Virtual Writers, Inc. reading, interview, and debate
Vivake Pathak, the author of God and Destiny, was invited as the guest of the Virtual Meet & Greet programme of Virtual Writers, Inc., held in The Milk Loft in the 3D virtual world Second Life on May 30, 2010, starting at 11:30 a.m. PST. The interviewer and moderator of the programme was Andrea Pring, known as Harriet Gausman in Second Life; she is the founder and owner of Virtual Writers, Inc. group, Virtual Writers, Inc. website, and Milk Wood Writing Community. First, she requested Vivake to read some of his work; he read the preface and first chapter of the book, an account of a couple of funny incidents of his life, and two of his poems. After the reading, she interviewed him, and then he answered the questions posed by the audience. The event lasted for about two-and-a-half hours, which was longest-ever time in the history of the Virtual Meet & Greet, and also it was unprecedentedly animated.
Most of the questions asked by the interviewer and the audience were related to the contents of the book and the topics covered in it. The questions and the author's answers to them are presented on this page, below the transcript of his reading. The author has added the answers to the audience questions that remained unanswered and expanded the answers to the questions that were not properly answered during the event due to the lack of time and limitations of the communication medium. The names of the interviewer and the audience, which appear below, are their unique user names or login IDs in Second Life. The Second Life user name of the author, Vivake Pathak, is Flint Rodas, but to avoid any confusion, only his real name is used here:
Harriet Gausman: Thank you so much for joining us at Virtual Writers, Inc. We are thrilled to have you with us.
Harriet Gausman: So, this is how it will work today: Vivake will do a reading from his book God and Destiny. I will then ask Vivake some questions, after which I will open the floor up to the audience. Please pass any questions you have to me in a notecard.
Vivake, would you like to begin the reading?
Vivake Pathak: Sure.
Greetings to everyone! I am Flint Rodas, also known as Vivake Pathak in real life. First of all I would like to thank Harriet Gausman for inviting me as a guest to this Meet and Greet and introducing me to you, to Hedda Hazelnut for proposing my name to her for this programme, and to all others for coming here to participate. As Harriet has requested me to read some of my work, I will start by reading from my book God and Destiny. First, I will read the preface of the book, which will give you an idea in brief of what the book is about, and then the first chapter or introduction, neither of them is bulky.
The concept of god affects every human being in some way or the other, to some extent or other. People believe in him and have faith in him; fear, adore, pray, and worship him; think, speak, and write about him; and undertake holy and horrible missions in his name. Yet they do not know who or what he actually is. Billions of people want to and need to know God. To fulfil this need is the primary aim of this book.
God and Destiny is the first book that tells correctly and exactly what God is and reveals his true attributes and influence. In the process it also shows that whatever has to happen in the universe in the future, including whatever has to happen in anyone’s life in the future, is predestined by him and is unchangeable. After the revelation of God, it takes people through an analysis of some nuclear beliefs of major theistic religions of the world to let them see the truth in as well as behind these beliefs.
General public is the primary audience of the book. It is meant for all irrespective of their educational level, religion and nationality. The topics covered in the book belong broadly to the fields of philosophy, religion, and physics and specifically to metaphysics, determinism, philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, philosophy of physics, and quantum mechanics. People related to the above fields form the secondary audiences of the book.
God and Destiny takes people to God through steps; it is based on sound, unbiased, undistorted facts, logic, and reason; and it is intended to be simple, fluent, clear, sharp, and conclusive. The style adopted is me-to-you, the reader being addressed in second person. Part A of the appendices contains scientific proof, discussions, and findings related to the predestinedness and prediction of the future. And Part B of the appendices contains a brief detail of how I realised the absolute predestinedness of the future and how I found God.
The knowledge of God and destiny is the supreme knowledge not only because God is the supreme being but also because it is the knowledge of the state of everyone’s being. It not only sets people free from the blind faith about God and destiny, but showing them that whatever happens in the universe is predestined by God and is unchangeable, it sets a foundation in them for freedom from anxiety, worry, tension, fear, and so on and illumines their way to unwavering, everlasting lively peace. Thus, it is the apex of all knowledge—the supreme knowledge.
(end of preface)
This was the preface. I shall now read chapter 1, which will give you a better insight into the contents of God and Destiny. I have written and added a poem to the beginning of every chapter of the book; each of them is intended to express the idea and mood of its chapter. Some of these poems are inspired, some are manufactured, some are big, some are tiny, some are good, and some are ordinary. So here is the first chapter of God and Destiny:
CHAPTER 1: THE AGE OF IGNORANCE IS OVER
It happened slowly and steadily:
Thousands of years have gone since God was first imagined. Since then the concept of God has been influencing unbelievably large portions of thoughts and activities of humanity. Your mind is full of innumerable stories, notions, and beliefs about him developed through human history, but he himself has remained a mystery for you. Countless people have tried to find him out but all in vain. The time of such ignorance is over. God is not interested in hiding anymore: now I shall let you know him and his true attributes and influence.
In the night of ignorance, some people have been thinking of themselves as closer or dearer to God on the basis of their religion, faith, community, character, and so on. God, whom I shall take you to, is not the God of people of any particular religion, faith, or school of thought. He is not a heritage of only humankind either. He is one and the same for everyone. He is the God of every human being, every living being, every living and nonliving being—he is the God of every being. You will know him irrespective of your caste, creed, community, religion, gender, social status, economic status, occupation, nature, character, and behaviour.
Alas! You have been deceived so much in God’s name. He was not known to anyone, yet many people claimed knowing him or realising him; being in contact with him; being his messenger, relative, or representative; or even being his incarnation or embodiment. Since they were ignorant of God, they could not point towards him; so they told people that being a supernatural power, he is generally beyond perception and only those who have paranormal power, sixth sense, or pious soul can realise him. They devised innumerable weird, difficult, impracticable, and thorny paths for people to prepare them by making their souls holy to realise him.
