Fate vs Destiny

I was watching one of my favorite shows, Tell Me You Love Me. One character runs into her old love at the very place where they broke up. She shares this with her therapist, who asks a question (as all therapists do,) "So you're saying this was destiny?"

Jamie thinks, then says, "No, more like fate."

This led me to wonder the difference: Destiny or Fate?

Destiny. Fate. Fortune. Kismet. Gam Zu Letova*. Amor Fati**.

I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.
- Friedrich Nietsche

Sounds romantic, but what is this saying? "Destiny" appears to be what is working out in a natural order of things. "Fate," like fatalism, is something that has come to be, that has happened. So Jamie believes it was inevitable that she and her love reunite, through a force beyond them. Nietsche, wants to love what happens to him, to understand all things as beautiful and thereby be able to create beauty.

There was a time when destiny implied Divine ordination, like Manifest Destiny. Kismet, from an Arabic word, has been filtered through a couple of languages and arrives in our language as something magical. It seems to have originally meant something as orderd by Allah. But as with all these words, the Divine has been stripped of Its role. Demoted, I guess. It's easier for us to accept a lame god, one that lets things happen, who we can change the mind of, that we can understand. A wimp. Then we'll give this emperor some new clothes by naming it Destiny. Fate. Fortune. Because, for some reason, we can understand a Power that only has Power to the extent that we want. I read a poem of sorts somewhere, that said something like this: I don't want a God that is strong and powerful, I only want 50 cents worth. Not enough to make me rich and fulfilled, but just 50 cents worth - just enough to hold in my hand and put away in my pocket when I want to.

It would be too hard to think of an All Knowing Power Who orders our lives for all things to work out well for those that love this Power. Can't wrap our head around that. Can't have that. A Power so much greater than us, eternal, loving. IF the Power is so much, well, shouldn't it be so that, we are not able to fully understand??

Again, we've thrown away the Creator for the created. What we created. Fate. Destiny. I think it the turtle who said "I have seen the enemy, and it is us."

* "this too is for the best"
** "love of one's destiny" whether good or bad

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