editorial, religion, self help

Destiny Versus Free Will

What defines us? Our experiences, and environment contribute to what make us who we are today. But, what of those influences are divine, or our own making? Depending on who you ask you will get a different answer. So, where does the line between Free Will and Destiny, begin?


Free Will on the most basic level is our ability to make decisions. What choices shall we make this day? From the moment we wake up we are offered choices and given different problems to solve. What shall I eat for breakfast? Shall I sleep another five minutes? All those choices elude not only to our ability to lead our lives but to step aside and learn what influences our choices. It is often a daunting task to think that we are responsible for all of our faculties in life. However, we are not responsible. We did not choose where we were born, or who weaved the clothes we wear. We can partially influence some choices but not all.

When I step outside this influence I can see that there may be more than simple random influence. The behavior of man and woman is predictable. We all have needs, food, sleep, shelter, love, sex, money. This is what motivates us all. Knowing this we can change the course of any individual and seemingly remove their free will. If you play upon an alcoholic’s desire for drink, you can control what he does and when he does it. Would this then be destiny? No, this would be another exercising their will to influence the will of another.

At what point does man’s influence and will become destiny? Can it become destiny? What is destiny then? Destiny would be the immovable forces driving us to the same point no matter what our influence. Some could also call this divine mandate. I say it depends on how you look at it and what is influencing you. It would be possible then to take any conspiracy theory and focus it on an individual’s life. It could be argued that there is one special person out there whose birth was preordained. Not, by any divine right, but by human influence. Give someone or a group of someones enough money and power and they very well can architect the direction of a life.

This life could be controlled right to the moment a person woke up and used the bathroom. The environment becomes a controlled factor, the external influences become a controlled factor. The individual becomes a puppet of their external forces, and yet at our very core this feels like we can fight this. This is when the nature of man is taken into consideration. What is the underlying personality of this person? Are they rebellious? Are they gluttonous, are they lazy? etc. Once, this is determined, and it can be found early on in a life then the architecture around the individual can be built. We know like the alcoholic what their weaknesses and strengths may be. The alcoholic desires only the drink, the buzz, the relief. But, this desire and compulsion is a great strength. If turned inwardly they could reverse their compulsions and that addiction becomes an exercise of will.

The will is what separates us from our external influences. If a human can be controlled by other humans, what of divine providence, or destiny? Could this controlled human’s path not be part of a greater whole? Yes, it could be this person becomes President of the USA some day. What if they don’t want that? What if all this person ever wanted to do was paint? A painter’s need to paint is like the alcoholic’s need for drink, they are both strong and their desire can be overwhelming. How then is this destiny or free will? Destiny is the controlled path or compulsion of man. The thing they love to do more than anything that drives them from point A to point B. Free will then is man’s choice to be able to recognize this compulsion and overcome it, whether it be painting or drinking. If man can architect the will and future of his fellow humans then what are the outside influences that could be divinely influenced as destiny.

Destiny and Free Will then would both be defined as our ability to exercise the decision making process. We can choose. At any point there is a way to go back or turn around. A hurricane blows, we can choose to wait in its path or try to move. Then knowing what our choice may be a future can be foretold. Cause and effect if you will. Man’s free will is his will, his faith is his will, and destiny is his faith externalized. Much like a clock has many moving gears all fulfilling one beautiful succinct purpose so to do we all have our purpose. One by one we are to exercise our will and by exercising our will we can fulfill our destiny. Destiny = Free Will, Free Will = Destiny.

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