Anybody who practices the divinatory arts will, sooner or later, be confronted by the perplexing question of fate and free will. It’s a subject that’s frequently raised in readings and something many people ponder at one time or another. It’s also at the crux of every scientific and religious debate questioning the nature of existence and the individual’s role in determining his own destiny.
The dictionary defines fate as “a power regarded as predetermining events unalterably”. Certainly many people experience extraordinary happenings, accidents or chance encounters which appear, with hindsight, to have been unavoidable or ‘fated’ to happen. This notion of fate provides a safety valve for humanity in which something supernatural and beyond human responsibility can be held accountable. This is compounded through the absence of any credible knowledge from science or organised religion to provide real solutions to the fundamental problems of the human condition.
The divinatory models endeavour to shed some light on the subject. The tarot contains symbols of fate such as Death and the Wheel of Fortune card, yet its message that spiritual liberation is attainable through self-sacrifice suggests that fate can somehow be negated. Palmistry has its own line of fate which, in addition to representing an individual’s relationship with his surroundings, reveals (through lines that appear and recede) how fate can somehow be modified or changed. Astrology implies that although an individual’s destiny is governed by the influence of the planets and stars at the moment of birth, the ultimate responsibility lies with the individual himself in his response to life’s challenges. However, to go deeper into the meaning of fate, it’s necessary to transcend the divinatory models and experience the reality direct.
Fate is the overall condition of the world at any time. A cursory glance at the way things are going in the present gives an indication of what fate has in store for humanity in the near future. The fate of the world as the human condition of ignorance has indeed been fixed, due to the excess of emotional pain within the psyche. These world waves of conflict and negativity are set in motion through the continual replenishment of emotional hatred and force that the dying deposit in the human psyche before they go on after death. The fate of humanity as a whole is on an unalterable collision course with the source of its own ignorance.
A baby is born with a predetermined pattern of characteristics that determine the influences and potential experience that will shape the living life. These influences include the gender, the type of parents and whether the infant is raised in a loving or hostile environment. All this is predetermined for everybody in the beginning of the living life. However, inherent within every newborn baby is a power of negation that is the spiritual magnet attuned to the source of life. Opposed to this power is the positive pull of the world and the predestined course that is programmed as a portion of the karma of humanity waiting to be lived in the new life form.
The innocence of the newborn baby lies in its sheer vulnerability to the world. As the baby develops through childhood to maturity, the experience it needs is the predominant force and the main focus of intelligence. The saving grace that enables the predestined path or fate to be modified for good is inherent within the experience of living. To the degree that the man or woman reaches a stage of living when they have begun to question the validity of the world, they invoke the power of negation present within the being at birth. This marks a climacteric in the life and the possibility of self-change. The power of negation is the spiritual light behind the body. It alone is able to neutralise the predestined direction of the life and harmonise the negative karma apportioned to the baby at birth.
Free will is normally understood as having the choice to take a particular course of action or to choose something based on emotional feelings of likes and dislikes. The personal element of free will is unquestionable. We have it and are able to use it as we see fit. The difficulty is that with seven billion people on the planet each exerting their own right of free will, the result is disastrous for the wellbeing and harmony of the planet. This is because the will of one man will conflict sooner or later with the will of another. The combined effect is a massive collision of conflicting forces and an uncertain world struggling to maintain its equilibrium.
The key to it all is self-knowledge and the power of negation inherent within the body. The depth of self-knowledge in an individual determines his perception of reality and sense of purpose in life. Free will is ignorance in matter and motion; without it the truth would be impossible to realise. Free will, when the experience of living has disabused the wilfulness of the person, is not to have or want any personal will. The diminishing band of ignorance removes bit by bit the choices that once ruled the living condition of the person. Finally there are only two choices: to continue in ignorance with my personal free will, which is in revolt to God, or to surrender my will to the Will; and let thy Will be done.
The underlying cause of all unhappiness in the world is the attachment to our free will and personal wanting. If we truly had free will, we’d be able to withdraw at will from any emotional suffering. But as it is, we’re stuck with the problems of the human condition until the living experience reveals the way out. Free will is the echo of original freedom. The pain and pleasure absorbed through the experience of living enables the profound process of life to extract its virtue from matter into an ever finer degree of intelligence. Creation is the playground of time – a kaleidoscope of forms and forces which in its totality serves a grand purpose, with each individual a unique being contributing to its overall wonder.
Lance Kelly 2015