Ever feel like you’re just floating along with the current?
That’s what we’re doing for the most part. Life is this big, wide river and we are along for the ride.
Free will versus fate/determinism. It’s an old argument. Do we have a choice in anything we do, or are our lives solely determined by cause and effect keeping us on a determined path?
I think this argument runs parallel to the one of never finishing a race; before you reach the finish line you have to run half of that distance. Once you’ve done that you still have another halfway point to reach. The halfway points go on and on to infinity. You can never finish the race since any distance can always be cut in half.
I see it this race differently (really we're talking about human lifespan); like a piece of yarn, frazzled at both ends. Fate on one side and free will on the other. If you take two points in space and draw a line from one to the other, you have just represented time; it is not instantaneous. It took time to go from one to the other. If the yarn is a line, you can use it to represent the passing of time; stopping at any given point gives a reference to a past and a future. The past is where you’ve been and the future is where you are heading. Is fate the past, locked and fixed while free will an ever changing choice of several possible paths?
Free will means that we have choices. If you think of choices as a simple tree diagram branching out then further up the tree the branches become quite numerous.
But there is a reverse to this; the chaos theory. One of the hallmarks of the chaos theory is that it states a butterfly beating its wings on the other side of the world can affect a given event on the other. If you consider this backwards, that mean that any given singular event is a sum of all events that proceeded it. Basically it is retracing the steps from a single point through many different branches to a single seemingly insignificant event that led to the principle event’s ability to happen.
This branching is the reverse of the idea of free will. Free will branches out to many choices. Until you actually make a choice, the possibilities, to reuse a tired pun, are endless. It’s like a tree diagram set on a mirror, visible in both aspects.
But what exactly does that mirror represent?
From that mirror the chaos theory follows a single line in reverse back to the source; i.e. the past. It finds those butterfly wings that led to the event in question. The future, however, is limitless. Two choices lead to four choices that lead to eight ad infinitum. That constriction though, that singular point in the middle of all of it, is our moment in time.
Our “now” if you want to put it that way. The branching of backwards of our past and the branching forwards of our future, squeezed down into one moment; the present.
Funny, when you think of it that way. Makes sense in my head but in the light of day, makes me want to unravel at the seams. Branch out, if you will.
Good thing there’s CSI reruns on TV.
Brings me back to an understandable reality.