Humans fly

Have you ever seen birds fly? How they flap their wings and then hold them still mid-air? After having done their part, they let the wind carry them. Still they do not relinquish control completely. They control their direction, steer themselves the way they want to. Even though they depend upon the wind to carry them, they do not let it control them. Such intelligent creatures they are…

Have you ever seen humans live? How they breathe in and out, and let nature do the rest? After having done their part, they hand themselves over to nature and to fate. They relinquish control. They take a silver platter, decorate themselves with achievements and degrees, and hand themselves over on it to fate, for it to do with them as it pleases. Very few of them control their direction and steer themselves the way they want to. Very few of them step off the silver platter and make fate follow them. Of course, they depend upon nature and fate truly does control them. But isn’t that why they’ve been equipped with such intelligence and the right of self-determination? Isn’t that why they’ve been given a will to do as they choose? Why then, do they cower in corners, clutching on to fate’s pinkie for dear life? Why do they not hold its hand firmly, and steer it into the direction they want to go? It would follow. Surely, it would follow, for it has no choice. It is chained to them. It is not the other way round as humans have mistaken it to be. But of course, if the jailer hands the keys over to the prisoner, that is how it shall be.

They believe, while relinquishing control, that they are free. Why do they not scoff at their own naivety? The word “free” they have made up to delude themselves. They have tried to define it in dictionaries. When will they figure out, freedom is not to be defined? Because to define it is to confine it. And confining it goes against every definition that they have tried to place upon it. When will they realize that freedom exists only within themselves, and can not possibly exist in any form anywhere else? Within themselves, they have a funny freedom. They have been given a “choice” to be free. They’ve been given the choice, and then a permanent, overbearing partner called fate. Fate has been given a plan which it follows to the dot, which is why it can be overbearing. But it is also permanently chained to humans. And humans have been given a choice to be free. That is the plot twist. Humans have the choice to pull the chains in their direction. And fate, being its overbearing self, will always follow. It is a prisoner to these cowering creatures of high intelligence. It can be manipulated. Of course, it will still follow its plan to the dot, but humans can interfere. Humans can exercise their freedom within themselves. Humans can fly too.

~Moniba Mehboob

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15 thoughts on “Humans fly

  1. You know Moniba, from where I sit this is the best thing you’ve ever written as well as one of the best expositions of the non-duality of determinism and free will I have ever read.

      • My thoughts?
        Very tangled.

        I’ve chewed over the apparent conflict between determinism and free will – fate and self-determination if you like – for much of my adult life and I’ve got dozens of different perspectives on it that I can’t really integrate very well.

        I’m pretty sure the question itself isn’t properly formed. That maybe cause and effect and unidirectional linear time aren’t really what we perceive them to be. That maybe there is no one ‘fate’ but perhaps it’s simultaneously a multiplicity of all possibilities. Like the many worlds theory of quantum physics – the cat is both dead and alive until we impose our own limited viewpoint and make it one or the other to ourselves.

        I recently linked one of my blog posts to this Alan Watts essay which I think offers some helpful metaphorical insights into where we generally go wrong in thinking about time and causality.

        I guess the answer I’m happiest with is sort of a non-answer. That if you formulate the exercise of free will as something you impose on the destiny of the universe then you will inevitably run into contradictions. But if you see yourself as both completely contiguous with everything else and as a reflection of everything else then you can see that ‘fate’ and your own ‘freedom’ are actually the same thing. The universe causes us and we cause the universe. We are not blown by the winds of fate, we are the winds of fate.

        We aren’t chained to our unchangeable pasts and we aren’t driven towards our inevitable futures. The present moment is all that is real and that is where our freedom is.

      • “But if you see yourself as both completely contiguous with everything else and as a reflection of everything else then you can see that ‘fate’ and your own ‘freedom’ are actually the same thing.”

        I like your non-answer!! Thankyou for sharing your “tangled” thoughts.

  2. I agree with it, each and every word of it! So nicely put! 🙂
    I read this quote: “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility…”

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