Every week when I pick up Knoxville's free weekly entertainment rag, I immediately turn to Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology. I know. I know. Astrology. Hokey stuff. But I can't help myself. I often find a little inspiration.
This week, Rob recommends that I use my heightened intellectual level and strokes of genius to try and solve the mystery of the ages.
I have no doubt that I could address this mystery and maybe crack the door to allow some light to fall upon the answer. My challenge though, is not with the answer, but with the question. What is the mystery of the ages?
I'm not asking in a metaphorical or philosophical sense but in a practical sense. I don't know what the mystery is. What is the mystery?
So, I googled it.
And guess what? Someone has already written an answer. Herbert W. Armstrong, in his nineties, wrote Mystery of the Ages.
Now I haven't read it, so I can't condone, condemn, compliment or criticize his work. Maybe I'll get around to reading it someday so I can either condone, condemn, compliment or criticize.
For now though, I took Rob's outlook as a sign that I need to continue unraveling the mess in my own head and heart. He says that if I don't take on the the mystery of the ages, at least I might solve a few of my trickiest puzzles.
So for today, I'll take on the mystery of Free Will vs. Destiny. Do we have free choice or are our lives predetermined?
I think that both exists. Our lives are not unlike those novels where the outcomes are determined but the author gives choices through out the story.
My six year old son loves the Goosebumps books, and I read a few chapters to him at night at bedtime. For a while, he brought home the Goosebumps stories that he could choose the story. Often, the story rambled from random page to random page telling us where to go at the end of each page. Every once in a while though, it gave us a choice. Sometimes the story continued on another maze-like adventure and sometimes it ended quite abruptly. I think that the lives of humans are quite similar to the flow of those books.
Humans come to this Earth with a soul path, or the predestination, and the choices we make, or that are presented to us, have consequences that either lead us closer to our destination or lead us astray from the path.
Some paths are more complicated then others. This was a choice that each individual makes as a free soul on the other side. In order for us to feel fulfilled on this planet, we must follow our soul's path. There is no choice where that is concerned, but we have choices as to how we reach that goal.
And unlike those "choose your ending" books where you can go back to pick a different ending, while on this planet, we can't go back and change the story. That's why the choices that humans make are so critical. Bad choices, like degradation to Earth, can mess up a lot of lives and confuse others from their soul's path.
Life on Earth is a hard classroom. It's the AP course. If you get through it all remaining true to your soul's purpose, the grade is worth more. And if you fuck it up? Well, maybe that's Karma and you get shot back around again till you get it right. Haven't you noticed how some lessons keep hitting you in the face? Challenges are choices.
Got a Mystery of the Ages that you would like help with? Ask me and I'll try to put all this elevated intellectualism to good use by answering it.