Enough of your deceiving others or being deceived by others in his name! God is not beyond normal perception. He exists and is perceivable to everyone. Prayer, virtuous deed, desirelessness, austerity, penance, and so on are of no use in knowing him. You need not have any paranormal power, sixth sense, or holy soul to realise him. To lead you to the knowledge of the supreme being, neither have I devised any difficult, thorny, or slippery path for you, nor shall I ask you to undergo any type of austerity or penance. To know him, what you have to do is just to listen to what I say with an attentive and open mind.
In the beginning, to let you get a general concept of what the world has believed to be God, I shall present before you short summaries of what eight major theistic religions of the world say about him and the set of the most important epithets added to him by the majority of theists of the world, because he is God not of any particular religion but of all the religions.
I shall show you that God had never been known to anyone and all that had been said, written, and believed about him is hypothetical. To open you up, to decrease your blind faith, to increase your receptivity, and to prepare you further to know him, I shall answer the questions that this raises, such as if he was not known to anyone, why and how did people ever start to imagine his existence? what were the reasons of any person’s claim of knowing him, having a link with him, or being his incarnation? how did our holy books that are seen as containing his orders, words, or will by many come into existence? and how were the epithets that are commonly believed to be describing him, such as ‘almighty’, ‘creator’, ‘eternal’, ‘omnipresent’, ‘omniscient’, and ‘all-good’ added to him?
As I said before, God is not beyond normal perception. He exists in reality and is perceivable to everyone. To take you to him, I shall involve you in a process of search or identification, but I shall not leave you midway with a future promise. Not only shall I let you know him exactly and precisely, but I shall also explain with the help of a number of examples why any other being cannot be God.
In the history of humankind, hardly anything might have been thought, discussed, said, and written about more than God might have. Since he was not known to anyone, people belonging to different religions and residing in different parts of the world added not completely but to notable extents different sets of epithets to him and developed different beliefs, concepts, and stories about him. After I let you know him, I shall take you through an analysis of the key portions of all that has been said, written, and believed about him to let you identify the truth in it.
Since God himself was unknown, the epithets added to him formed the nuclear portion of whatever was believed about him in general. What highlights their importance is that the small unanimity found among people of different faiths is confined mostly to his epithets—the only thing that shows that people all over the world have believed in one and the same God—but in absence of this knowledge, you could have never been sure whether any of his particular epithets was true to him or not. After letting you know him, the first thing I shall do is to show you which of some most significant epithets added to him by the theists, such as ‘almighty’, ‘creator’, ‘eternal’, ‘omnipresent’, ‘omniscient’, and ‘all-good’, describe him correctly and which are absurd to be added to him, and thus I shall reveal the attributes that are truly possessed by him.
Mostly whatever has been said, written, and believed about God lies within the domain of religion. In the age of ignorance, people have been having fierce but inconclusive debates and conflicts on who knows more about him, whose religion is better and deeper, and whose religion is closer to him. I shall let you know not only him and his attributes but also how correct or incorrect the basic concepts of each of the major theistic religions—Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism—about God are. It will also give you an opportunity to compare the correctness of what your religion says about him with what other religions say about him.
There happen to be some beliefs that lie at the core of any religion because they play a vital role in its propagation and sustenance and also because they differentiate it from other religions. For example, many followers believe about certain person or persons, especially for the propagator or propagators of their religion, that they were close to or in contact with God; were his messenger, relative, or representative; or even were his embodiment or incarnation and about their key religious books that they contain his orders, words, or will. While analysing the correctness of important religious beliefs, I shall let you see how logical or absurd these two beliefs are.
Around the central religious beliefs lie the beliefs about the paths and ways of realising God. I shall show you the reasons of the propagation of some of such beliefs as about prayer, desirelessness, and virtuous deeds and their vainness for his realisation.
The concept of God provides living sap to theistic religions. Lastly, I shall discuss briefly the worth that will be left with these religions after I let you know God, his attributes, the truth behind the claims some persons made about knowing him or being his representative or incarnation, and the futility of the paths and ways proposed by them for realising him.
The main purpose of this book is to let everyone know God. To solve this purpose, the topic ‘destiny’ is also dealt within it to a significant extent.
The concept of destiny, if not as old as, is not much younger than the concept of God. Through human history, different people have believed in destiny to different extents, most people have had a keen desire to know their future, and countless people have been involved in the business of prediction of the future, even if it was not proved that the future is predestined. For the revelation of God, in this book, I shall show that the future is predestined and unchangeable, and thus I shall try to bring destiny out of the ambit of belief and disbelief.
You know that your future is affected by the decisions you make at present, and you think that since you have the capability to change your decisions, you yourself have the authority to change your future too, to the extent it depends on your decisions. No, it may disappoint you but it is not true. Before I present a universal proof of the predestinedness of the future, I shall let you see how destiny comes true in your life through your own will. It is true that it is you who makes the decisions, but it is also true that while doing so you act just like a tool. I shall show you that the decision you make in any particular situation is predestined and unchangeable and so is the future that results from that decision. The authority you think you possess to change your decisions is purely illusory, and so is the capability you feel you possess to change your future. You just cannot change your decisions or your future from what is predestined.
By mentioning that I shall present a universal proof of the predestinedness of the future, I mean I shall prove that whatever has to happen in the universe in the future, whether it is related to living things or nonliving things, including phenomena such as thoughts, ideas, plans, and feelings, is predestined and unchangeable or inevitable. Yes, I shall show you that your future is as unchangeable as your past is—that is, you, anyone, or anything cannot change the number, magnitude, or intensity of successes and failures; achievements and losses; joys and sorrows; and even dreams, thoughts, ideas, and plans of your future life from what is predestined.
I shall proceed to take you through a discussion on the possibility of prediction of the future, and finally at the end of the part related to destiny, I shall introduce you to the potential that the knowledge that the future is predestined and unchangeable possesses to affect the way of your thought and life.
The relation between God and destiny has always been
a matter of great discussion. People have been wondering that if God
is almighty, what role destiny might have to play in the course of
events, and vice versa, that is, if everything is predestined, where
does the almighty God fit in. This confusion will end now, as I
shall show that it is the almighty, omnipotent, or supreme God who
not only governs whatever happens but is the master of destiny of
all the living and nonliving things that exist.
