Saturday, December 13, 2008


Fate for me is not the predestination, but the poetry of life; it is the coincidences and harmonies that mesh the flow of time. It is indiscriminate in its benevolence and cruelty (and infinitely so!): the unlikeliest salt appearing on your recent wound; the gift when you need it most; the synchronicity of our lives; those that enter your life; those that leave; the people who act in concert with you; and those who move against you, beyond words and agreement.

One can believe in personal agency with this kind of fate; in fact, I'm more than happy to exacerbate the effect by chasing it to its conclusion. You have a choice of whether to do so or to just let the moment of coincidence slip by as just a coincidence. I've had my fair share of opportunities and while some of the fate has stabbed; some have opened into fresh fields.

On my right hand, my latest pursuit of the scent of fate ended in a composed, yet wry smile. It opened a window beyond what I knew; it let me see more of myself; but it came up empty. On my left hand, I've been followed by a seemingly inescapable fate, one that nags at me, torments me, tempts me and shadows my steps.

"Coincidence is not a kosher word..."
( a Jewish saying recorded in The Penitent, by Isaac Bashevis Singer)


Paul said...

What a beautiful piece of writing. Very enigmatic... and completely inscrutable to all but the most ardent follower of Danieldom. I've experienced synchronicity before, and told myself that these synchronistic experiences must be messages from the universe telling me that my life is on the right track. But isn't the feeling that our lives are being directed by an outside force just the result of a natural human tendency to see patterns where actually none exist?

Carl Sagan hypothesised that as a survival technique, human beings are "hard-wired" from birth to identify the human face. Another Carl created the term "synchronicity", defined as meaningful coincidence. Can a coincidence have meaning when meaning is assigned by the individual who experiences the coincidence?

Jung wrote: "Although meaning is an anthropomorphic interpretation it nevertheless forms the indispensable criterion of synchronicity. What that factor which appears to us as 'meaning' may be in itself we have no possibility of knowing." Outside forces frequently determine the meaning of life at any one moment. But meaning is always relative to an individual perspective. So George Carlin was wrong when he said: "Just when I found out the meaning of my life, they changed it." Only your own actions can change the meaning of your life.

Crypticity said...

As the reigning sovereign of Danieldumb, I would say in my personal conception of fate that there isn't any aspect being directed by outside forces or farces. Patterns, yes; Painter or paint-gun bearer, no. I deny the existence of a single brush! But the existence of the patterns and my desire to follow the swirls around is certain.

I deliberately didn't mention meaning either. Meaning can be established in the comprehensive posthumous biography: "It was at this point that he went astray."

Apparently, when asked what he thought of the consequences of the French Revolution, Mao Zedong answered, perhaps apocryphally, that it was too early to say.