Free Will and Destiny always make good topics of conversation.
In watching the Matrix I movie again the other night, I was struck by Morpheus’ question to Neo regarding his thoughts about Destiny, Fate, and Neo’s response that he didn’t like the idea that he didn’t have control over his outcomes.
When considering it in the context of Creation as laid out by the Ancients, the reality seems to be that our choices are indeed Free, as we make them, but since we are ensconced within a time-space continuum that is bubble-like, with other aspects of Creation lying outside of that bubble, the many precognitive abilities that seem to be supernatural in nature are merely extended human perceptual capacities that allow us to span the realms of reality that lie outside of our normal five senses and our limited experience of an eternal and infinite Creation.
We do this daily. The feelings that we get when we meet someone for the first time. The thoughts we have that seem to come from outside of our thought processes and affect our lived reality. The ability we have, sometimes, to know things we haven’t learned. The strange coincidences that arises from our thoughts and actions, and lead to some change in our circumstances. Little things, in the larger scheme of things, but meaningful things, when they come to our experiences of this world.
Relationships have been very difficult for me lately. Friend relationships and intimate relationships alike. Determining my own needs has run directly into fulfilling others needs, and the result has been chaotic, to say the very least. It is often an underlying part of our realities that the societal context within which we live determines the way that we carry out our relationships. When we live within a sick society, often, our so-called personal choices come from places of sickness that are reflections of our early childhood learning, and the patterns that we witnessed and internalized during that time-frame.
Growing out of those patterns does not happen unless we make the conscious decision to leave them behind at a certain point in our lifetimes. Making that conscious decision can only happen if our experiences leave us in a place where we are forced to confront our choices and beliefs and determine whether or not they truly help us or hinder us during our sojourn through life. Doing so requires a sober and in-depth exploration of personality and Self, which is a task many of us run away from instead of toward.
It’s hard. Very hard. For anyone who has been told about themselves and has had to look in the mirror and realize that you’re not all that you thought that you were, you know that your first instinct is to look away. To never look in a mirror again and walk around not even thinking about whatever your problem is – the problem that is, apparently, very obvious to those close and not so close to you – but which has been hidden from you, by you yourself. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? That we can hide things from ourselves? Or, see them, and then make the conscious decision to ignore them?
“I am who I am, love me or leave me.”
“I always been this way, and I ain’t gonna change.”
“I’mo do me, no matter what.”
“You ain’t no better.”
I want to change. Maybe you do to. In fact, many of us want to change, but the problem arises when we look at the current state of our lives, and try to figure out how to get from here to there, how to stumble our way through the briar-patch mess that we’ve made of our lives into the clear fields surrounding, out of the forest and onto the Savannas of Clarity and Light. How do we change our situations so that we can be that avatar of ourselves that we see within, living the lives we want to live, being the people we want to be?
Some people will tell you to just stop. Get rid of all of the negative influences in your life and change right then and there. And that is a valid choice. Itoften results in the accumulation of unresolved karma and also doesn’ttake into account the reality that sometimes we are in life-situationsthat we can’t get out of realistically without drastic consequences. And, sometimes, those consequences are necessary. Sometimes, an abused spouse has to run away from her or his abuser, just pack the bags and go for theirs or the children’s sake. Other times, we have to cut off a relationship that we can see is no good for us, even if we are still emotionally or chemically attached to that individual. Stopping is a valid response, and one that we sometimes wait. But there are other options as well.
Continuing within a negative pattern, changing it as we go along, until the outcome is one that has brought us into the light. This is more difficult, obviously, because the possibilities of succumbing, of continuing the negative pattern are strong. This is the case in just stopping the negative pattern as well, as any ex-smoker still loving his or her tobacco can tell you. It requires a firm will and a clear goal to make it through, if the choice is made to allow a situation to continue, seeking ways to direct the situation in a positive manner, leading to a positive outcome. Also, when you take this path, you have to be very observant of the many forks and side-paths along the way. Synchronicity is the key factor to the decision-making process, when you are seeking direction in life, and the opportunities may often arise alongside distractions designed to obscure opportunity’s facade and keep you blinded and headed down the wrong tracks, well on your way to a dark and painful end.
Stopping or continuing. Both valid choices, both valid ways to experience life, and to change your situation. The key to either’s success is the clarity of the goal. Whether or not you can see where you want to be in the end, and if you have the willpower necessary to sustain your effort until you arrive there. There will be dark days, and times when you say to yourself that there is no G-d, or the Light is too far away. There will arise emotional despair, strong enough to cause some to think of black-hole dissolution and service-to-self in the form of suicide and the immerson of Self into even more negative practices that are life-threatening and immolatory in nature.
Burn, burn, burn on the cross like Jesus in the Devil’s favorite dream, what’s the point, my life is meaningless and nobody will miss me anyway.
We can’t really please anybody. Everyone sees themselves in everyone else anyway, and what we love about others is usually what we love about ourselves, and our fascination with seeing that reflection so clearly. Some call that love, at least.
Whatever it is we’re doing here has implications beyond our petty wishes and banal experiences. Whatever kind of experiment this is, whether it is an insignificant play on an obscure stage somewhere on the fringes of the known universe, or whether it is a cosmic stage of intense importance to all sentient beings everywhere, really matters little when it comes to our own individual experiences of life.
It seems to all be about choices. And whether those choices lead us to a better or worse outcome for ourselves, and, in that sense, whether our spirits and lives are fulfilled by our actions, or whether they are not. How we actually feel, emotionally, is tangential to the central question of whether or not we are fulfilled. Feelings come and go – both positive and negative – but that sense of pervasive peace and contentment that comes from the fulfillment of a personal purpose in life is something else altogether.
Fulfilling our individual purposes, be they in the Darkness or the Light, is the goal. Finding out what that purpose is and how to fulfill it, our journey through experience. It’s my journey. It’s your journey. No one else can tell us how to travel it.
I gotta do what I gotta do to get from here to there. And so do you. So let’s agree to do whatever it is we gotta do the best way we know how, no matter what anyone else wants us to or thinks we should do. Even our mistakes are ours and ours alone. We make them because we need to, for whatever reason. Advice is good, but doesn’t trump experience, and some’a y’all, like me, got hard-ass heads.
Even when it seems like we are not making a choice, we are making a choice. No choice at all is a valid expression of Free Will, and often has consequences, just as making a choice in one direction or another does. Destiny happens, Fate is the book written, the story told before, during and after the events take place.
As we play our assigned roles, perhaps we should keep in mind that we are only part of the cast, and that the starring role rotates. Also that there are infinite stages, set for an eternal audience that includes us all in the roles of actor and audience at different points of consciousness outside the boundaries of time and space.