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An innocent twist of fate

(Lecture notes on Ralph Waldo Emerson “Fate”.)

Photo by MasterTux

Can fate (as a supernatural phenomenon) be considered an obstacle in strive to achieve predefined objectives? I am in favour of an affirmative answer, so is Ralph Waldo Emerson, which he expressed in his poem “Fate”.

While reading we notice an interesting literary figure, where author puts himself to the test by opposing chance to fate and exposing darkness hidden behind the light of smile. Phenomenon hiding in shade where its true nature is revealed as an eternal adversary always crossing the path with an individual, manifesting itself in form of danger, as a cruel being filled with sadistic personality, the only way is to tempt it or chance it. We may also try to predict it, but yet, it is very challenging, in essence you have to be born with it like an artist with talent.

Then, what else can we lean on? We may try to wait until the long-expected modernity comes. At least then, we’ll be able to question the odds, expecting chance to be more favourable than fate. Admittedly, in this way we literally falling into the next trap, perhaps even worse than the one set by fate. Modernity always comes but never is, remaining in constant motion does not move a step.

But putting jokes and rhetorical figures aside: modernity is a slow process of departing from what I call illusory wistfulness and shifting to a completely different plane where generally understand fate has no power over man. We choose an instrumental approach aimed at solving temporary, specific problems that occupy the world at this very moment.

It seems that the disenchantment of fate (though underestimated) was a milestone on the path of human development, the day we doubted ways of fate could only be compared to a Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon. The first thought approach of modernity is the contradiction of destiny, with its sense of divine power ruling from the outer planes all phenomena and events happening in real world.

So, there is no fate imprinted in stars, and this is where critical thinking appears, as it were inscribed in our genetic code. Its task, or rather a constant mission is to learn about the condition of life and being, but also to constantly question every past, present and future interpretation.

In this way, unwittingly and unavoidably from the power of fate, we’re moving under the protection of chance, as if it were something better or could change the odds in anyhow. Our reference to it is nothing but rationalization of fate. Predictability and repetition bring cognitive values that believe in supernatural simply resisted. Also, as one would expect, the mechanism of assimilation of chance is not very much different from the old art of taming fate and in both the element of addiction is clearly visible. In principle, everything remains as it was and only nomenclature changes.

Call it however you want, the only truth is that you have no power over it, contrary (as always) it holds grasp over your future and you have to make peace with it — unless you fancy of writing poetry.



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