Free Will? Destiny? What's the deal?
Who's really in control here? Anybody?
I think most of us think we are pretty much in control of our lives, with maybe a couple of exceptions. Does that feel about right?
As a spiritual enthusiast, it's been important that I delve into all the pockets of questions that I have had since I was a very small child, in the attempt to get at the truth. This one is a biggie and since I do not definitively know the answer, I can just throw a bunch of theories, thoughts and teachings out there and play around with this major life question.
To get into this, one must look at a big picture overview of their life. Let's look at work first. We have all heard stories of people who knew what they wanted to do as kids and actually wound up in that line of work, but what's your own experience?
I wanted to work with horses, but then a horse almost killed me and my first childhood dream died that day. Then I wanted to be a rock star. I learned to play guitar, was playing in bands, but then other events, issues with people, like heroin use, ended that dream.
All choice was out of my control. Life decides ultimately about everything, but I certainly did not get this at age 13, nor at 20.
Then there was no dream to speak of, and adult life took over and besides seeming to make decisions about what jobs to apply for, and when to quit a job, nothing else involved was really my decision. You cannot choose who will hire you, or when they might fire you. You can also try as you will to get certain jobs, but if something is "not meant to be" for whatever reason, then you will never get that job.
I would have never dreamed I would be doing the job I have at this point in life, but I am so grateful that I am and it is obvious to me now, that Life knows exactly what it is doing and when we can relax, stop resisting and allow everything to be, and to come and go as it will, then everything is actually perfect all the time.
Now relationships. Right off the bat you would probably say that you did not choose your family. That's debatable and maybe we will take that up at another time here, but that's a biggie, right up there with, did you choose to be born at all?
So much of our lives are run by biological forces beyond our control, so we can establish that immediately. Then it is up to where we are living as to who we actually can meet. If we travel for whatever reason, or move around with family, more opens up, but who's choice is that?
Once in a relationship, who decides what path it takes, or how long it lasts? There are so many experiences that could happen, but does one choose to cheat? It seems like it, right?
I know I wanted my relationship with Joe to continue, and he was on board, and then at the last minute, he bailed on us and at some point later, hated me for whatever reason. I have not had a comparable relationship since then, and that ended in 1997. The few afterwards simply never measured up (my fault?) to being with someone in that carefree, effortless fashion that two people have together when it just clicks.
I would have never dreamt I would be this independent and this force of one. You just think at some point that you will meet someone else and everything falls into place to a certain extent. Who is choosing to be alone or to be married?
So can we now ask if we are indeed really choosing anything that is showing up in our lives right this minute as this is being read?
Isn't the only real choice we have in this moment, how we are going to respond to whatever is going on? It seems to me, that there is nothing I can do to change the reality of the world as it appears to me and what is happening in that reality, but my attitude, how I choose to feel and perceive my life, how I respond to adversity, to pain, is entirely up to me.
This is actually an area that a lot of us throw up our hands and say that I cannot help that I am like this, I was born this way. So you may be tempted to put this into the out of our control pile, with so much of the rest of it, but hang on for a sec.
Our inner world is our responsibility and spending time here is vital. Our inner world is reflecting how we see the outer world. We can change this, and it is in our control to a major extent. It is well worth doing this type of spiritual work, as it it also vastly improves the quality of your life, because the source of your version of reality is nothing but your inner world. I am talking about meditation and it's life-changing.
Where does this leave us in our discussion?
Here is a beautiful point: What if everything is Consciousness, or God, or Shiva, or whatever name (or none) that you like. In this scenario, your manifestation as so-and-so is also That. There really can be no wrong (or right) in this case, for you as Life simply exists to Be Aware of whatever is showing up, without any conditioning around anything whatsoever.
There would be neither destiny or choice as any true reality, when there is only existence existing for the sake of Itself and nothing else going on, and on. Life unfolds in the absolute perfect way of each and every one, no matter how that might look or seem.
You are free to allow whatever experiences that seem to be meant to happen to this "you" to happen impersonally, since they are going to anyway, but with much less suffering involved. Who is choosing what then?
Life is magical and mysterious and we can choose to honor these qualities in our lives, and be filled with wonder and delight, even in the midst of challenging circumstances.
That much my loves, is up to you.
What are your thoughts on this fascinating subject?