Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be, whether a long
string of perfectly blue days that begin and end in golden dimness,
the most seemingly chaotic political acts, the rise of a great city,
the crystalline structure of a gem that has never seen the light,
the distributions of fortune, what time the milkman gets up, the
position of the electron, or the occurrence of one astonishingly
frigid winter after another.
Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, are
tame and obsequious little creatures that rush around at the speed
of light, going precisely where they are supposed to go. They make
faint whistling sounds that when apprehended in varying combinations
are as pleasant as the wind flying through a forest, and they do
exactly as they are told. Of this, one can be certain.
And yet there is a wonderful anarchy, in that the milkman chooses
when to arise, the rat picks the tunnel into which he will dive when
the subway comes rushing down the track from Borough Hall, and the
snowflake will fall as it will. How can this be? If nothing is
random, and everything is predetermined, how can there be free will?
The answer to that is simple.
Nothing is predetermined; it is determined, or was determined, or
will be determined. No matter, it all happened at once, in less than
an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in
one glance the enormous and detailed canvas that we have been given
- so we track it, in linear fashion, piece by piece. Time, however,
can be easily overcome; not by chasing light, but by standing back
far enough to see it all at once.
The universe is still and complete. Everything that ever was, is;
everything that ever will be, is - and so on, in all possible
combinations. Though in perceiving it we imagine that it is in
motion, and unfinished, it is quite finished and quite astonishingly
In the end, or rather, as things really are, any event, no matter
how small, is intimately and sensibly tied to all others. All rivers
run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together; the
lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly
blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue,
immobile and accessible; and, when all is perceived in such a way as
to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will
be, but as something that is.