‘Amor fati’ is a Latin phrase which is translated as “love thy fate.” It is used to describe an attitude of equanimity in which one sees everything that happens in one’s life. The incidents might be filled with happiness, distress and loss of any kind. The past, present and future are all happening in chorus or at the same time. From our perspective, the past is something that has already happened. The present is something that is happening today, at the moment and the future has infinite possibilities…… we have no choice, but to accept fate as it comes. Many of us believe that fate might be programmed or predetermined. Time is the ongoing sequence of events taking place; the past, present and future. The fact is, the past, present and future is all happening at the same time. We measure time using seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. Clocks measure time. For the sake of understanding, how reality and fate work, we need to understand that the true nature of time is instantaneous.
Amor fati is the concept of accepting the events of life inclusive of what we like and what we don’t like because they are beyond our control. Amor fati is characterized by an acceptance of the events or situations that occur in our life. This acceptance does not necessarily exclude an attempt at change or improvement, but rather, it can be seen to be along the lines of what Friedrich Nietzsche – a German philosopher, cultural critic, poet, philologist, and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on Western philosophy and modern intellectual history means by the concept of “eternal recurrences” a sense of contentment with one’s life and an acceptance of it, such that one could live exactly the same life, in all its minute details, over and over for all eternity.
The concept of amor fati has been linked to Epictetus who was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia and lived in Rome until his exile, when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece for the rest of his life. It has also been linked to the writing of Marcus Aurelius who was Emperor of Rome from 161 to 180. He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161 untl Verus’ death in 169. Marcus Aurelius was one of the last so-called Five Good Emperors. Marcus wrote about amor fati in Greek, not Latin.
Life is full of happiness, adventures, risks and losses. There is a certain element of risk taking that is intrinsic in every Endeavour we undertake; whether it is in business, or in marriage, in a profession, in investments or a game. We never have complete security within ourselves. For we know that every moment we live, our lives are in constant risk: a stray bullet may hit us, a car emerging out of nowhere may crush us, a branch of tree might fall on us, and a slip of the foot may result in an accident or our death. So life is fickle in nature. We get no warning, we are not always given a red alert, and we seldom get a second chance to do something again.
It helps in accepting life on its own terms rather than struggle against it. It is better to Identify and move from the “limiting and conflicting, either/or, black or white, all or nothing” illusory perception of life to an attitude that is open to all aspects of reality. The true maturity is in accepting life of its own terms. Accepting that pleasure and pain, happiness and unhappiness are all a natural part of the human experience. The formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati.
But, let’s not forget at the same time that our greatest assets are our willpower, our decision-making and our discipline. Hard work has no substitute. Most of us wouldn’t be where we are without hard work or ability to change our conditions. And so we come to expect that the world will always respond in kind. That it will do what we want. Accepting our fate is universal faith, but, our ‘karma’ our actions can change our destiny. Sri Aurobindo says “Karma is nothing but the will of the Spirit in action, consequence nothing but the creation of will. What is in the will-power of being, expresses itself in karma and consequence”. God expects us to do all we can, and then He will do what we can’t.