The task this book has to accomplish is not only to deliver the knowledge about God and destiny, to remove blind faith about them, and to end the conflict and violence going on in the world in his name but to lead everyone to deep and lasting inner mental peace—how much reason will you be left for tension, worry, anger, and so on if you know that whatever happens in the universe, including in your life, is predetermined by God and is inevitable?
Along with the proof of the theorem that the future is predestined and unchangeable, Part 2 contains discussions on other topics related to destiny. Revelation of God and other related topics have been dealt with in Part 3. As I have pointed before, both topics ‘proof of the predestinedness of the future’ and ‘revelation of God’, seemingly entirely independent, are actually deeply interrelated—former being one of the foundation stones for the latter. Therefore, for your thorough understanding of the topic ‘revelation of God’, which has been dealt with in Part 3, you are advised to go through Part 2 first.
(end of chapter 1)
This was chapter 1 from God and Destiny. I hope it gave you a fair idea of what the book is about. God and Destiny was published by Rupa and Co., one of the best publishing houses in India. You can know more about the book from its website http://www.godanddestiny.com/.
Apart from being a thinker and researcher, I am poetic and also have wide-ranging sense of humour. Whenever something funny or poetic germinates in my mind, I jot it down. Thus, I have written about one hundred poems and have collected many funny memories. I have not tried yet to publish any of these, though I have posted some of them on my website http://www.vivakepathak.com. I wish to read some of them for you here, starting from a few memories that I found funny and then moving on to two poems I wrote.
I, ME, AND MYSELF
I spend most of the time alone, so obviously, most of the talking, smiling, and laughing I do is also with me, and no, I really don’t have schizophrenia—trust me. Which of you don’t talk with yourself?
A friend of mine asked me, “What? You laugh by yourself?” and I asked, “Well, is it not normal for people who talk to themselves?”
Recently, I was working on a faulty switch board and I asked myself, “Should I touch this wire for a split second to see if it is connected to the mains?” I heard a voice from inside, “Vivake, you know, if I were you, I would never do that.”
But I don’t talk to just myself—I talk to others too:
THE DOG WITH AN ATTITUDE
I remember that about one year back, I went to Gurgaon for a meeting with an event management company—Gurgaon is a town adjacent to Delhi. After the meeting, I decided to meet with an acquaintance Saumya, who is from my home town and lives in Gurgaon. I have been here in Delhi for about three-and-a-half years but could never meet her due to lack of time. I could not go to her house even when she invited me on the occasion of the birth of her first child.So, this time I thought it was a good opportunity.
I dialled her cell number, asked her whether she was at home, informed her about my arrival, and she explained her address to me. I reached her colony, using three different means of transportation. Then, I started trying to locate her house by asking people. I reached at the end of the lane she had mentioned, and I still could not find her house. There, I found an empty space between two houses, which had a thick layer of grass. A brown dog was either sniffing something in the grass or it was eating the grass.
I asked the dog, “Where is house number 2828?” The dog did not seem to hear me at all. He continued to do what he was doing. I looked around, but I still could not see any human being there—actually I looked around to make sure that any human being was not seeing me trying to talk to a dog. Then, I said in a louder voice, “Hello!” The dog looked at me now. There was some blankness, curiosity, thoughtfulness, and absentmindedness in his eyes. I repeated my question, “Where is house number 2828?” He continued to look at me for a moment, and then went back to his work, sniffing or grazing, whatever he was doing.
I said to myself, “Look at it! If he did not have enough time to lead me to house number 2828, at least he could have explained me the way or could have told me whether he knew the exact location or not—he just ignored my question. It seems even dogs have attitude problems.” Feeling a bit disturbed and hurt, I continued my search for the house and found it after some effort, of course without the assistance of that dog.
Have any of you faced or experienced such attitude from a dog?
Harriet Gausman laughs out loud, "From a cat, especially from a cat."
Hedda Hazelnut: Of course, my dog is listening to your story, and he does not express his opinion."
Vivake Pathak resumes his reading:
Ok, let me proceed to the last stage of my reading. As I said, I write poems too, and to this date I have written more than hundred poems. Some of the poems are good, some are bad, and some, ordinary, but most of them are small and raw. Since all of them have been written while I was working on my book, I could not give time to develop or polish the poems, except those which are in the book. I act somewhat like a fisherman: whenever I notice a beautiful poem in my mind, I catch it and store it in my diary. I would like to publish them in my third book. I write mostly two types of poems: philosophic and romantic; I will read here one of each category, first the romantic one and then the philosophic poem. The name of the first poem is Love Story, and it has only four lines. So, here it is:
As dream you entered my mind.
The second poem is philosophic. Its name is Identification. It begins the twelfth chapter of my book God and Destiny. The name of that chapter is also Identification, and since it reveals God, it is the most important chapter of the book. Incidentally, this poem too, in my view, is one of the better poems of all those I have written for the book. Here it is:
Birds, trees, lakes, rivers, and mountains—
At night, stars had created an image:
The light broke on a different scene:
Birds, trees, lakes, rivers, and mountains—
Well, that’s it. With the end of this poem ends my reading session. I thank you all for your patience and appreciation, and now hand over the rein of the proceedings back to Harriet.
Harriet Gausman: Thank you for reading, Vivake.
The next part will consist of my asking questions to Vivake. If you have any questions you would like to ask him, please put them in a notecard and pass them on to me."
Harriet Gausman: You were a mechanical engineer before you became a writer. What made you decide to take up writing?
Vivake Pathak: I have always wanted to do something important, unique, and useful for the world, something that could provide appropriate outlet to my creativity and talent, something that would give me enough freedom for my further research in the fields of my interest. I took up writing and continued with it because it seemed fulfilling all those criteria.
Harriet Gausman: Is this your first book?
Vivake Pathak: Yes, God and Destiny: The Supreme Knowledge is my first book.
Harriet Gausman: What inspired you to write this book?
