I’m at a point in my life where I can sense that a cosmic shift is going to happen soon. Obviously I’m not clairvoyant- I’m graduating, I’m travelling to Europe for a few weeks, I’m taking a full-time day job- anyone would sense that a lot of major changes are coming very soon. Hopefully I’m simultaneously continuing my yoga teacher training and picking up cocktail gigs, but either way it’s going to be a massive change for me to be working in an office instead of running around performing and rehearsing and going to classes. So I’ve been thinking about everything that I’m doing and wondering if any of it is relevant. I know that all of the above is going to happen regardless of what I do now. But is this because of the decisions that I’ve made and the things that I’ve done up to this point, or is it because or something else?
This led me to think about predetermination in the bigger picture. Do any of our actions actually matter, or are our paths already chosen for us? Was it determined by some power that my life would go the way it’s going before I even started making any decisions? Are we truly victims of circumstance?
If philosophers have spent centuries pondering this and haven’t figured it out, I don’t suppose I have in my 21 years of experience. Regardless, how you think your actions affect your life certainly affects the choices you make. If I truly believed that nothing I did mattered, I wouldn’t do anything I found difficult because if I knew that the outcome would be the same, why would I bother? Would you?
But are you actually making those choices or has something else determined that you would? I’ve had to make lots of important decisions lately in all aspects of my life- work, school, relationships- and sometimes I can predict the direct results but sometimes I have no idea what will happen. How do you make a decision when you don’t have any way of thinking of the results? Do you even think of the consequences when you decide something, or do you just do what feels right at any given instant?
Clearly in order to function as sentient beings we need to at least have the illusion of choice. Either that, or we need to give up the idea of consequential thinking and make decisions purely on instinct. But if that’s the case, what makes us better than animals that do the same?
I am a fairly decisive person, so the notion of whether or not our choices are actually choices has plagued me for as long as I can remember. I know what I want and I make sure that I get it. Few things irritate me more than hearing “if it’s meant to happen, it will” or “you’re so lucky” because I like to think that I’ve worked hard for everything that I’ve got. But at the same time, is it a direct result of my effort or did something else make the decision long before I did?