Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Believing (or: Doubting)

Serendipity. "It's such a nice sounding word for what it means: a fortunate accident." (Kate Beckinsale as Sara Thomas, Serendipity, 2001) Meant to be, written on the stars, destiny, fate, maktub, fatum, destin, the Moirae. And I wonder how much of this is true.
In Greek Mythology, it was believed that Destiny was actually three white-robed deities, the Moirae (later, called the Parcae by the Romans). Their origin is, like the origin of every other Greek god or deity, controversial, and has many entirely different versions. They're usually represented as three old bearded ladies; their number also varies: sometimes they were many more than three, at other times, only one. But above it all, they'd always be represented weaving. The idea that human life is like a shroud, in which there are no loose threads, is an ancient one - and the three Moirae were responsible for weaving it. According to the most famous version, the first moira, Clotho, would spin each individual's thread of life; the second, Lachesis, would measure them up; and the third, Atropos, would decide when to cut'em. And their power - rather, inevitability - was such, that even Zeus had to submit to their will. Whatever the Moirae did could not be undone by anybody.

The Germanic people had almost the exact same belief - the Norns, female deities that controled destiny, including the gods'. They're often represented sitting by Yggdrasill, the world tree - weaving, evidently. There were many of these female entities, but the most famous ones are Urðr, Verðandi and Skuld (respectively, "that which has happened", "that which is happening" and "shall be"). Suggestive, aye?
The ancient people believed that what was to come could be read in the movement of the stars, the flight of birds, the entrails of animals, numbers, dreams, runes, tea leaves and so on. Reportedly, Julius Caesar was a greatly superstitious man, who constantly consulted with fortune tellers. The Oracle, among the Greeks, was a very important institution, too. Man has always been concerned about what will be. Words like "will" and "shall" worry many. (And while thinking about the "what will be", those many often forget to think on the "what was" or "what is" - big mistake).
I don't know if I actually believe in Fate - the same way I'm not sure I believe in many other things. But personally, I find the "whatever will be, will be" motto way too passive. So that's it? No hard-work, then? On the other hand, of course, the idea that we're exactly where we're supposed to be is somewhat soothing. But are we really? Not being in control of your destiny can be quite scary - but being responsible for every little thing that beffals you is just as much.
But if there is, indeed, such a thing as Fate, I don't think everything's in her hands (I see Fate as a woman, u know - good enough for the ancient Greek, good 'nuff for me!); I think we gotta help'er, we gotta do our part. Like religion: your God may help you if you pray for Him (whatever name you call'im), but don't expect the supreme powers to do all the hard work. They'll just give you the means to go after the things you want yourself. Or that's how I see it, at least. Faith might move mountains - but don't forget to push'em a little while you're praying. And what some people call God, others might as well call Fate, so there you have it. But since I don't believe in neither one of'em, I might not be the best judge of that.
But if I did have to believe in something, I'd believe in Forrest Gump.
"I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time." (Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump, Forrest Gump, 1994)

9 comments:

ambiguous_angel said...

i used to believe in destiny,
or i guess i still do.
but i also know that we have power over our own life so i guess i will just agree with Tom Hanks..its happening at the same time:)

beanizer_05 said...

oh i just love mythology!..and yes i kinda remember the deities though i'm not good in memorizing names..i like the luvstory of Pygmalion and Galatea (did i spell their names ryt?)..the adventures..Odyssey..venus, athena, hera, hephaestus..sorry im not an expert..

i'm not sure if i believe in destiny..but im certain, we are captains of our lives..and we always have the choice to make our lives worth-living and purposeful..

Rml said...

@ambiguous_angel: agreed! =)

@bean: I love mythology too! It's one of my biggest and oldest passions... (yeah, u spelt their names right!). True story, I agree with u: had we no control over our lives whatsoever, what would be the point, right?

beanizer_05 said...

Right:) We are what we make "us".

heheee..i'm not a bookworm (as i've said),,but this is one of the books i sulked myself with..and i have read over and over and over again so as not to forget the beautiful stories (though i forget the characters often)..heheee..
i wish to meet Athena..i guess she's fairer than aphrodite..i don't know why i think that way..i always think that athena is much beautiful than her..and helen of troy..hmmm..im not convinced she's beautiful..weird..

Rml said...

Hahahahahahha, a woman that runs away with another man and becomes the pivot of a huge war can hardly be considered beautiful at the end of the day! =P
(However, some versions tell that Helen was actually taken to Troy against her will, so...)

beanizer_05 said...

yup i've read that version that she was abducted by Paris..it all started with that kinda evil goddess(hu again?) that threw an apple w/ a note "to the fairest" and so the 3 crazy godesses fought for the title..athena, aphrodite and hera??..zeus played safe didn't choose among them instead it must be Paris..the 3 bribed him..Athena=wisdom, Hera=power, Aphrodite = most beautiful woman (Helen? or robbie?).. Paris was so horny that time and so choose Aphrodite, and abducted Helen..but why Helen (whose face can launch a thousand ships including titanic) didn't think of poisoning/killing Paris to be with his husband again??..She loved the idea of war on love maybe..or she's just as naughtier as didz?? ..i wonder..hahahhaha..(ssshh! she won't find this)

Rml said...

Hahahahhahahahah, poor Didz! Well, rumor also has it Helen had been ordered by Aphrodite to go w/ Paris...

beanizer_05 said...

so that made me confused..why is aphrodite called the "goddess of love" if she had helen to do that against(?) her will??..why not give her own self (aphrodite) to paris if she believes she's the fairest??..ok, she's a goddess..maybe she's not attracted to paris or she didn't want him to be disappointed, hahahahahha!!!

oh..didz won't find this, i'm pretty sure of that..unless you tell her(?)..you won't tell her, would you???..i will not comment here anymore if you tell her (coz she will surely kill me or cut my fingers), you will lose a cute follower..can you take that??hheheeeeeeeeee

Rml said...

Hmmm... telling Didz does sound like a fun option, but no, I won't...