Life is a river flowing back to the Sea
If our experience as a human is analogous to a journey down a river, then our experience as a spirit is analogous to the entirewater cycle. Each of us is like a raindrop which fell from a cloud and ultimately entered into a river for the journey back from where it came – the sea. Then the cycle is repeated.
In the same way that a drop of water is a part of the sea and contains within itself the nature of the sea itself, so our spirit is a part of God containing within it the Whole of God itself. This concept of a something being both a part and the Whole is called in science terminology a fractal.
By becoming a droplet in the water cycle, we can experience wonderful adventures which ultimately help us to understand ourselves and the sea even more. Which river of life we choose to travel down is up to us. Once we begin the journey, we are partly at the mercy of the river and the course it takes us. How we chose to flow down the river is our decision.
This river which represents the course of our life that leads us back to God is an archetype that is familiar to us. Perhaps this is one of the reasons we feel drawn to rivers and why we regarded them as sacred. In ancient cultures, religions and even in near-death experiences, this archetype of life being a river appears. On the river, we are always moving forward from a source and toward an end. Life starts out as a small creek and grows into large river with rapids, forks, tributaries, rocks, and sometimes floods. Rivers have a history and are evolving. The river of life can take us to a variety of destinations on shore. There are many decisions and choices to make while traveling the river. Sometimes we have no choice at all but submit to the mercy of the river. At times we can relax and go with the flow. Other times we can shoot the rapids. We can row our boats gently down the stream. But if we just remain on the shore, we will never reach our destination and goal. Wisdom means knowing the best course of action to take as we travel down the river.
Someone once asked Deepak Chopra, the famous endrocrinologist and spiritual guru, about the predetermination aspect of this analogy of life being a river. They asked him, “Does this mean that we are born into a pre-determined destiny and if so, why even bother cultivating free will or striving to be faithful?” His answer was:
“This connection isn’t fixed or automatic, it merely represents numerical probability. Our conscious choices help determine our destiny. The deterministic world is ignorance. When we navigate from awareness, we exercise free will. It’s the difference between ignorance and enlightenment. To surrender to divine intelligence, know that everything both comes from God and belongs to God. If life is a river between the banks of hope and despair, our ultimate destiny is to become independent of both, unmoved by either.”
So the future is not fixed in stone but consists of probabilities based on current choices and trends. This answer from Deepak Chopra is another way of saying we choose our destinies.