LITERATURE: The Consolation – Providence

There is a grand plan for order:

"This divine mind established the manifold rules by which all things are governed while it remained in the secure castle of its own simplicity.  When this government is regarded as  belonging to the purity of the divine mind, it is called Providence; but when it is considered with reference to the things which it moves and governs, it has from very early times been called Fate."  (Book IV, Prose 6, p. 82)

This was a bit confusing to me, as I felt Providence would be the flexible, less dependable force, while Fate, as we’ve come to know it, would be the immovable unchangeable governing force.  But as Philosophy goes on:

"For Providence embraces all things equally, however diverse they are, however infinite.  Fate, on the other hand, sets particular things in motion once they have been given their own forms, places, and times.  Thus Providence is the unfolding of temporal events as this is present to the vision of the divine mind; but this same unfolding of events as it is worked out in time is called Fate.  Although the two are different things, one depends upon the other, for the process of Fate derives from the simplicity of Providence."

Once you get beyond the (my) preconceived notions of Fate and Providence, there is the idea of a good at work that allows other influences such as Fate to bring things to change.  Here Philosophy brings in the example of a body of force (Providence) being the perfect central point, with Fate as orbiting as other spheres around this center.  The further out from the center of simplicity, the more likely Fate is to influence or direct the spheres in their orbit.  The closer to the central force, the less likely it will be influenced by Fate.

"Therefore, the changing course of Fate is to the simple stability of Providence as reasoning is to intellect, as that which is generated is to that which is, as time is to eternity, as a circle to its center."

All connected then in harmony, but going along in a path that can be beyond the reaches of perfect Providence.

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