Do we really have any choices at all? Or, are all life’s experiences determined before we check in? Are we programmed at birth with a set of genes and DNA set to provide only predetermined experiences, no matter what the environment?
The dictionary is of some help. The word “will” is defined as the intention, command, or request for something. Okay, that’s close. Intention is most important. Many people have been discouraged from even attempting something because of physical conditions that seem insurmountable, but if they maintain the intention to achieve something, most often they do.
The obstacles to an intention can often be the motivation to contradict it. A personal planet like Mercury, Venus, Mars, Sun, and Moon in opposition to Saturn often describes persons anxious to challenge obstacles with the determination to succeed, especially when in stubborn fixed signs.
Commands may just be another variation of aggressive intention, or a visualization of outcome. Many healings have been reported where a person repeatedly visualizes an illness gradually shrinking and vanishing. Doctors are amazed to confirm this phenomena mysteriously labeled spontaneous remission. The patient became well with no apparent, measurable intervention. But to the patient, their intention was the intervention that removed the illness.
Who, or What, Is The Programmer?
But perhaps we’re just quibbling about semantics here, having word games and not facing the fundamental issue. Because, what determines our intentions? Our commands and requests? Are they also programmed? Then who, or what, is the programmer? A Divine Force, God, Karma, Heaven?
This question of fate versus free will has been around since human first recorded thoughts. Our reactions, concerns, judgments and decisions may seem like products of conscious thoughts, but what if all experiences had nothing at all to do with environments but with the genes that we inherit.
With almost half a century of genetic research, and the growing body of data on the millions of precise building blocks within the genes called DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), scientists can identify virtually everything about our bodies, and the internal reactions and potentials. Knowing one’s DNA, we can separate the fine differences between human and other life forms. DNA separates the biochemical signature of one human being from another. Witness the use of DNA in capital crimes where criminals are identified by their DNA, enabling others falsely accused to be released. It is difficult enough for nonscientists to conceive of a few microscopic specks of nucleic acid containing the instructions for growing an arm or liver. Now scientific research indicates these same specks of acid describing happiness or sadness, passivity or aggressiveness, liberal or conservative, bright or dim.
Identical Twins Separated at Birth
The largest body of hard data to establish the genetic roots of behavior comes from comparisons of fraternal with identical twins, and especially identical twins separated at birth in an extensive University of Minnesota study. Here the influence of the environment is put to the test since identical twins have similar DNA, and if they are separated at birth, each twin’s environment’s different.
What were the results?
After years of hard work tracking identical twins, bringing them together and examining anatomy and behavior, the researchers were amazed. The identical twins had too many identical character traits to attribute to probability and far more than a control group of fraternal twins separated at birth.
For example, when the researchers brought twins together after decades of separation since birth, identical twins consistently showed similar behavior traits, with some pairs having identical styles of clothes and cosmetics, or wearing seven rings. Identical twins separated at birth were found to change jobs, have similar diet preferences, marry and have children at the same times, even to having spouses and children with the same first names –and one pair even named their dogs the same, Toy. Now is there a gene instructing us to wear seven rings or to name dogs? The research continues. Readers wanting to pursue more details are recommended to William Wright‘s book “Born That Way” (Knopf, 1998).
Where Does Astrology Fit In?
Twins, unless they’re physically joined together, have different birth times, even if by a few minutes. Whether identical or fraternal twins, several minutes usually separates birth even though the birth place is the same. And we have to be consistent in defining birth. Is birth when light strikes the fontanel, the soft spot atop the head that stimulates the sympathetic nervous system when first exposed to light during labor? Is birth the cutting of the umbilicus, or the first cry? These events don’t always happen within seconds of each other.
A few minutes difference in birth time can change all the house cusps of a birth chart. A friend of mine once said she was the oldest of triplets, by ten minutes. She was an accountant and led a very private life, hardly ever socializing, and enjoying clothes with buttons and belts, with her hair in a bun. Her sisters, born five and ten minutes later, were hair stylists owning their own salon, frequently hosting parties, with gregarious personalities preferring informal, loose-fitting clothes, and letting their hair grow full length. How could that be, she asked, since our birth times are almost the same? After casting birth charts, the oldest sister turned out to have the end of Virgo rising, while her two younger sisters had early Libra rising. Other house cusps changed signs by this slight difference in birth time. Those slight differences in birth chart and the various ruling planets of houses described the differences among the triplets perfectly.
