God looked around the conference table and took a sip of his Intergalactic nectar, waiting for the meeting to begin. He was excited to be sitting with all the other gods in the multi-verse. His report was ready, and he was eager to share his experience with the other creators.
The lights flickered a bit, and the board chairman made her way inside. She looked serious, ready for business. God sat straighter in his seat.
“Welcome, everyone,” said the board chairman, sitting at the head of the table. “I appreciate your attendance and your time. Let’s get right to the reports. Who would like to go first?”
Some gods shifted in their seats, looking a little nervous, but not God, he was ready. He raised his hand and the board chairman called on him.
“Thank you, Ma’am, as you all probably know, I am the creator of Universe 528-314 Alpha. We’ve got a lovely operation going there. We’re still expanding. Lots of planets, lots of life out there, but we’re still in our infancy relative to many of you.”
The chairman looked through some papers in front of her and said, “Yes, I’ve read up on your universe. It’s well ordered, very tidy.”
“Thank you, Madame Chairman. I try to keep things flowing smoothly, and resist the urge to destroy and recreate areas. I’ve done that in the past and I’ve realized it doesn’t really fix anything. You just have to let your life forms solve their own problems.”
The chairman replied, “It says here in this report that your incarnated life forms are imbued with free will. Is that true?”
There was a collective gasp in the room. God looked around at the other beings and started to feel a little defensive.
“Well… yes, Ma’am. I’m not terribly interested in controlling every little thing my life forms do. You see, life is much more interesting and exciting for them if they get to decide for themselves how their lives will turn out. It’s exhilarating really.”
Another being leaned towards God and said, “But don’t they hurt themselves or get lost on their paths? How do you protect them from their folly?”
God replied, “I don’t.”
More shocked gasps from the room.
God looked around and wondered if maybe he shouldn’t have gone first, but he steeled himself and said, “I let them fall down, and I encourage them to rise again. I let them make mistakes, and they learn from them and make different choices. Well, most of the time they make different choices.”
The room was silent as the other gods pondered this.
The chairman said, “But what if they decide to do something you don’t approve of? What if they hurt other life forms, or damage the planet you gave them?”
God shrugged. “I’m not going to lie, it does happen. It happens every day. My life forms can get pretty ignited, especially because they don’t remember they are part of one collective energy.”
“Wait,” said one of the other gods, “Your life forms don’t remember where they come from? And who they really are?”
God said, “Well, no. When they take physical form they forget their lives in the ether.”
“Don’t you think that’s a little barbaric, God? You put them on a planet and they don’t remember who they are? That sounds like a recipe for disaster. How do they function without remembering they are loved, that they are one with the universe, that they are all connected?”
God replied, “It’s part of the experience, it’s part of their growth. When I put them on a planet, I leave it to the others who are already incarnated to teach them how to function there.”
The chairman said, “But you mentioned that sometimes your life forms hurt others and destroy aspects of your creation. Don’t you want to step in and fix all of that so things run more smoothly?”
“No,” said God. “I want them to co-create their shared experience. I want them to have freedom to explore their thoughts and ideas. And yes, sometimes that leads to wars, poverty, famine, and disease, but it just as often leads to innovation, heroism, acts of kindness, and connection to others. I want them to see cause and effect and change their actions when they don’t like their results.”
Another god leaned in and said, “Has this been a successful model for you? Do you survey your life forms when they slough off their physical forms? Are they happy with your universal policies?”
God perked up a bit and said, “Oh yes. After my life forms return to the ether they are excited to share what they experienced with other souls. They share the heartaches, the joys, the pain, their successes. And they are eager to go back and incarnate again.”
One god gasped and said, “They willingly return to the chaos of free will? It sounds so untidy to me. I’m not really sure I understand the benefit of giving them free will if they are going to make messes of their planets.”
God swallowed and looked at the group.
He said, “Look, I realize that you guys run your universes a little differently. And I know my model is somewhat new. But I have discovered that when you control every aspect of a soul’s incarnation that they feel caged, powerless, and helpless. Free will gives them personal power. They can create any kind of life they want. It causes them to think about their actions and the impact of those actions. It spawns dreams and desires that to some might seem impossible, but to them are achievable. It gives them a playground to take risks, and to reap the benefits of what they’ve sown. And even though they struggle, they appreciate the opportunity to make their lives whatever they desire. Nothing is outside their reach.”
“Do you smite them or punish them when they misbehave?” someone asked.
“No, I do not,” God replied. “They must suffer the natural consequences of their actions and decide if they want to change their behavior to manifest different results.”
“Do you answer their prayers?” another asked.
“Also, no. Once I set their feet in the world the results they get are up to them. They have the freedom to make their lives amazing or the freedom to destroy their lives if they want to,” God replied. “I will not interfere with their experience.”
“Do you sever your connection to them when they incarnate? Are they totally without your love and support and care?”
“No, not at all. I am with them, always. I hurt when they hurt. I rejoice in their joy. I celebrate when they manifest great things. And I grieve when they suffer. But I will not take control of their lives or change an outcome for them. It robs them of their experience and personal power.”
The chairman said, “It sounds really interesting, to be honest. Would you mind if I tagged along with you when you return and see how this system works in person? I’m fascinated by what you’re offering your life forms.”
God replied, “Absolutely, I would welcome the scrutiny. I love my souls dearly, and that’s why I want them to have the lives of their dreams, unfettered by MY desires for them. I want them to manifest their own experience and know they can accomplish anything.”
The chairman said, “Thank you for your report. I think you’ve given us all something to consider. Who would like to give the next report?”
God sat back in his chair with a smile on his face. He sent an outpouring of love to all of creation, and drank the rest of his nectar.