To bear is to conquer our fate.
THOMAS CAMPBELL, "Lines Written on Visiting a Scene in Argyleshire"
When fate is adverse, a blade of grass may become equal to a thunderbolt, and when fate is favorable, a thunderbolt may be like a tuft of grass.
CHEEVER MACKENZIE BROWN, The Triumph of the Goddess
Fate is the most real thing that I see in my own and anyone else's life. It is not a fiction, but the cruellest of pincers pinching our lives.
ALEKSEI FEDOROVICH LOSEV, The Dialectics of Myth
Fate and the dooming gods are deaf to tears.
- Necessity or chance
- Approach not me; and what I will is fate.
- But God has wisely hid from human sight
- The dark decrees of future fate,
- And sown their seeds in depth of night.
JOHN DRYDEN, "The 29th Ode of the First Book of Horace"
- Each sacred accent bears eternal weight,
- And each irrevocable word is fate.
- If fate be not, then what can we foresee?
- And how can we avoid it if it be?
- If by free will in our own paths we move,
- How are we bounded by decrees of above?
- Whether we drive, or whether we are driven,
- If ill, 'tis ours; if good, the act of heaven.
- Fate, show thy force; ourselves we do not owe;
- What is decreed must be; and be this so.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Twelfth Night
- How easy 'tis, when destiny proves kind,
- With full-spread sails to run before the wind;
- But they who 'gainst stiff gales laveering go,
- Must be at once resolved and skilful too.
JOHN DRYDEN, "On the Restoration"
- Man makes his fate according to his mind:
- The weak, low spirit Fortune makes her slave:
- But she's a drudge when hector'd by the brave.
- If Fate weave common thread, I'll change the doom,
- And with new purple weave a nobler loom.
JOHN DRYDEN, The Conquest of Granada
Our fate is determined by the first breath we take. Literally, we inhale our destiny, a composite of qi present at that exact moment.
ELIZABETH MORAN, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Feng Shui
An unrelenting, immutable fate is so irreconcilable with the liberty of human actions, with the nature of good and evil, of rewards and punishments, that if we admit of it, there is an end of all religion, of all virtuous endeavors, of all great and generous attempts: it is to no purpose to pray to God, or to trust in him, or to resist temptation, or to be diligent in our business, or prudent and circumspect in our actions; for what will be, will be: or if any means be to be used, that is no matter of our choice or care; but we shall do it as necessarily and mechanically as a watch moves and points to the hour of the day; for fate has, by the same necessity, determined the means and the end, and we can do no more nor less than fate has determined.
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, The Millenial Harbinger Abridged, vol. 1
- Others will gape t' anticipate
- The cabinet designs of fate;
- Apply to wizards to foresee
- What shall, and what shall never be.
Insofar as the meaning of temporal events is not comprehended, time is encountered as fate. Fate is the brute succession of events as such. But events are not merely inflicted on men by the movements of insensible objects. They transpire among men. That is, fate is 'the necessity of the Spirit' itself, an inexorable procession within its own life. Fate, in other words, is historical time, the temporality of human intention.
STEPHEN CRITES, attributed, Hegel's Quest for Certainty
Fate is irrevocable, and invincible, and an unchangeable decree; a necessity of all things and actions, according to eternal appointment.
- Fate steals along with ceaseless tread,
- And meets us oft when least we dread;
- Frown in the storm with threatening brow,
- Yet in the sunshine strikes the blow.
WILLIAM COWPER, attributed, Benedicta
When the meaning of fate is approached by way of the more spectacular examples, such as the woman struck by paralysis, the danger lies in the fear and loathing that these examples provoke. Fate is seen as cruel and indifferent and curiously selective, as if only the very few were singled out to bear the terrible burdens of fortune, examples to the rest of us warning what could happen. But of course this is absurd. All of us are fated, and at times the sheer improbability of chance adventures that seriously or trivially alter our lives prompts us to wonder about who we are. Had I not remained longer than usual in the office, I would not have met this person, who changed my life. Had the train not been late I would have been able to make this opportunity which would have radically improved my fortune. From chance encounters, to pieces of luck, to lottery tickets, to the military draft, to the color of our eyes and the seat on the plane, we are thrown into situations and events quite beyond our control or even our comprehension. It makes no difference whether we believe in a divine providence or in the sheer randomness of nature, the point is, such important influences in our lives are totally beyond our understanding or control, and it is precisely because such enormously important circumstances cannot be understood in the ordinary way that we are forced to wonder: how do we think about fate at all? Is it better simply to recognize the futility of such a question, and hence develop psychological attitudes to help us avoid considering it altogether, or is it more honest to confront the unrooted truth of our fate and seek to find a way to think about it?
MICHAEL GELVEN, Truth and Existence
- What fates impose, that men must needs abide;
- It boots not to resist both wind and tide.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Henry VI
- Fame and censure, with a tether,
- By fate are always link'd together.
JONATHAN SWIFT, "To Dr. Delany"
Fate is not itself our metaphysical fate, but an opening choice; we can ... turn the account into freedom.
STANLEY CAVELL, Contesting Tears
The longest life is but a multiplication of days, nay of hours, nay of moments. Our Fate is set, and the first breath we draw is but the first step towards our last.