Fate Vs. Free Will
The following discourse was in response to a friend of mine expressing his contention that their is no personal god overseeing our lives and “cause and effect”. Also, the ageless question I receive often as an astrologer as to the role of determinism, or pre-destination, vs. free-will.
I believe fate is often a factor when it includes karma, the record of our pasts actions of either good or evil which have to be expunged or brought into manifestation in our lives. If karma is good then we enjoy what we reap, if karma is bad then we suffer. Karma is the “law” and the only redemption from the “curse of the law” is Love and Compassion which came to free us from that curse, through forgiveness. Do we truly reap all we sow, from every thought, from every action.
The law of Karma brings into play determinism and is an essential tool to accelerate the progress of the individual soul. As the good book says: “The Lord chastises those he loves” The chastisement of Karma is a disguised blessing to teach and to reform the soul.
Rarely do I challenge your thinking in my admiration for your devotion to the cause you espouse, but I’m certainly challenged by your de-mysification of “cause & effect” and the lack of any intelligent imposition of an “effect” by divine means. Having spent 76 years on this earth (an insignificant amount of time in this fine universe) I have witnessed the intercession of forces in my life and those of my students, that belies and underlying force that is both intelligent and personal in it’s unfolding.
Your hypothesis that the events of “cause and effect” are lacking any “outside forces that are responsible for these so-called lessons in life and that they are administered by “God”, “spirit”, “the universe”, etc., for our personal benefit.” is accurate in my estimation as long as we are holding that this force resides only “outside” and not within the mind and consciousness of man. I’m of the persuasion that God does exist in and through all things and most importantly exists within the temples that represent our own bodies, not one on 4th and Main St. I also believe that this mind of God within each of us is a powerful manifestation of both creative and destructive power and that the process by which this unfolds is as Emerson said hidden from most of us. To quote Emerson: “he (man) thinks his fate alien because the copula (between person and event) is hidden. But the soul contains the event that shall befall it, for the event is only the actualization of its thoughts, what we pray for to ourselves is always granted. The event is the print of your form. It fits you like a skin…a man will see his character emitted in the events that seem to meet, but which exude from and accompany him. Events expand with character.”
In summation, I’m convinced that we are the masters of our destiny and that more than this we are our own best prophets: for we constantly lay claim to our future state by the seeds we plant in the present., What you sow you reap, which you and I agree upon, both collectively and personally, but I take it a step beyond and believe that miracles of intervention do occur in our behalf and I’ve been privileged to see their unfoldment continually in my life and my students.
If determinism (the doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will. Some philosophers have taken determinism to imply that individual human beings have no free will and cannot be held morally responsible for their actions.) and if fatalism were the underlying truth in nature then prayer and miracles would be a deceptive hoax of some proportion. If all this mystical, new age, faith filled stuff were only misguided and ignorant behaviors then we are seeing the unfoldment of a universe without wisdom, intelligence and compassion that is simply deterministic and lacking in any magic and mystery beyond our senses. Then we must discount any miracle of healing, intercession in personal events and lives and the magical transformations that occur so often in the lives of the faithful and steadfast believers in such intervention.
Sow a thought,
Reap an act;
Sow and act,
Reap a habits;
Sow a habits,
Reap a character;
Sow a character,
Reap a destiny.
With respectful admiration to a wonderful friend.