Determinism vs Free Will
Do we have fixed destiny? Or We have Free Will? Determinism v/s Free will: Astrology and Beyond
What you can explore in this article
1. Reality of Destiny
2. Limitations of Astrology
3. Theory of determinism
4. How we can create free will
Age old question
Are we pre-destined? Or, do we have the privilege of to exercise our free will? Are we doer? Or, we are just a small cog in this vast pre-determined automated cosmic machine?
The ground of assumption
If you believe that man and everything in this universe is pre-determined and subject to mechanical determinism, then, this whole universe must be the result of a vast chain of causes and subsequent effects relationships.
If we believe that man is free to do whatever s/he is willing to do, then, there must be a cause which itself must be causeless. If we are free to exercise our will, then we must be able to do something which does need a cause to be present in our present matrix. Only causeless cause can form the basis of free will.
Argument in support of determinism / pre-destines future
As scientists have explained the origin of the universe through a Big-bang; before the big bang, the whole universe was perfectly united together in one unit called “Primitive Atom” and this primitive atom, when went through blast (big bang), the whole universe came to its present existence. This big bang was the first cause which, in turn, created a chain of infinite chain of cause and effects. If the present universe is the expression of this long chain of cause and effects, then, we being the part of this vast oceanic web of the cause and effect chain we are pre-determined. We are a slave of determinism.
Whether you believe in astrology or not, but, if you really study Astrology properly, you will come to realize that astrology is a pure statistical science. Just gather some data of people belonging to different profession or personality. You will find many similarities in their horoscope. The impact of planetary dispositions is not only on our physical constitution; rather, it is on mental constitution also to a fair extent. Through proper knowledge of astrology, you can make a good guess of physical and mental constitution of not only a person, but, you can make prediction about his/her relatives, friends and foes too, to a fair extent.
Though, astrological reading being a subjective analysis and depending upon the experience and knowledge of interpreter, the interpretation of horoscope may differ from one interpreter to another. But, if really a deeper study is done properly in a very comprehensive framework, you can make a good prediction about the material reality of a person to a fair extent.
Certain events mostly take place in a certain planetary disposition. For example, most of people go lunatic on full moon night. The veracity of astrological impacts can be verified through statistical study of predictive astrology.
Limitation of Astrology
Though professional astrologers firmly claim that a man is the outcome of planetary dispositions only, as they either refute other determining factors of man’s physical and mental constitutions; or, claim that other factors too come within the ambit of those planetary dispositions. But, this is not true. For making the horoscope of a person, only three basic data are required- time, date and place of birth of a person. If, only astrological factors are the sole determinant of one’s existence, then, all persons, born at the same moment, on the same date and at the same place, must be same in every respect. But, it is not so. So, this proves that other factors too are important determinants in the manifestation of personality and future of a person.
Beyond matter, determinism and astrology
Though matter is subject to the cause and subsequent effects relationships, hence, enslaved by determinism; but, as we proceed from gross materiality to non-materiality, we come across the fact that something is beyond determinism, beyond cause and effect chain. For example, sub-atomic (quantum) particles don’t follow the deterministic pattern in totality. They are un-predictable. Bell Theorem and its experimental verification by David Bohm have proved this un-predictability of quantum particles beyond doubt.
The Theory of Determinism
The theory of determinism claims that this universe is just the expression of the vast chain of cause and effect relationship, thus, whatever was the first cause of this cause and effects chain, there must be a cause behind that cause and so on. This way, we don’t find any initial point of the origin of the universe. There must be causeless cause to start this long chain of cause and effect relationship to make the universe a totally deterministic and pre-determined reality. So, the axiom ex nihilio nihil fit (nothing comes fro nothing) does not go with logic. Heisenberg experimentally proved that things may happen without any cause.
So, we come to the conclusion that there must be a factor beyond this matrix of cause and effects. And this matrix is consciousness. Consciousness is a stupendous phenomenon which lies beyond the predictable matrix of cause and effects chain. Astrology is applicable to the matrix of determinism only. Astrological prediction can be made about only those things that are the expressions of the cause and effects relationship chain. Something, which is the outcome of causeless cause, can not be predicted.
Man, destiny and free will
As far as man is concerned, man is not only a material entity in the form of body and mind; but, consciousness also is a very important constituent of the human existence. Materiality can be predicted, but, consciousness can’t be. So, if a person who is not conscious, s/he is just a matter, hence, totally pre-determined and predictable. S/he is deprived of freedom and free will. But, a person who is hall-marked by higher consciousness, s/he is beyond materiality. S/he is privileged to exercise free will. Freedom from all bondages is his/her identity. Astrology does not apply to him/her as far as his/her inner world is concerned. Though, astrology can make prediction about his/her physical constitution.
If you are asked to predict whether a person will go outside or not, and you find the climate outside as very cloudy, most probably, you will predict that the person will not go outside as it is likely to rain. But, the exact reality depends upon the determination of a person. If the person is determined to go outside, s/he can go even in the condition when it is raining. So, your prediction might be wrong, though, it may be true in majority of cases as general mass is deprived of higher level of consciousness.
So, you must remember one thing that astrology is the prediction of possibilities. It is not the prediction of exact happening of an incidence. If a person is determined enough, s/he can go beyond the determinism of planetary disposition.
If pre-determinism had been the sole reality, the process of evolution would have been redundant.
If a person is just a materialistic, not having any element of self-consciousness, s/he is just a matter; hence, totally predetermined and predictable, deprived of ultimate freedom and free will. Self-Consciousness transcend you beyond materiality, give you freedom, and make you free from all bondages, making you float in the infinite ocean of divine bliss. Hence, the realization of the super-consciousness is the ultimate destination of mankind.
(Dr. Aaron Thomas)
Psychotherapist | Author | Spiritual Master