That which we call fate is mere symbolic meaning assigned to indifferent circumstances.
Well, at least that appears to be one way of interpreting the manner in which signs, events and people converge in our lives. The hopeful side of me does, however, feel some discomfort in a wholesale subscription of this cynical philosophy even though parts of the interpretation resonate with my deistic belief – that is, the belief that our world was created by an indifferent God and that religions are ultimately instruments of Man (and thus divine intervention and intercessory prayers are mere figments of our imagination or wishful thinking).
Instead of defining what ‘fate’ is or is not, I believe that it may be interesting to approach the concept of ‘fate’ from a different perspective by considering ‘fate’ as the occurrence of a set of circumstances which correlates to the parameters of recognised patterns such that the next optimal step to be taken can be easily identified. In other words, ‘fate’ is the putting together of all the jigsaws of a puzzle except for a couple of missing ones such that we will invariably know what to do to make the picture whole.
Accordingly, when applying this alternative approach to the context of romance, instead of treating a ‘fated encounter’ as a predestined meeting made possible by a supernatural force, one could instead look at such a ‘fated encounter’ as the presentation of a certain set of optimal conditions such that an individual correctly seizing upon the opportunity would likely become romantically entangled.
In fact, if you think about it, our orthodox understanding of (and subscription to) ‘fate’ tends to encourage a reliance on the supervening force to direct us to our desired outcome, which invariably results in some dilution of responsibility towards, for instance, the relationship.
On the other hand, the alternative pattern-recognition approach treats the realisation of certain specific conditions as a prerequisite to achieving a desired outcome and would, ideally, promote greater involvement by the individual, as opposed to an overt reliance of external stimuli.
Comparing the two approaches, one might say that the orthodox view of ‘fate’ is more passive and that the alternative, active outlook could, on this basis, be seen as the more superior and productive approach to adopt.
Ear-candy of the moment: Paris by The Chainsmokers