The Intersection of Necessity and Free Will
“What I have tried to do is follow the dictates of Necessity. This is the solitary god I revere and, in my opinion, the only god that exists. Man’s predicament is that he dwells at the intersection of Necessity and free will. What distinguishes statesmen, as Themistocles and Pericles, is their gift to perceive Necessity’s dictates in advance of others—as Themistocles saw that Athens must become a sea power and Pericles that naval supremacy prefigures empire. That course of individual or nation aligned with Necessity must prove irresistible.”
This passage is from Tides of War, published by Doubleday in 2000. The speaker is the true historical character, Alcibiades of Athens (or my fictionalized version of him).
You and I too reside at the intersection of Necessity and free will.
Our vocation is Necessity—the works we are called by our unique genius to produce.
Free will is that agency that enables us to act.
Between the two stands Resistance.
Our job as artists and as free men and women is to first discern and then align ourselves with our own Necessity, the creative calling of our hearts, and to summon the resources and resolve (and the skill) to follow the dictates of that call.
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