Vivake Pathak: From very childhood I used to take keen interest in spiritual, religious, and philosophical topics. I read many books and articles on these subjects. But my keenness was in achieving and experiencing rather than just reading and knowing. At any time or age, I was trying to attain what I thought of as best spiritually. So, with the development of my brain, as I was moving from childhood towards puberty, my goal kept changing from achievement of paranormal powers and realization of deity to self realization or achievement of the highest spiritual state. To achieve my aim, I did whatever I found recommended as best in the books I read, including those which contained the life stories and teachings of accomplished sages, saints, and yogis. During my efforts, among various things with which I experimented, some were meditation, truth, desire, selfless work, ego, and feelings. I tried seriously for more than a decade but could not achieve my aim of the highest spiritual state or make any significant progress in that direction. Yet, it was during these efforts and experimentation that I realized the absolute predestinedness of the future when I was twenty-one and found God when I turned twenty-five.
When I passed my graduation in mechanical engineering and came out of college by twenty-two, I thought to share my finding of the predestinedness through a book. I started working on the book and realized that it will take a lot of time to complete it, so I decided to take a job and postpone the idea of writing a book until I retire. I joined two jobs as an engineer, the last one was in a prestigious automobile industry, where I was termed a brilliant engineer for my accomplishments. Meanwhile, my study, experiments, and efforts in spirituality were on, and by the age of twenty-five, through my previous realization of predestinedness of future, I found God. Within an year, by twenty-six, I became sure about correctness of my finding and its importance and usefulness for the world. That is what inspired me to write God and Destiny, and I started working on it seriously.
Harriet Gausman: What is the basic premise of your book?
Vivake Pathak: God and Destiny tells correctly and precisely what God is and reveals his true attributes and influence. In the process, it also shows that whatever happens in the universe—including whatever happens in our lives, even including abstract phenomena, such as thoughts, ideas, plans, and feelings—is predestined by God and is unchangeable. Further, in the light of the knowledge of God, it brings out the truth from and behind the key beliefs of major theistic religions of the world. Written primarily for the general audiences, the book will also be interesting and informative for people related to the fields of philosophy, religion, and physics.
Harriet Gausman: What do you wish to accomplish through God and Destiny?
Vivake Pathak: The task I wish to accomplish through God and Destiny is not only to deliver the knowledge about God and destiny, to remove blind faith about them, and to end the conflict and violence going on in the world in the name of God but to lay a foundation for mental peace in people—the knowledge that whatever happens in the universe, including whatever happens in your life, is predetermined by God and is inevitable will not leave you with much reason for tension, worry, anger, and so on.
Harriet Gausman: How many years has it taken you to perfect your theories?
Vivake Pathak: As I said before, it took me more than a decade of journey on the path of spirituality that led me to the conclusions that I have expressed in the book. Just after reaching the conclusions, the main concern for me was how I should present them before others in correct, clear, and convincing way. The number of years for which I was involved in addressing this concern is what I think you mean by the number of years it took me to perfect my theories.
After I realized the predestinedness of future in 1993, I started proving it scientifically before my friends in the college, and I used to do it in a very convincing way. That was the beginning of my efforts towards informing and convincing others about the truth of my realization. Once I decided that I would write a book on my finding, I stopped talking about it with others but kept on thinking on it in depth from different aspects. When I found God in 1997, it took me an year of debate with myself to become sure of my own finding. Then, I finally decided to write God and Destiny.
After I started writing the book in 1998, I kept on revising it until I thought I had clearly and conclusively presented and proved my findings of God and predestinedness of the phenomena that take place in the universe, that is, until I had written and edited the last draft of the book in 2002. Therefore, from 1993 to 2002, it was about nine years that I spent on perfecting my theories.
Harriet Gausman: How did you come up with your theories?
Vivake Pathak: It is while I was treading the path of spirituality that I reached the conclusions I have presented in my book, though they are not spiritual but philosophic and scientific conclusions, and so is the book. As I said before, while trying to achieve my goal of highest spiritual state, I experimented with many things such as meditation, truth, desire, doubt, selfless work, and feelings.
The experiment with doubt came as a turning point in my life. I had read that it is important for a person on the path of spirituality to become free from doubt or indecision. So I started trying to become totally doubtless. It is natural for a person to pass through the state of indecision to reach a good decision, therefore obviously I could not become free from doubt, but during my efforts I happened to observe the process of decision making closely and realized that the decision a person makes in any particular situation is predestined and unchangeable.
As a student of science, I always knew that material things of the universe follow laws, the laws of nature, and exhibit predetermined phenomena. For example, even in the ancient times, the astrologers could correctly predict the exact location of planets and time of eclipses far into the future. But I wasn’t sure about the phenomena related to living beings, because they were affected by the decisions they made at mental level, which were considered as random or not following any set rules or path. When I found that a complex biological phenomenon such as decision making is not random and the decision we make are predestined and unchangeable, I became sure that nothing in the universe happens randomly or every phenomenon that happens in the universe, including every phenomenon that happens in our lives, is predestined and unchangeable. In due course of time, this conclusion, aided by my knowledge of the basic beliefs of religions and my aptitude in science, led me to the knowledge of God.
In the last appendix of God and Destiny, that is, appendix E, I have described in detail the answer of your question, how I came up with my theories or how I realized the predestinedness of the future and found God, which I answered here in brief.
Harriet Gausman: In the book you state that everything that happens in our lives, including our successes and failures, is predestined by God and is unchangeable. How does free will come into play?
Vivake Pathak: Like any other process of the universe, decision-making process too, however complex it may be, follows a predetermined path—there is no randomness or lawlessness in it. When a person with a definite personality faces a definite situation, the decision with which she comes out as most appropriate for action is predetermined and unchangeable. Free will is one of the greatest illusions we have. In other words, we do not have any free will. It seems that we are in control, but actually all the control is in the hands of God—we are puppets, God is the puppeteer.
In chapter three of God and Destiny, which is named You Cannot Change Your Future, I have showed through a detailed analysis of the decision-making process and with the help of some real-life examples how all the decisions we make are predestined and unchangeable. And it is from that chapter I would like to present two small poems that express its essence: first, a one-liner, which is at the beginning of the chapter:
My destiny plays with me in such a way I feel I play with my destiny.
and then the one which is in the middle of the chapter:
I have red, blue, and yellow cards before me:
Harriet Gausman: Might we just as well lie back and take the easy road as we have no way of changing our lives for the better anyway? What's the point in working hard?
