Man – The Architect of His Destiny
Life is preordained and every birth has been marked with its own uniqueness. A child may be cradled in the lap of luxury, bestowed with all the comforts at his fingertips and gifted with intelligence and fine physical qualities. Another could be born in absolute poverty, combined with poor health and living in utter misery. Why would one child be gifted with a perfectly healthy body while another may be born blind, deaf or even deformed? Why should an old couple, having lived life to the fullest, receive the devastating news that their beloved grandson has just left this physical plane due to a random accident?
Does God work arbitrarily and allow such inequality among mankind? Could this be defined as ‘injustice’? Or could this diversity of circumstances be attributed to happenstance or blind chance without any rational reason behind it?
In no uncertain terms, mystics and perfect saints point out that our life unfolds according to what we draw to it, as dictated by our thoughts and actions of yesteryear. Each and every current chapter of our life has been created by us, through our own actions which have germinated from thoughts that we once permitted to inhabit our mind. Our thoughts are fleeting, and thousands of thoughts stream incessantly through our minds each day. Although we can never completely divorce ourselves from the influence of our dominating restless mind, we can certainly choose which thoughts our mind should dwell upon. Whenever we dwell on any thought, an imprint is made on the mind. When a thought is repeated, we subconsciously allow that imprint or groove to become deeper. This ‘dwelled-upon’ thought eventually triggers a desire, and subsequently this desire is sculpted into the physical through our actions. Each act that we execute becomes a link in an unbroken chain of causes and effects, each effect becoming a cause and each cause leading to another effect. Our thoughts and actions are the ‘cause’ and what is manifested into the physical is the ‘effect’. The fact that every action has some degree of influence upon the future means that we are personally accountable for the effects we indirectly cause. The exact day and hour that the effect will take place is never known to us, but the one fact of importance, which stands absolutely unalterable, is that the effect must take place.
Man is the doer of his own deeds; as such he is the maker of his own character; and as the doer of his deeds and the maker of his character, he is the moulder and shaper of his destiny. He has the power to modify and alter his deeds, and every time he acts, he modifies his character, and with the modification of his character for good or evil, he is predetermining for himself new destinies – destinies disastrous or beneficent in accordance with the nature of his deeds.
James Allen, Mind is the Master: The Complete James Allen Treasury
Strangely, we seem to think of everything, but never stop to ponder on the dominating thoughts themselves and the role they play in manifesting into actions. Our destiny is not something that is imposed upon us; rather we are, at each moment, spinning the threads of our deeds into the pattern of our future. Although we have no control over the causes and effects that have produced this present life that has been marked out for us with absolute precision, we certainly have a good influence on the seeds of our future destiny. In the book As a Man Thinketh, James Allen writes, “Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits.”
From here on, we must make a constant effort to consider the mind as an instrument, for when its behaviour and its functions are understood, we have the capability to become its independent director and controller. Mind has never considered what is best for the individual except to act upon its own whims and fancies. In other words, it is not a rational entity. Therefore, the mind must be carefully kept under guard or else it will head for certain destruction.
By diverting our attention inward, through meditation, our thoughts can be regulated and channelled properly, so that nothing can permeate through our mind without our consent. Supported by a spiritual focus and the habit of clear thinking, the mind has the ability to discriminate and to eradicate its degrading thoughts. This is an important chapter in the individual’s life, for as the mind is slowly purged of all its impurities, his future fate undergoes a complete change, an entire metamorphosis. It is for this reason that man is known as the “master of his thoughts, controller of his actions and the architect of his own destiny.”
The supreme lesson is that whatever is destined is bound to happen,
and it is best to surrender to the will of God.
And that destiny is the product of our own past actions:
If you are wounded by thorns, you planted them;
And if you are clad in satin, you were the spinner.
Rumi, as quoted in Sarmad, Martyr to Love Divine