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Is our present life going according to our highest dreams and ideals? Or is it a series of events, often unexpected, that prevents us

from becoming what we would like to be? If you were to live your life all over again, would you take the direction of your life now, or would you drastically change it?

What is Destiny?
A predetermined course of events, usually considered as

something beyond human power or control.

A young man brought up in a certain way

will develop a certain set of habits, personality tendencies and character qualities. Together with the karma of the past, these will determine his destiny: whether he will be happy or not, harmonious or not in his relationships, effective or not, successful or not. Most of these factors were not determined by him. They were put there by his parents, teachers, environment and other influences. Thus his destiny was molded for him by others, for good or ill.

When unaware of this situation, a person just becomes a victim of the environment and of the past;

Is it possible to change our destiny? If so, how?

The dynamics of human destiny

To understand the dynamics of destiny, we have to understand two important factors: The internal factor: our own psyche/individuality The external factor: the environmental circumstances brought about by past karma We only have direct control over the first one; the second one can only be indirectly controlled through prior preparation

The Internal Factor

The internal factor consists of two portions: The inner individuality, which is not subject to conditionings The personality part, which is a creature of conditioning

Higher Self Intuition Higher Mind

Mind Emotions Body

Two Kinds of Destiny

Higher Destiny
In the long run, through many lives,

our destiny is to become our highest potential. This is when the higher individuality becomes active and takes an active role in creating new causes or actions. Conditioned Destiny
This is the pattern of life that will be followed due to past karma, whether from past lives or the present life. Unless changed, this will be our primary destiny

We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours. Dag Hammarskhold
Parentage, country, body heredity, innate intelligence, latent skills, relatives, etc.

(Present Karma being generated)

New inputs and causes that are deliberately created by the individual

Thoughts & Desires

Behavior Actions Destiny

Conditioned habits & reaction patterns that perpetuate themselves

(Past Karma that has ripened)

(cf. rice bottles)

Conditioned habits & reaction patterns Past life seeds Reinforcement from environment

When there is no intervention from the higher individuality, the habits and patterns of the lower personality will tend to perpetuate itself, thus reinforcing conditioned destiny

The extent of the influence of the new unconditioned inputs will depend upon the receptivity of the

Thus it is very important to learn how to deal with the hardened habits and reaction patterns of the personality.

personality or lower triangle. When the resistance is high (i.e., conditioning is too hardened) then there will be little change in behavior and action. This is the significance of purification in the spiritual life

8 factors that will mold destiny

1. Clarity of Deep Individual Values

What do we like to live for? What are the most worthwhile things that we want to pursue in this life? Are we going in that direction? Or is our present life going in another direction?

The Life List

A helpful approach is to make a life list. Do this several times this year until you feel inwardly certain that these are your highest list of personal values.

If there are only three things that you would like to achieve, to be, or attain before you die, what would these three things be?
If there are only three things that you can do

or achieve in the next three years, what would these be?

2. Seeing Impersonal Core Values

Core values come from a perception of the higher triangle, hence not from ones conditioning. When they become strongly linked with outer behavior through deliberate selftransformation, then they alter the life pattern of the individual.

Examples of impersonal values

Justice Love Integrity Kindness Harmony Etc.
Our individual values should not contradict universal values; otherwise we will encounter unpassable barriers on the way towards our highest destiny

These two sets of values

(individual and universal values) constitute our life compass. When they are not clear, then we will be controlled by the values of our environment and our past conditionings. Clarification of our values therefore is crucial in determining our own destiny

3. New external influences

These can be either just reinforcements of

present conditionings or patterns of behavior, which will not alter our direction much. Or new influences that are in accord with our higher destiny and which can alter our life directions
Readings (e.g., Life Ahead)

Discussions or lectures, (e.g., lecture on marital happiness)

Inspiration from non-physical sources Group or company that we go with (peer influence and
pressure are very powerful)

4. New Habits
From birth to death, our lives are overwhelmingly governed by three things:
Mental habits Emotional reaction patterns Physical habits

These three form our personality, and when there are no other new factors, they crucially determine our destiny

When we are clear about our highest values in life, then we must deliberately form our habits that are congruent with our highest envisioned destiny This is the function of self-training Habits are our slaves when they are being formed; they become our masters after they have been formed.
(Decide which railroad tracks you would like to built, and in which directions; after you have built them, you can hardly change them anymore. The train of your life will have to follow those tracks.)

Warren Buffett:
So why do smart people do things that interfere with getting the

output they're entitled to? It gets into the habits and character and temperament, and behaving in a rational manner. Not getting in your own way.
The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too

heavy to be broken. At my age, I can't change any of my habits. I'm stuck. But you will have the habits 20 years from now that you decide to put into practice today. So I suggest that you look at the behavior that you admire in others and make those your own habits, and look at what you really find reprehensible in others and decide that those are things you are not going to do. If you do that, you'll find that you convert all of your horsepower into output.

