A higher power

Published on May 6, 2019

A family friend recently passed away from a late diagnosis of stage 4 cancer. My mom, a Buddhist, believes in the concept of a past life. She believes there's no helping it if you can't achieve success or pass away from cancer. Genetics is hard to wrap her head around, and so she usefully attributes it to karmic fate. An example she gives is my dad: no matter how hard he works, he's just not meant to be wealthy. She says it like so, 50% fate 50% hard work. Both for financial success and cancer. And you can only do your best for the hard work part. 

This reminds me of Buddhism as fatalism. Most people tell me that if their fate is already decided, then there's no point to working hard. But believing in a higher power can be useful for so many people. Belief in a higher power isn't simply attributing your failures and successes to factors out of your control. It isn't just a way to fill the gaps in knowledge--like if you don't understand something, a personified higher power with intent isn't just a way to be the deux ex machina to a lack of knowledge. But I think belief in a higher power helps to let go and move on. It might provide and fulfill spiritual moments that is intrinsic to being human. I wouldn't go as far as searching for meaning in a higher power, but I imagine that others do accomplish great things because of it.