There are a great many theories out there regarding the idea of fate and destiny. It isn’t a simple matter of those who believe in it and those who don’t, there are varying degrees of belief too. It is something I have had numerous discussion with myself over, uncertain where I truly stand on the matter. Perhaps it is best to start with some definitions.
- Something that unavoidably befalls a person
- The universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably described
- That which is inevitably predetermined.
- Something that is to happen or has happened to a particular person or thing.
- The predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events.
- The power or agency that determines the course of events
So, were we to take this from a more literal perspective of definitions 3 and 2 than one would have to say that the idea of Kismet does exist. There are things in life which are inevitable, death and growing older, for example. These are things we cannot avoid, they are the natural flow of events and are therefore predetermined to happen. This literal meaning is usually not what people are referring to when they discuss the idea of Kismet or Fate.
Usually the notion of Kismet is linked to events that people look back on in hindsight and see a pattern that appears to dictate that an event was ‘fated’ to happen. Is this idea simply viewing the world through a lens that wishes to give greater meaning to events in our lives than actually exists? Are we trying to make ourselves feel better by not acknowledging that a set of coincidences took place that just happened to work out in our favor in the long run?
If we believe that things are destined to happen then who do we place the burden of those decisions on? Is there a force beyond our comprehension that has dictated a series of plans for our life and we are just there for the journey? If that is that case, then does anything we do impact this path, is it set in concrete that no matter what avenue we appear to be taking we actually have no choice. Is it a case of a predestined outcome that we will reach no matter the journey? Are there several key events that ‘have’ to happen in our lives but we get to ‘choose our own adventure’ to get to that point?
Or, as some believe, are we the ones that chose our path for this lifetime? Did we pick what lessons we wanted to learn this time around and our journey is preordained by ourselves? This is a hard one for a lot of people to deal with I think because it implies that one chose the crappy things that happen in ones life. I think many find it far easier to place the blame for all the stuff they don’t like on a greater force so that they don’t have to comprehend the possibility that one might actually choose to suffer and sacrifice for the greater learning to be gained from it.
I personally find it hard to believe that there is some path that has been chosen for us that we are to walk in this lifetime. While it is all well and good to say ‘but this is obviously what I was meant to learn this time around’ I think our ‘soul/essence’ whatever we wish to call it has a little more say in the process than that. I cannot see a greater force sitting on high dictating that this lifetime I will learn the importance of patience, perseverance and friendship. So I tend to lean more towards the idea that we have picked the path before us to an extent (I do not believe we mapped it all out and are simply following that map – there is a disconnect that occurs when our soul is overridden by our physical existence that seems to negate the point of creating a roadmap). We have chosen certain lessons and experiences that we want to partake in and are birthed with the potential for this course of action to take place. But, we don’t always get there.
I think we have to take a certain level of responsibility for the destiny/fate that we have chosen. As we progress through life our soul is overridden by physical and social experiences that create a being we believe to be ‘us’. This being is capable of allowing us to lead our lives with little or no relation to the experiences that our soul chose. It is only if we strive to beomce conscious of the inner voice, the one that tells us where to tread if we but listen, that we can tap into a conscious understanding of what our destiny for this lifetime is meant to be.