Adjustment Bureau
Image via Universal Pictures

‘The Adjustment Bureau’: Destiny vs. free will

by Matthew Welsh, Esq.

If you have ever wondered what role your choices, love and free will have in shaping your destiny, then you have got to see The Adjustment Bureau.

The movie stars Matt Damon, as a rising politician who falls in love with a talented ballerina (Emily Blunt). The only catch is that right after he meets her, an Angel comes to him and tells him that it is not part of the Chairman’s “plan” for Matt Damon’s character to see her again. The Angel explains to him that if he violates the plan, then there will be negative consequences for both him and the woman he has fallen in love with.

Matt Damon adamantly questions the Angel’s logic that his plan is set in stone and asks him:

“What about free will? All that I am is my choices!”

This sets the stage for a metaphysical love story where Matt Damon’s character spends the rest of the movie questioning whether he should follow some divinely orchestrated plan and never see the woman he fell in love with, or if he should follow his heart and use his free will to chase after the woman of his dreams, even though the plan tells him not to.

This movie is very inspiring because it prods us to ask what role we have in shaping our destiny while simultaneously acknowledging that external forces beyond our control, whether that may be divine guidance, uncontrollable events or serendipity can have an influence on our life. However, this movie seems to be indicating that our choices and free will have a far greater effect on our life than we may realize.

More importantly, this movie suggests that while there may be some divine plan for us, our plan is fluid and that there may even be multiple plans for us depending on the decisions we make. We can change our “plan” moment by moment through our freely made choices. The Adjustment Bureau also seems to point out just how important it is to honor and act on what we believe in our heart to be true rather than just playing the part of a fatalistic puppet who is at the mercy of some preordained plan.

I really like this idea because I happen to believe that our lives can be shaped by serendipitous encounters, moments of grace where we feel a transcendent presence of love reaching out to us, and that it is even possible to receive inspired intuitions that can help us make life-affirming decisions. However, ultimately we are responsible for how we respond to these forms of external guidance. And, more importantly our response to these external forms of inspiration can then influence what seems to be some preordained plan beyond our control.


Reprinted from Matthew Welsh’s Spiritual Media Blog Newsletter. For more information, please visit Spiritual Media Blog.

Matthew Welsh, Esq.

About Matthew Welsh, Esq.

While working in Hollywood for the William Morris Agency, Matthew realized that inspirational and spiritual entertainment was not getting the attention it deserved. This drove him to create Spiritual Media Blog, a website that features reviews, interviews and articles for emerging conscious entertainment in movies, books, television, music and new media. Currently, Matthew is getting a PhD in Counseling Psychology.

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