5/15/2006

 

To realise one's destiny is a person's only obligation

This time I am not going to write about Levinas and not about intercultural contact neither. This time I would like to write about something personal, something which occupies my mind a lot these days. As I did before, I would like to write about a novel from Paolo Coelho, this time about the novel “The Alchemist”.

I know somebody who is going through a very difficult time. In my opinion, what makes it so difficult, is that in the past year, he moved in the opposite direction of his destiny. According to Coelho, "to realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation", and it is also the only road that leads to true happiness, I think.

I think that we all have our own personal identity, we all have our personal inner nature, an individual and unique set of characteristics of the things that we like, our opinions and our talents / capabilities. We are born as a small seed and that seed has a potential of growing towards its destiny, the seed of the tree has a potential of the tree that it could become in the future. The potential has been present in the seed from the movement it came into existence. A seed for an orange tree will never turn out to have become a lemon tree once it is fully grown. If I try to turn my orange seed into a lemon tree, I will be very much frustrated because it will never work, my fruit will always have an orange colour instead of yellow. So I have to move towards my personal destiny, always, not towards a different destiny which doesn’t fit with my identity / my inner nature. And I should try everything to make my seed grow, to reach my full potential, whole my life should be aimed at moving in that direction, towards my destiny. And I can know which direction that should be by listening to my heart. Very often it is not possible for people to completely realise their dreams. Very often the seed is planted in bad ground, with not enough water, or with not enough space to grow. Then the orange tree doesn’t reach its full potential. But in fact it is still possible to be completely happy with your life, although you are very far away from your dreams. What matters most is that you are moving in the right direction, towards your personal treasure, your destiny. It doesn’t matter if the road is very long and difficult and if you don’t know if you will ever reach your treasure. What matters is that you know what you are looking for and which way you should go to move in that direction. You should never give up because you think it’s too difficult, and then start to move into a different direction, away from your destiny.

There’s a dialogue in the book between the main character and a strange old man:
"Hmm…" said the old man, looking at all sides of the book, as if it were some strange object. “This is an important book, but it's really irritating. It's a book that says the same thing almost all the other books in the world say," continued the old man. "It describes people's inability to choose their own destinies. And it ends up saying that everyone believes the world's greatest lie."
"What's the world's greatest lie?" the boy asked, completely surprised.
"It's this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That's the world's greatest lie."

We should never believe that lie. We should never forget that we ourselves are driving the car of our life, we have the wheel in our hands, we can steer. It is not an automatic car that brings us anywhere, as if we could not influence the direction in which it is going. To make a choice is something you do yourself, nobody else can do that for you, nobody can take away your independence. Maybe there is not much that you can choose between, but that makes it even more important that you make the right choice / decision. To have the feeling that your life is living you, instead of that you live your life, that’s the very worst thing that can ever happen to you.

In the novel “Glow”, Sandor Marai explains that the most difficult thing for people is to really accept themselves exactly as they are:
“The most difficult thing to bear is to have a strong desire to become someone else than who you really are (and not to succeed in becoming someone else). Life is unbearable unless we totally accept everything which we mean for ourselves and for the world. We have to accept our character, our nature, including the mistakes we make, including our selfishness and greed, to which our understanding and experience can’t change anything. And we have to accept that we cannot fulfil all our desires in this world.”

That is very important I think, that we have to accept totally who we are, if I am a seed for an orange tree I have to totally accept that, which means that I should not try to become a lemon tree. I have the obligation to do all that I can to fully realise the potential that I have inside of me to become a big and beautiful orange tree.

And here are some lyrics from DJ Tiesto about this theme:

You can travel the world

But you can't run away
From the person you are in your heart
You can be who you want to be
Make us believe in you
Keep all your light in the dark
You're searching for truth
You must look in the mirror
And make sense of what you can see
Just be

They say learning to love yourself
Is the first step
But you take what you want to be real
Flying on plains, exotic locations
Won't teach you
How to feel
Beside the fact
That you are who you are
And nothing can change that believe
Just be

Cause now I know
Is not so far
To where I go
There's not this spot
Since this I feel
I need
To just be

I was lost
And I'm still lost
But I feel so much better
Cause now I know
Is not so far
To where I go
There's not this spot
Since this I feel
I need
To just be
Just be

And I find it very important to feel passion, as a strong warm fire which burns inside, a motor that keeps me moving towards my destiny, that gives me power / energy / a desire to move. For me to feel that passion is what makes my life meaningful.

And here’s a song from Eels about how you are really living when you feel that passion:

Do you know what it's like to fall on the floor

And cry your guts out 'til you got no more
Hey man now you're really living

Have you ever made love to a beautiful girl
Made you feel like it's not such a bad world
Hey man now you're really living

Now you're really giving everything
And you're really getting all you gave
Now you're really living what
This life is all about

Do you know what it's like to care too much
'bout someone that you're never gonna get to touch
Hey man now you're really living

Have you ever sat down in the fresh cut grass
And thought about the moment and when it will pass
Hey man now you're really living

Now what would you say if I told you that
Everyone thinks you're a crazy old cat
Hey man now you're really living

Just saw the sun rise over the hill
Never used to give me much of a thrill
But hey man now I'm really living
Comments:
Life is like a bux of chocolates you never know what you going to get.

No one is sure whats his destiny is, he just set the motto and go for it. Thats all I learned from my own personal experience.

I don't say that just go with the flow but unfortunately you go with the flow. Circumstances, situation changes and you figure out its something you can't handle...
 
Thank you for your reaction (and for the nice birthday card :)).

I agree that the influence of unforeseen circumstances and situation changes is very big and that you often cannot do anything about it.

I think indeed that we get a lot of food on the plate of our lives that we never asked for and which tastes bad. Especially in poor countries.

But still I personally find it important to have the feeling that I am living my life instead of that my life is living me. The smaller my influence would be to change my circumstances, the more important it becomes that I use all the space that I have.

I think it is important to accept the complete box of chocolates, including the once you don't like, and to eat everything without complaining, but I will still try to enjoy the chocolates which I like a lot at maximum. You cannot change what you get but you can decide what you are going to do with it.
 
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