“Thus I took flight from Babylon, though for what reason I did all this I cannot say; doubtless it was written in the stars before the day of my birth and was inevitable.”
Above is a quote from ‘The Egyptian’, here the main character, from whose perspective the story is told, is beginning to see the machinations of fate in his path. Fate has been a concept of the utmost importance in all great literature right through from the Iliad and the destiny of Achilles to die young but win eternal fame, to works like the Divine Comedy by Dante where he is fated to pass through the circles of Hell and levels of Heaven and live. However it appears that upon viewing life we can see that fate, or karma, or a sense of purpose is evident in our daily lives. Recently I was given a book called: ‘Beyond Coincidence’ by Martin Plimmer and Brian King. It contains numerous fascinating stories of unbelievable coincidences including one particularly extravagant one:
‘Many books, newspapers and Internet sites have catalogued the Kennedy/Lincoln coincidences…most agree on the following details:
- Lincoln was elected president in 1860. Exactly 100 years later in 1960, Kennedy was elected president.
- Both men were involved in civil rights
- Both were assassinated on Friday in the presence of their wives
- Both men were killed by a bullet that entered the head from behind
- Lincoln was killed in Ford’s Theatre. Kennedy met his death while riding in a Lincoln convertible made by Ford Motor Company.
- Both men were succeeded by vice presidents named Johnson who were southern Democrats and former senators.
- Andrew Johnson was born in 1808. Lyndon Johnson was born in 1908 exactly 100 years later.
- Both assassins were Southerners. Both were murdered before they were brought to trial.
- Boothe shot Lincoln in a theatre and fled to a barn. Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse and fled to a theatre.’
And there are more coincidences besides! Sometimes our lives are possessed with a sense of the inevitable, that things are meant to be. Places, phrases, names and characters seem (or perhaps it is merely the human mind creating the illusion of it) to echo throughout time giving us what we might call destiny. Though the Kennedy and Lincoln comparison could be seen as a negative manifestation of Fate it also has been known to create positive and happy results, in the words of Gandalf in The Lord Of The Rings: “Bilbo was meant to find the ring, which means you were also meant to find it, which is an encouraging thought,”