Title : Destiny Vs. Choice
Author : Marie D. Jones
Publisher : NewPage Books
ISBN : 978-1-60163-156-5
Right from the day a person develops the faculties to comprehend the meaning of life and the purpose of existence, the struggle between two contradictory claims begin in the mind - fate/destiny and choice/free will. Is everything hard coded in our make up or can we exercise some control over the choices that we believe to make and the paths we select?
In 'Destiny vs Choice', Marie D. Jones highlights the fundamental point that life is nothing but a sequence of decisions/choices and the decisions taken lead the individual to diverse circumstances offering yet another set of choices. The author brings in the spiritual, philosophical and scientific angles to look at the process of confronting decision points after decision points. She lays down very valid points and doubts on the table, for instance, if God has planned everything and if God is the perfect power, how could sin and evil be part of God's plan? If not, then is evil part of free will? Do fate and 'free will' work in mutually exclusive manner or do they have some common ground? What percentage of what we do or what happens come under the destiny part and what portion of it makes it to the 'free will'? The confusion keeps mounting with more and more parameters and factors thrown into the discussion. Do we lead a robot-like life where minute to minute details are set in stone, but then the whole existence seems really pointless. There has to be a kind of balance, a kind of correlation between Destiny and Choice, perhaps we do get to exercise our 'free will' but in the realms of broad rules of universe, which are there to avoid complete anarchy.
The author has taken into consideration different viewpoints and perspectives - from astrology, astronomy, various religions, DNA blueprint, quantum physics to after-death experiences, thereby making it a well researched guide on trying to fathom the meaning of each of these significant aspects in our life and how to use them to make the life more fulfilling and enriching. The impressive part about this book is that even the complex topics are very effectively weaved together in an extremely readable fashion. And also, the narrative is very beautifully peppered with the quotes of some notable personalities. A detailed section is focused on the great equalizer - the death and the after-life experiences, analyzing many issues under the topic.
The Appendix of the book is dedicated to some interesting tales, portraying how 'destiny' and 'free will' make their presence felt and how people find out the true destinations where they truly need to be, whether it is called the pull of destiny or that of Choice, which seems to matter much less at the end.