Oder Prevails Within Apparent Chaos
Our awareness of what is to be, whether due to psychic skills or the use of astrological indicators allows gifted interpreters to identify our options in future time. Astrology indicates the timing of choices, but the choices are up to you. When the opportunity knocks, you can open the door, or you can pretend not at home.
One way to explain how this ability works is to assume all past experiences were fated and all future experiences (not events) are alterable. Assume that there is an order to all things in the universe, and that the observer and the observed are united as one. Astrology provides a sense of order as the solar system is reasonably predictable except for the occasional new asteroid or comet. Astrology can identify when turning points arrive. Knowing that, we can exercise our choices among known options and the occasional Uranian surprise.
Reels of Tape Illustrate the Principle
Pretend you’re listening to an audio tape, or watching a video tape. Part of the tape is to one side, the part you’ve already seen or heard. The other part is what remains to be seen or heard for the first time. One side is the fate of what is known that cannot be erased while the other side is free will or choice. We can run the tape or not. The more we trust our intuitive sense, the farther we are able to pull away from the tape and see both sides, past and future, fated and chosen. Gradually we broaden perspectives, become more aware of process, and embrace the wholeness of all time and space, becoming one with it. Future options become part of the expanded present, or as some call it The Eternal Now. But can we edit the tape? Why not?
Can we Trust Our Will to Avoid Accidents?
Studies by reputable scientists have shown that many people trust their intuition enough to avoid accidents and control future choices. Haven’t you at times felt an inner voice, or call it a hunch or a gut feeling, not to drive or walk down a certain road only to later learn of an accident or other tragedy on that path? Most of us have some foresight every day of our lives, and we act upon those vibrations all the time, either accepting or rejecting them.
Let the Body Decide
At the moment you make a decision, observe the reactions of your body and the environment. Ask your body and mind how they will feel after making major decisions. If your body feels comfortable, then, follow through. If you have aches and pains, guilt, headaches, colds, accidents, an upset stomach, nausea, then the choice is not appropriate.
Medical Prognosis and Free Will
One of the most frequent examples of embracing the process of past as fate and future as free will is an attending physician’s prognosis to a patient diagnosed with a terminally ill disease. A cynical person would say that life is a terminal illness; that physicians don’t save lives, but delay death. At least so far. The physician, using the tests available and the data of life expectancy from previous patients and with positive intention, makes a prediction. Weather forecasters do the same thing. Although based on reason and logic rather than intuition, the prognosis represents prediction. and sometimes it is true, other times not. Let’s say the physician predicts the patient has three months to live. And, as so often happens, the patient survives well beyond the predicted death date. The physician’s prognosis is incorrect, just as weather forecasters are also often incorrect.
Act As Though Desired Future Outcomes Are Achieved
Create your own future by acting as though the outcome you desire has already happened.
While this may not be logical and you run the risk of being called foolish, quietly lead your life that way and you’ll see the difference it makes. Most successful inventors and innovators have done the same thing. For example, the parking space is waiting for you because you visualize it and trust by passing up other parking spaces because you “know” the better one waits for you.
Intend that your use will not seriously inconvenience those needing it more. Or assume the job promotion has been approved and act the part of the acknowledged leader. And strangely enough, those expectations, combined with acknowledging some practical boundaries and the space you are in, have a way of fulfilling themselves.
The instructions for what to do and where to go are already within us, in our intentions and in our birth charts, palms, tarot spreads, and more. We have a nervous system aware of the energy and information that gives rise to our physical body. We experience this field as thoughts, emotions, memories, instincts, and beliefs. But it’s all the same stuff. As an ancient seer once said, “I am that, you are that, all this is that, and that’s all there is.” Your body is not separate from the universe; there are no sharp edges. The human nervous system is uniquely capable of being aware of different realities. Under hypnosis, for example, we are capable of experiences impossible in the waking state. We can consciously change the energy and information content of the physical body and influence the extended body, whose limits have no measure.
Some say that when we are born we leave Home, and when we die we return Home. Our experience between leaving and returning Home are part of a school we “elected” to enter for the purpose of balancing our life. In other words, this “school” is a way of balancing scores, servicing debts, unfulfilled relationships, and the like. In other words, what we call Life is but one aspect of Being, and what we call Death, is another part of Being. Fate and free will are also complementary parts of Being.