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LINK The Hand of Fate – Jay P. Schryer

As a new (ish) atheist, one of the hardest beliefs to shed (for me, anyway, is the notion that everything happens for a reason.

Exterminis 6 July 11

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Fate or karma… I think of karma as a way to create your own fate. I don’t think it’s mystical but more like a self fulfilling prophecy. Guilt from negitive actions may leave you predisposed to negitive outcomes making your past seem congruent with an outcome. Positive behavior leads to positive results, fate/karma is the product of your actions. No hand and not guided by an intelligence greater than the self.


Personally, I never found much comfort in the notion of destiny. At least not past my teens. It didn't take long for Real Life [tm] to overtake me with various unwanted outcomes that caused me to sour on the concept of "everything happens for a reason". At least, unless the reasons are bad ones.

I mean, sure, wife #1 went crazy and ended up in the nuthatch, but at least she gave me my two children. One of whom was semi-estranged from me for about 25 years for reasons she can't or won't articulate, the other died at age 30. Well okay, then I wouldn't have met my 2nd wife ... who died, slowly and painfully, of an incurable illness.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

It has been easier for me to see life as just random happenstance, because then I don't have particular expectations of how it's "supposed" to play out. It's better not to see agency behind it, because then I don't have to be pissed off at said agent. Life is too short to waste it contorting your mind around how life (1) is the product of some sort of benevolent Providence and (2) all too often sucks and blows, just the same.

Once you're clear on the concept that life does not owe you ANYTHING, it becomes a lot less disturbing and you can focus more on the positives. The fact that I'm alive at all, that my daughter and I are reconciled, I'm married (yet again, [sigh]) to a wonderful human, have four nice grandchildren, decent health, adequate finances, and live in a home that's paid for -- all of these things are a lot less polluted by all the other stuff that's not some way I imagine it's "supposed" to be for some "reason".

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