Photo by Rohan Makhecha on Unsplash
I have never been a big believer in astrology myself, but this single app based in astrology will have you questioning the possibility of our lives being predetermined, at least to some extent.
The iOS app ominously titled The Pattern received a boost in popularity on the media recently when actor Channing Tatum released a video of his reaction to the app?s content ? AKA his ?Pattern?; (check out his viral Instagram video if you haven?t already).
Channing Tatum in shock about The Pattern (https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2019/07/channing-tatum-rants-astrology-app-the-pattern/)
A good friend of mine first introduced me to the mysterious app a couple of months ago, and the first time I used it ? okay, more like the first five times I used it ? I had the exact same reaction as Tatum. No joke.
I have never been a big believer in astrology, but this single app brought with it the possibility of our lives being predetermined, at least to some extent. And not going to lie, it freaked me the heck out.
What is determinism?
The term deterministic thinking refers to the belief or worldview that everything in life is predetermined; we have no free will over our actions and the choices we make. It is one side of the age-old argument between free will and determinism. (Check out this video by the School of Life on free will vs determinism for a brief history and explanation).
Popular works such as Shakespeare?s Hamlet are examples of how the debate of free will vs. determinism plays out in works of fiction and fantasy. The play explores the premise of the characters? choices being predetermined and futile to the outcome of their lives.
If you?ve read or seen any Shakespearean play, you?ve probably noticed the presence of Oracles, wise elders, or fates foretelling future outcomes for certain characters. These soothsayers often act as deterministic forces in the story, immensely foreshadowing either the demise or the success of the characters through their lines, often which are heavily ridden with riddles.
Once these riddled lines are uttered, it then becomes up to the audience or reader to take heed and decipher them alongside the characters. The common theme in all works of this nature is that somehow, these riddled-possibilities end up being true in the end.
But is the presence of Oracles foretelling lives and outcomes limited to fictional works?
That is the question (along with ?to be or not to be?).
How does determinism relate to astrology?
If that?s what you?re wondering, I?m glad you asked.
Astrology claims to have information about your character, temperament, personality, and behaviour based on something about you that?s (arguably) outside of your realm of choices: i.e. your birth date, time, and place.
Photo by Farzad Mohsenvand on Unsplash
It also claims to know things that will happen to you at some given point in the future. You will find this kind of language if you read your horoscope.
So astrology, in a sense, supports a deterministic viewpoint.
Things happen to you, and it?s predetermined by forces beyond your control.
?It?s written in the stars.?
Now why would this be an issue?
The issue with determinism
Like most things in life, the issue could lie in our perspective.
Some people are comforted by the thought that everything is thought out for them and laid out bare for them to see; they know exactly what to expect from life from the start and can thus work to accept their reality.
Others might be bothered by the possibility of not being able to control the outcome of their actions or their destiny, and that their actions are futile to the outcome of their lives.
Photo by Patryk Gr?dys on Unsplash
When arguing the topic of free will and determinism, we often ask ourselves whether our actions are truly chosen by us, or whether they are only perceived as such. I personally prefer the idea of being in control of my own fate by my actions; I don?t like to think of the possibility that I cannot actively choose what I do in life. I want my choices to matter and to make a difference.
But if we can choose what we prefer, what?s the issue then?
Studies have shown that deterministic thinking is bad for your health. Why might this the case?
I think there are a few main reasons for this:
Deterministic thinking can make you feel powerless and out of control. If you are unable to see the direct results or consequences of your work or actions, and if the outcome would be the same whether you choose to take action or not, your motivation to take action toward actively reaching where you want to be will be dampened.
Deterministic thinking can foster and promote a Nihilistic viewpoint. If you don?t believe you have control over your own actions, it?s easy to fall into a Nihilistic viewpoint that nothing you do matters, and that whatever you do will yield the same outcome anyway.
Deterministic thinking can yield unrealistic expectations. If you believe that something ?is meant to be?, and it doesn?t happen that way, it can lead to disappointment.
Deterministic thinking can lead to a defeatist attitude and of being limited to a box. Thinking that you can never leave the box you were placed in can be a dangerous way to view things. If something or someone tells you you are limited to being a certain way, you may grow to believe it and thus adopt that way of being, as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Astrology, at least to some extent, promotes deterministic thinking.
Cosmic Nihilism in Rick & Morty (https://gifer.com/en/S80F)
Where does ?The Pattern? fit into all this?
?The Pattern? is an astrology app that provides you with information about yourself and those around you, simply through creating a profile for each individual. You create a profile by entering in an individual?s birth chart information (i.e. name and birth date, time, and place).
You can enter in the birth chart of anyone you know, even strangers; the more information you have regarding their birth chart, the more accurate the reading will be.
The app (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/the-pattern/id1071085727)
Each profile comes with a list of static, stable traits unique to the person (their ?Pattern?), and a dynamic, shifting list of past, present, and future ?cycles? (their ?Timing?). What?s even more is you can enter in a specific date in the past or future to find out what an individual?s cycle was or will be during that time.
And that?s not all. The app also allows you to link any two profiles together to find out how they match up. This part of the app is the most mind-boggling (or at least it was to me). The app tells you how two individuals would, could, or do react to each other when in some kind of close relationship with one another; it informs you what is the point of their ?strongest connection? and ?biggest challenge? (?Romantic Pattern?). It also tells you how their cycles line up with each other (?Romantic Timing?).
The app also gives you near-daily updates on your cycles (your ?Timing?) and the world?s cycles (?World Timing?). And let me tell you, this app does not skimp out on the details!
To be fair though, the app does make sure to tell you at the end of almost everything you read that the information it gives you are merely clues as to how you can live life to be as fulfilling as possible for you personally. But that doesn?t take away from the fact that seems to know what would make you most fulfilled, and how you can get there.
My experience with ?The Pattern?
Reading through the app the first few times, I felt like I was cheating at life. Like this app should not exist and that it?s giving away too much information about myself and the people around me that I shouldn?t have access to.
Photo by Justin Clark on Unsplash
I thought, if this was a movie, this would be one of those movies where a group of friends discover some magical force that tells them about their own futures and things about themselves that they shouldn?t otherwise know, and then at first it seems great and amazing, but then eventually it leads to giant wormholes in the fabric of space and time, and then they are forced to destroy it in the end before the entire universe implodes on itself (hopefully that?s not the case though).
But in all seriousness, I thought about what it was that actually bothered me about the app.
Was it that this app?s ability to predict everything about everyone took away the notion that we are in control of our own lives?
Or was it that knowing the information came with it the responsibility to act accordingly to achieve our own fulfillment?
I found that for me, it was both.
I want to be in control of my own life, my own choices and actions, but reading the information in the app showed me that there was a lot about myself that I had yet to face in order to get to where I wanted to be.
The app is a tool. And like any tool, the use is determined by the user.
And that?s something we can for sure determine: how we use it.
Access to your past, present, and future ? as well as those of everyone around you ? is right at your fingertips, available for free download from the Apple Store.
So the question remains, as Channing Tatum put it so perfectly in his viral video:
Should we even have access to this information?
Determine for yourself. If you dare.
The Pattern (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/the-pattern/id1071085727)
If you enjoyed this article then give it a clap or a few! If you have used this mysterious app before, highlight a line in this article and comment about your experiences with it. Has it been accurate for you? Is Channing Tatum?s reaction an accurate depiction of how you feel about the app as well? Would you share this app with your friends, or is it information you feel is best left unknown?
And if you believe it?s worth knowing, be sure to share it with anyone you know who is curious enough to dare look into their past, present, and future to unravel their destinies!
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