Do you believe love at first sight?

Would your fate be different if you were the daughter of the richest person in the world as opposed to the daughter of a 16 year old mother who leaves you at the door of a church in the middle of cold November night? Do you, my readers, ever ponder why you were born? Are you fated to be happy or unhappy? Do you want to know? These are big existential questions!

Fate means that an external agency pre-determines the finality of an event. In the evolution worldview, there is no external agency but it does incorporate the law of the survival of the fittest. In the creation worldview, the external agency is God who pre-determines which person you are going to marry or fall in love with. There is no external agency in Reincarnation worldview but there is the law of karma.

Our dramatic love story cannot do without a protagonist. Are we fated to meet the person who turns our life upside down? If you believe that God pre-determines the person whom you fall in love with, you will be regarded as romantic fatalist. Alain De Botton questions this romantic fatalistic attitude in his critically acclaimed book “Essays in Love”. In next few posts, I am going to dissect the subtle points in Essays In Love by Alain De Botton to give readers examples of how the theme we choose in constructing our love and life story will shape how we give meaning to our life and love experience. More, I shall explain how your life and love story is strongly influenced by the worldview you choose.

The opening story in “Essay in Love” is how Alain meets his beloved Chloe. They meet on a plane between Paris and London. The two national airlines, British Airways and Air France, have 6 flights between the two capitals that day. Taking into the consideration the seating capacity of the aircrafts, Alain calculates the probability of meeting Chloe on that day to be 1/989727. Based simply on math, Alain concludes the likelihood of crossing Chloe’s path is indeed minuscule. With this rationality in mind, he wonders why many people, including him in the state of falling in love, want to believe that it is their fate to meet their beloved. Isn’t it romantic to believe that the love relationship between him and Chloe was meant to happen, no matter what?

Yet, his love for Chloe does not turn out the way he wants. After the break up, he considers two rational explanations to justify why he wants to believe that meeting his beloved is not fated. First, he believes that a romantic fatalistic attitude is his excuse for not taking responsibility over his own feelings and life. Next, he concludes “my mistake was to confuse a destiny to love with a destiny to love a given person. It was the error of thinking that Chloe, rather than love was inevitable.”  (Alain De Botton, 1993) Thus, Alain concludes that what is inevitable is the desire to fall in love, not a particular person.

Assuming that the love story in the book is true or to some extent reflects Alain’s personal romantic experiences, it is no wonder that Chloe ended the relationship with Alain for a greener pasture. Since Alain’s true motive to fall for her was merely to experience love, it was his biology and psychology driving his decisions. Chloe just happened to be in the right place and at the right time in Alain’s life.

If I were him, I would tell the world that it was destiny for Chloe to come into my life to teach me what love is and to prepare me to write the book “Essay in Love” and for my future relationship(s). Of course, I will be willing to split the royalty with Chloe.

I never reject Alain’s insights about why people fall in love as his analysis has psychological merit. In CTFR, I point out that many people hide their personal responsibility behind the concept of fate. Further, I agree with Alain that many people confuse falling in love with the person and falling in love with the idea of romantic love. In this regard, Alain and I are on the same page. However, I go beyond his analysis. My personal life experiences convince me that reincarnation is true, which in turn makes me believe that karma brings us back to our past-life soulmates.

Reincarnation is the main focus in Hinduism and Buddhism. The belief of reincarnation is not a folk belief without proof. There is plausible research and evidence to support this belief system. There are number of important reincarnation researchers:  Ian Stevenson, Brain Weiss and Michael Newton. Their research supports the belief of reincarnation. In the reincarnation worldview, instant romantic impression is possible due to past life karmic connection with our soulmates.  For more information about reincarnation and karmic connection stories, I strongly recommend both Brain Weiss and Michael Newton’s publications.

For readers looking for love, ask your potential love interest if they have had any extra-sensory experiences in the course of their relationship with you?

Further Consideration:

What does fatalism mean to you?

Are you fated to meet your ex or current partner?