Fate and Destiny according to Kabbalah
The structure of our fate is given to us at birth such as the body, ethnicity, family background etc. These cannot change much over a lifetime. The dynamic comes in how we play our part.
In the course of a lifetime, we may build new structures and create new dynamics, thus improving our lot. However, some people choose to diminish their possibilities by stupid and wilful actions. Much of our fate is determined by our character. A timid person has a different fate than the one who is courageous. There are those who bury their talent and those who make the most of it. Fate is the result of previous lives and karma. Its pattern can be seen in a horoscope but not the level of a person’s consciousness and development.
Most people are psychologically asleep, and their fate is governed by external circumstances. Those who are awake and use their free will can modify their fate to a greater or lesser degree.
While fate is personal, destiny is a transpersonal trend over many lives. Everybody has a purpose in the grand scheme of existence and can make a contribution to human evolution. Some people of destiny have a particular mission to start a new impulse of development when needed.
For example, they can be artists, scientists or spiritual leaders. Their hallmark is that they influence a large number of people, often as an example and inspiration for others.
Guided Meditation by Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi
Voice: Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi
Recorded in London in 2015
This meditation takes us to a distant land, the home from where we come from. Starting out at childhood, we look back at the long journey of our fate in this life. There were good and bad times, companions and lessons we had to learn. What do we yet have to learn and understand, on a short term and long term? And where is the Home that is our ultimate destination?
Fate and Destiny: Questions and Answers
A large part of Halevi’s oral teaching came in responding to students’ questions. Such group discussions sometimes covered topics that were not written down in books. These questions and answers articles are compiled from group and workshop recordings over the years to give insights into Kabbalah as a living tradition.
Q: Are fate and destiny related?
A: Each human being started their journey as a spark of pure consciousness in a specific part of Adam Kadmon. That set out an underlying trend over many lifetimes. For example, those who originate from Hod are inclined to be analytical or informative, while someone from Nezah tends to be artistic or practical. Sometimes a person’s destiny can manifest in their hobby; something that they really love doing but are not yet ready to practise full-time. Many discoveries have been made by amateurs.
Fate works one day at a time; it is an ordered progression. Your fate is there to bring your potential to fruition, as fate is the instrument of destiny. People of destiny still have their personal fate to live, although they may dedicate their life to the service of the Holy One.
Q: Are there different levels of fate?
A: Most people act instinctively seeking basic security and comfort, either for their personal benefit or to produce the next generation. They are governed by their conditioning and habits, and their fortunes often depend on external circumstances like economic fluctuations and fashions of the time. They come under the law of large numbers and general fate.
Some people have developed enough will to seek their own fortune. They are awake enough to recognise opportunities and they are prepared to make an extra effort to get what they want. However, they may be driven by their desires without being aware of their hidden impulses. That is said to be an unconscious fate.
In contrast, real individuality comes with self-consciousness at the soul level. Such people are true to themselves and know what the purpose of their life is. They exercise their free will when making decisions and deep commitments. That is called a conscious fate.
Q: Do nations have a fate and a destiny?
A: In some cases it is possible to draw up a horoscope of a nation. It would give a detailed insight into their good and bad times. Even when the horoscope is not known, the collective character of a people reveals their ruling sign, which is part of that nation’s fate. Spain, for example, is said to be ruled by fiery and expansive Sagittarius, indicating a preoccupation with religion and conquest.
Some nations have a particular destiny. For example, the Greeks and Romans contributed much to human evolution by setting a model for Western civilisation.
Q: Are our relationships part of our fate?
A: Yes, very much so. All esoteric traditions give the same advice: seek the friendship of good and wise people, avoid bad company. Relationships can either help or hinder your development. There is a saying “your natural friends are your spiritual enemies”.
Sometimes we meet a person who feels familiar at first sight, indicating a karmic connection from a previous life. There can be either a strong attraction or repulsion. Comparing the horoscopes of two people often reveals underlying difficulties and possibilities. Planetary trines indicate a harmonious relationship, while squares can bring in creative friction and can also cause people to be more productive.
Q: Is there family karma?
A: Very often there is as the souls have connections over many lifetimes. This can be seen in a common theme running through the horoscopes of the various members of the same family. It may be a problem that needs to be solved or some work to be carried out together. You are part of your parents’ and siblings’ fate and they are part of yours. Those who have no particular soul connection with the family often leave as soon as they mature.
Q: Is astrology fatalistic?
A: Fate is the pattern of this incarnation. It is the result of what you have done before, your karma. Astrology is not fatalistic. It is a tool for solving one’s problems and increasing one’s self-development. A horoscope describes one’s strengths and weaknesses, and techniques like observing transits and progressions are useful for knowing when and when not to act.
Your fate and destiny depend on who you are, your being. Know yourself! Use your wisdom and understanding to get an objective view of your fate. Your destiny calls you when you are ready, or the external conditions are ready. Timing is often crucial as certain doors may only open or close once in a lifetime. That is where astrology can help. A turning point can come at around at the age of 29-30 with the Saturn return, or with the mid-life crisis around 40. You can use your free will and change voluntarily, or external circumstances may force you to change.
Q: How does our fate influence others?
Nobody lives in isolation. Other people are part of our fate and we are part of theirs. Kabbalistic tradition speaks of the Pargod, the great curtain of souls that hangs before the Throne of Heaven. It has all the fates of humanity interwoven into patterns of history. The gold threads represent people of destiny, the silver threads remarkable individuals and the copper threads stand for ordinary people. Each pattern represents connections between a group of souls and how they relate to those above and below and to each side.
You may also consider how the previous generations affect your fate, and how you influence the next generation.
Q: How do we recognise opportunities?
A: According to tradition, prior to birth we are shown the key events of our life and the influential people we are destined to meet. Then an angel tweaks our nose and we forget. However, deep in the unconscious our soul remembers and recognises fated events when they come to pass. Omens and strange coincidences start to occur when the soul tries to alert the ordinary mind. However, many people miss their moment, because they either ignore the omens or are interested in something else at the time. The door closes, and the same opportunity may not come again, because the circumstances and the planets are never in the same position twice.
There was a certain King who was debating with a philosopher, “Is there such a thing as luck?” The philosopher said, “Let’s make an experiment”. They locked two men in a walled garden, one of them believed in luck the other one did not. The one who did not believe in luck said, “That’s it”. He sat down and was prepared to remain and die there. The other one said, “Something will turn up”. He started to walk around the garden and found a key tucked away in a corner. He unlocked the door and walked away.
Q: Do guardian angels know our fate?
A: Such guides are not angels, they are discarnate humans. Angels are celestial functions and they would not understand the human condition. Our guides may be ancestors who keep an eye on us. They may warn about a dangerous situation or arrange important meetings when needed. There are many reports of such otherworldly help and intervention that has saved or changed people’s lives. For example, something unusual happens and one misses a train which is going to crash. Or someone in crisis and deep despair may feel a presence that is comforting and reassuring.
The guides may not know our entire fate, but at least they see the road ahead into the near future. They can only suggest but they can not interfere. We have to make our own decisions.
Q: How can we improve our fate?
A: Go the extra mile. It is a universal law that you cannot get something for nothing. Sometimes it is not enough just to fulfill your duties and obligations, but you need to make an extra effort if you want real improvement or change.
Follow the recommendations of the Ten Commandments. If you break the rules, sooner or later you have to face the consequences. Heaven, Paradise and Hell are not just descriptions of the afterlife, but they can be experienced here and now while we are incarnate.