Destiny versus Free Will: The Struggle

Many feel that destiny is predetermined and we are born, things happen, and then we pass on. This idea of destiny directing all life can quickly becoming overwhelming. If everything is unavoidable and inevitable, then what about free will? If people are convinced they cannot alter their fate, then they are missing a huge point. The law of karma directs our destiny and we choose our path.


To understand destiny and its role in the journey of soul evolution, we must define it. Once this is defined, we can understand how free will and destiny work together for life defining events. Destiny is defined in the dictionary as “the inevitable or necessary fate to which a person or thing is destined”. This is a predetermined course of events that is beyond human control or power. Some fall into the trap of believing that karma and destiny are the exact same thing, but the karma we choose creates destiny and can impact us in a variety of ways.

On the other hand, free will is defined in the dictionary as, “the ability or discretion to choose, free choice”. This is the power of our ability to make choices that are not determined through natural causes or predestination or even divine will.


While everyone has a destiny, according to the Law of Karma, each soul has some control over the event sin life. Each time we are incarnated, destiny and free will come together to meet again. Our individual karma is where they intersect. Karma, the term, comes from Sanskrit and means “action”. Practically speaking, the physical world dynamics mean “for every action there is a reaction”. Karma is a spiritual law that governs interactions, starting with the energy from our thoughts and growing over time through attitude, feelings, actions, and relations. It ultimately settles into us as personality traits and emerges as future thoughts.

When a human acts, a force reacts. The energy can be altered, but it must first be recognized. Karma is simple in this way. We always have a choice in our initial actions, then we have free will in how to respond to the energy that results. Through this free will, we choose actions that bring success to our lives and that of others. Frankly speaking, we reap what we sow. We are harvesting our own karma. If we want joy in our lives, we must participate. This continues through our lives. We make the choice of our circumstances in our lives by participating and because of the actions from the past.

Is the Future Set?

The future is not unchangeable or set in stone. There are so many things that can change our actions and thoughts as our destiny evolves. The outcomes depend upon our chosen actions and the reactions are not necessarily instant. There are times when we act at one point and then in the future a reaction occurs. The debate between free will and destiny has been going on forever and will continue for years to come. Free will allows us to make choices that can modify destiny because we are each on individual journeys. The journey is important, not necessarily the final outcome. This means free will influences destiny.

Do We Have Control?

We cannot say we are in complete control of destiny, but we are not being controlled by it either. When something unexpected occurs, we cannot necessarily change the circumstances because no one gets things exactly as they want. When we cannot control events, we just need to accept them. Though we cannot control all life events, our reaction to them can make a profound difference. Destiny prevails even when everything seems to change instantly. When we view free will in the destiny framework, people can drastically improve, but may still be dealing with past reactions.

As we learn from the experience, we shape future destiny. Making decisions and the actions that follow create karma that shapes future lives. We will face the consequences of these actions and what we face can balance the karmic debts we have in soul groups. We need to stay on our spiritual path, even when it feels like we should be running.

A single encounter can forever change our lives. Right actions create positive actions, but even if we are facing repercussions from the past, we can break the terrible cycle. Old behavior patterns keep us from new ones, but history does not have to repeat itself. We learn lessons through karma so we can alter our destiny. We cannot eliminate all the energy in our karma that was created in the past, but by making right decisions, we can change our lives for the better.

Sarah Carson

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