A man does not make his destiny: he accepts it or denies it.
– Ursula K. Le Guin, the Farthest Shore Beatings
The question of whether our lives are predetermined, that is, whether everyone has a purpose/destiny – is one of the main questions in every person’s life. And this is not just one central question, but there is a series of questions here:
- Are we born into destiny/purpose or into chance?
- And if there is a destiny/goal in life, do we shape our destiny or should we discover it?
- No matter what we do, do we always have the same fate? Or does it depend on personal choice at any given moment?
- Are things predetermined? And what is a person’s ability to intervene during their life?
- Can a person in their ordinary life reach self-realization?
- Does a person have a destiny/purpose? Does every person have a destiny? Their unique life path?
- Does self-realization necessarily lead to a person’s encounter with their destiny?
- Is fate a possibility or a limitation?
- If a person has no destiny, then what is their life? A series of accidents, or an alternative route to fate?
- What is destiny? Is this a finished scenario, or in terms of everything expected but authority is given?
- Is it desirable for a human to meet their destiny, (if there is such a thing), or is destiny a limiting thing, and person must create their life and their goal in their life – out of nothing?
- Is fate a tough script, or chapter heads with which improvisations can be made?
Not all the questions here will be answered, but a clear attempt will be made to take some position, in the presence of most of them.
Well, I remember from my youth the conversations (especially in the youth movement and the class) about fate versus free choice, and the question if there is destiny or not. Did man end up living the fate dictated to him, or does he make his goal in life with his own hands, and since so, did he do with his life what he did according to his free choice?
In this essay, another question is posed: is it perhaps neither this nor that? Are our lives maybe just a coincidence, a series of accidents, with one leading to the other?
And is life by destiny maybe not guaranteed to everyone, and the life into which we are born is the life of chance, while the life of destiny must be sought, dug, dug under what was clothed upon them and now covers and suffocates them?
Let us start with the definition: what is destiny anyway?
Well, it is to live your life according to the master plan that exists in you as a genetic code. They who have no destiny, live their lives without a master plan. And their fate is to live according to a blueprint. When building a building, it is built in a certain way, and to survive such and such a period of time, and for people with such and such a level of income, (because of its architectural plan which must fit them). But the contractor or foreman does not have to go according to it, they may be able to build a building without any architectural plan at all, and then while building the building, its future is unknown because it has no basic template and then also no destiny. It came out somehow and it will look more like an accident…
So destiny is a kind of script.
Every person has some sort of a master plan within them, and the question is: do they live by it? Every person has two options: either to live their life as a standard deviation (not in accordance with the father’s plan) or to live a life of destiny (which is in accordance with the father’s plan with whom they were born).
Destiny is not an end product, a finished product that a person has to dance to like a puppet. Destiny is raw material, a potential. A person with a master plan is similar to a driver who has a system of roads and lanes, they can still choose to drive in one lane or another. But they have a system of roads, compared to a destitute person who does have a car, but does not have roads, and if there are roads they do not have a map of them. To live without fate is to live without roads, without lanes, without a map. And so it is impossible to get anywhere, there is an imaginary sense of purpose to travel, but without a path – the journey is in circles, and always remains in the same place.
The master plan has room for maneuver. As in the drawing: fate is not a charcoal copy of a chart that exists below the transparent page. Rather, the artist has an idea or idea within him, and he has creative freedom to realize the idea in a variety of ways, but it is the same idea or idea of painting that exists in him on the psychic level.
Destiny is an encounter between the inner self and the real reality.
Missing a destiny is an encounter between the adopted self and the real reality.
Adopted self is a product of over-adherence to social norms. And most people do not live by an internal code, but by social norms that overshadow an internal code and an inner voice. And so people cannot connect to the path intended only for them, but they live according to how it is proper and acceptable to live in that period. (In their personal version of course but they go in the general groove).
One might think that a life without destiny is a life of chaos in which everything happens, while in a life of destiny there is a clear and fixed path. Well, not exactly. In life according to social norms, each person is actually fixed in a series of roles that they must “fit“ into, (and if they are not likened to the dead, they are an outsider), and there it is like in a prison. And in order to reach destiny, they must emerge from the social and psychological fixations, into an obscure state, and then, only if out of this freedom, they connect to their inner being, they have the possibility of destiny, and then, as stated, these paths are not dictated from the outside of the person.
Destiny is according to a cohesive pattern that is transmitted from within. Fixed life is according to social and psychological dictates, dictated from the outside. In both cases, the person is not free.
And so in short: in order to connect to destiny, a person must free himself from social and psychological patterns and fixations, then he finds himself in a void (not an emptiness, a void) in vain, and from there he is supposed to connect to the print within him, and then as he tries to realize it he is on his way to meeting his destiny.
Some people are unable to live by rigid social dictates, but also unable to connect to their inner being and live their lives according to the code inherent in them, and then they live a lost life, like a ship without a rudder on the ocean water.
