I stumbled on Amor Fati when I was looking up ‘destiny’ ‘fate’ and reading about Calvinism and predestination.
This term loosely translates to “love of one’s fate” and is used to describe the attitude that one sees everything that happens (including suffering and loss) as a good thing. Overall, it is an acceptance of the events that occur in one’s life.
(Incidentally, Nietzsche often wrote about Amor Fati. I knew I never liked him).
Classic mythology says there are three goddesses dispensing fate, Moirae (Greek), Parcae (Roman) and Norns (Norse) – these three ladies were believed to determine the events of the world. Fate, simply defined, implies we mere humans have no choice, and generally ends in death (what a cheery lot our classics are). In this train of thought, fate is determined solely by the goddesses.
Destiny, on the other hand refers to a predetermined course of events, often perceived as a predetermined future, generally or individually. This concept is based on the belief that there IS a fixed order to our universe. However, in destiny, you get to actively participate in the outcome. You are not as much of a pawn as our classical mythology would have preferred you to be.
Of all of these, I have to say I like the destiny description the best. Nietzsche be damned. Trying to accept everything as a positive is just too damn hard. Fate, as defined here, is nowhere in my personal belief system. And yes, I’m staying out of the Calvinism, predestination, theological discussion on purpose.
Although, destiny leaves much more up to the individual, I’m still not in love with this idea.
I can admit that a couple of times in my life seemingly impossible things have suddenly clicked together like Legos. Major things. Do I then believe that because these major things worked out that they were meant to happen? That because I willfully participated and it was my destiny that the universe greased the wheels to make it happen for me? Does that then mean that when things are difficult and you have to fight for every inch of progress that it ISN’T your destiny and therefore, it’s hard because the universe is working against you, or at least not helping you?
My sister-friend Staci and I have joked many times that were “meant” to meet each other. When we both met Mandy, we again had that reaction. Separated by many miles and life experiences, there wasn’t much of an explanation for why we were all so suited to one another, we just were. I feel closer to these girls than people I have known for years, and spent far more time with. We are, in my mind, simply, connected.
Was it our destiny to meet?
What of people, relationships like these, which go horribly wrong?
I hear people using destiny and fate about positive things that happen in their life. But if I am killed driving to see one of these girls, and you’re a believer in either concept (fate or destiny) was that still my destiny? Or did it happen because I pursued a friendship that had simple geography been a limiting factor I would have been unable to attain, and therefore, worked against my destiny and I ‘got what I deserved’ by pursuing something outside what I ‘should’have.
Is destiny vindictive as well as benevolent?