Home > Destiny > Destiny and Philosophy


Destiny and Philosophy

According to philosophy destiny or fate is something which cannot be changed for it is governed by a supreme power and so each of our destinies is predetermined or fixed which is more of a concept of belief of the universe. Philosophy says that in many cultures destiny can be studied by fortune tellers, shaman, prophet, sibyl or seer. In some other culture arrows were tossed to read destiny, from Thrace to pagan Mecca. Destiny is something which is fixed and events taking place in our life is accordingly based on that particular fixed timeline and the study of getting this knowledge is divination. But often this concept is misunderstood as fortune telling which may be soothing initially but when the actual problem arises this philosophy may sound fatal which does not square with truth and reality.

All those who do not believe in themselves will resign their fate to the supreme power for the cause of events happening in their life instead of fighting it with courage and responsibility. The Universal aw of Harmony, Karma defines that for every action there is an appropriate reaction and that no one can escape from it but have to face the consequences. But this doesn't that we can never come out of this for through right attitude and right effort we can surely overcome it.



The philosophy of fatalism states that all the events happening in our life fall in place according to a predetermined pattern and which can never be changed. Epicurus and Zeno in Stoics are still remembered as fatalists. St. Augustine and Calvin, the famous Christians that the destiny of each one of us is fixed well in advance and none of us have the right to scrutinize it. Shakespeare in his plays like Hamlet and Julius Caesar has explained two different opposite features of the fatalistic philosophy where in the former he say there is a divinity that shapes our destiny whereas in the latter he confers each one of us are masters of our destiny for no stars or supreme power is responsible for it. An example of a passive fatalistic outlook is given by the famous Kannada poet, Dr. D. V. Gundappa where he compares man to a horse yoked to a cart and thus the horse to go in the direction where the driver wants. Here man is compared to the horse and the driver to God.

The relationship between life and death as the central problem of philosophy is been handled very well by Arthur Schopenhauer who was one of the few notable thinkers of his time. He says that world is represented by the way the people build it and then ideas and images are imposed on it considering it under the fact of objective reality and thus rejecting the presentation of the world by itself. We should understand that there is some true concept of reality in explaining the factors of life and death. But however Schopenhauer argues that most of us respond to the representations than the reality which are mainly because of language and societal custom. He says that the basic desire of every human is the will to live. This will to live also means living fate and choice of overrunning the fate same, by means of the Art, of the Morality and of the Ascesis.

Man is unique among all the living beings of the universe because of his principle of mind. It is this principle which makes him unique for he is solely responsible for all his deeds. Man has to be discriminate in whatever he is doing for he has to make moral choices in choosing the right or the wrong thing to proceed with. Once he has decided to proceed his journey in the direction he has opted for, then he becomes responsible for the consequences and have to face it whether it is sorrow or happiness. This is what is called as karma and in this journey to our destiny we also learn the lessons of life.

So each one of us is destined for a particular thing in our life which is not decided by any external factor but only by us either in this life or the previous. But we have the freedom to choose one way or the other every moment. From this lesson of life we learn how to progress positively in our life by acting the right way. Mankind is nothing but held by brotherhood and similarly individual Karma is bound by collective Karma. The Nietzsche theory of "will to power" is derived from the Schopenhauer theory of "will to live". The theory of the former says that this will to power as a strong element for adaptation or survival in a better way which applies to all living things. This concept was taken further still, and transformed the idea of matter as centers of force into matter as centers of will to power as mankind's destiny to face with amor fati.