Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Holistic Interpretation of Fate and Destiny

The idea of holistic reasoning is thrown around quite a bit these days as modern thinkers and scientist/theorist begin to see the world in a less dogmatic fashion and become more willing to accept a more multi-variable explanation of things. This takes into account a wider perspective. For example, up until recently, psychologist would debate on whether human behaviour is determined by genes (nature) or upbringing (nurture). This debate eventually settled in a tie of sorts with both sides seeing merit in the others argument. The result is an agreement that many different things effect the outcome of an event, which is a wholly holistic concept.

"Holistic" refers to the idea that individual events are caused by or is the result of many different and tiny events. There is a book by Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holisitic Detective Agency, wherein the protagonist solves the mystery by pulling together all the strange happenings and details in the story into a cohesive explanation. What seemed unrelated before suddenly became essential to solving the mystery.

If a person fails a class, for example, it seems obvious to blame his partying habit and tendency to skip class. However, there are people who do that and still do well in school, so we must delve further. Perhaps he had a bad sleeping habit, which caused him to lose focus during tests. Or maybe he wasn't a casual reader, which caused his writing ability to suffer. These things may not fail a person on their own, but when combined, they play an important role.

Those that believe in fate/destiny believe that they truly have no control over things that happen. They simply put things off as good or bad luck. Such a passive view of the workings of the world should be shunned in our post modernist society. Surprisingly, I have found that most people adopt the idea of fate/destiny for lack of a better alternative. Even those of an atheist following sometimes lack creativity, which hinders how they see the world and approach life.

What this means, however, is that, when presented with a better alternative, a lot of people are ready to accept and take on the concept. Not to say that they’re coerced or something, just that it makes sense. I’m not expecting everyone that reads this ramble to adopt my philosophy, but I am that people would find some things in it that they can work with and agree with. My holistic view on life allows for people to take action and take control of their life, which is much better than sitting back and passively taking what life dishes out to you.

How the holistic view works is quite simple and I’m guessing that most people have already put two and two together from my explanation of the holistic concept and their own general perception of life. In a nutshell, there is no fate or destiny, but rather just yourself affecting the things that happen to and around you. Our subconscious desires and motivation dictate our conscious decisions and actions. Just as all the tiny things in the examples before can add up to a large event, such as failing, these tiny and seemingly insignificant decisions can add up and create an important event in your life.

Here’s an example: say you wanted to meet someone new and start a relationship. You may not be entirely conscious of this desire and may be perfectly happy and content with your day to day grind in the world. However, you may find yourself interested in taking different routes to your daily hangouts or even just looking around more often at the people around you while commuting. These actions may not be entirely conscious, nor may they amount to much. Gradually, though, they can spark a change in your life and fulfill your unknown desire.

Recognizing this is vital. It can help you get out of a rut or help you achieve some of your conscious goals. The process is simple, you pick a goal and just put the odds in your favour. The difference between doing this normally and doing it with holistic on the mind is the motivation and rationalization factor. It explains how some people can naturally be motivated and succeed in life, but shows how average people can also do the same.

I'll definitely try to talk about this more, but I'm also trying to figure it out for myself. I believe, but I'm not certain, that the book The Secret speaks of something similar to this, where simply wanting something will inadvertently cause it to happen. The big difference is that, here, just wanting it is not enough, as your subconscious can still defy you. There are still internal obstacles to overcome, but it's worth it in the end.

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