Michelangelo said he chooses a statue according to the block of marble. And that in every block there is already a certain figure. And the block of marble he chooses is according to the statue he is looking for. (And he probably recognizes in the marble block the statue inside). So is human life; in the life of every person, there is the statue inside that wants to go out and be. But only a connection to the inner self, to the inner entity, can free this inner giant from the bottle of social norms. When you are connected to yourself, accept yourself, live in peace with the way you are inside, you feel the living figure trapped within the marble blocks of social norms.
The blocks of stone around the statue are the habits, patterns, restraints, repressions, little lies, and masks we put on the inner self to fit the overall look.
Usually, the lives of human beings are conducted according to the stone blocks that surround and imprison the statue, they are lives that look like life, they have the image of life, but nothing happens inside. There is no self-realization here because nothing from the statue goes out into the world. The stone around the statue stops them from meeting life outside. And only this encounter begets fate.
The sculpture is the hidden inner and personal potential, usually suffocated by the large blocks of stone. These blocks are manners, economic status, nationality, family, education, our profession, our popularity, our education, our image, our political opinions, our smart statements. But it is a mask on the face of the personal and intimate life of a human, and until they are rescued from the bear embrace of the stone blocks there is a simulation of life, but not life really. Because life really comes from within and does not suffocate from without.
What is common is to bury the inner life potential and above that build a new personality. Adopted personality, acceptable personality. A personality in which our most essential part is not manifested. The word destiny is a product of the connection between this hidden, raw inner self and the reality that is now taking place in the world. It is a potent (powerful) connection that leads to self-fulfillment and the discovery of the unique path intended only for you: your destiny.
An unrealized life, in which there was no encounter with the inner child, with this hidden statue of being – this is a life where everything happens from the outside, and not from the inside. This is a life that takes place on the outer plane and not on the inner plane. What is it like? For a car that is in a crowded place with other cars, on a slope, and there are all kinds of rolling rocks, and they and the other cars hit the car and it moves from place to place. But the movement does not stem from the car engine itself, rather it comes from outside it. And so this is not a movement towards a goal. But a pointless shift. In the end, man did nothing real with himself and with his life.
Here it should be understood that a life of movement towards a goal can only take place on the inner plane. This mechanical life is a life that takes place on the external plane, in worlds of the profession, financial situation, marital status, friends, political opinion, etc. Instead of life arising from an internal spark they are driven as they once operated an engine, by a belt that is pulled by force and then the engine turns.
Only an occurrence on the inner plane can lead to a person’s encounter with their destiny.
Gurdjieff calls life with no destiny and goal – mechanical life. According to him, these are lives that occur under the Accidents Act 2. Because people are not connected to something that puts them on a clear and unique path they prone to accidents (which are the collisions mentioned here earlier, by other cars and rocks deteriorating).
In mechanical life there are accidents. And they happen because the inner compass, our inner center of gravity is paralyzed like a plane detached from the control tower giving it instructions. Only in a person connected to his or her essence, do the instructions come from within. In a life without destiny, we move not because of something that comes from within, we move because of what comes from the outside. Then it is almost a life of movement from accident to accident, and that’s because we are not connected to the inner and personal selves.
A life of destiny is an original and authentic life, guided from an essential state. While mechanical life, the life of accidents, is an adopted life, and it is adopted in the two senses of the word: “adopted”: first, it lives out of effort and not out of a dynamic spring from within, and secondly, because it revolves around an adopted self.
The more a person acts from within and less from how they are supposed to behave, the more connected they will be to their destiny.
The people without destiny are old people, they are not aware of their condition, do not ask themselves questions, their views are stereotypical. Their restraints are fixed, their behavior borrowed, strenuous.
Fate does not wait for them.
Fate is connected with only one thing: the type of person, not their behavior, nor their papers, nor their style, but their typological essence.
In mechanical life, there is happiness and misery, suffering and pleasure. In a life of destiny, there is no good or bad, just a match between what is supposed to be and what is really happening.
One of the ways to bring a person back to their essence and hence to an encounter with their destiny is to do a separation between the potential and the mask. Then they develop the alertness to their essence and they know how to recognize it and separate it from the adopted self, only then they have the possibility of reaching the path of fulfilling their destiny.
And here comes the most important point in all this: all people have a potential for individual destiny (which is being overshadowed by social conditioning), but they differ greatly in power, talent, caliber, radicalism, specialness, and sensitivity of the quality of their destiny potential.
The majority has a weak and average destiny potential, which could be overcome and overshadowed easily by social norms and conditioning. But the minority that could be called: special, highly sensitive, with high caliber, or just outsiders – has such a powerful and unique potential – that the conventional norms could not blur them. So those few with outstanding potential are rare persons–from one hand cannot conform (because their unique potential is too unique) and from the other hand find it difficult to find the specific avenue in which they can apply their specialty and have indeed a fully accomplished destiny and self-actualization!
The main problem with being an outsider is finding the right path: (the artistic occupation, or love relationship) in which to apply their unique potential that will fit the level and quality of their special and rare brand of potential.