Freewill: You Are Living The Life You Create



How can we view ourselves as mere accidents, like the spill of a drink, in the universe?(Photo credit: Darrol)

So right back to where I left off. As I said yesterday, I very firmly believe that fate plays a large role in the scheme of our lives. Yes, I don’t think we’re all just an accident. That seems like a degrading way to view ourselves, in my opinion. It’s not ego that I’m coming from, I believe what I say because I think life is about learning and that’s what we’re here to do.

But there’s more than just that. Fate can’t be everything to what are our lives. If that’s the case, not only are we simply puppets for some imaginary audience, but our existence is pointless, our feelings mean ultimately nothing, and our discoveries are not discoveries at all. I simply can’t accept that. My existence is very real, at least to me. My feelings are of utmost importance to me, and the discoveries that I’m making are why I’m here and what makes my time here worthwhile.

One way to view freewill in context with fate is that you and I can make what we want of our lives, but only through the situations that come our way. That was an interesting thing that came up on Friday – that fate comes in the form of life only throwing certain situations/struggles at you. You can make of them however you want, through your actions and decisions, but your life is limited in that not everything comes your way.


Fate sets the outlines that one’s freewill can color and fill. (Photo credit: TORLEY)

Although I also see fate as the skeleton and the framework of our lives, there is one fundamental difference for me: we as people, in many ways, control what comes our way in life. Just as it has been proven time and again that living negatively will attract negativity, and living positively will attract positivity, the same principle applies to all aspects of life. Action leads to reaction.

The only safe example I can conjure up right now is: if you don’t do what makes you happy, you will be dealing with unhappiness. It really is as simple as that. Don’t follow your passion? Bottle up what you want to say, what you feel? Next thing you know, you’re staring depression in the face. Trust me, I know first hand how that feels.

Fate does, inevitably, still play a role in some of the bigger events of our lives. You have to think that your soul mate was “meant” to be with you. If not… then what is true love? These kinds of extremely heavy questions start popping up like balloons (really dense balloons… think steel) if you don’t believe anything at all is pre-determined.

City Lights

I like to think of my life as a city. The ground and the hills are already set in place by fate. It is my decisions and actions that are what build everything else. (Photo credit: Ghassan Tabet)

But here’s the thing about freewill in correspondence to fate that I think is so empowering… one of the most empowering thoughts for me in my life: we are the architects of our lives. I believe we take the events that we will inevitably have to confront, either from our own actions attracting such things into our lives, or supernatural intervention, and make the outcome be a reflection of our actions. If I negatively take a job-loss, and become depressed with myself, and give up in life, then it was I that brought myself down. Losing the job (pretending that this event was fate, despite work ethics) in itself may have been out of my control, but I very much take the power of my life in my hands, and make of the situation as I will.

This thought, that I am truly the master of my life, is one of the chief reasons I feel so strong within. It reminds me that yes, there are things out there that I will never be able to control. But there is also the beautiful ability within myself to shape my world and completely be the one living my life. These two powers, fate and freewill, depend on each other, opposites, yet exactly the same, in creating my life. There is a balance between the two, a fine line where life is both taking the lead and following mine. I am both in control (freewill) and not (fate).

I want to find that balance one day, because I know that when I do, I will come in harmony with life itself, doing my part to lead myself, and doing my part to follow.

This is how I see fate and freewill.



8 thoughts on “Freewill: You Are Living The Life You Create

  1. I was wondering if I could make a bit of a non sequitur request… Do you do that kind of thing? If this is a subject that does not speak to you, no worries. I was wondering if you would consider writing about the afterlife and/or the lack thereof. I mean, do believe that there is a nirvana, or a heaven and hell, or just oblivion? Like I said if this is a subject that you don’t feel like writing about, no worries, just curious about your opinion.

    • I think that’s a fantastic idea, and actually one I’ve been toying with. I think that in the future (possibly near-future) I will write about that kind of thing, because it is very intriguing to me and I have strong views on the subject.

      The reason I haven’t yet done a piece of that kind is because firstly, it can be a bit of a delicate subject, and thus requires careful wording. But also because it’s such a large subject, I would need several pieces allocated to it.

      I appreciate the suggestion, and I will definitely think about it a little more now that you brought it up!

