What if Macbeth never met the three witches?
Would his life have torpedoed towards that particular destiny and if so, at that same speed or manner?
Without the witches, perhaps he would never have had the courage to act on his ambition. He would have served out his life as the Thane of Cawdor, seething with jealousy but celebrated. Or the King would have died of natural causes and Macbeth would have been made King through natural circumstance.
I’ve been thinking lots about fortune-telling recently as I’ve had friends consulting clairvoyants and seeking astrologers. Mostly to help make a difficult decision or to be reassured of the decision they have made. I usually find that it doesn’t matter what they are then told … they proceed to act exactly how they wanted to the first place.
I’ve never seen one personally but I’ve had people do readings on my behalf but I always find it frustrating. I don’t want to be reassured, I want to be told what to do. The exact steps, please. It’s the eternal struggle between fate and free will. If something is fated for you, is it enough to just sit back and wait for it to happen. After all, it is written. Or if you don’t do a certain thing or if you are not at a certain place at a certain time, does your fate change accordingly and you screw up what was meant to be?
If chance will have me king, why, chance may
Without my stir.
— Macbeth, William Shakespeare
We will never know. Life is a lot more complicated than that. Or maybe its as the Oracle best describes it in one of my favourite movies of all time, The Matrix:
Neo: Do you already know if I’m going to take it?
Oracle: Wouldn’t be much of an oracle if I didn’t.
Neo: But if you already know, how could I make a choice?
Oracle: Because you didn’t come here to make the choice. You already made it. You’re here to try to understand why you made it.”
If you like this post, you’ll probably like this one as well in which I write about why we seek signs
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