socraticcoyote

Fate, Destiny, and Character

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2005 at 10:18 pm

Oedipus tried to avoid his fate. He tried to flee the fateful oracle that said he would kill his father and marry his mother. But Oedipus learned the hard way what all good Greeks knew, that you can’t avoid your fate. For Oedipus, this was the beginning of wisdom.

Anakin Skywalker sold his soul in order to change fate. He gave in to the diabolical lie that if you sell your soul to the devil, you can get want you want in return=avoid fate. Anakin’s journey is more like that of Faust than Oedipus. Anakin learned in the end that by selling your soul you don’t get what you want. Instead, you destroy what you love.

Luke Skywalker tried neither to avoid his fate, nor to change his fate. He simply purposed to love his father and redeem him, or die in the attempt. Darth Vader tempted him to accept his destiny of following the dark side as his father had, but Luke would have none of it. He was not obsessed with his fate. Thus he fulfilled his destiny.

It seems to me that the difference, for all of us, between fate and destiny is character. We have all been endowed with genetic, family, and life factors that certainly seem like an oracle locking us into a predetermined path. If we try to avoid that oracle, we will fulfill it. If we sell our souls to avoid that oracle, we will destroy ourselves and those we love. But if we accept the cards that life has dealt us, and purpose in our souls to do the very best we can with who we are, then we move from fate to destiny. Fate looks backwards towards an oracle, or a dream, or a bad life situation. Destiny always looks forward. The difference between fate, and destiny, is character.

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