My current writing project, Split Symmetry, touches on free will.
What is it? Does it exist? Is it an illusion? It’s not up to me to decide, but I enjoyed writing a story which looked at the question. Who is in control? You, me, ‘the gods’?
Although chaos theory earns fewer column inches (or screen space) than it did ten or fifteen years ago, the theory of the Butterfly Effect remains. The idea that a tiny action in one place may cause a massive consequence in another is an interesting one. Think of the hurricane on one side of the globe which was caused by a butterfly flapping its wings on the other. It’s one step on from the Buddhist idea of ’cause and effect’.
A lot of us in the western world use the old phrase ‘what goes around comes around’? But it is an eastern concept. As a child I believed it meant that your exact actions would be done back to you, or that the person subject to your wrong doing would, one day, get their revenge. It doesn’t quite work like that, does it? However, it may be true that bad energy or good energy could come whizzing back over the horizon to complete the full circle one day. So if you committed a mortal sin, what’s in store? Is there any hope?
When writing the first draft of Split Symmetry I thought a lot about the 1980s UK tv series ‘GBH’ about a man who had, unwittingly, done something terrible in his childhood. I’m interested in the extent to which our intention determines the good or evil element of our actions. Can good people sometimes do bad things?
If you had your life again?
Would you do things differently?
That, dear reader, is for you to decide.