On Fate

This prompt, Deity and the Divine, was taken from The Pagan Experience blog project. As the website notes:

Not everyone has a particular Deity that they work with. But, everyone has an archetypal form or energy that flows through their chosen path. This may be the spirit of Hope or Compassion; the energy derived from the Full Moon, a beautiful sunset or sitting at the ocean’s edge.

That rather expands the definition of “divine”, then, which is great but left me wondering where do I begin?

In an essay entitled “Here, There, and Anywhere” about the development of religions as (respectively) domestic, state, and through people unaffiliated with location, Jonathan Z. Smith also made the distinction between faiths of sanctification (where the divine was in and of the world) and salvation (where the divine provided a model to which to shape, or way by which to escape, the un-divine world.)

While I do seek the world that I know for avenues to or aspects of the divine, I still describe my numinous experiences as removed from this world, “numinous” as in within some scope of divinely-approved space—the word “numinous” originating from “(for a deity) to nod in approval”. So, I still have this idea that there’s a permeating element of that which is not divine.

So, I’ll just hop on over to the notion of Fate, which I define as the first sort of layer that existence interfaces with experience (my personal experience). Whether the world is innately chaotic or innately ordered, Fate is what I name the sense that I’ve made of it.

Fate can then demonstrate the issue with sanctification, when the conjunction of the notions results in the following: Everything already is the way that it should be.

Not necessarily. If one is Fated to suffer, then one is (in a way) Fated to fight ifwhen the fight is the natural reaction to the suffering. If the notions available to the subject lack anything that would awaken something as volatile as the instinct to fight against suffering, then that is Fate in action as well but not as personally and personificationally as we might take these mechanics.

That’s why I introduced the notion of layers. To me, Fate doesn’t reside on a layer that considers the should. It’s merely the most immediate sense that experience makes of existence: recognition of an event and attribution of values that would allow for that recognition, but not the value itself and certainly not sophisticated ones yet such as “beneficial event” or “inconvenient event” or even “disastrous event”.

That said, even the property of immediacy can change. If personal safety were a matter of urgent and important concern, then whether an event were beneficial or disastrous wouldn’t be sophisticated but instinctive and would likely model the rest of my philosophy around it. But here’s where I am right now, and the model of reality that I’m working with.

Fate is the plot of a multi-faceted story without exposition, rising action, climax or denouement. It’s plotless, without a plan or concern for my personal success or ruin, but it’s still possible to “lose the plot” if nothing makes any sense anymore to the point where even I wouldn’t make sense even to myself.

That’s one definition, and the first definition. That said, I can’t help using the word also for divine interference, which can get confusing especially as I haven’t yet figured out why the divine would interfere (not merely interface) with a sanctified world that is wholly and inherently divine; and even a world that wasn’t would (I can’t help but think) have its own non-divine mechanics for the divine to contend with. The layers must touchback to each other, or else they would be simultaneously and multi-dimensionally active.

The Glamour just might bridge the between, being the connections that make the whole of anything greater than the sum of its parts.

Even the way I explain it all is just a metaphor for how I think, or at least how I think about it in a way that could be expressed. The thing itself doesn’t come in layers or summable parts or a defined whole, but those are distinctions that I make just to attempt to refer to the mysterious thing.