There would have been no such thing as destiny, if there was no future as eternal as time. Destiny is expressed with myriad connotations, or infinite implications — right from the moment we are born, our childhood, upbringing, adolescence, youth, falling in love, career, success, failure, fulfilment, health, illness, wealth, luck, or disappointment, or think of what you may. In other words, destiny has dramatic subtexts — something that all of us have come to believe, expect and accept. This is because it affects everyone.

This is one part of the spectrum. The other is just as comprehensible — you’d call it something that conveys the deterministic essence. That, there, exists a waiflike realm beyond the physical world where our soul could conceivably, make, or take, decisions without being affected by any material cause and effect. You’d say that this is nothing short of a philosophical catch-22, because all our determining factors hold the key to unlocking the cause, irrespective of its identity — material, spiritual, or divine. The argument is simple — so long as any cause defines, or emotes, our behaviour, it does not make any difference whether the propelling power, or force, emanates from matter, mind, or spirit.

This brings us to the most obvious effect — the choices we make in life, or career, including our connection with health and illness, besides our New Year resolutions. You get the point. Our preferences determine, or govern, the causes that emanate from our choices in every detail — this also includes our most professed spiritual, or mindful, choices. What does this suggest? That not all problems, or adversities, in life may be, or are, resolved by the unearthing of an up till now unidentified, or demystified, segment in our mind and brain — although they may have the ability to absorb, expand and disseminate ideas and responses in our overall understanding of our own psyche, culture, environment, or the community.

Every choice we make has a cause and also effect — this relates to time and not just space. Every choice has a history too, along with accumulated, or articulated, experiences of oneself and others. Agreed that certain decisions that we make may take shape at the speed of thought, but there are several others that are a result of having been conceived in the past. This, in philosophical terms, may be referred to as tags of recall of the past and the source of the present. The reason is simple. When an earlier state of thought triggers a process later, it is obvious that it does not merely stimulate or activate it — it redefines what that occurrence was, or looked, like. Nature has given us the marvellous ability to reconcile with such logic through experience — where we, almost by default, choose one thing, rather than another with the same attribute.

All of us, or rather most of us, habitually hope that our actions are practically resolute — as long as they are regulated by our personalities, temperaments, choices, sensitivities, sensibilities, our likes, desires, and also dislikes. The whole idea, or doctrine, relates to the signature tune of our own free will, accord and deterministic autonomy. As philosopher Plato articulated, our actions, or choices, are fully determined by our beliefs of what’s good, while our beliefs of what’s good are determined by our knowledge. We just cannot act against our knowledge of how we should act — therefore, our actions are determined entirely by knowledge, not just insight.

(The writer is a wellness physician, independentresearcher and author)

Rajgopal Nidamboor