This past week-end, my friend Dr. Bill Stewart asked me an important question relating to Visionmaking: What is the difference between Destiny and Fate?
There is a big difference.
In Visionmaking, Destiny is the name of the helping ally that instructs each of us about the singular purpose for our lives. It is the force that supports the personal vision or dream that each of us has been specifically created to manifest. Destiny conveys the gifts of continuous learning, growth and change. Destiny demands our active and deep engagement in pursuing a meaningful and fulfilling life.
Most people view Destiny as a straightjacket of predetermination, something we are confined and defined by. They mistake Destiny for Fate. Fate is "something unavoidable that befalls a person; the universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably prescribed; the decreed cause of events."
By this definition, Visionmakers see Fate as an agent of the status quo and an enemy of the path of heart and meaning. Visionmakers recognize Fate for what it is–a self fulfilling prophecy that is created by the unwillingness to take responsibility for making choices or by choosing poorly. In the Visionmaker's philosophy, we get what we earn and not what we're assigned.
The power to choose is at the heart of the distinction between Fate and Destiny. Fate removes choice from the equation. It depicts a universe that is prescribed. Visionmakers see a world that is far more dynamic, and demanding, than that. They see that the power to choose has been given to every human being to generate purposeful action through full engagement.
Making choices demands that we engage, and Destiny demands that we make choices. Choices forge the partnership between the Visionmaker and Destiny. As the Spanish philosopher and essayist, Jose Ortega y Gasset put it:
"We are not launched into existence like a shot from a gun, with its trajectory absolutely predetermined. The destiny under which we fall when we come into this world...consists in the exact contrary. Instead of imposing on us one trajectory, it imposes several, and consequently forces us to choose...To live is to feel ourselves fatally obliged to exercise our liberty, to decide what we are going to be in this world. Not for single moment is our activity of decision allowed to rest. Even when in desperation we abandon ourselves to whatever may happen, we have decided not to decide."
Thanks for your question Bill.
© Patrick O’Neill 2010. All rights reserved