The other day I got into a friendly debate with an acquaintance regarding the nature of life as one of either fate or coincidence.
I defended the idea, not so much of fate, but of the power of reason and the notion that there is some sense and purpose in our lives. He stood in favor of coincidence, arguing that there was no logical reason for anything that happened in the world and thus there was no overarching logicality governing the world.
We argued incessantly, and eventually I couldn’t hold my ground. I couldn’t explain, beyond the experiential knowledge and sentiment that I held, why I felt the way that I did. It crushed my ego and defeated my confidence: I hate to lose anything, especially a philosophical argument.
And what was worse was that now I really didn’t know where I stood. I’m an extremely logical person and if I don’t have a million and one reasons—or one excellent reason—to believe something or to back up that belief, then I usually lose sight of it pretty easily.
Why did I feel the way that I did? Why did I believe in reasoned actions and purposeful outcomes?
I spent the next two days trying to explain my belief system to myself. I tried to rationalize and irrationalize every thought that I had until I could come to the root of my particular position on the subject.
I went more than a bit of nowhere for a while. Then it dawned on me in meditation on Monday morning: it has nothing to do with fate or coincidence. Every event that has ever occurred has been the product of energy.
Whatever energy is manifested at a given time and projected into the world is the energy that will be received and returned. Perhaps the return on this energy doesn’t always happen in a timely manner, but most often and overtly that energy produces an instantaneous reaction that presents itself as action. Now this doesn’t account for things such as death or the inevitability of pain, but those occurrences are already explained by the finitude and imperfection of human existence.
Intention is vital in the processing and expulsion of energy. Even if that intention is somehow “unintentionally-intended” or accidentally misplaced, the cultivation of the energy it requires to assert an intention on its own will induce great change and movement. Moments that seem like fate or coincidence are nothing more than the physical and tangible outcomes of the intangible and metaphysical thoughts that it requires to produce those actions.
This doesn’t mean that you can dream of chocolate cake and it will appear in front of you—this means that if you are intent upon an idea, goal, or desired outcome of a situation you can induce movement toward the manifestation of whatever it is you are contemplating.
I always say that I can’t get used to meditating on something and it coming to fruition. Ironically, whenever something does come into being that I’ve visualized, or asked for, or even just desired, it tends to be exactly what I asked for and not at all what I really wanted. I get my wording wrong I guess, but this only further proves to me that the energy I’m emitting is the energy I’m receiving.
In these particular instances I didn’t get what it was that I wanted, and perhaps I didn’t know what it was that I wanted in the first place, but all the same I got exactly what I asked the world for.
I’m erring to the side of positivity in regards to actions and reactions, but let me not leave out negativity and lack of action. It is negativity that we are least often aware that we project and embody.
We wonder why great things don’t happen to us, why we get stuck in jobs, in places, with people. It is directly related to the energy that we are manifesting, or in most cases, not manifesting. The road goes two ways and it is just as powerful to be inactive mentally and meditatively as it is to be persevering and strong willed.
And again, instances of pain, human flaw and death are nothing but the inevitability of our placement in this world as human beings—circumstances already explained by our very nature. The importance of these events and situations find root in what can be learned and assimilated from the particular experience. What value, what lesson, what sense of growth you can garner and integrate into your sense of self is what makes these events happening worth the while.
Circumstance, then, is by no means a product of intention. You don’t will yourself to be born into the family, financial situation or country that you are, but the events that unfold as you mature as a spirit are dictated by your own sense of self and the energy you put out into the world.
So forget fate or coincidence—life is nothing but you, the universe and the collective energy of every other being who is an “I.”
Toiled together and spun into recklessly wild entanglements of human connection we come to affect each other’s lives as much as we affect our own, and this is where we tend to lose the thread, where we get caught up in the idea of fate and coincidence when really we are just sharing energy and creating our own lives as we are enhancing others.
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Assistant Ed: Ben Neal/Ed: Bryonie Wise