Vivake Pathak: When you ask that question, you forget that you are not in control and you don’t have any choice—you are just a puppet and you have to be doing what God wants you to do, whether it is hard work or idleness, whether it is tough or easy, and whether it leads to the betterment or decline or your or human life. You get the illusion of control because sometimes plans you make match with the plans God has made for you, because God fulfils some of your desires.
That whatever happens in the universe, including whatever happens in our lives, is predestined by God and is unchangeable is absolute, infallible truth. If someone does not understand it and its implications and decides to become totally idle, expecting to have her predestined achievements, then this is what I have to tell her: generally, good achievements are in the destiny of those who also have hard work in it. But please keep in mind that this is a general truth, not infallible, as is the truth of the predestinedness and unchangeability of the phenomena of the universe and the absolute power of God.
Harriet Gausman: So there are two things at hand here: infallible truths and general facts?
Vivake Pathak: Yes Harriet, God and destiny are infallible, whereas laws of ethics are fallible, general truths.
Harriet Gausman: I read an interesting question on your site and wanted to put it to you here for the benefit of this audience. If every happening of my life is predestined and unchangeable, what is my importance? what is my worth? and what is the worth of such life?
Vivake Pathak: I remember that question and I would love to answer it here again. It is true that you do not have any control on your destiny, but that does not make you unimportant. You cannot change what has to happen in your life, but it is you who, along with the remaining universe, make or cause everything to happen, and that is your importance.
Your worth and role in reference to God is that of clay for the potter, an actor in a play or movie for the director, and a puppet for the puppeteer. All this drama of life cannot happen without you in it—that is your worth.
When you watch a movie or novel, you identify and sympathize with characters in it and feel the way they feel—when they become happy you become happy with them, and when they become sad, you shed tears with them—and so it entertains you. Imagine how much entertaining it would be if you are a character in such a movie or novel—you will feel everything not just emotionally but also physically; yes, it sounds scary, but indeed it will be much more entertaining. You, actually, are a character in such a movie called life, and the entertainment it provides is its worth.
Now that you know your real worth and value in this game, that you are just playing a role according to a script that was written at the beginning of time, you will become more carefree and have more fun.
Harriet Gausman: Your theories might be seen by some to be rather derisory. What do you say to your critics?
Vivake Pathak: Not even a single person to whom I explained my conclusions found them derisory. Although people have agreed and disagreed with me on different things on various levels, they have shown serious interest in and acknowledged the gravity of my work. Most of the time, I am able to convince people about the validity of my conclusions with my arguments, which I have presented in a systematic way in the book God and Destiny. If someone finds my theories and conclusions derisory, I would invite them to read the book and let me know their objections.
I would add here that the conclusion that I have expressed in reference to destiny is same as that of Albert Einstein and the definition I have given of God is just a step ahead of the possibility expressed by or belief held by many scientists, including the famous scientists Steven Weinberg and Stephen Hawking—the difference is that in the book, I have not just stated the conclusions or expressed possibilities or beliefs, I have proved my conclusions and, developing them further, have given their implications.
Harriet Gausman: What sort of reaction have you had from others regarding your work?
Vivake Pathak: I have had wonderful reactions from people who read God and Destiny. I will give just one example here. The first email I received this year was from Hormasd Sumariwalla, a reader from Mumbai, and this is what he said about the book in that mail:
“I convey my deep gratitude to you for your book God & Destiny which I consider a treasure, and which is one-in-a-million that one can find in the mountain of ‘so-called’ spiritual books.”
I have seen two professors, who expressed serious doubts on the conclusions of the book, changing their attitude towards me and the book after they read it carefully.
Harriet Gausman: Could you tell us how you went about getting it published? Did you submit your manuscript to many publishing houses?
Vivake Pathak: It took me a lot of time and effort to get God and Destiny published. And yes, I submitted to a lot of publishers before it was accepted for publication.
Harriet Gausman: Do you feel it is important to search for a literary agent first or just concentrate on getting your book noticed by publishers without the help of an agent?
Vivake Pathak: Finding a literary agent is important. Submit to publishers directly only if you cannot find a literary agent.
Harriet Gausman: So, what is next for Vivake?
Vivake Pathak: My complete attention currently is on the publicity and promotion of God and Destiny, that is, letting people know about it, read it, and receive the supreme knowledge. Once a considerable number of people have read it in India, I will try to get it published in other countries of the world too. It is only after that I will start work on my next book and then the third book, which most probably will be a collection of my poems. Once I asked a friend, “It took about a decade for God and Destiny to get published. How much time do you think I should spend on its publicity and promotion?” And he said, “About the same time—a decade.”
Harriet Gausman: Thank you, Vivake.
Now, let us take the audience questions one by one.
Klannex Northmead: What causes predeterminedness? God?
Vivake Pathak: God does not cause predeterminedness. Determinism is the nature of the nature.
DonJuan Writer: Can God make a taco so awesome even he can't eat it?
Vivake Pathak: God is incorporeal being. The idea of God physically making or eating anything is absurd.
pale Infinity: Was your reaching your conclusions based on intuition? on your decisions?
Vivake Pathak: Reaching these conclusions, that is, realizing the predestinedness of future and finding God, was not based on intuition. It happened through a continuous process of experimentation, observation, and thought, aided by my aptitude in science and reason. The decisions I made were inevitable part of that process, and observation of decision-making process, an important phase.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: Am I not a mere puppet and God a kind of monster playing with us?
Vivake Pathak: Yes, we are mere puppets in the hands of God. But it would not be appropriate to call God a monster, because God is detached being, totally beyond good and evil, virtue and sin, love and hatred—God treats living and nonliving things in the same way.
DonJuan Writer: Why don't you give the book away for free?
Vivake Pathak: I can not give away the book for free because I do not get it for free. The few free copies I received from the publisher have already been sent to the reviewers. Now, whenever I need more copies of the book, I have to purchase them from the publisher. Besides, I am a full-time writer, whose earnings come solely from the royalty of the book, so when you purchase the book, I receive royalty for that, which helps me to continue my research and writing and therefore to contribute to the society in the best possible way I can.
