Destination Unknown

I was thinking about destiny today and the matter of free will versus predestination. It’s funny how stubbing my toe can cause some grand introspection. Perhaps it was fated? Clotho herself weaved stubbing my pinky against the bathroom door into the story of the universe to lead me to some revelation.

Fuck knows but it makes for good content.

Can we as human beings defy fate or would it be against the primary directive of the Universe whatever that maybe?

I think the answer is both complex and very simple: yes and no. While life entirely seems cyclical like a hardwired program, free will exists on the individual level. We can choose to get with the program or not knowing full well that it will run with or without us. You can choose to vote in an election or not, someone will still win. You can choose to accept a marriage proposal or not, would God blink at one less union in the kingdom? Then that raises the question, was it fated, weaved by ancient Clotho, to never be married in the first place? Each life a reflection of the grand program around it. I’ll reuse a quote from our favourite Classical emperor:

“You will see everything the same. People marrying, having children, falling ill, dying fighting, feasting, trading, farming, flattering, pushing, suspecting, plotting, praying for death of others, grumbling at their lot, falling in love, storing up wealth, longing for consulships and kingships. And now that life of theirs is gone, vanished. Pass on again to the time of Trajan. Again, everything the same. That life too is dead.”Meditations 4.32.

While the fate of all of us is ultimately returning to the earth from which we came, is what occurs in between really that important? Quite demoralising in that sense. So let’s think on a wider scale:

Worker in a factory, feels lost and on autopilot everyday making toys. Without them on that particular day, a certain toy would not be packaged and sorted into a loading truck…

A truck driver is stuck in traffic, transporting these toys. The delay causes another complication: the shipment is fulfilled and so the driver is rerouted by their boss to another store…

The store the driver delivers to is closed due to an incident in the shop floor so it is deserted and the toy stock is resupplied. The store is closed until the next morning preventing customers from buying the toy at that moment…

As soon as the store opens, a mother who is running late, goes in and sees the toy and picks it up for her son, not really looking at it but thinks he needs a treat after catching COVID (or something)…

She gifts the toy to her son, the toy happens to be the exact one he wants, it’s his new favourite and he keeps it for years, sharing it with his own son decades later…

Another:

I sleep funny last night so when my alarm wakes me up I feel groggy and I need a coffee…

I get to work and have a coffee and then I have another after a rather slow morning that does it’s best to send me to sleep…

Three coffees later I have a Lucozade with my meal deal and feel quite buzzed…

I get home and seem quite peppy and zip around the house and in my haste I stub my pinky on the bathroom door…

Here were are now.

Are those stories examples of the butterfly effect in action or destiny in motion? Why not both?

In the end, the worker in the factory while feeling like they would never make an impact on the world around them is the most vital part of the story. Even the minor inconveniences along the way shape the river that we all flow down. It’s not as morbid as it first appears. It’s actually rather comforting to think in these terms. On these terms, we realise that all humans, all things, know each other. There’s close to 8 billion of us on Earth, the web Clotho weaves must intersect so many times that it stops resembling a web at all. It’s a tapestry: the very fabric of time and space that our stories form the fibres of for an audience of our Maker. Or perhaps, the tapestry itself – thriving, breathing, ever growing – is our Maker. No bearded man in a toga; an intelligent magic carpet we all ride atop of.

I can’t think of what a better comparison would be: Towelie from South Park or Magic Carpet from Aladdin.

In any case, I’m digging being part of it and even though I’ll never see its destination, the journey’s just as good. Whatever the truth really is, I’m grateful for a bad night’s sleep and a sore toe.

Z3N0

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