Last week when I was looking for something light to watch on Netflix, I discovered the series "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency". An interesting name, I thought and upon further inspection I found that it featured Elijah Wood and was based on the novels by Douglas Adams. Yes, that Douglas Adams, the author of Hitchhiker's Guide the Galaxy. Adams is known for his British humor and this series seemed to be inline with his work. If this hadn't has me sold, ten minutes into the series, Time Travel.
The series starts out with a phone call and then, it cuts to bloody scene in a hotel room and a kitten in the crime scene, which is then picked up by someone. Later we are introduced to Todd (Elijah Wood), who is woken up by his landlord smashing his car and demanding rent. We learn that Todd is a bellhop at a hotel, where we are furthered introduced to few other characters. Turns out that hotel is the same one, where the murder took place in the penthouse suite no less, discovered by Todd, who gets fired for his involvement. Oh yes, things were wacky right out of the box and I was sucked right into it.
Later ,we are introduced to the series namesake, Dirk Gently, who breaks into Todd's apartment, claiming to his friend. Dirk introduces himself as a holistic detective, who kind of lets the universe take him where he need to be. The term "holistic" refers to the belief that the whole is more than the sum of its parts, that the parts are intimately interconnected. Basically, "Everything is connected." There is a certain optimism with his confidence because he is sure that where he is, is where he needs to be. Nothing makes sense.
Initially, Todd is not ready to partner up with Dirk. After all, he is a stranger who tried to break into his apartment and then claimed to be friends. But soon, things seem to be bringing them together time and time again.
Holistic: characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
Later, we are also introduced to other characters like Todd's sister, Amanda, who has a strange hallucinatory condition called parribulitis, Bart, the Universe's assassin, who kills whoever she meets, and the Rowdy 3, who feed on psychic energy. They also seem to find themselves in the right place, at the right time. There are like tools of the Universe, to fix that which has been broken. As the series progresses, we see things falling into place. The unconnected events and characters start to having meaning. The holistic-ness of the whole situation is brought to light.
Isn't this the case with all stories, whether it be movies, books or games? We start out with a mystery or a question, characters are introduced, their roles are slowly defined, and as we progress, we understand more and more. Characters and the story have their arcs, which are resolved at the end. This series follows a similar pattern, but makes use of interconnections as an element of the story itself.
Everything is connected. A strange and yet simple concept. We are where we need to be. Our choices lead up to the path that has been set for us. It is a strange thought to have everything pre-destined and yet unpredictable.
Maybe this connection applies to our world too. We are all here to do our part in the Grand Plan of the Universe and when we deviate from the path, we cause ripples that affect the Balance. The magnitude of the ripples over time causes so much chaos in our lives esp. if we have lost sight of the path. The more further we get from the path, the longer the journey is to get back. Some of us just settle down on the path, never seeking the destination.
Fate and Chance are not mutually exclusive.
I believe everything happens for a reason. Even the choices we make. Free will exists to allow us to make choices that determine our path. Yet it all seems to be leading somewhere. When I look back, I can connect the events that led me to where I am. It is like pieces in a board being moved into place to make the final move. Looking at the pattern, it does seem like there is a bigger plan. Maybe it is a foolish hope to cling on to, a will of the wisp that slips away at the nick of time, but it always worth having the small spark to keep us going.
But retroactively fitting a pattern in place where there is none, ignoring the events that don't connect also seem to indicate that it cannot be fixed. There may not be something there after all. It all seems a paradox in itself. If there is free will, your path cannot be pre-destined. And yet your path is pre-destined by the choices you make.
I have an example of sorts to support my hope. Books. I have found that books choose the reader. I have acquired books that have been with me for years and yet it is only at the right place and the right time, I have been able to read them. I always wondered about this. How the book that I know about or own for years ends up getting read at the right time in life for me?
For example, the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. I was introduced to the series 2 years back by one of my friends. I just couldn't get past the first chapter. But last year, I picked it up again and I devoured it. I still remember the opening, the ash from the sky and the hope that Kelsier bought with him and his rebellious attitude. I still wonder why I hadn't read it before. That was the time where I was not reading much and seemed to have lost my childhood love for fantasy. This series kindled that love and more. There was so much I learnt from the series (a story for another day) that I couldn't believe discovering it sooner and yet it seemed just like the right time.
There are so many other stories related to the books I have read, the games I have played, the movies and series that I have watched that seem to satisfy a need and trigger an action at the time, pulling me out of a rut. It just seems like they fall into place at the right time. As I said before, it maybe a pointless pattern I maybe trying to discern, but I have a feeling it isn't so. There is something bigger out there guiding us towards where we need to be and all we need to do is keep moving forward.
I discovered this series by a recent recommendation from Netflix. I cannot believe it came out in 2016 and I did not come across the series before. I feel that this was the time I needed this inspiration from the story. "Everything is connected" and a holistic view gives me hope and a drive to push forward and go beyond. At this point in life, a little magic and hope seems to go a long way.