“Amor Fati” is a Latin word that means “love of one’s fate” or, as one may simply put it, a resolute, enthusiastic acceptance of whatever has happened in one’s life. The person of Amor Fati does not try to erase the past but rather accepts it, for better or worse, with strength and an all-encompassing gratitude bordering on a kind of enthusiastic affection. It is a concept attributed to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who described his formula for human greatness as “Amor Fati,” “That one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in eternity. “Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it, but love it.” Amor Fati was regarded as a virtue because of its refusal to regret or retouch the past. The beauty of Amor Fati simply lies in the relentless acceptance of one’s faith in the face of unfathomable troubles, suffering and ugliness because beauty can only be transcended through the negating factors in one’s life.
In Amor Fati, one is expected to confront fate, not ignore it, or conceal it. Our fate will be what it is, as the future is not in our hands to make. We should accept what lies before us, but acceptance is not enough; in fact, we should embrace it and admire what might stand for us. Life is like a set of domino art, where one situation leaps into another, where one piece of the art knocks off the other to create a beautiful chain reaction of effects, and every piece of the art is necessary to bring out the beauty of the art, with the first mover being the omnipotent creator, whose transcendental beauty of creation we cannot deny, which only implies that our fate has already been decided and we cannot change it but only accept our fate. As the saying goes, “Everything happens for a reason and is deemed to happen,” which we cannot deny or run away from, we are brought to the reality that we need to accept our fate, harness it, and use it to make something positive. Resistance to things that have already happened is simply a source of unnecessary suffering.
THE IMMENSE POWER OF LOVING YOUR FATE ROOTED IN FAITH
As countless creatures have walked the face of the earth over time, then came the human, the reasoning man who is also God’s favourite, and nature may have had its harsh way with this reasoning man because they were a fragile creature without the means to fend for themselves in the harsh world of predators and prey. Nonetheless man has the power to reason and to choose unlike other creatures. For instance, cats learn how to hunt within a few days of their birth, and a turtle is innately capable of swimming within a few hours of its birth. But a human infant is not only fragile but also dependent on its parents for a longer period of time. Man is a blend of reason, curiosity and emotion. What distinguishes man from other animals is his ability to communicate with God through faith. One must also understand the power of the immense love of fate rooted in faith because nothing can happen to any human outside the experience that is natural to humans, just as God has brought you nothing that you cannot endure. Fate is a mystery, and it is only to question our sanity to argue against our reason to love our fate, but one must not waste time complaining and arguing because nothing good will come of it; the true beauty lies in having faith before fate, in accepting our fate rooted in fate.
When God wants to draw our attention, it’s because of our wretchedness. The light shines forth through the echelons of darkness and it is necessary in a sense because it is only the darkness that makes the light worthwhile, just as only the wretchedness of this world makes God worthwhile. Imagine our lives in a perfectly designed world where there is no suffering, pain, sorrow, or conquest, our day-to-day lives would seem so perfect and beautiful, but sadly, it is just a delusion. Our idea of freedom would be like a fictional myth because it fails to serve the very meaning of its existence. While everyone is free in this so-called perfect world, they are oblivious to the fact that most of our days are passed in utter ignorance filled with the blissful illusion of just living by, we forget the essence of our existence in this seemingly routine, coordinated world, and our lives become empty and meaningless. Our souls are filled with a void of obnoxiousness because negation is the essence of all things meaningful.
We all carry the essence of godliness in each one of us and we have to love our fate as our lives are designed by God. “Amor Fati,” or “love of fate,” is the greatest formula for human greatness because with suffering and pain, God gives us great power and strength that we often ignore and belittle. We tend to forget the greatest love story in history, which is between God and man. God loves man so much that he sends his only son to suffer and die for the fallen man to save us from our sins and this love story is still celebrated to this day. Once again, suffering is the essence of this beautiful love. We must all recognise that whenever we face suffering, we must accept it wholeheartedly and embrace it with all our hearts, because God is only arming us with immense power and strength not only to face it, but blessings come disguised as suffering in our lives to bring out the essence of our very existence, for which God is preparing us for something great.
SUFFERING AS THE ESSENCE OF BEAUTY
According to Kierkegaard, the concept of “Amor Fati,” or “the love of faith,” plays a significant role in understanding the concept of suffering. He believed that suffering is an essential part of human existence and that it is through suffering that an individual can achieve self-awareness and a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with God. He believed that by embracing suffering and accepting it as a part of one’s fate, an individual can transcend their suffering and achieve a higher level of spiritual development.
Kierkegaard argued that suffering is an essential component of beauty and that it is through suffering that an individual can truly appreciate and understand beauty. Beauty was not something that was aesthetically pleasing, but rather something that was deeply meaningful and that could only be fully understood and appreciated through suffering. In his book, “Christian Discourses: The Crisis and a Crisis in the Life of an Actress,” Kierkegaard comments that “suffering is the essence of beauty, and that beauty is the essence of good.” He believed that beauty can only be understood and appreciated by those who have experienced suffering, as it is through suffering that an individual can gain a deeper understanding of the world and their place in it. In this way, Kierkegaard sees beauty not as a superficial aesthetic experience but as something one must suffer for to fully comprehend it. He believed that suffering can also lead to spiritual growth, and that it is through this growth that one can gain a deeper understanding of beauty and the good.
Kierkegaard, in his work “The Sickness unto Death,” wrote that “the greatest danger, that of losing oneself, can occur more in paradise than in hell.” He also stated that “the self is the relation that relates itself to its own self,” and that suffering can assist an individual in becoming more self-aware and understanding their true self. He believed that suffering can serve as a “yoke” that guides the individual towards a deeper understanding of themselves and their places in the world.
In this way, Amor Fati can be understood as a way of approaching suffering in a positive and transformative manner. Rather than resisting or trying to avoid suffering, the individual embraces it as a means of personal growth and spiritual development. By accepting and embracing suffering, the individual is able to transcend it and gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the world. Amor Fati is not just a philosophical concept but also an art of living.
Christian discourses: The crisis and a crisis in the life of an actress, Soren Kierkegaard
The Gay Science: Friedrich Nietzsche
Meditation: Marcus Aurelius
Sapiens a brief History of Humankind: Yuval Noah Harari
The writer is a second-year student at the University of Jawaharlal Nehru, New Delhi. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from St. Anthony’s College, Shillong.