AMOR FATI / BOGDAN PETROVIĆ
Happiness at any cost!
In a simple sentence, this is the greatest curse of today.
The imperative of positivity, promoted by positive psychology and influencers in popular culture, has joined hands with the tyranny of beauty.
In other words, if you don’t radiate happiness in every moment and aspect of your life, your life is not worth living.
Furthermore, local influencers convey the message that being happy is not enough. The imperative is to be happier than others and to publicly demonstrate it.
Coaches of positive vibes, in their madness, often refer to Epicurus and his idea that pleasure is the sole purpose of life. However, it should be noted that Epicurus’ concept of value was quite different. For example, he ranked freedom highest on the hierarchy of pleasures. Thus, not happiness itself, nor material wealth or beauty.
When it comes to happiness, the Buddhists wisely say that the constant pursuit of it leads to unhappiness.
In practice, contrary to theory, positive psychology itself demonstrates the negative consequences of its pathological expansion after a few years.
Namely, while its promoters mostly profit from others’ suffering, followers searching for happiness have experienced the aforementioned Buddhist prediction because most positive psychology coaches haven’t told them that positive thinking alone won’t get them far if they lack a clear goal and the intellectual capacity or means to achieve it.
By focusing solely on happiness, as tempting as it sounds, you deprive yourself of the most important life lessons that come from difficult experiences.
Personally, I am greatly irritated by the promotion of positivity at any cost because I need my melancholy, too. For me as an artist and creator, it is the source of inspiration, and for me as a human being, it’s the source of the most important lessons. Moreover, I am convinced that the core of our authenticity lies in the courage to be imperfect and vulnerable.
As a fan of most of Nietzsche’s ideas, I would like to refer to his sentence that many have misplaced but not disputed, which says: What does not kill you makes you stronger! Although I honestly prefer the less exploited one in which Nietzsche says: To become wise, you must learn to listen to the wild dogs barking in your basement!
Both sentences essentially encapsulate the ancient idea called AMOR FATI, which literally translated from Latin means love of fate or, in other words, it conveys: Love your destiny!
Such an approach to life – accepting things even if they are bad – does not necessarily mean resigning to them, which excludes the possibility of change or improvement. Quite the opposite.
Nietzsche modernizes the concept of AMOR FATI and links it to the idea of eternal recurrence, which is most promoted today by Irvin Yalom. It is based on the belief that if we knew that we would live this same life, in the same way, a hundred times, we would rethink each of our days differently and thus create a destiny we can love.
This concept of life implies that we live freely – not in the political concept of freedom, but deeply personal.
The fear of uncertainty and change is the first thing that limits us in achieving personal freedom. In this regard, Amor Fati teaches us not to fear the future but to embrace it with an open heart. Through this acceptance, we release ourselves from fear and open the path to freedom. Amor Fati encourages us to be authentic and to live life the way we truly desire, free from external expectations and pressures, in line with our own values and goals.
Personal freedom stems from inner harmony and the acceptance of fate, which involves a balance between our inner desires and external circumstances, not simply sitting and waiting for whatever comes our way. In other words, by accepting our destiny, we achieve a balance between what we want and what we have, which is the key to personal freedom.
Through Amor Fati, we develop inner freedom by ceasing to be tied to the past, being oriented towards the future, and allowing external events to control our emotional state. This frees our mind and soul, enabling us to feel free from within.
This feeling further leads us to a free life, which essentially means taking control of your life, being the architect of your destiny and builder of your inner peace. Through conscious decisions and actions, we shape the path of our lives. Personal freedom is achieved through recognizing and accepting this responsibility – responsibility to oneself and others.
Amor Fati is a profound and inspiring concept that teaches us how to develop personal freedom through accepting fate and achieving inner harmony. This concept helps us overcome fear, be authentic, attain inner freedom and take responsibility for our lives. Amor Fati is not just a philosophical abstraction but a practical tool for achieving a deep sense of personal freedom.
Personally, thanks to embracing this idea, I started to live freely as deep as possible. Unlike my younger days when I wanted to control everything, I no longer fear uncertainty. I don’t want to be happy at any cost, nor do I desire a secure future, as it makes life conventional, and the most dangerous diseases of a conventional way of life are monotony and aging of the spirit.