Why We May Believe in Fate, Karma or God’s Will

A lot of the New Age literature out there – and particularly the various material regarding manifestation techniques and the law of attraction – pays lip service to the idea that we create our own reality. Many people do believe this, though they may put their belief into action only up to a certain point. Whenever tragedy or misfortune befalls human beings, the majority still tend to imagine that some omniscient being is cursing them, or that the clenching hands of fate, karma, or their own childhood wounds just won’t let them go.

Some people formally turn their back on their religious backgrounds – Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. – but still find themselves being internally motivated by the same core beliefs. Those beliefs have simply been given new clothes and described in different terms. Intellectually, these people may no longer agree with concepts like original sin. Yet they may still respond to their lives – on an emotional level, and particularly with regards to any concept of freedom – as if there was some entity looking down on them at every moment, ready to dole out rewards for good behavior and punishments for bad.

Maybe many of us are simply afraid that we need such a being to keep us in line. Maybe we’re scared of the personal responsibility that freedom entails. Our culture’s most popular belief systems have done little to encourage us to trust ourselves. If we are to believe everything we have been told then we are cursed with sinful natures, blind instincts, a tainted unconscious and an erratic reasoning mind that only developed through random natural selection. No wonder we may become convinced that our own energies will sweep us away to dangerous places if they aren’t held in check by fate, karma or God’s will.

If we are to shed these convictions then we have to first identify them. We have to find the places where they might be lurking within our own minds. We can do this by embracing our underlying fear of our own power. Certain spiritual teachers in the modern day have given us some inkling of what may lie on the other side of that fear. We may land in a place where we can say “I create my own reality” and really believe it.

Our feelings are meant to lead us to our underlying beliefs so that we can confront those beliefs. By accepting our fear we can finally come face-to-face with the inner convictions that have been generating it. It’s a small price to pay for freedom, for a life wherein we’re no longer worried about displeasing an old man in the sky. This is not an indictment of divinity or any concept of a higher power. It is an indictment of concepts that have to do with reward and punishment – i.e., heaven and hell, karma, God’s wrath, fate, etc. – and only seem attractive to us when we doubt our own worth.

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