That which heaven has once determined,
That which God’s eternal finger
Has upon the azure tablets
Of the sky sublimely written,
Those transparent sheets of sapphire
Superscribed with golden ciphers
Ne’er deceive, and never lie;
The deceiver and the liar
Is he who to use them badly
In a wrongful sense defines them.
– SIGISMUND from Life is a Dream, by Pedro CalderÃƒÂ³n de la Barca
Life is a Dream is probably Barca’s most famous play. In it, the Spanish playwright tells the story of the King of Poland who imprisons his son from birth to avoid the predictions of astrologers who claim he will take the throne from him. But for some reason he has a change of heart later on in life and releases him to stand trial where the son acts foolishly and is sent back to his tower. The son becomes convinced that the whole trial was a dream but meanwhile, the peasants have risen up and they free him to be crowned the new king.
And so, as Barca did a few centuries ago, I wonder some times whether we have less freewill than we think. I wonder the extent to which everything is predetermined, and if that be the case, I wonder what it means to live a life constantly consciously unaware of the signs that the universe is guiding you and not your own hand.
And if that be the case, I wonder, if we are all predestined to wonder about the things which feel predestined.
Because if it turns out that we are all just, theater, then I’d love to fast forward to the end of the movie to see how it all plays out. I’d like to remain in my seat after everyone stands up to leave, just to see the credits roll and find out who was truly behind this whole production.
To find out whether I was the executive producer and God the director?
Or perhaps He is all those things, and I, just a supporting role in a life that was only a dream.
Like the opening lines from Waking Life:
“Dream is Destiny”