It’s the question without an answer: are we strolling through life according to a carved-in-stone script, or do we write our own scripts as we go along? This is the mystery that Marie D Jones addresses in her latest book, Destiny vs. Choice.
Before we can begin to debate the subject, we need to define the terms ‘destiny’ and ‘choice.’ Jones opens her book with a brief description of such philosophical concepts as determinism, fatalism, first cause, chance, and freedom just to get us warmed up. She then follows with a chapter exploring religious views of free will and predestination, covering all of the world’s major religions and their stands on the subject at hand.
Whatever we profess to believe about destiny or free will, most of us lean toward the possibility that the future can be predicted. Destiny vs. Choice has that area covered, too. Jones gives readers a thorough summary of the most popular forms of divination-- palm reading, tarot, and astrology among them. There is also scientific evidence to be considered, and Jones does an exceptionally fine job of boiling down the key theories popular in quantum physics today into chunks that are easy to understand without being so sparse as to leave readers more confused than ever.
Clearly it is impossible for any of us to know conclusively how a discussion of such an esoteric topic will end, nor does Destiny vs. Choice attempt to provide a resolution. This is a book for pondering, not pontificating. It is loaded with bits of information that lead us to new avenues for individual research and ongoing contemplation. The appendix holds a series of personal tales of fate and free will that further entice us by turning upside-down any opinions we may have formed along the way.
Jones is known for her ability to write about far-reaching and controversial subjects with balance and objectivity, as well as for providing a broad range of linking information that fleshes out her topic. As always, in Destiny vs. Choice, she has sifted through a mountain of information and conflicting beliefs and distilled it all into a concentrated product that gives gallons of satisfaction per spoonful.