Fate Vs. Free Will for the Future

I like to know the future and at the same time I don't like to know the future. Most people don't realize this about me but I get incredibly angry when someone tells me what will happen in my life. A button gets pushed and I want to retort, "How the hell should you know?" The funny thing is I have this response even if I've paid someone to tell me my future. Even if I'm trusting they will know, there is something deep and primal in me that growls and says, "You're wrong." And you know? I'm right.

In all the years I've spoken to psychics and intuitive readers they have never been right about anything, unless they predicted something within the next few weeks to a month. If they said, "The way you communicate will change," they were spot on. If they said, "You'll start dating someone by Valentine's Day," they were wrong. This blogpost is not to lambast psychics or intuitive readers — for some people they are amazingly accurate — instead, it's a springboard to talk about fate and free will.

If you asked me years ago I would have said I believe in a combination of fate and free will — that some things are fated but most are free will. Or certain free will choices I make launch me into a "fated" trajectory because for every action there is a reaction. After all, that's the basic law of the universe and also how I understand karma. What I'm noticing though is I believe less and less in fate and more and more in free will. My experience with future tellers demonstrates my life is unpredictable and no one knows what will happen next. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

On the one hand, I want my life to be neat and tidy, I want to follow a plan and connect the dots from one event to another. I so want my life to be fated and to feel the comfort that comes along with following a map. On the other hand, my visceral response is, "I chart my own destiny and ain't nobody gonna tell me what to do." I'm little bit of rebel in that way I guess.

How does that fit with all my talk of déjà vu and signs? How do I square all this free will stuff with the very important occurrence of déjà vu? Just last night while talking with my friends I had a flash of, "I've experienced this before." My best friend has a gorgeous explanation for déjà vu that I won't be able to do justice, but I'll do my best. He once drew a map for me of squiggly lines and detours, a veritable spider spinning its web while on crack. There was nothing orderly about it. He drew nodes, or circles, at certain points on the web and said, "Those circles are déjà vu. They're intersecting points of one path or trajectory with another. They're an option to change direction or keep going." In that context déjà vu is an important point where our life comes together.

I think about this a lot because I'm scared of "going off track." Like if I miss my train that means I won't meet a promoter who falls in love with my book and wants to spread its message to the masses. However, what I know to be true, what I wrote about for Quarterlette.com, what I've seen evidence of, is opportunity doesn't knock once, it will beat down your door. So maybe fate is like that scene from Groundhog Day where Bill Murray tries to save that old homeless man and he dies anyway — the circumstances surrounding the old man's death are different, but the outcome is always the same. Maybe there are certain events that will happen no matter what and everything else is free will. One thing is clear though, the future is not decided.

I dream of a world where we understand we can change the world, we can change the future, where nothing is set in stone. A world where we grasp our destiny by the hands and steer ourselves where we want to go. A world where we accept what we cannot avoid and work to change the rest.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable.    

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3 comments… add one
  • Liila Jan 27, 2013, 8:41 pm

    Great blog topic. I enjoyed your insights.

    From my experience, life seems to take the direction based on the content of my being in that moment. A simple example is when I'm in a happy place I tend to attract positive experiences. And when I have a lot of passion about something I want to happen and NO doubt it often happens. This seemed easier when I was younger…the no doubt bit.

    • Rebekah Jan 28, 2013, 8:49 pm

      Thanks Liila! I find the passion and lack of doubt only goes so far. I think about an episode of the "Bachelor" from a few years back where one of the women is crushed because, "I put it on my vision board! It was supposed to happen!" When someone else's free will is also involved there are no guarantees.

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