DonJuan Writer: How does knowing that the future is predetermined affect anything today if this knowledge is to be hidden from us anyway?
Vivake Pathak: Any knowledge you acquire affects you and your life through your thought process; so does the knowledge that future is predestined and unchangeable. As long as you knew that you have free will, you were ultimately responsible for your actions and deeds, and that responsibility brought with it excessive attachment, worry, anxiety, guilt, vainglory, and grief. Now that you know that free will is totally illusory and it is God who predetermines every happening of the universe and therefore is ultimately responsible for all your decisions and actions, you are free from that responsibility. This freedom has the potential to free you from the feelings of extreme worry, guilt, vainglory, and grief associated with that responsibility. As time passes by and the knowledge that whatever happens is predestined by God and is totally unchangeable settles in your heart through your brain, the peace it gives you shall increase.
Klannex Northmead: Determinism requires proof as a theory to work: can you predict?
Vivake Pathak: In God and Destiny, I have given universal scientific proofs of determinism, that is, showed that whatever happens in the universe, including in our lives, is predestined and unchangeable.
The topic “prediction of future” has been dealt with in chapter 6 of God and Destiny. In this chapter, I have showed that we can predict the future but neither with completeness nor with full accuracy, that is, we can just peep into the future.
If we could accurately predict any significant part of the distant future of a person, it would automatically prove the predestinedness of the future, but as I said, complete and accurate prediction of future is not possible. So the proof of determinism is through reflection rather than prediction.
Klannex Northmead: Did your scientific background/qualifications help you in reaching the conclusions you have presented in God and Destiny?
Vivake Pathak: Yes Klannex, for making the findings that I have expressed in God and Destiny, that is, for realization of the predestinedness of future and finding God, my scientific background and aptitude was as vital as was my interest in spirituality, philosophy, and religion.
Hedda Hazelnut: Why you wanted to get this book out to the public?
Vivake Pathak: I felt that it was important and useful for people to know the findings I had, so I decided to write the book and get it published.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: Most of the wise men/sages claim that the more they know, the more they realise they don't know at all. You seem so confident. Does this not frighten you? Do you not wonder if you may be closing your mind too soon in your life?
Vivake Pathak: No, I have remained in doubt for a long time. A time comes when you have conclusions and you also have enough confidence on them. You can go ahead to share them with others then. Yes, my confidence frightens me sometimes, so I keep my mind open—keep reading new things on the topics covered in the book and keep questioning myself.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: I have a big issue with determinism because it seems to take away free will and responsibility for my actions. If everything is predestined, does that mean the 38-year-old teacher who raped my 15-year-old granddaughter was not responsible for his actions but that God ordained it to happen?
Vivake Pathak: Yes, every thing that happens is predestined by God. Like actors in a play, we follow the script of destiny. Free will is an illusion; so is your responsibility of your actions. This is the absolute infallible truth, but there is a general, not infallible, truth too, which is important for everyone to keep in mind: People whom God blesses with virtuous deeds are also blessed with peace and glory by him, and he himself predestines fear, disdain, and punishment for those whom he curses with sinful deeds.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: What on earth then is the point of it all? Is God having fun with us?
Vivake Pathak: Let me take your second question first. God is beyond pleasure and pain, virtue and sin, affection and hatred, so the question of God having fun with us is absurd.
Answering your first question, I would say that there isn’t any aim or purpose of any happening or of the existence of us or anything else in the universe, though every single event forms an inevitable link of the chain of all the happenings and similarly every person or object forms an inevitable link to the sequence of all the things that take birth and die in this eternal universe. The universe is basically made up of energy, and all this drama or game caused and staged by energy in the direction of God goes on purposelessly, endlessly. Being so insignificant hurts your ego, so you try to find and allot purpose and worth to yourself.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: I see. So what are our emotions modeled on? Why do we need to have them?
Vivake Pathak: Unlike God, we have emotions because we are living beings, and we need to have them (emotions) because they play an important role in our survival.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: How come if it is predestined? I don't need anything to survive if all is predestined.
Vivake Pathak: The ways and means are all predestined.
Klannex Northmead: According to you, we don't have free will and therefore we are basically not responsible for our actions—it is actually God who is responsible for whatever we do: Isn't that a license for hate and delusion?
Vivake Pathak: No, determinism, and consecutive lack of free will, is not license to any immoral behavior; it does not invalidate the laws of ethics, though they are not infallible. Subject to the will of infallible God, they stand as general truth. So, generally, if you hate, you will get hate in return; if you commit crime, you will be punished; love begets love; and good deeds result in progress, glory, and peace.
DonJuan Writer: What is the complex biological function of the brain referred to in science?
Vivake Pathak: Biology is a science, so I guess a complex biological function is a scientific term.
DonJuan Writer: You mentioned scientific processes that were predetermined in the brain: which processes are they? Molecular, atomic, sub-atomic? Please elaborate.
Vivake Pathak: All processes, Don.
DonJuan Writer: Processes is not an answer. Molecular, atomic, sub-atomic–what are you referring to? Quantum mechanics? Science is the process of observation: what have you observed?
Vivake Pathak: No, I am not referring to quantum mechanics. I am saying that whatever happens in the universe goes on in a predetermined way. I have observed the way things happen, including the way we make decisions.
DonJuan Writer: Ok, name one. The way we make decisions, the process?
Vivake Pathak: the decision-making process
DonJuan Writer: What processes are you referring to specifically? molecules via synapses? electricity? Help!
Harriet Gausman: I think Don is trying to make sense of this in a scientific way.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: Well, isn't that how Vivake says he used to derive his answers?
DonJuan Writer: I would like to hear the sense behind the conclusion. He just calls them decision-making processes: specifically what is he referring to?
Harriet Gausman: I think it will be impossible to outline it all, Don, but yes would you give the audience the mechanism behind the theory, Vivake.
Vivake Pathak: I have a habit of making decisions with a lot of care, spending substantial amount of time. When, at any instant, with a definite personality, I face a definite situation with a definite set of options to choose from about what I have to do, I make a decision. How I make the decisions is what I refer to as the decision-making process. I have observed the way I make decisions at mental level, and this observation showed me the illusory nature of freedom of choice.
