Maybe Freewill Is Overrated

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Maybe Freewill Is Overrated

Sometimes, wouldn't it just be easier to go into cruise control? Aren't there sometimes too many decisions that become completely overwhelming if you think about them too much? Wouldn't it be easier if there were a codified path that you just went along with?

I'm reading this Tom Robbins book called Jitterbug Perfume and one of the protagonists decided to buck tradition and escape his fate. He discovers this exciting and terrifying prospect called individuality. Rather than follow tradition, he marches to the beat of his own drum and seeks out (the rejects) the knowledge of the wisest men on the planet. He meets an Indian woman who is fascinated by his program. She'd only known duty (arranged marriage, attentiveness to husband, obligatory child-bearing and suttee*) and is quite intrigued by this out-of-left field philosophy.

 

But is having all of these choices really it's all cracked up to be? Sometimes it would be nice for someone to say, "hey, Homes, you're marrying this gal, she's OK, you'll learn to like her if not love her. Our tests suggest you'd be happiest stocking shelves at Piggley Wiggley and playing in a semi-intense kickball league in your spare time. You'll have 2 kids, one will be Jake and the other will be Melissa but everyone will call her Missy. You'll drive a Prius and constantly praise its gas mileage. You'll die when you slip an orderly $80 to increase your morphine drip after a routine hip replacement surgery. Someone will sing a half-hearted version of "Dust In The Wind" at your funeral. Several good friends will miss it because it coincides with the Daytona 500."

Sure it sounds awful, but it's safe, you know? In all honesty, I'd never give up the random, weird and unpredictability of real life but a little bit of comfort and assurance from time-to-time would be real swell, namean? Who knows, maybe everything is predetermined and I just need to relax and enjoy the ride.

*Suttee is the ritual of a woman willingly lying next to her husband as his funeral pyre is engulfed in flames; evidently it's a better prospect than widowhood.

 
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