I didn’t think I had the energy for this post today. It’s been a challenging day for me. However, I wanted to share a different perspective on the question of why we suffer. First, I must explain something. Wyrd is different from fate. Fate are fixed events measured and ruled by the deities of their respective pantheons (most popularly known are the Moirai of the Hellenic pantheon, the Fates). Wyrd is similar to fate where there are fixed events but it is more fluid and adapts to the given person’s decisions more often. Wyrd is also a thing that can be connected to others, whereby the wyrd of a single person is influenced by the wyrd of those who they are closely bonded to and vice versa.
Preface made, I have long struggled with the question of suffering. It is a question that I have wrestled with since I was a young child and dealing with the ugliness of humanity on a daily basis. Why do we suffer? Is it because the divine is displeased with us? Is it because we are flawed? Is it because we did something wrong in a past life? Is it just because there is an enormous number of people in this world who are cruel and heartless?
Well, ask someone who is suffering at a given moment and you’ll get just about any manner of answer under the sky because everyone’s suffering is different. Thus, we cycle back to the original question, why do we suffer? Suffering is a natural consequence of living. Some suffering is beneficial because it helps us to meet our goals, like ‘feeling the burn’ when you are exercising to improve your health. Some suffering is just straight up misery. The incidents that cause our suffering are morally neutral, most of the time. Influenza, for example, doesn’t have a moral alignment (unless you’re playing D&D, then ask your DM what the house rules are on that one).
Wyrd says that some incidents of suffering are fixed events, such as the suffering we endure when we are born and that which we endure when we die. Other incidents of suffering can come as natural consequence of our actions or the actions of people around us (for example, touching a hot stove will burn your hand or a bully chooses to make you miserable). There are times of suffering that are fixed events in our personal wyrd, which is both your ‘fate’ and what you make it. The fixed events are ‘fate’.
Usually, there is some kind of warning before the fixed event approaches. It has been described as nightmares of the event for a period of time before it happens. It can be an intuitive feeling prior to meeting principal agents in the event. In my experience, it is both. The fixed event comes and it feels as though living through a dream sequence, you are carried by your wyrd through the event. You then decide how you will handle the consequences of the event, be it consciously or unconsciously.
Not all fixed events are bad. Many of them are neutral and quite a few of them are pleasant. The dreams before neutral or pleasant ones are generally not nightmares but recurring along the same theme prior to the event itself. Precognitive dreams are a great example of the dreams that happen prior to a fixed wyrd event happens.
Back to suffering. Fixed event wyrd that brings suffering happens. This is ultimately a thing that is supposed to shape your character into what you are supposed to be. To use an example from my own life, I was in a nightmarishly bad relationship at the time. I was having nightmares of being hit by a tractor-trailer. My then boyfriend took me out on a date. We went to cross the street when I looked over and saw the tractor-trailer of my nightmares. I stopped walking and was then faced with a choice. I could let my boyfriend walk into the path of the truck, push him in front of the truck, or stop him. I chose to grab the back of his shirt and drag him out of the path of the truck.
That truck was terrifying. I almost died but did not because it wasn’t my time. I broke down after pulling my then boyfriend to safety, partly because he started screaming at me for ‘getting in the way’ and blaming me for the decision he had made to step in front of the truck’s path and partly because I was still shaken up and afraid. It was an event that caused me suffering. It was also an event the proved the measure of who I was at age 15. It was a fixed wyrd event that had a branching point to different fate lines, with their own fixed wyrd events.
Wyrd is a web that we move along. At each node in the web we are faced with choices. The choices will bring us closer or farther away from our goal. Some choices are unavoidable (fixed). They may be major events (see my story about the truck) or events that seem inconsequential at the time (picking up a fallen pencil at a given moment to return to the owner of said pencil). Either way, a fixed wyrd point moves one closer to the type of person they are supposed to be. Thus fixed wyrd points will almost always lead to the same pathway. They are trail markers that shows us we are on the correct path of development. Mutable wyrd are the random sidequests that can develop our character more if we choose to follow the byways that circularly bring us back to the main thread we are following. Suffering is the price of being alive. Wyrd determines the shape of it.
Originally Published: 9/20/2019