Question – “Is Everything Fated?”


Chinaman¦  Good evening my friends.


So H¦ has another question for me. The question has been asked as to whether everything is fated, if it is all predestined or written in the stars.  And behind all that you must also ask as to where free will is?  But how can I condense such a vast subject into a 5 minutes talk?


So I present a picture – that is the easiest way to do it.


A picture has many depths to its understanding or interpretation, which will take many hours of casual thinking to see how it applies to each person.  But that I am not going to do for you.  When a person dwells on the picture and finds how it applies to them, then it is more meaningful for them – it is more significant.  It then becomes a revelation, so lessons are discovered and accepted rather than just taught.


The picture is not a new one – indeed John has used this in one of his visualizations in his book.  It is simply ‘The River of Life’.


First let me speak of the Fated aspect, the predestined quality of life within that picture.  It is the river itself.  A river has a beginning, it has an end, and it flows towards the sea.  That is its whole function.  And because of the lie of the land it has a set course that it is largely predestined to follow – baring certain circumstances.


In the same way a person’s life has a beginning and an end, and it is predestined to quite a large degree, just like a river.


There is not a single river, but many, many rivers in this world – of different sizes, lengths and volume of river.  So for a person’s life – there are many, many different places where a life can begin and takes it course.


The nature of the river – its size, its swiftness, and what is in the river – are all predestined, there is no freewill there.  So a person born to a particular time and place will have to weather the circumstances of that country, its interactions, its politics, its police, and its finances.  All these are predestined.


The lie of the land of a particular country will determine much of what transpires. So a river has a particular quality of water for there are different minerals within it.  It might be muddy or clear.  It might seem to hold an abundance of life or it might be polluted because of mineral strata or what is taking place around that river.


So a person’s life, in a particular country may take on a kind of ‘clarity’ or not.  If there is much education and communication then you can say there is clarity for its people.  They can see what is going on.  If however the waters are muddied, then there is ignorance or persecution.  Then there is little that the person in that country may be able to see for and their vision will be limited to their immediate environment, their village or town or particular area.  That is predestined because they are born to that country and born to a particular place and time.


A river will have different obstacles within it.  Some are there for all of time – or seemingly so, with little variation over the hundreds or thousands of years with rapids, waterfalls, escarpments plains or estuary firmly in place.


So for any one person, a country may be quite stable.  So it is predestined in that its sociology or political scenario is like the gentle plains or estuary. Yet where a person’s life radically alters in a very short space of time, beyond their control, caught up with the political flow or the financial sweep or whatever it is they have very little control over, then those instances are like the rapids or waterfalls – and those circumstances are just as predestined.


Some things can be foreseen.  If you had the privilege of objectivity, of being able to step back from your immediate situation, you might have been able to see it coming and be able to foretell it. So a person above the river can see something happening a little further downstream but for those caught up in the flow it may be suddenly upon them. Some people might know that the waterfall is approaching, might be able to see a financial collapse coming.  For others such things come straight out of the blue.  If the water is muddy and you are suddenly caught in the waterfall or rapids, so it can be interpreted as a pandemic or warfare or a terrorist bomb – all unforeseen, caught up with things beyond their control.


Then, of course, there is the fish itself.  Once again this is a predestined fated aspect as to what kind of fish you are.  You might be an aggressor like a pike or a bottom feeder or vegetarian.  You might be slow moving of thought and action or swift like a trout.  So a person’s physical aspect, their genetic makeup, is predestined. So whether they are male or female, athletic or not, born with particular gifts or talents is fated.  All those things are fated but from then on there is free will.


Within those constraints mentioned just now, the fish can decide to go with the flow, fight the current or play with the current.  The fish can make use of the current and adapt in its feeding or hunting qualities.  It can just ‘switch off’ and float down to the sea, caught up with whatever the river gives it. Or it can decide to explore, to learn more of its environment and what it can do within its constraints, to learn to be more athletic, more vigilant, more powerful, and more able.  So a person born to a particular time and place, born with particular gifts and talents unalterable predestined, has considerable freedom and responsibility within those constraints.


Does the fish go completely with the flow, lazy, taking everything as fated as in the stars, or do they take control of what they have, learn to be more able, more perceptive, intuitive even, and know what is to come around the corner – and make use of it.


There are many people who say life is not fair, who complain that they did not ask to be here, did not ask to be born to a particular time and place and blame the place, blame society ,blame the neighbourhood or their lack of education or their parents or whatever it is.  Yes parents, place and talent are all predestined, but every single person is born to this life with full knowledge and acceptance before they come because there are certain lessons, certain obstacles, certain challenges in that river of life which they have accepted as theirs.  They know they are to meet them.  They are therefore accepting the circumstances as those best to meet the challenges, and they are born with full acknowledgement and acceptance beforehand, so they cannot say it is unfair.  They have said “yes”, they have accepted all of those things.  Therefore it is up to them to face the challenges to move forward and to grow.


Everyone, everyone, has obstacles in life, challenges to meet.  Everyone has the chance to face them, to learn, to grow, even though they may seem swamped by them or even killed by them.


How much you see as being ‘fated’ may determine whether you meet the challenges or not!


I seem to remember a similar talk where you also talked about the spiritual aspect, in that once you engaged spirituality it was possible to change things.


Chinaman¦ Not so much change things but widen the choice.  You widen the choice because you have that greater perception, that greater ability to see or you find greater strength or resources.  It widens the whole thing.  It does not mean you escape.  It does not mean you leap from one river to another.  You are still in that time and place and you still have the challenges that face you, but you have far greater resources to meet those challenges


Just as you said about not being able to leap from one river to another it brought to mind asylum seekers from different countries.  That feels like they are really jumping from one river to another.


Chinaman¦ They have one river of life which is theirs at that time.  To go from one country to another, from one culture to another, may seem like another river but it would be like going from the uplands to a plain of the same river or a tributary joining and altering the river irrevocably. It is still the same river for them but the outward life, the outward aspect of the river, would be changed dramatically.  Do you see?


And from the silence I take it that you have things to ponder on and the picture is simple enough to hold, almost with a sense of disappointment.  But that is the nature of the parable or metaphor.  You are left wanting more!