So clearly, my Soul Pancake Challenge is not flowing in consecutive days; I think I posted Day 2, what, like a MONTH ago? At the rate I’m going, it make take me a year or two to get through it all but hey, we’ve only time on our hands, yes? At least I know I’ll always have something to fall back on when I experience my moments of writer’s block.
So today’s question is: "What is the interplay between fate and free will?" Another reason my challenge has been on a serious hold is because I got jammed at this question. What a mind-boggler. Why did the first chapter have to deal with “The Brain and the Soul”? I mean seriously, digging so deep right at the appetizer? Geez, thanks, Rainn.
But let me chill with the procrastinating small talk and get right into answering. What IS fate? It’s our destiny, right? It’s what’s going to happen in our lives regardless of what we plan or prepare for. It cannot be altered or changed (can it?). Fate is what it is.
I have a friend who once said: “Our destiny is tomorrow…we can never touch it.” I thought this was a pretty profound statement at the time. Each day holds an un-promised tomorrow, and because of this reality, we are meant to relish wholeheartedly in the present; taking life in strides and recognizing that what will be will be.
So where does free will come in??
I would say, with how we choose to live; how we choose to spend our time in the present moment. There is a quote used in the book that reads: “Man is a being with free will; therefore each man is potentially good or evil, and it’s up to him and only him (through his reasoning mind) to decide which he wants to be." (Ayn Rand)
How are you spending your moments? Doing good or doing evil? In what ways do your day to day behaviors affect those around you? How do you make others feel when you are in their presence? How do you feel about yourself, when you are alone with yourself? How do the decisions you make from day to day impact YOUR life?
Although God is the ultimate controller of our lives, and all things that we do and that are done to us are according to His will, I believe that He allows us the freedom to choose how we want to live our lives, and these choices dictate our destiny.
Karma is not a new or foreign concept. We do good, we yield good; we receive what we give, and quite often, more than what we give. Which is why, as I wrote in a song I penned years ago called “Boomerang”, we have to keep up with our giving. (Album already dropped in my mind…may manifest in the real world one day.)
One of the Dig Deeper questions asked if we are capable of influencing the fate of others. I say, yes and no. No, because our fate is, as I said, what it is. What will be will be. However, this is why I also spoke of, or rather questioned how one’s actions affected others. As Ayn said, we can either choose to do/be good or do/be evil. These decisions can also influence those around us.
You never know how your positive actions and uplifting or encouraging words can motivate a person to change for the better. On a darker note, we can look at the epidemic of bullying and its link to increased suicide rates among young people to observe the dangers of a negative influence.
As an aspiring parent, I pray that I will raise my children to be competent, caring, loving, God-fearing, compassionate, kind and generous individuals who through the influence of their father and I will have developed free wills geared towards being equally inspiring influences to others.
And though what will bewillbe, I still feel these influences can change others, thus altering their fate. Even writing this now, it seems so contradictory but that’s life, innit? Full of contradictions, albeit those that can be twisted to our advantage…how we choose to twist them = free will.
AnotherDig Deeperquestion asked the reader to explain a moment where he/she or in this case, I have ever felt that I had no free will. I think for me it’s been those moments where I had to give up all I wanted and thought was right for me and submit wholly to God’s will.
For example, when He lead me back to the United States after living abroad for seven years and proclaiming every chance I could that I would NEVER live in America again! I won’t get into detail as I have told this story a hundred times (I may copy/paste the presentation I gave to my church on the subject) but I’ll just say that I got to a point where I could no longer make decisions; they were being made for me whether I liked them or not.
Everything that was happening to me around that time were things that were totally out of my control. It was the most draining and the most liberating experience of my life. And when I think about it now, I realize that it was God relinquishing full control, stripping me momentarily of the illusion that Irun this isht, and sending in a whirlwind to completely turn me around and steer me back on course, HIS course, HIS route, back to Never-Never Land…or should I say Never-Say-Never Land. Sometimes I wonder if God truly does laugh at our plans. I would if I were Him.
The last question asked what is the collective destiny of humanity. Whenever I see the word “collective”, particularly in relation to humankind, I think of Eckhart Tolle and his books “The Power of Now" and "A New Earth”. He speaks a lot of the collective consciousness. His book “A New Earth" particularly was incredibly life-changing for me because it introduced me to the "ego" and its many faces and roles. It also awakened me to just what our collective destiny is: to free ourselves from the ego, i.e. the trappings of our minds, and live in complete harmony with the Now. I can actually read the book again…I could use a refresher.
Going off topic for a bit, Eckhart’s books have helped me in many ways to understand the nature of people and has taught me to be more forgiving…another element of our collective destiny. LIVE-LOVE-FORGIVE-BE-NOW. That is how I’d sum it all up. This is our collective destiny. I’d also add UNDERSTAND to the equation as according to the Book of Proverbs, it is the ultimate goal of WISDOM (it being understanding). (Proverbs 4:7)
So what is the interplay between fate and free will? In a nutshell: KARMA…reciprocity…taking in what you dish out…following through with the decisions you make with the understanding that they will affect your future, while at the same time living with total disregard for the future, i.e. focusing solely on the present moment.
My friend said that our destiny is tomorrow; I say our destiny is today, right now, this very instant. We are currently living and breathing our fate…what we choose to do with it is up to us.
That is all.
Peace and love…K