Friday, June 10, 2005

Musings: Your Destiny, With Fries Or Without?

My Random House (I like the Random part) Dictionary defines destiny as: Something that is to happen to a particular person or thing, the predetermined course of events. Sounds all very limiting and oppressive to me - might as well throw in a mandatory biggy fries as well. But does life, your life, need to take such a rigid preordained journey? Or can you grab it by the short ones and steer it yourself?

I think the answer to that question would fill several billions of books (one for each of us), and the only author capable of writing your personal book would be yourself. And if you believe that, you are one step closer to how you want to perceive and live your life and one step further away from the biggy fries.

But how does destiny fit into the picture of life? Well, I will explore two views on it, and though they are diametrically opposed, they both lead in the same uplifting direction.

Let’s say that everything is predestined. Every ant, every wind, and every abscessed tooth was going to exist and live out their destiny exactly as it should, without any change at all from the start (if you believe in the Big Bang) or no start (if you believe in the open Universe concept of - it is, it was, it ever shall be in an endless continuum of no beginning and no end). The start doesn’t matter too much right now since we are in the middle of the story. Theoretically then, if you had the means (which nobody or repute does, sorry Nostrodomos - too cryptic and sorry Bible - same problem) to see all things which will be, life would not be very exciting or worth it. You could quickly determine, if it was your destiny, that you are going to be an accountant, marry an idiot and die of some wasting, hideous disease at forty two. Now tell me, how fun is that?

The other theory would be that almost everything is changeable. I say almost everything, because if certain things could change or be changed (like the charge on an electron, or the cosmological constant, or the Starbucks and Tim Horton coffee formulae) we would very quickly be unable to live in this spacetime continuum. A rather unpleasant thought, at least to me. I kind of like it here. So given those parameters, we as human beings (and ants too, and everything else for that matter) either have a freedom to choose, or are exposed to random activities, and things are not a destiny, but rather a series of somewhat controllable events which we can guide. Hey, did you just get a rush too? Now isn’t that the place you want to live in? It starts looking like you don’t really need to have those biggy fries shoved down your throat at all if you don’t want them. And that perception is a positive, good thing.

Now for the thrilling conclusion. If either theory is correct, destiny or no destiny, we still have a very important decision to make. How we react. And I truly believe it is how we view and respond to the universe around us that controls our destiny. (This statement seems contradictory, but bear with me)

I think this ability to choose your reaction was typified in the scene between Vader and Luke. Vader was busy telling Luke, "it is your destiny" the negative stentorian voice of the inevitable. Luke was busy holding on for dear life (a neat little image there) and basically telling Vader to stuff his negative vibes where the light saber don’t shine. In fact, I think Luke didn’t so much as let go because he was tired and trapped, but let go to give Vader the finger. He would have used his other hand, but as you know he was kind of missing it at that point in the movie.

For every thing that happens to you, or you choose (illusion or reality it makes no difference) to make happen, you can decide how to react to it.

You can behave like you have no choice, that you are a born loser, that the universe is out to get you. Or you can behave like you have a choice, that you are a born winner, and that the universe is neither for you nor against you but is a playground in which almost anything you set your positive mind to doing is achievable.

Ultimately, you have the power to decide how to react.

It is your choice, not your destiny.

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