  2. The latest studies and theories in neurological research suggest that free will is looking to be a thing of ideals. Studies have shown that when unconscious brain activity occurs, moments, sometimes seconds later, that activity is identically mapped as conscious activity in the brain. Which means that the decisions we make are already decided by our subconscious. And as we know, we cannot control our subconscious minds. If we cannot control our decisions as we like to think we can, then there is no free will. Bearing in mind that this all takes into account “changing our minds” as that requires another decision which, as stated previously, would be already decided by our un/subconscious mind.

    • Very interesting of you to bring that up, I wanted a scientific opinion in the conversation that I had last friday, where I asked the question if there was fate or freewill.

      Although I believe what you say, and I have no doubt that what you speak of does occur sometimes, I can’t and never will see myself living life through only pre-determined decisions. Not only does that take any sort of control out of my hands and leave me to be the equivalent of a tree or a fish in life, but I also don’t feel it’s true. I know that my life is a reflection of my actions. I know that there are moments where there is no decision being made, but rather just feeling, or being. In those moments, no choices, no options exist other than the one I am living, and thus completely mine through my freewill on life. I don’t know if I make any sense in my explanation, I think only people that have experienced that would be able to understand.

      And finally, it’s also been scientifically proven that your intentions and your energy affect your life and the world around you. Do you believe that that is also somehow pre-determined?

      • I understand perfectly the desire to think we are in control. Personally I have little problem accepting that so much is out of my hands. Looking on our race/species in the cosmic place in which we find ourselves, I can’t help but find it extraordinarily arrogant and ignorant that we think we are so important. Please, don’t think that was directed at you personally, because it wasn’t. You say there are moments when no choices are being made, just simply being and I relish these moments in my own life very much. However, saying that we are not doing/thinking anything in these moments is simply untrue. If our brains were being scanned 24/7 we would find that even in these moments, our brains are making decisions and choreographing blood-flow etc. without our conscious selves. To perhaps grasp a sense of what I’m trying to convey, I would highly recommend reading Douglas Hofstadter’s “I Am a Strange Loop” where he delves into the physical and mental aspects, perspectives and truths of what we know to be identity – our feeling of “I”.
        In answer to your question: yes I do believe that is very much true. It is well known that the brain is the world’s most powerful simulator, as you would expect. If, say, you and I were unwavering in our belief or mentality that if we do good things, good things will happen to us (lamen’s karma I suppose) then it is likely we will experience more “good” things day to day. The reason for this, following the principle of Occam’s Razor, is that we simple choose our experiences to be good ones. Now of course, there are many other theories and nothing is confirmed as it is a very hard question to answer. But I’m sure you can recall occasions where you have consciously decided how you want to feel about something, or have seen a negative as a positive. This too, goes for subconscious activity. So, if we believe enough that we will have a good day, it becomes part of our subconscious thought – because we have essentially drilled it into ourselves, so to speak – and as such, we don’t seem to force a situation to be good, because we have already subconsciously decided it will be just that.
        A fantastic reply to read, and I hope my opinions haven’t deterred you in any fashion from continuing this debate/discussion.

    • I’d have to agree with you. There is no such thing as free will, as a “thought” does not exist. What you and I consider to be a thought is simply a chemical reaction, which acts as a stimuli and is then interpreted by our brain into a sense of conciousness and the notion of being alive. Thus the next few thoughts you have will be based on the brain chemistry occurring right now. Therefore existence is determined by something we have no control over, you cannot choose right now not to have the thoughts that you will have in the next few seconds. If you try to, you will likely have the thought, “Wow, I just tricked my brain, I have chosen to have this thought, therefore I am free.”
      However, you did not choose to have the thoughts which lead to the instigation of the cognitive process of you deciding your next thought. If using this method you will always go far enough along a thought ‘trail’ to a point where you could not choose to have or not have the thoughts you were about to have as a result of the chemical reactions in le brain. Therefore as you cannot choose you have no free will.

  3. Nice! Reading this, the nature/nurture thing came up in my head. Are we meant to do things, or are we taught to do them? Idk, just a connection.
    Also, I never really thought about depression in that way. One time, I just became sorta depressed for what seemed like no reason.
    Also, what you said about right or wrong: sure it’s an opinion, but that opinion still exists. You may be terribly unhappy with your life because of something you did… not really something that was meant to happen. Like you said in this article, I think 🙂

  4. Pingback: Are Humans Programmed with Freewill? « Jeff Oakes

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