This is the composite of who we all are. Each person is in this and in its influence. This is the physical, emotional, and mental reality in which we live. We are all inter-connected and inter-linked in this.
Now there is a quality called empathy, or sympathy. For now, let us not worry about a distinction of meaning between these words; so just pick either one. This discussion will use the word empathy. So people have this quality of empathy, and this is very good. Empathy is very spiritual because it connects us with the feelings of others and it is a key to feeling in unity with others.
Yet what if this very good quality of empathy becomes a problem, if one resonates with the feelings of others. For what if this keeps one too linked in with others; so that, for example, one gets caught up in the emotional difficulties of others, or in the lower emotions of other people?
In other words, this quality, which links us and connects us with so many others, could also hold us in that particular sphere of group-emotion. We may wish to help them, but maybe we cannot help them as well if we are caught in the same kind of troubled emotions. So another important self-quality is detachment, which in this context is an ability to be free from group energies, group emotions, and collective desires.