Do you believe in Fate?
I know some people don’t believe in it at all — to them, every event is a result of your choices and Life’s own randomness. Other people believe in it sometimes, usually when something big happens, the kind that makes them say:
“I don’t believe in Fate, but even I can see that this is not a coincidence.”
Then there are those who do believe in it, quietly, without raising much of a fuss about it. On the opposite end of the spectrum, are those who attribute everything to Fate, who remove free will from the equation altogether, choosing to be moved about by life, instead of choosing where to go. All the same, surrendering is a choice, is it not?
“To what extent do I believe in Fate?” I found myself asking, faced with a strange set of circumstances I itched to call by another name. These events spoke to my heart but failed to satisfy my mind with some rational explanation or other.
But is there a reasonable explanation for everything? Should there be, should we expect one?
I thought I had answered those questions with a good degree of certainty many years ago, during The Great Existential Crisis™ that started in my early teens and lasted well into my university days. But they resurface every now and then, as though they had not been properly quashed the first time around.
The problem is not what I think, but what I believe. I’ve learned the two aren’t the same thing, that I can hold dramatically conflicting views without flinching. Logically, I know, for example, that I can never attain perfection. But do I believe it, am I entirely convinced that I can’t secretly get very, very close if I do X, Y or Z? As long as my heart won’t agree to something, I’ve found that a crack of doubt will always remain, not allowing me to seal the deal, to set the answer in stone.
Do not let your mind meddle too much with matters of the heart, whispers a voice inside my head. Not all problems can be dealt with reason, and the heart does not have all the answers either.
In my case, I have let my mind talk over my heart, interrupt it, cut it in speech, berate it, silence it. I’ve starved my heart because the adult world speaks in binary, of functions and formulae, of surface areas and investments, 5-year plans, employable skills, ‘worthy’ degrees, settling down and the stock market — concrete, well-defined things that form the foundation of daily life. This world does not make mention of everything that lies between the binary zero and one. It has no words to explain the twilight in all things, that which is flimsy and vapour-like, appearing and disappearing like the moon. It cannot describe, explain, understand or quantify anything that refuses to be corporeal, be it a feeling, an intuition, or a dream — and so, it casts it all aside.
My heart is all of these things: feelings, intuitions, dreams, wishes, worldviews, philosophies, musings. Physiologically, biologically, my heart is right where it needs to be. But spiritually — hearts do not, should not exist spiritually, thoughts should not be invisible. All the same, they do, they are. I have to accept that there is some part of me that is not at all corporeal, that it’s all smoke and mirrors beyond a certain point. With grace, I must recognise that the heart, ever-mysterious, has its own worth, one not determined by a decidedly practical society.
It’s a risky business though, trusting what you can’t see. Letting yourself be guided by what you can’t quite define. Seeing symbolism in things, treating events as signs. Yet I am also reminded, each time I venture beyond the gates of reason to dip into the pool-sky of my imagination, what we would be like if we didn’t colour a little outside the lines. If we dared not cross to other worlds, if we dared not believe in what has not yet been done or explained.
Free your heart, free your heart.
Do not let it be chained to a reality that does not understand it. Let it roam freely and find itself, until one day, its erratic intents align just as you knew they would.
So as I stare a fragment of Fate in the face, I ask myself:
“To what extent do I believe in Fate?”
Note: I hope you are all keeping well, wherever you are. Where I live, the number of cases has dramatically decreased and lockdown restrictions have been extended until the 15th of May. After that, the country is set to slowly reopen.