Destiny: Are we bound or do we create our own path?
This was the question that we, at Expanding Circles attempted to answer on our meeting on Tuesday 27th May 2014. The group of Expanders that came together for this debate had a broad range of experiences and certainly very different perspectives about the topic, which made the evening enriching and thought-provoking. Here’s a summary of some of the ideas we discussed:
We started with attempting to gain some clarity around the definition of Destiny and we quickly realised that somehow, must Expanders in the Circle had a negative connotation with the word ‘Destiny’. Very quickly a member of the Circle also started to use the word ‘Purpose’ as a synonym and that triggered a very interesting debate about the difference between Purpose, Destiny and Fate. Although the terms were being used interchangeably, we quickly realised that everyone agreed we had a purpose but not everyone agreed we have a destiny.
The room was pretty much divided between the ‘skepticals’, who believe that we create our own destiny with our thoughts, words and actions, moment by moment, each day and the ‘believers’, who think that our life is to a degree already pre-planned or somehow circumscribe to a number of parameters or conditions that are given to us by life or a external force or intelligence.
Destiny and our ‘Hand of Cards’
A participant in the Circle said that we chose our parents and the conditions in which we are born before we come into existence. She said that we do this in order to give ourselves the experiences and environments we need to learn the lessons we need to learn to evolve spiritually. She acknowledges that we have freewill, but that this freewill is giving to us to chose if we place align ourselves with our purpose or if we deviate from our it and that is down to us to determine how we progress in our spiritual development journey.
A number of Expanders agreed that there are a number of events and circumstances that we certainly are not able to control about ourselves and about the world. Some of these include: The country in which we are born, our gender, skin colour, genetic pre-disposition or even certain innate talents, traits and health conditions. They said that we are all given ‘a hand of cards’ to play with and although we have a degree of freewill to chose what we do with these cards, we will always be constrains by the initial cards we are given.
There are also other situations and circumstances that are not given to us in that initial ‘hand of cards’, but that occur as we move through life but that they shape and determine where we end up in life and the decisions we make. This includes: Childhood trauma, death of loved ones, natural disasters or the break out of a war.
The Circle concluded that there are certainly a number of variables that are outside our control. Some people attributed this to God, destiny or a superior force, whilst others participants rejected the idea of destiny and said that such things are just the nature of life and the universe and has nothing to do with us having a pre-determined plan.
Our Freewill and Creative Power
In the opposite side of the spectrum, we had participants that said that destiny is something they do not believe in; that we create our path as the result of the decisions we make and the steps we take in our lives in a daily basis. They argued that if we had a destiny, our lives would not make sense and we would be better off by just sitting around doing nothing and just wait for life to do its thing. They said that the reason we are given consciousness, will power and freewill is because we are creative beings that co-create life in every seconds there is and that where we ended up is just the result of our decisions and behaviours.
They acknowledged that there are events we cannot control (i.e. natural disasters), but that this is not down to destiny but to a number of random chain of events that mathematically and statistically are meant to happen within the realm of the physical dimension in which we live in.
A tree does not have neither Destiny nor Freewill
An Expander in the Circle surprised everyone with a very interesting thought. She said that we were having this conversation only because we human want to believe we have a purpose, destiny or freewill. She said that whatever our belief is, it is the result of the ego and the need to feel we are individuals that are different to the wholeness of life. She said that a tree does not have a awareness and that is therefore not worried about having a destiny or freewill. A tree, just is. She asked, who is ‘I’? How do you know you are individual and that is just not an illusion of you own brain? What are thoughts, and where do they come from? If we are not our thoughts as many people now seem to understand, then, who put our thoughts in our minds?
Were people like Michael Jackson and Nelson Mandela destined to create such a big legacy in the world or did they personally make a ‘choice’ to become what they became? If it was a matter of choice, how many others have not also chosen a similar path but not succeeded? Were they somehow born to do that? Were they born with the traits and talents to get there and life put them at the right place at right time? Was that luck, randomness, simple mathematical probability, destiny or just pure own determination?
If you don’t believe in Destiny, can you really decide tomorrow to make a radical and absolute change in your life and drastically transform your finances, health, relationship and lifestyle conditions or are you somehow restricted by a number of factor that are beyond your control?
Are we here to really learn a lesson that is individual to each of us? Has life given us the choice of how we learn that lesson but not the choice of the lesson to be learned itself? Is there a balance between destiny and freewill?
Thank you to all that attended this very thought-provoking Expanding Circle, for dates and next topics click HERE or check DATES on the top menu of this page.
[Circle hosted and report written by Ernesto Moreno]