Does Destiny exist?
That question becomes nagging as the years go by and is added to each other, sometimes replaying the same scenarios. Looking back, I realize that each of persons I met in my life played a role, his/her role, sometimes identifying themselves to their roles so much that it seemed impossible to change. And yet who did not have the desire to drop everything and leave, for reinventing a new life, because their own life seemed meaningless. Some of us did it.
My life began with war and its procession of mourning and disappearances. There are few people in my family, after so many deaths and voluntary breaks down called « cut off » by psychologists and which are said to be particularly pathogenic in my country where the value « Family » is so important. But what is not pathogenic for human beings? How a life history may be declared pathogen? What would be a non-pathogenic destiny? Is that of being born into a united and peaceful family, being married and having children, who themselves have continued the tradition “Work, Family, Country”? The “perfection” of this cultural scheme would be boring or even worrying if it was completely illusory. The statistics are there to cheer us up, us with chaotic fates.
We are who we are with our physicality, our personality, our temperament, and what we cannot escape, the fate and the destiny that is to say a set of external events or encounters with others whose path crosses ours, or not. Of course, we can act on our surroundings and on events and conversely events act upon us. But there are limits, and we can only behave within the limits of this four dimensions container: physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual. Inside this container, information in the form of external events come to us and are processed through these preformed filters.
So, we would not escape our destiny or at least our freedom exists inside a container.
I became suddenly conscious of this fact during a mission in Central Africa. I have always enjoyed walking to feel the spirit of the times, watching, wandering, driven by an insatiable curiosity. But, usually in the streets of Brazzaville, European people drive while African people, the poor majority, walk. I saw people curious eyes laid on me. I heard many warnings about the danger to circumvent the rules from both sides. And yet I was just walking and watching. And I had the feeling of being prisoner of my white skin and my female appearance and I understood that my fate was partly defined by the eyes of the Other.
This is for the external appearance. But there is also an internal reality, our personality made up with character traits to which we cannot escape just like physical appearance. But while we have little control over external events although we participate as actors, the knowledge of our inner world broadens our understanding of what is happening and what surrounds us, individuals, groups or even universe. Becoming aware of our true identity is perhaps the only freedom we really have. It allows us to take responsibility for our actions and being ourselves.