Factors that affect my decision are my desires, fears, likes, dislikes, feelings for others, knowledge, experience, farsightedness, and so on. During the decision-making process, I weigh the options before me under the influence of my desires, fears, likes, dislikes, and so on, assisted by my experience, knowledge, and farsightedness and then choose the option that seems most appropriate. So I visualize the decision-making process as a tug of war between the available options, which receive various degrees of support from factors such as desires, fears, likes, dislikes, knowledge, experience, and farsightedness, acting as forces. The option that has the maximum force or support behind it at the end of the decision-making period is chosen as the most appropriate option for action.
In chapter 3 of God and Destiny (You Cannot Change Your Future), I have analyzed the decision-making process in detail and showed as well as exemplified that when a person with a definite personality faces a definite situation with a definite set of options before him, the option with which she comes out as most appropriate for action is predestined and unchangeable. The proof in chapter 3 is based on analogy, and though it is logical, it may not be termed scientific in the strict sense; its purpose is to show people in a simple, understandable way how they go through the decision-making process in an automatic way and make predetermined choices at the end and how free will, the cornerstone of indeterminism, is just an illusion.
As I explained above, I have observed the decision-making process mentally, and the proof I presented in chapter 3 is based on that. I don’t know what exactly happens in the brain biologically, chemically, or physically at molecular, atomic, or subatomic level during the decision-making process. In chapter 4, chapter 5, and the appendices of God and Destiny, with increasing scientific correctness, I have presented universal proofs of determinism, that is, I have scientifically showed that whatever happens in the universe, including whatever happens in our lives, is predestined and unchangeable. Since these proofs cover all the happenings and processes of the universe, they automatically cover all that happens in the brain during the decision making too, eliminating the need to provide a separate rigorous scientific proof of the deterministic nature of decision-making process.
So, whether you look at the decision-making process as a tug of war among your feelings, desires, knowledge, experience, etc, or you see it happening at the most microscopic level in the brain, it happens in a predestined way.
Klannex Northmead: Is god the soul, the things we are not, in the absolute sense?
Vivake Pathak: No, God is not soul.
Klannex Northmead: Are we as dull as mirrors really? as innately empty?
Vivake Pathak: We are not empty. Although we have the power to act and work, all our actions and deeds are predetermined by God. As our power to choose or decide our actions is just a reflection of the power of almighty God, you can compare us with mirrors.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: In your opinion, why are we here? (This question is about the existence of humans on Earth.)
Vivake Pathak: As far as the reason of our being here is concerned, it just happened in the course of evolution of the universe. There is no particular purpose behind it.
Harriet Gausman: Surely there must be a purpose or it would not have evolved.
Vivake Pathak: No, behind every happening, there is reason but no purpose. Events keep occurring in the universe in a logical sequence aimlessly, endlessly.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: So, why do we have a conscience?
Vivake Pathak: We have a conscience so that we may not do things against our own good or the good of the humans as a whole.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: But I thought we can't, as all is predetermined.
Vivake Pathak: Yes, all is predetermined, including the evolution of conscience as well as all our deeds and actions, whether they are influenced by our conscience or not and whether they are good or evil. Determinism applies on both cause and effect, process and result, implying the predestinedness, sequentiality, and inevitability of both.
Harriet Gausman: So, does our conscience ensure the continuation of mankind?
Vivake Pathak: Yes, our conscience helps in our continuation and progress.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: Also where does evolution come in?
Vivake Pathak: Our current state is the result of the process of evolution. Process and result should not be seen separately—result is just a link in the chain of process. Both result and process lie in the ambit of destiny. We could not have been the way we are without evolution: both evolution and our current form are predetermined and inevitable. And evolution always goes on. In the future, we won’t be the way we are today. A time will come when humans will even cease to exist. But whatever is going to happen will happen in a predetermined, sequential way and will be inevitable.
Cali Playfair: Conscience puts us on a higher level of evolution from other animals.
Vivake Pathak: We are a type of animal, and animals other than humans too have conscience, which is developed to different extents in different species. Most of our characteristics, including our conscience, are a result of evolution.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: If we are puppets in God's hand and all has been predetermined, then we can't be here by chance—can't have it both ways. To me, that is contradictory—predetermination requires some kind of purpose, not chance.
Vivake Pathak: We are not here by chance, Ingeborg.
Klannex Northmead: Certainty and chance are same event from different perspective.
Vivake Pathak: Our being here is predetermined. There is a reason for our being here, but there is no purpose in the grand scheme. Please notice the difference in "reason" and "purpose".
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: That doesn't make sense to me. Sorry, fingers sticking.
Vivake Pathak: “Chance” is the name sometimes given to the unknown cause of the events for which we don’t have any explanation or reason or which occurred unexpectedly; we refer to an event as happened by chance only if its reason or cause is unknown or it was unexpected. So, when we say that an event happened by chance, we simply mean that we don’t know how it happened—we do not at all mean that there was no reason or cause behind that event.
Determinism and chance are not exclusive things. Determinism covers all the events that occur in the universe, whether we know the reason behind them or not, whether they are expected or unexpected—whether they occur by chance or not. So the events that occur by chance just form a subset of all the events that occur in the universe, which are predestined and inevitable. Therefore, whether human existence is by chance or not, that is, whether we weren’t aware of why and how we are here or we had a satisfactory explanation of our being here, it (human existence) is predestined and inevitable or we had to be here, inevitably, at this point of time on this beautiful planet called Earth.
I would like to add here that determinism is absolute whereas chance is relative. The fact that every event is predestined is not dependent on the observers, whereas whether an event is termed happened by chance or not depends on the observer. Let me give you an example. X and Y want to meet but somehow they are not being able to schedule a meeting. X is in a club, Y arrives there without the prior knowledge of X, and they have a meeting there. This meeting happened unexpectedly for X because they had not planned to meet in the club and there was very small possibility for Y to reach the club at that time, so for X the meeting happened by chance. On the other hand, the meeting was not by chance for Y, because she knew the timings at which X could be found in the club and when she had some time off her work in that time, she went there to meet him, though she did not tell X about this due to some reason. Therefore, our being here may have happened by chance for a lay person but not for scientists who have studied the evolution of the universe, the solar system, and the life on Earth.
