Romance: Reading Fate into Coincidence

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  1. Joanna Schroeder says:

    I am really fascinating by the idea that believing in romantic “signs” or fate removes agency from the individual. I think that’s so insightful, and never thought about it that way.

    • Thank you Joanna! I do believe that there is a “magic,” a meaningful coming together of events in a way that is not simply random going on, but that our ego’s desire to turn such incidents into blessings from Venus can be a childish response. Going further takes us into deeper lessons . . . :)

      • Gill Ashton (@Baumflough) says:

        I found this insightful and fascinating. For many MANY years I was an Evangelical Christian and I realised looking back that ‘the Church’ had taken away my autonomy (or rather I allowed that!) by teaching that I had to take every dicsion to God. The cruel twist being, when things went right it was a blessing from God, and when things didn’t, I had somehow got it wrong…

        I do believe we attract things, for good or ill, but I think that isn’t the whole picture and personally I like to keep superstition out of it where possible.

        Thanks for a great article!

  2. Then you have the contemporary twist of “The Secret” – a.k.a. the Law of Attraction – which artificially injects agency where there is none, by taking credit for “signs” and outcomes that are merely serendipitous, and often blames negative outcomes on factors truly beyond anyone’s control. I don’t think the author is pitching the law of attraction here, but much of the description of how people perceive signs and fate sounded like that kind of thinking. I think his conclusion is that people should *not* think like that, in which case I agree, even though I follow a less Jungian line of reasoning to get there. :)

    • …and often blames negative outcomes on factors truly beyond anyone’s control.

      That didn’t come out right. I meant “often blames negative outcomes on a person’s psychological state, even when all or most of the reasons were beyond that person’s control.”

    • What I’m very precisely spelling out is the need to go beyond such over-simplifications as are served up for our easy consumption by “The Secret” etc . . . I then go into detail about how a psychological approach does that . . .

  3. Dorine Moore says:

    Wow! Powerful. So much wisdom in this short article. I see my romantic 20 year old self in this piece, clinging to those signs, especially the ones I chose to acknowledge. I also see my emerging Queen, still romantic, but more aware, stronger, much more inclined to choose wisely.

  4. Thank you Dorine. It all comes from experience on my end too . . . :)

  5. This is very relevant to me – especially right now when I am caught up in powerful mutual attraction with someone I barely know. It occurred to me, that by taking the view that this attraction is necessary and good just because it is mutual and instant, I am not only being narcissistic but I am also giving up the ability to make an intelligent choice about something that may not serve my real needs. Thank you for reinforcing that understanding. I feel like I will be able to make the right choices when the time comes.

  6. Glad to help ep – attraction on its own is definitely neither good nor bad. A good (therapist) friend of mine says that the degree of attraction is always commensurate to the likelihood of abandonment. I don’t go that far but I know that he’s talking about one kind of attraction (the dark, unhealthy kind). So a lil consciousness can (hopefully) go a long way, but we’re all still “victims of love.” :)

  7. There’s an article out there that misunderstands what I am saying as this article, as seemingly is inaccurately suggested by the title as well. I do think synchronicity exists . . . read the article carefully.

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