Destiny…

Some believe that the future is written and cannot be altered, others believe it can. Some believe it’s not written at all, and lies completely in your hands. Unsurprisingly so, I believe in neither, at least not within the context of its common interpretation.

I often wonder what fate really is, and if it really is as rigid as we often believe it is. Someone recently shared a post that suggested that it is largely our inability to control the choices of others, and therefore their choices result in our destiny, and how we react to it is what completes the cycle. I think this is only a small part of a much bigger picture. 

Consider this scenario. I’m driving down a road, and there’s a huge rock in the middle of the road which presents me with a few options:

  1. Avoid the rock and drive on unharmed or undamaged – and people will say that it was in my fate/destiny to have seen the rock and been able to avoid it in time
  2. Apply brakes and stop before hitting the rock and escape unhurt or undamaged – and people will say that it was in my fate to have seen it and brake in time to avoid injury
  3. See the rock and choose to do nothing because I was feeling particularly morbidly destructive at the time and die in the crash – and people will say that it was in my fate to die that day and if it wasn’t the rock, it would be something else that would have caused my death anyway
  4. Not see the rock because I was texting someone and crash and die – and people will say that he was too busy with his mobile phone, that’s why he didn’t see the rock

There’s probably many more scenarios that could play out but the point is, I had a choice in what I was focusing on and how I was going to respond to the presence of the rock, and each sequence of events and related decisions had pre-defined outcomes. And in this, I believe, lies the secret of destiny.

Destiny, for me, is not a prescribed outcome regardless of the efforts of my life. Nor is it a cast-in-stone destination that I will reach regardless of what I do or don’t do towards achieving it. If that were true, we’d all be able to laze around and never have to worry about anything, because it’s all pre-ordained already. Well, I believe that it is pre-ordained, but just not in that context.

I often toy with the analogy of a software developer and the code that they write. That code gives ‘life’ to a certain number of functions that have specified behaviours that are limited only to the permutations possible through the available configurations made possible by that code. Let’s assume for a second that that code had a sense of self, or a conscious nature with an associated intelligence to act out the possible permutations defined by the developer. In that case, every single one of those sequences that play out could be defined as destiny within the context of that code. 

Extrapolate that example onto a grand scale and note how the same laws apply to the universe, and humans. The laws of nature have been defined. Pre-determined. Hard coded and configured. We have the intelligence and the limited ability to manipulate those configuration permutations in seemingly infinite ways, and because of the number of variables that give rise to infinite variations, it appears impossible to predict the outcomes accurately, except where the known variables are limited to what is within our grasp to compute. Man has never created anything. We’ve only manipulated what we have in order to arrive at new configurations of what already exists, regardless of how complex the manipulation may be, it will always be nothing more than that. A manipulation of what exists. 

With this in mind, destiny then becomes a sequence of events that are triggered entirely by choices we make, and actions we take, with one caveat. There’s always a caveat. Each person acts with independent thought, despite many displaying behaviour that suggests that they’re possibly incapable of such an act. How our choices interact with each other is what makes life a challenge, or a pleasure. How we react to those interactions of choices is what determines our fate and well being. 

Whether we choose to actively participate or not is irrelevant. Because every breath forces a reaction, every thought prompts an action, and every action spawns a reaction. So the only time we stop participating is when we die. At that point, the impact of our actions continue to survive beyond our lifetime, but we are then unable to influence the outcomes of any further interactions of choice. 

The future is therefore what we make of it. What effort and focus we put in, directly influences what we get out. But don’t mistake this for karma, as in if we do good, we should expect good in return. It doesn’t work that way. Our choice to care about someone that may not choose to care in return (for whatever reason) will result in our good being repaid with bad. That is destiny and karma will never be able to explain that.

We alter the course of our lives with every thought and every act. We develop trends through the consistency of our actions, but at any given moment a single act or coinciding set of choices could alter that carefully constructed path and destroy every aspiration or ambition we so meticulously planned for. However, this ‘configuration’ is not limited to only what we can observe or manipulate physically. I believe it extends to everything we sense, feel, think, experience, or contemplate.

Imagine that every single thing that you can fathom, tangible or intangible, physical or spiritual, all has a value that gives it a weighting within this grand scheme we call destiny. How much we accumulate of the various values would determine the course of our lives. Take this a step further and imagine that even prayer has such values assigned to it. The accumulation of this value on a spiritual plane would have an influence on our experiences on a physical plane, which results in apparently amazing outcomes that would not otherwise be explainable. 

The complexity of the laws that govern all this is mind blowing to say the least. The fact that a finite set of laws exists is unquestionable. If there was the slightest hint of randomness in any of it, things supposedly left to chance, there would be unpredictable chaos at every turn. But there isn’t. Even when things go really pear-shaped, after a suitably rigorous post-mortem, the sequence of events that gave rise to the apparent chaos is quickly unravelled. Which confirms that chaos in fact does not exist. 

There’s so many more thoughts on this that I need to articulate, but it’s too many to effectively translate into words right now. This is the first time that I’ve attempted to share these ideas at all even though it has been plaguing me for many years now. I wonder if it will make sense to anyone else at all?

I want to know what you think

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