Free will is what makes us different from puppets on strings. If you prefer a better definition, let me refer to Wikipedia: “It is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded.” A highly successful man loves the concept of free will. He can feel immense pride as his success is completely based on his actions and decisions. He doesn’t need to look at the sky and gust,”Thank you God for helping me.” A lazy man like me loves the opposite of free will because I am waiting for some miracle to happen which includes winning a lottery. Have you seen the film “Avengers – Age of Ultron”? In this film, the supervillain is an Artificially Intelligent Robot named Ultron. Ultron was designed to serve and protect mankind but it became self-aware. After it became self-aware, it proclaimed – “I am free because there are no strings on me.” If God is real, are we the Ultrons who proclaims the same dialogue? Well, we don’t see any strings on us and we weren’t born with an “Instruction manual.” B..b..bu..but can we completely reject the idea of divine will?
The last words of Ravana in Ramayana
Ramayana, an ancient Indian epic, portrays the struggle of Lord Rama to rescue his wife Sita from demon king Ravana. At the end of the war, Lord instructed his brother Lakshmana to seek the esoteric knowledge from dying Ravana. Lakshmana stood near Ravana’s head and Ravana remained silent. Lord Rama advised his brother to stand near Ravana’s feet as standing near the head is a sign of disrespect. Lakshmana obeyed Rama and stood near dying Ravana’s feet. Ravana shared his knowledge with Lakshmana which includes Philosophy, Statesmanship etc. One of the main lessons Ravana shared with Lakshmana was
“Never think you can outsmart the stars, they will bring you what you are destined to”
Ravana, who was so confident about his free will, who could manipulate planetary alignments couldn’t outsmart the divine will. Only during his death, he could realize the existence of a power beyond his free will and plans.
Hitler — The man who fascinates me
I learned about Hitler during my school days. I hate Hitler for his sinister acts. Whenever I hear or see the name Hitler, all I can imagine is a devil who loved to mass murder innocents using poisonous gas chambers. Instead of focusing on class, I was pondering about out-of-syllabus topics.
“How a man with average physical strength, not even from any royal family could tremble the world in fear?”,I had no answer for that. After a few years, I got a chance to read Mein Kampf—the autobiography of Adolf Hitler. It was the early life of Hitler that fascinated me.
The ambition of Adolf Hitler was to become a painter. He failed to gain entry into the Vienna Academy of Arts. His dream of becoming a great artist was torn apart by the rejection from Art School.
Hitler went back to the academy to get an explanation and was told that his paintings showed lack of talent. This rejection was too much for Hitler, who was already depressed as his mother was dying from cancer. For Hitler, art was everything. Hitler believed that it was a Jewish professor who had rejected his application. After that, he joined The German Army — marking the death of an artist and the birth of a cold-hearted man.
An invisible power as the judge
I hope you know the film “Kungfu Panda” where Kungfu legend Oogway chooses Po, a panda with zero kungfu knowledge, as the Dragon warrior to defeat the mighty villain. Instead of choosing highly qualified Kung-fu warriors, Master Oogway chose Po and exulted,”The Universe has chosen the Dragon Warrior!” This scene is unforgettable as it was illogical for the characters in the movie as well as for the viewers.
Life also travels the same — unexpected twists and turns. I strongly believe that some unknown force decides the role for everyone. Something on a cosmic level that assigns roles for all of us. No wonder why Shakespeare said
All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players
If events in life are really constrained by logical reasoning, how someone who dreamed to be an artist became a dictator? He could have chosen other ways instead of joining the army and then politics. If you learn from history, you will see that most of the personalities that transformed the world had humble beginnings. If you look at their early life, you won’t see any logic because they were aiming for something else.
Neither Utopia(heaven) nor Dystopia(hell) can exist on earth completely. Both are like yin and yang — mutually dependent. When the world moves towards creating a Utopia, the “universe” chooses someone to balance the evil side. When the world moves towards creating a Dystopia, the universe chooses someone to protect the world from chaos.
Every person is like a “living planet” that revolves around own thoughts and plans. Most of us are unaware of the fact that we are on a collision course with something beyond our understanding. We may call it destiny, fate,, divine will etc. I respect those who have great plans for their future, but I laugh at people who are adamant that their life moves only according to their will. It doesn’t matter if we believe or reject the concept of divine will, but a collision of the living planet and the comet(divine will) is certain. Either it will just gently touch the surface and burst into beautiful fireworks, offering fortunes like money, true love etc or it will hit us so hard, shattering us into a million pieces, like in the form of a disease, death of a loved one or any other failure.
Oh, Divine will! If you want me as evil, I have trimmed my mustache like a Hitler. If you want me as a good leader who is willing to live in a jail for 27years, I can live in a room for many years to become Nelson Mandela. Just come and choose me for something great. Let my name be a forever presence in History books.
– Yours faithfully,