Free Agency

The universe is infinite in both size and time. When compared to this incomprehensible immensity, we are beyond insignificant. It is rather like being a single cell within a human body. An essential working component to the whole, but inconceivably too small to ever be considered by that greater whole. So, whether or not the universe holds a consciousness has never seemed a relevant question to me. That is like asking if a human is paying attention to the individual cells making up their body. If the universe has a consciousness, it is unlikely that it would ever spend time in consideration of a single human individual given the context of the vastness of the universe as a whole. Especially when one considers the very real possibility of the multiverse.

At first glance, this seems like a depressing idea. It seems like we are thrown out into the wilds without compassion or caring. But, I ask you to look more closely. While it is unlikely that the universe cares about any single piece as an individual, it is still working towards the continuation of this existence. The same way that the person eats and drinks to continue to live will bring essential nutrients to those very cells that the human never considers. We are those essential cells of the universe. As the universe strives to continue (metaphorically or not) it also strives to sustain us. Not as individuals, but as a whole. Each of us are a part of this greater whole; connected and bound together through the very nature of existence. Thus, we have not been cast aside.

Yet, there is no force to pray to when we struggle. There is no agent to change the circumstances of our lives other then ourselves. This is free will. In all things we have the power of choice for their is no governing force directing our lives. This is a great power and a great burden. For there is also no one there to tell us what is right or wrong. There is no one there to tell us who we are meant to be. Everything in this life is left for us to define.

When suffering comes and takes the things that we have been striving for, there is only us to redefine what is left to us. Since there is no grand purpose, there can be no fundamental self. We are whatever we choose to become. The tides of life are indifferent and they will fall upon on shores. There will be times in our lives that those tidal forces break us. But it will be up to us what shapes we choose to stitches the pieces back together in. We can choose to stitch ourselves into the pattern of the victim or the survivor or a warrior or a sage. There is no pattern that we must follow when creating who we will become.

Nor is there any need to wait for the destructive forces to rend us. Since we are the masters of ourselves, we can choose to remake what we are at any moment. If you woke today, dissatisfied with who you are in this life, know that you have all the power to change who you wake up being tomorrow. While there is no magic cloak or hat that we can don to suddenly reimagine ourselves, we do have full agency. Given time and careful efforts, we can become whom ever it is that we decide on being.

It is true that there is much in our lives that we do not have control over. Ironically, our bodies largely do their own thing without us having any control over them. While they are a fundamental part of who we are and we cannot separate ourselves from them, we can still choose the relationship that we have with that physical self and the adventure through life that is taken. This isn’t to say that I believe that you can choose run despite not having legs. No. There are always things that are outside the realm of possibility. But there are also, always options if the mind is open to seeing them. Instead of running you can choose to use a wheel chair or drive a race car. Just because you don’t have legs doesn’t mean you cannot move quickly. Just means that you have to do it without legs.

Humanity has never been limited by its physical nature. We looked at the birds and desired to fly. So we built machines to take us into the air. Everything from balloons to air planes and gliders. Humans now have the ability to fly, despite not having wings. We desired to talk to people across the other side of the world. Now, we have several options for doing just that. I can pick up the telephone or type a message and someone in another part of the world is available to me despite it be farther then my voice could reach.

Our power of choice, paired with our amazing ability to image makes us capable of much more then our bodies once limited us to. This is the nature of being human. We can choose for ourselves and become what we dream. But first, we must dare to dream. Then we must be brave enough to choose to chase those dreams. And we must know that no matter where we end up in our lives it is where we chose to be.

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