Q. Why did we come to the material world in the first place? I know this question has been asked many times and it seems no one really has the correct answer. I have heard from various other devotees that each individual will eventually find out why based on their own individuality; but there must be some logical explanation for God to build this material world. From my own conclusion and what I have heard is that we were given a choice to enjoy independently of Him while we were in the spiritual world since we are all individual beings, but why would we make that choice if we were enjoying eternal happiness? Could it be that we still didn't have freedom, perhaps? And keeping us there in the spiritual world with no choice at all would have meant He really caged us in and forced us to be there. But then again it is our eternal position. It's confusing - can you please elaborate on this subject. Why did we come to the material world?

                                                                  We have discussed this question in previous issues in some detail. As you indicated, yes, we are here because of our choice to enjoy independently of Krishna. But your question probes the reason or cause as to why would someone who is experiencing complete happiness in the spiritual world would make such a choice, as if he was experiencing
                                                                  some shortcoming, or exhibiting a reaction to his dissatisfaction or rebellion against being 'caged' within the spiritual realm?

                                                                  If you search through the digest of previous questions and answers, you will find that the 'event' of misuse of free will is not a 'chronological event' (this means 'an event within time', eg "In the past I was outside of this room, then some time passed, then some notion came into my mind, and that inspired me to come within the room, which also took place through the passage of some time.") but constitutes an event nonetheless. Call it an ontological event, if you will.

                                                                  Now let us explore the 'cause' of the soul's misuse of free will.

                                                                  The source of any hypothetical dissatisfaction could not be a reaction to the lack of freedom, as it seems your question proposes. The very fact that we are within the material circumstance of life implies that we do have such freedom; if we were forced or caged within the spiritual world, as you put it, we wouldn't be here! The point is that free will also exists in the spiritual realm, and naturally so, since minute free will is an inherent quality of the soul, just as unlimited free will is an inherent quality of God.

                                                                  Despite the all-perfect nature of the spiritual world, there is one desire which a living entity cannot possibly satisfy in that realm, a desire which can only be approached in illusion - the unceremonious aspiration to become God oneself!

                                                                  The source of the misuse of free will is NOT coming from some source outside of the soul, acting upon it. Tiny free will is inherent within the soul itself, and there is no other cause.

                                                                  By constitution, the living entity, being a miniscule fragmentary part of the Supreme, has freedom which is correspondingly limited. Jivas are dependent on the Supreme for enjoyment, much as a child is dependent on their mother and father. In the spiritual world, souls can enjoy unlimited bliss, but by serving the Lord and not independently.
                                                                  There, Krishna is the only Enjoyer and the Cynosure of everybody's attention and devotion. For those who unfortunately resent the Lord's unrivaled opulence and His position as the central Enjoyer of all existence, He out of great kindness creates this illusory realm - like a loving father's indirect protection of his prodigal son. Besides
                                                                  giving the soul the opportunity for an illusory sense of unlimited freedom, by illusion's inherent miserable nature, it helps rectify the soul of this mentality. This is one of the grand mysteries of material creation.