a force that (some people think) controls what happens in the future, and is outside human control.
— from the turkish
what i like about 'kismet' is that it is not (a) god. it is a force and it doesn't have a plan, as some believers think god has. some of them even think he has an individual plan specifically FOR THEM which if you ask me, and i know you didn't, is the height of narcissism.
and what i like about kismet not being (a) god is that it doesn't care about me and what i do or don't do. that really upset me as a child, the idea that god would disapprove of what i did or didn't do and that my very right to exist was predicated on what i did or didn't do.
and what i really like about 'kismet' is that it is outside of human control.
what i don't like about the above definition (which is from the cambridge dictionary) is the word 'control' which occurs twice — in the first part of the definition 'determines' would be better, but there is a perfect word somewhere, i just can't think of it.
and in the second part what they mean with 'control' is : a human being can't influence it. it does what it does.
and so the question one might ask is : so this kismet, is it intelligent? and the answer would surely have to be, well yes and no. in any case it is not rational. ha ha so tether your camel.
but the kismet has no expectations and makes no demands, and it doesn't care about what you do or don't do and you can't do anything about it. there is an immense freedom in that.
de beauvoir and sartre had this idea called 'bad faith'. there is a long article on wikipedia about it which you can read if you want but for me what it names is exactly that aspect of religion which troubles me most. 'bad faith' describes perfectly the belief that the catholics tried to install in me at a very young age. that there is an omnipotent all seeing being that knows everything you do and don't do and that it has an opinion about it and its opinion matters. and its love is conditional. if you do what it wants it will love you. and you want to be loved by it don't you? and guess what happens if you don't do what it wants or if you do what it doesn't.
you will be lonely and unloved and then you will die and rot in hell forever.
of course the kismet is only a story too, but it is a story that illuminates something and it doesn't make you afraid, unlike the stories about gods which do and which are designed to curtail your freedom.
there endeth my sermon for today.