For those who don’t know there is great debate in the scientific community about whether or not free will is possible. The theory is that time is a relative construct. Therefore everything that has ever happened or ever will happen is happening all at once and time is just how we are experiencing these events. The best way that I have heard it explained was in “Agents of Shield” when Fitz compared it to a book. He said that time was happening all at once but we were experiencing just one page in the book at a time. This was most famously depicted in the “Harry Potter” movies. Especially “The Prisoner of Azkaban”. In this movie Harry knew that he could create his patronus because he already saw himself doing it. Time was laid out and he just had to catch up.
Others in the scientific community think that time is relative based on decisions and that alternate realities are created based on these decisions. Some people use the multiverse theory to explain this. For those fellow geeks out there it was often the plot to “The Flash” TV show. In the beginning of the series Barry often ran back in time to change something and ended up changing everything.. thus Flashpoint is created.
Personally I’m a bit in between. I’m more of a Doctor Who time theorist. I believe that certain things are meant to be and everything else is just happening as it does. I believe certain things are “fixed points in time”. I have noticed that sometimes things happen in my life that had no rhyme or reason but they lead to something life altering. There have been things in my life that I knew would happen one day and didn’t have any idea how.. and they did. I believe we all have these moments and we all see how different our lives and the world would be without them.
Not having any free will is a complicated concept to think about and even more difficult to believe in ones own future one way or the other. When someone can’t fathom having any control over their life it leaves them feeling hopeless and frightened all the time. My son’s father was in this category. He has severe anxiety and depression. He often self-medicated with all kinds of drugs. Whenever I would talk to him about making other decisions. About straightening out his life he would reply with the fact that he had no real control over his life. That if he was MEANT to straighten out that he would, and if he wasn’t he wouldn’t.
This whole theory seemed like a cop-out to me. It felt like he was making excuses for why he didn’t need to sober up. I would remind him that his life was his and if HE made other choices then obviously things would change. No one could make him do drugs. He had to change the behavior himself. He couldn’t handle that answer. He would reply that even if he did change his behavior that it would just be what the universe had done to him anyway. It was like talking to a merry-go-round. His whole perspective that he didn’t have free will left him with no will.
Before I met him he had had a couple attempts at suicide. It always confused me because he had such a fear of dying. I didn’t understand why he would try to kill himself if it was also his biggest fear. Unfortunately I think I figured it out. I think he felt like taking himself out of the equation took away the universe’s control. He was always found by a loved one and brought to the hospital and he didn’t know how to feel about it. I told him that he was alive because he was meant to meet me and we were meant to have our son. That didn’t make him feel any better because it was still something that he felt he hadn’t controlled about his life. Even though our son was a choice we made together, and he loved him very much.
Last August he had a scare. He overdosed while driving. He crashed his car and the police came and revived him. He called me to tell me what happened and I told him how lucky he was. I told him he was both lucky that he didn’t hurt anyone else and that because he was driving people saw the accident and the cops were called and he was able to be revived. Had he been alone in his room no one would have known and I’d have gotten a very different call that day. He seemed to agree.
The next day I got that call. He had overdosed in his room alone. He was dead. Part of me believes he did it to test the theory. If he was meant to not die then he would have been found. He could say that it was proof. That there was no reason for him to have been found and yet he was. Unfortunately he never got that chance. To me he fulfilled his life’s goal because we had our son… his choices after that took him away from our son. That’s all on him.