Fate or destiny?
April 5, 2009, 18:20
Filed under: Fate or destiny? | Tags: , , , , , , ,

There are so many people I know who like to say that whatever happens to you must have been meant to happen. They especially like to say this when something bad happens.

This was not meant to happen

This was not meant to happen

Try saying that to the five sisters crushed to death by a concrete slab in Gaza as a result of an Israeli bomb! I fail to see any higher purpose in the fact that we all too often choose to not know what we could know, what D refers to as being ‘willfully ignorant.’ When you are tormented and victimized by someone who is being ‘willfully ignorant’ it is hard to believe that this needed to happen to you, that suffering the insufferable is the thing most desired. (see Seeking Nothing to understand what I mean by ‘the thing most desired.’)

The way I see it is that you or I could at any time get caught up in something that is much bigger than us, something which has nothing to do with you or me personally, that at most is a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If I were a woman in eastern Congo or Darfur or living under a fanatical form of Shariah than there would be forces much bigger than ‘the thing most desired’ that could grab me at any moment and utterly devastate my life. Evil exists. It is not simply the opposite of Good. I believe there is an absolute Good and an absolute Evil. So Evil is Evil. That’s all. Bad things happen to people for no good reason. Things happen that can never be justified or fit conveniently into some limited narcissistic view of the cosmos. They are simply bad. And what I am saying also applies to Good. Sometimes, oftentimes, good things happen that aren’t personal but that doesn’t seem to prevent us from wanting to see them as being intended especially for ‘me’. But that said I think that so long as I live in conditions where I am relatively free, where there are not too many evil forces ready to knock me down, where there is more Good than Evil, than who I am is to a large degree in my hands.

It is only in this way and under these conditions that I can grow into the place where I seek nothing for myself but simply live my life fully from moment to moment knowing that whatever happens will be what I most desire. That might seem confusing, (I’m use to people looking at me with a ‘what did you say?’ look on their face,) but for me it’s a way of saying that life is not only linear and nor is it a one size fits all. In the end I think it comes down to attitude. Even if I have no control over what may or may not happen, I can chose how I am going to respond.

The right atttitude can set you free

The right atttitude can set you free

I heard an interview with a Thai girl who is perhaps 20 something who described how from the time she was 8 until about 16 she was exploited sexually and forced to serve the appetites of sexual tourists to her country until the day when she was rescued by Father Joe. Now she is studying to be a social worker and she said in the interview something like, ‘I know terrible things happened to me but that is over now and I will never do that again so all that matters to me now is that I make something good of my life.’ That is what I mean by attitude. Bad things happen but if fate gives us the chance we can decide not to be a victim. For me that is where destiny comes in.

Destiny or fate?

Destiny or fate?

I’ve never felt comfortable with the idea of a preordained destiny. I know that when you look at certain people it might appear that way, like the Dalai Lama or Mozart or Christian Bobin. And though I don’t fully understand it I like the idea of reincarnation, in the sense that I like the idea that we as human beings are constantly evolving consciously and so having an infinity of lifetimes to work it out seems a lot more promising to me than what I was brought up believing, that we only ever have one shot. In the spirit of reincarnation destiny too becomes something more active and evolving in that I think every choice I make, every breathe I take, contributes to the creation of my own destiny and when I actively create my own destiny I am contributing to the destiny of humanity and consequently the whole cosmos. I don’t know about you but I find that marvelous and daunting and overwhelming and pretty far out… I mean if I am a co-creator of my own destiny than I’m no longer just a product of evolution, I’m an architect of evolution. I think this is what is meant by the Holy Spirit in the Christian tradition, that God is no longer incarnated in only one person but in every one of us, like the sparks of divinity that Sophia let spill out into humanity. Of course we need to be careful not to let the ego assume credit. Only in the higher more authentic part of you and me are we part of God and it’s because of that that we can co-create our destinies, but to pull it off you need a certain flair and that flair is the right attitude.

winds of destiny

winds of destiny or twists of fate?

Apart from all the forces that are so much bigger than me, who I am today is the result of every choice I ever made, both good and bad. So destiny is like this bread that I am baking where I keep tweaking the ingredients in different recipes all of which take a lifetime to bake. When the bread is done I die and go on to try making a better loaf the next time around until I manage to make a loaf so divinely perfect that there is no need to improve on the recipe (kind of like Birkenstocks) so I no longer need to come back except that I will want to come back to help others bake their own perfect loaf until all of us sit in paradise chewing on a slice of our own divinity. I hope they have real butter in paradise!


2 Comments so far
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Great writeup. Being a writer-enthusiast (somewhat) myself, I could only hope to communicate a sensitive topic like “fate” with such grace if given the chance. I don’t impress easily – but this was very impressive!

Comment by Aaron

Your words mean a lot to me. Fate & destiny are certainly one of the great mysteries. I think about them all the time. There is so much we can only see once we get over ourselves. On another note I haven’t posted to my blog for a long time. I am trying to complete a novel I began long ago. Your kind words inspire me to come back to Personne because it meant a lot to me to attempt to clarify my thoughts enough to make a posting even if not that many people read it. I think my posts are probably much too long for a blog but I find it hard to say something meaningful in a succinct way. Be well Aaron and again thank you.

Comment by carin

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