Ailish and Chrissie, you are both right! The future is both fixed and up to us to make of it what we will by our choices and the exercise of our free will. The whole time thing can be very confusing, because we view it too simply. We are seeing something which is vast and complex from an ant's eye perspective, so it is no wonder we get a bit baffled sometimes. We perceive time as a long skinny line when actually it is not. I imagine it this way - time is ever branching out before us like the branches of a huge tree, with many forks and divides. Depending on the decisions we make and therefore the direction we choose to take, we might end up in a very different place. Whether to get up in the morning or not, run across the street against the traffic lights, give some money to a beggar, wear a red dress to a party.... Time is always there, it does not move or go anywhere - just as the tree is just there. The possible futures are all 'there' existing in the eternities of the space-time continuum. But (fortunately) we are usually not aware of it. Like a little ant we are navigating our way along its various possibilities, exploring its enormous branches, twigs and leaves and cannot comprehend the vastness of the whole thing with our little ant brains. So, when you get a flash of the future it is a 'potential' future. It is what might happen depending on the decisions you may or may not make. It is what will probably happen depending on your circumstances, nature, fate (if you believe in that sort of thing),luck, accidents, temperament, talents and so on. Nothing is set in stone as far as the little ant is concerned. It can wander about at will, get lost, fall off, start again... What is it doing? What is its purpose? Probably looking for food - hopefully it has some idea how to go about that and will succeed eventually. What are we doing? What is our purpose? That is for the individual to decide. It might be love, enlightentment, nirvana, spiritual growth, God (however you conceive her), wealth, beauty, fame or simply food. Whatever. The tree has no preference in the matter. Now is where you are up to 'now'. The past, well, that's pretty straightforward, that's the bit 'behind' you. Ahead spreading out before you are limitless possibilities (it's a very big tree branch). You may get a glimpse of one of them now and again, you may not. Just keep going 'up' and you are bound to get somewhere.