Besides, the same event may be termed happened by chance and not so by the same observer at two different times. As long as the observer does not know the reason or cause behind an event, he might term it as happened by chance, but as soon as he becomes aware of the sequence of happenings that led to the event, he ceases to term the same event as happened by chance. For example, today you feel that human existence is by chance, but tomorrow if you stumble upon a webpage or book that describes in detail about the reason and causes of our being here and you find all the missing pieces of the riddle in right places, then the same human existence may not remain a happening of chance for you.
So, there is substance in Klannex’s mention of difference of perspective.
Harriet Gausman: Like a CD we are prerecorded.
Vivake Pathak: We are not like CDs, though you can compare our genes with them.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: But determinism means that someone knew the events that were going to be played out, so someone programmed it to happen.
Vivake Pathak: God predetermines all the happenings, but since God is not a living being, it does not possess the capacity of knowing anything. Due to our limited knowledge of the laws of nature and of the identity of the universe at any instant, we can just peep into the future, that is, we have some idea of what will happen in the future, but we do not know all that is about to happen completely and precisely.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: So, where does evolution fit in?
Vivake Pathak: Evolution continues incessantly in every part of the universe—evolution is a part of the happenings, and vice versa.
Harriet Gausman: So, it is only partly predestined?
Vivake Pathak: No, everything is totally predestined.
DonJuan Writer: Your answer indicates your own personal faith in your findings: do you look when you cross the road?
Vivake Pathak: As I said before, Don, both process and result are inseparable and are predestined and inevitable. Yes, I look before I cross the road: my looking while crossing the road is as predestined and inevitable as is my being able to cross the road unharmed and being alive today.
I have confidence in my findings because they are a result of my several years of thought and experiment and because they are based on reason and science.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: God sometimes fulfills some of my desires—does that mean he changes his mind?
Vivake Pathak: No, God does not change his mind.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: So what do you mean he sometimes gives us our desires?
Vivake Pathak: Countless desires bud in our hearts through our lives, and some of them are fulfilled too. Every corporeal and abstract thing or happening is predestined by God; therefore, which desires we have to have and when we have them is also predestined by God, and so is the detail of which of them would be fulfilled and when. That is what I mean when I say that he fulfils some of our desires.
Harriet Gausman: Is he deciding as he goes along? or has he decided beforehand?
Vivake Pathak: Everything has been decided beforehand. I would like to quote the famous Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet Umar Khaiyyam here:
“With earth's first clay they did the last man
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: So there is a plan then.
Vivake Pathak: There is destiny—there is no plan.
Harriet Gausman: But is destiny not a plan?
Vivake Pathak: Destiny is the complete detail of all that happens in the universe. You can roughly term destiny a plan, but destiny is more like a script than like a plan because a plan has a purpose and God does not do anything on purpose—God has no motive or purpose.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: If something is predetermined, it must be known to someone at the beginning. Hence, there must be a blueprint of sorts.
Vivake Pathak: Determinism implies that all happenings are predestined; it does not imply that the events are known to anyone beforehand. With our limited knowledge of the identity that the universe has at any instant and of the laws that it follows, we can peep into the future, but nobody knows everything, nobody has complete knowledge of destiny. Even God, the almighty, who decides every bit of destiny, does not know anything, because being abstract, because not being a living thing, God does not have the faculty of knowledge or perception.
Everything is predetermined, but it is not preplanned, because there is no motive or purpose of happenings at the universal level. So there is no blueprint. Destiny is the complete detail of all the happenings; it is more like a script than like a blueprint.
Harriet Gausman: Like DNA?
Vivake Pathak: The functioning of DNA is great example of determinism. But DNA can be compared more to God than to destiny, because it predetermines the features and functions of a body, playing an important role in deciding its destiny, though DNA is material thing and God is abstract.
Harriet Gausman: So, are we programmed?
Vivake Pathak: something like that, something like preprogrammed
Harriet Gausman: I wonder whether we are like The Matrix.
Vivake Pathak: The universe is somewhat like The Matrix. The writers of the movie, Wachowski brothers, believe is complete determinism, the way I am expressing it.
Cali Playfair: This topic has been debated since people invented the idea of God.
Vivake Pathak: Yes, I have said in the book that the idea of God was invented—people imagined God.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: I see, yet you say someone predetermined all this to happen. So, what is that?
Harriet Gausman: Yes, if there is not a God, then who programmed us?
Cali Playfair: Perhaps people became cognizant of some higher being controlling their destiny, so a God was invented, but I have yet to read Vivake's book to see what his findings are.
Vivake Pathak: Well, people imagined and invented the idea of God, but God really exists and predestines whatever happens. People did not know God, so they imagined and invented.
Ingeborg Apfelbaum: So we created the creator and made ourselves into his puppets?
Vivake Pathak: We did not create the creator. We hypothesized that there is an almighty creator. Universe is eternal and nobody has created it. God is not the creator but the almighty. Every corporeal thing has always been like a puppet for God—we did not make ourselves God’s puppet.
Harriet Gausman: But something does exist but not as we imagine it?
Vivake Pathak: Not exactly, but roughly. God is roughly, not exactly, the way we imagined it.
Klannex Northmead: Can time be reversed?
Vivake Pathak: No, time cannot be reversed.
Harriet Gausman: Well, we could go on and on talking about this all day, but I think we should bring this meet to an end. Thank you so much for coming; this has been a real gem of a meet. Let's give Vivake a round of applause for taking some very difficult question.
Vivake Pathak: Thanks to all of you.
3D virtual world in which the programme was held: Second Life
programme venue: The Milk Loft
host group: Virtual Wrtiers, Inc
host's website: Virtual Writers, Inc.
the transcript of the programme on host's website: Virtual Meet and Greet
Second Life user name and profile of Andrea Pring: Harriet Gausman
author's website: http://www.vivakepathak.com/
Second Life user name and profile of Vivake Pathak: Flint Rodas
You are at godanddestiny.com, the official website of the book God and Destiny.