Posted by: Inside-Out Peace | January 3, 2011

Destiny? No. Serendipity? Yes.

This follows the two recent posts on destiny:  Effect and Cause, or Cause and Effect? and Destiny, Part II

After arguing against the existence of destiny, I started thinking:  is there anything similar that does exist?

After several days, the word “serendipity” floated up to the conscious part of my brain.  I had to look up the exact definition, which according to the Wikipedia entry is: “a propensity for making fortunate discoveries while looking for something unrelated.”  This reminded me of a quotation I once saw painted on the wall of a science museum.  I liked it so much I wrote it in the little notebook I keep in my purse for just such occasions:

“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” ~ Albert von Szent Gyorgyi

This, I can agree with, because it requires the conscious involvement of the observer.  The idea of destiny seems, in contrast, to assign the conscious involvement to an unknown entity which is imperceptible directly to us, yet also manages to somehow control us (and everything else) in order to cause events we could not predict, for reasons we do not know. 

Louis Pasteur said, “In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.”   And what is life but one long, all-encompassing, field of observation?


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