Friday, June 17, 2011

To Each Their Own Star: The Interconnected Relationship between Destiny and Free Will

A stumbling Vancouver Canuck player

Until recently, I was under the impression that we have little free will and that our lives have been mainly mapped out for us. In this view, we were little more than pawns while others, the CEO and the board of directors of the "other world" were calling the shots. We have little say in this matter similar to how most governments and companies are run; the little freedom and choice we think we have is merely a consolation price or in worse cases, an utter illusion or wishful thinking.

I know that this view is rather fatalistic and many might deem it as pessimistic. But this was the only way I could accommodate the belief in psychic phenomena. How can some people foresee the future unless it were to happen a determined way? If somebody can predict that in such and such point of time this and that will occur, then what happened to my free will?

Most people will reject psychic phenomena and call it bogus and continue to have unshaken faith in their own abilities. But I think it is rather presumptuous for us to claim that we are in full control of our lives when the evidence points toward the contrary. Most of the time, we are struggling with making decisions and when we do, we are not exactly sure why we chose A over B and try to explain it away by pointing to reason, intuition or the otherwordly push or shove commonly referred to as Providence.

As I said, my view has rather changed. The reason for it is the latest outcome of the Stanley Cup finals where my home team lost. This may seem trivial at first look, so let me explain. My wife has certain premonitions communicated through dreams, a practice that dates to biblical and ancient Roman times. These dreams usually give a clear indication of what is along the way, what will happen. Most of it in our experience has been negative, but some of it has been hopeful. Nonetheless, the majority of times, she has been right in her predictions.

As you may guess, she predicted a win for the Vancouver Canucks. In her dreams she saw multitudes of people celebrating on the streets with loads of cake and a general frenzy of happiness. The reality has been the exact opposite. The aftermath of the playoffs has been mayhem, violence and senseless destruction, while most of us suffered a sense of despair, disappointment, even depression in addition to international shame and humiliation. So was she wrong then?

That might be the conclusion to be drawn here. She just erred or it was based on misinformation. True, it is an option. But I cannot personally shake off the impression that my team was indeed meant to win the Cup -- sorry Boston Bruins, I do not mean to take away from your efforts. So what happened then?

I felt tempted to reevaluate the whole thing. I still believe that certain major events of life are planned out. I believe in destiny. Certain things are just meant to happen and to be. We may not realize how and why and won't see the links until much later. Yet there is also a certain clause involved within this whole process. It is not a no-matter-what type of case. You, and here is where a truncated form of free will comes in, might have a choice after all.

Let us look at it this way. We are born with certain tendencies. It involves characteristics and natural abilities. Based on this, we can predict a lot about the individual. I happen to believe that astrology plays a role as well. I think astrology is an under-appreciated and little understood tool that has been, just like psychic phenomena, exploited for monetary reasons, manipulated or simply misunderstood and misinterpreted. Yet because of its misuse, it does not mean that it is wrong or misleading itself, though it is a long shot from being accepted as science. But that is not necessarily a bad thing.

So at the birth of an individual, we can have a blueprint of his future. We need also access to other secret or hidden information such as karmic energies but we will then have a good indication of what will happen to them, a sort of personal blueprint. Obviously, we would equally have to take into consideration external social and political events around the individual which will shape her destiny as well since nobody lives in isolation.

We have then determined with psychological and mathematical precision what will happen to this person. Despite all our efforts, the blueprint will still not be infallible. The person may suddenly make an unexpected U-Turn. They may make a boggling and mind-bending decision that will change the course of their history. In that sense, they may alter and change their own destiny, or rather they might not reach their own destiny and personal fulfillment because of certain harmful decisions and actions.

In that sense, we do have a conflict. The psychic or astrologer will say that such and such will happen. But there is always the X-factor that changes it all. It can be, as I said, internally, based on the person's participation or it can be an unforeseen external circumstance. Either way, it messes up any way of knowing what will happen and sometimes the exact opposite may occur.

And that is what happened to the Vancouver Canucks. The stars were indeed shining in their favor. They had everything going for them. Statistics were pointing unequivocally in their direction. My wife saw them win. But along the way, either through their own efforts or lack thereof or by some unexplained and mysterious interference, they failed to reach the stars; as a result, they lost and I was forced to redefine my outlook.

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