Real, constructive mental power lies in the creative thought that shapes your destiny, and your hour-by-hour mental conduct produces power for changes in your life. Develop a train of thought on which to ride. The nobility of your life as well as your happiness depends upon the direction in which that train of thought is going. Laurence J. Peter

How to develop new habits

Repeat the desired habit for a period of three weeks, done preferably every day
When it has become a habit, it will tend to

repeat itself without your willing it


Physical exercise, diet, different emotional reaction, meditation practice, smiling, etc.

5. Rationality
This is the impersonal mind, the abstract mind or the higher mind. It sees things objectively and not according to personal preferences. In some people it is strong, in others weak.
When it is weak, then the life tends to follow

the conditioned reaction patterns, such as tendency towards being hurt, or angered, or being insecure.

6. Sowing the right seeds

Our future circumstances are determined by the causes that we generate now.
Hence it is important to determine what

karmic seeds we ought to sow and what we should not sow. Examples:
To sow: Kindness and benevolence.
Not to sow: anger, hurt, revenge, ill thoughts and


7. Awareness
Awareness is the important factor that enables us to take charge of our minds, emotions and behavior, especially when there are conflicting factors in the human psyche. When there is no awareness, the strongest force (not necessarily the correct one) will prevail. (E.g., teacher and sister)
Awareness enables one to manage the unproductive or ineffective forces and not let them become obstacles to right decision making.

What you are not aware of, you cannot control (emotional reactions, mental reactions, attitudes, physical behaviors)
Awareness is different from knowing. It is to experience it consciously at the moment it is happening. Knowing is an indirect way of perceiving, through conceptualizing or cognition with labeling. Knowing that you are angry is different from being aware of your anger.

Field of attention Peripheral awareness

Peripheral awareness prevents push buttons from automatically acting out, thus opening new options of action. It eventually erases the automatic reaction, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, thus changing the automatic patterns of behavior.

You can catch yourself entertaining habitually certain ideas and setting others aside; and that, I think, is where our personal destinies are largely decided. Alfred North Whitehead

Meditation is the best way of developing awareness of the inner levels of the mind
Meditation is also the approach towards

intuition and transcendence that will bring us to the higher summits of our destiny

8. Intuition
Intuition is a perception of things by the transcendent consciousness (contemplative or spiritual consciousness in Christianity; buddhi

or prajna in the East). It not only transcends the personality but incorporates ethical and rational factors. Intuitive perceptions are based on transcendent wisdom, and are based on timeless principles that guide the growth and evolution of human beings.

Intuition sees beyond mental reasoning and

personal values; It sees the illusory nature of many of the things that we take as important and objective (e.g., social success) ; it is beyond the ego that makes such valuations It has an integrative capacity in assessing an entire situation, including the social, ethical and metaphysical aspects of a situation. It is the factor that leads us to our highest destiny the realization of our highest potential

Alexis Carrel, Nobel Prize winner in medicine:

"All great men [and women] are endowed with intuition. They know, without analysis, without reasoning, what is important for them to know. A true leader of men does not need psychological tests, or reference cards, when choosing his subordinates. A good judge, without going into the details of legal arguments, and even, according to Cardozo, starting from erroneous premises, is capable of rendering a just sentence. A great scientist instinctively takes the path leading to a discovery." (Man, the Unknown)

Albert Einstein: The only real valuable thing is intuition. Johann Kaspar Lavater: Intuition is the clear conception of the whole at once. John Astin: There are things so deep and complex that only intuition can reach it in our stage of development as human beings. Plotinus: Knowledge has three degrees -- opinion, science, illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second, dialectic; of the third, intuition.

The keys to the molding of destiny

1. Clarity of deep individual values 2. Seeing impersonal core values 3. Deliberately choosing new external


7. 8.

influences Development of new habits that are in accord with ones highest values Strengthened rationality Sowing the right seeds of karma Awareness of our reaction patterns The awakening of our intuition

Implications on Parenting and Education

Parents and Teachers:
need to lay the right foundations for habits, attitudes,

temperament, conduct and morals in the child

must be careful about imposing too strongly their own

personal values on their children (like wanting them to pursue engineering as a career). It is better to help children discover their own deepest values and help them realize these.
must guide them in discriminating about the correctness of the

values of society or the environment

Use of the eight keys in molding destiny such that a young

person can consciously design them according to a wholesome set of values

Destiny can be modified and

designed The earlier that we use the keys that lead to its mastery, the greater is our control over our destiny The keys are in our hands