Is our future entirely based on the choices we make?
If someone's future is doomed; is it all about the choices they made or could it be that, that is what it was meant to be?
There are a few factors that could potentially contribute to answering this question. I will address these as following: the existence of a deity that predefined our fate, the idea of fate without the aforementioned deity, and the theory of mandatory direct causality (which I find to be the most realistic).
First, if there is someone pulling the strings on our existence here, he/she/it is doing so in a way that is statistically indifferent from random chance. Some people get lucky, some don't. It has been the disposition of humanity to attribute this phenomenon to an omnipotent being. The problem with this subscription is that these variables always follow a normal distribution. In short, if something is defining our fate, it is doing so in a way that is insignificant enough to be undetectable.
The next theory falls apart for the same reason as its predecessor. There is no evidence to suggest anything is pushing the scales in one direction or another. If fate exists, it seems to just happen. Now, this says nothing about the ability of an individual to change his/her fate, only that fate follows the rules that already define the rest of the reasonably understandable universe.
So do we have control over our fate, or is it predefined? We know that every event that we observe had another event that caused it. We call this system causality. If we work backwards, we can uncover what caused pretty much everything, until we use this system to analyze our own brains. Our brains are made up of matter and energy, just like everything else in the universe. This being the case, shouldn't our brains follow the same causality that everything else adheres to? The truth is, we really don't know. Nobody knows. Fortunately, there is a bit of gray area here. There is a scale, called Planck Length, where everything breaks down and we can't analyze anything. Our inability to define reality at this scale is called the Uncertainty Principle. If free will has a home, this is the best candidate. The unfortunate thing here is that because there is no evidence for fate (or free will), and we may literally never be able to empirically delve past the Uncertainty Principle, our answer to this question may always be just that, uncertain.
Both self-effort and Grace are necessary. They go hand in hand. There is fate or destiny, and there is action and reaction; cause and effect (Karma). These are natural laws, but an omnipotent Power is not bound by Its laws and can nullify Karma as necessary.
This brings me back to self-effort and Grace. Make the self-effort, believing in an indomitable will, and the manifestation of the powerful combination of Grace and Compassion, will aid you in your journey, as determined by the Higher Forces at their choicest hour. Peace.
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