Sunday, 23 June 2013

Free will and predestination

John Frawley has written a very interesting article about the so-called battle between free will and fate, but I think there are some issues that are left unclear, to me at least. Here are two paragraphs from the article:

"Much the same can be said of prediction. When we predict we are in a sense looking into the little book that is eternity, because we’re not looking at life as a straight line of which we know only the particular point where we are right now. When we predict, we’re looking at the life as something the whole of which exists now. Else we wouldn’t be able to see it. The whole movie is in the can. Hence the fact we can look anywhere we want in that life. It’s a bit like a photo album. You have a photo album covering 20 years of your life, and you can open that album wherever you like. Those 20 years in a sense exist now, completely. Both prediction and prayer assume that the whole of our life exists in much the same way as those 20 years in the photo album, the only difference being that the photo album exists only after we apparently perceive the life, whereas the prayer and prediction seem to us to exist only before we experience it. But because before and after are things we perceive only because of our position within the constraints of time, they are not necessarily to be taken too seriously. Before and after are not necessarily the determining words on the subject."

"Our situation regarding prediction and the apparent contradiction between free will and predestination, is not the situation of the one watching the movie and wondering what’s going to happen next. Our situation is that of the person in the movie. We are Rick, wondering if it will be him or Victor Lazlo getting on the plane with Ilsa. What will I choose to do? Rick has his free will. It’s his choice whether it’s him or Lazlo who gets on the plane. But - the decision has already been made. The movie’s in the can. Yet only by exercising his own free will does the movie unfold as it must do, as it can only do, as it will inevitably do. The predestination (the movie being in the can) is obtainable only by Rick exercising his free will.

The whole article can be found here: 

1) So, we as astrologers do not predict, because there is no such thing as a past and a future. Everything already exists, therefore we cannot make a prediction in the literal sense of the word, because we are not seeing something in the chart that "will happen", but simply something that is part of our script. We are just stating a fact. So far so good.

2) We, as people, do not know the script beforehand, because that would be extremely unpleasant. Look at Jesus, John says. He knew his script beforehand and he didn't like it, at least parts of it. He played it out of course, because that is the only possible "choice" for everybody, but it was unpleasant nonetheless. So, what are we doing as astrologers? Why are we trying to find out about what the various scripts say? Are we making our lives - and other people's lives for that matter - unpleasant? Should we stop? Can we stop? Naturally, what we will eventually do (stop or don't stop), will be determined by our script, but if we consider astrology to be a divine art, isn't that perhaps what we are supposed to do? Shouldn't we try to emulate Jesus? Can it be that this is our purpose, that is, to find out all we can about our script, despite the potential unpleasantness?

3) John finally says that the script can only come to life by us exercising our free will. Curious choice of words here and this is the part that is unclear to me. By free will does he mean conscious action? That I can understand.  My "choice" is written in the script, but this choice has to be acted upon, it has to be realized. The script has to become a movie, it can't just stay simply words on paper forever. But free will? What does he mean by that? Isn't that an illusion? I can only call it free will, if I do not know that a script exists. But I'm deluding myself because a script does exist. And even if I do know my script by heart (Jesus), I still have to play it out, regardless of whether I like it or not. Can this be called free? I can't help but remember Cypher from the first Matrix, who got out of the Matrix, only to realize that freedom is an illusion. "You call this free?" he told Trinity. Trinity failed to respond.


  1. Well, I think he left out that while the movie is in the can, there are other cuts of the film on the shelf. Some might say that there are an infinite number, but for practical purposes there not, and there are points in the script where a change is significant enough the film can diverge sufficiently to be notable. This is up to the astrologer to determine, and to relate to the client.

  2. In summary, we have different cards, some bad, some good, and we are free to choose those cards, but only that. Our free will is that of a dog tied on string. There is, but it is limited.

  3. To extend. As told by Rene Guenon, a known by Frawley: free will is the ability to self determine ourselves without coercion, but always said that this is relative.

  4. In "guenonian" sense, I would say there are certain possibilities of manifestation for each of us, those that depend on some our action and those that we suffer by accident.

  5. There is an old astrological saying, which states that "the stars compell us, they don't force us" and another one stating "the wise man rules his stars, the unwise man is ruled by the stars". If you give in to your basic desires and the earthly logic, you are a slave, and every step of your path can be predicted. But if you discover that earthly life is an illusion and start showing altruistic love, nobody can predict your future.

    1. Then if you are an astrologer, you should stop making predictions, because you are keeping your clients on the earthly level. Instead you must encourage them to ignore their birth chart for fear that this might prove to be a burden or a hindrance on their path to transcend their desires. Come to think of it, astrology is a sinful activity that deals only with the low nature of people, since we have to rule our stars eventually, not follow them. Is that what you think?