View Full Version : Does everything happen for a reason?


saturday
04-14-13, 02:10 PM
I have lots and lots of anxiety. One big component of my diagnosis is delusional thinking. I used to think I mainly suffered from persecutory delusions, but I've started to realize it might be further reaching than that.

Does everything happen for a reason? Do you ever try to find purpose behind even the slightest events in your life? Like, things or problems arise in life and are meant as a trial of your character?

Im trying to decide if this type of thinking is a bad thing or not. I suspect that it is a part of my illness, but yet at the same time, lots and lots of people believe things like this and they are not delusional.

I dont know how I feel about this yet, but I wanted to through it out there as a topic and see what others think.

Abi
04-14-13, 02:13 PM
absolutely nothing happens "for a reason".

the universe, our lives, all a fluke.

sarek
04-14-13, 02:18 PM
Abi, I could not disagree more. But you know that of course and you know I would say this.

Yes, I do believe everything happens for a reason. However, we should not be too quick to draw conclusions based on that fact because usually the reasons are a lot more complicated than we can comprehend.

TagEHeuer
04-14-13, 02:50 PM
Destiny makes a path for you.

saturday
04-14-13, 02:55 PM
*sigh*

ok, thanks for your replies everyone. I guess I left the topic pretty open.

***

Anyone want to help me figure out whether or not these beliefs/thoughts of mine fall into the delusional realm?

Abi
04-14-13, 03:02 PM
No, they are not "delusional".

This are a common way of "default" thinking for most people. They are, however, in my opinion, incorrect.

Edit: Though do note it may be excessive in your case due to your illness.

midnightstar
04-14-13, 03:17 PM
Personally I believe everything happens for a reason, every life is linked to everything somehow (don't ask me to explain it because tonight my brain doesn't want to cooperate with explanations!)

ana futura
04-14-13, 04:56 PM
It depends on how you define "reason". Every event that happens has a number of factors or causes that preceded the event. Every action has a reaction.

But are these actions or causes determined by something mythical force for "good" or "bad"? No.

This is a nice article on the subject-
http://progressivebuddhism.blogspot.com/2009/06/everything-happens-for-reason-macro.html

I hear it all the time; “Everything happens for a reason." It seems to be such a popular mantra for many people in the West these days. But I'm not sure they understand exactly what they mean when they say it; though for many, I believe they think it is some belief that a God creator shapes the way events unfold in life, based on the concept of good and bad, for a particular reason or purpose.

Science has shown that our reality is shaped by the nature of how the actions of all the relative objects of the universe are affected, in varying degrees, by all the other energy and objects that exist. Both Sir Isaac Newton’s Universal law of Gravity and Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity are perfect examples of how science shows us this intimate interdependency and interaction between objects and energy, even to the point of warping both space and time.

It’s a lot like a tangled ball of string, each movement on one string will, in someway, affect all the other strings; some may loosen, some may tighten and some may break. Our actions and the actions of others sometimes have consequences that stretch far beyond our ability to see or know how these karmic actions will eventually play out. In fact, everyday, all the daily activities of our life are affected by all the different actions from the world around us, preceding up to this moment. For many of us, this fact is lost since we tend view ourselves and other objects as separate unchangeable entities that persist through time and space.

malaka
04-14-13, 05:02 PM
i prefer to be skeptical than to believe we're like ants ;)
coincidences used to make me feel crazy, by the way.

ana futura
04-14-13, 05:20 PM
Anyone want to help me figure out whether or not these beliefs/thoughts of mine fall into the delusional realm?

You are right, a lot of people believe that things happen for a "REASON", and usually this belief has some sort of religious aspect.

I know a great many people who really do think God is behind many of the events of their life, but no one would consider them "delusional".

Society tends to take a more negative view of people who think things happen for a "bad" reason- but they aren't any more delusional than people who think things happen for a "good" reason.

I think the fact that you are on this forum, asking this question, shows that you have some self-awareness. I think that pretty much rules out delusion.

It is likely that your anxiety is fueling this belief a little bit, but what you describe doesn't sound very alarming.

If you experienced compulsions to alter your behavior to prevent or encourage certain outcomes, that would be more concerning.

burt125
04-14-13, 05:37 PM
if your talking about events in the present and the outcome haven't happen yet. from saying everything happens for a reason gives a positive outlook. it lets people believe in something good will come from it. is that a bad thing no, it great to have this outlook, it can give people belief and hope.

when your talking about past events where the outcome has happened. generally you would say everything happens for a reason if there was a positive outcome. when nothing positive comes from the event, only negative emotions, nothing changes, nothing new happens, nothing gets learnt, and nothing will change in the future. then you don't call those events - happened for a reason, because nothing happened. these events you generally accept as part of life. they generally get missed and left out of the umbrella over the term of - everything happens for a reason.

i think it great to say everything happens for a reason, as it gives people hope, believe and positive outlook on an event either good or bad. but sometimes i think you have to be wary, and take the responsibility or credit of your own actions. even if the event was bad or good, it was you who made it happen, you who didn't make it happen, you were there at the right place, you were late, you did it, you achieved it, you caused it. i think sometimes you do have to take credit or responsibility of your own actions.

malaka
04-14-13, 05:43 PM
yeah, sorry I guess I said BS
people have opinions and apparently i'm always in doubt...

saturday
04-14-13, 06:05 PM
Here is a more specific example of what Im questioning.

I lied to my roommate about using gas money to buy alcohol. I felt really guilty and it bothered me for several days. Four days after this I accidentaly broke my favorit vase while dusting. It felt like it was punishment for lying, or bad karma or something like that.

A short time after that I was riding my bike downtown and a homeless man was sitting on the side walk crying. I stopped and talked to him to see if there was something I could do. he told me he spent his last money on alcohol and was hungry. I gave him my energy bar and the rest of my water. This made me feel like I made up for the lie to my roommate and I was able to stop feeling guilty.

Logically, I am able to look at these events and see that they are not linked. However, I have to really focus hard on that logic because in the back of my mind part of me is saying they all happened to teach me a leason. Its really hard to fight these weird thoughts. Lots of time they overtake my reason and I just go with it because if I dont I feel like Im doing something wrong.

So because of more blatant expiriences like this, I wonder about everything, every thought of mine. Its always a god vs. bad type of thing.

ana futura
04-14-13, 06:26 PM
Do you have a therapist to talk to about this? It's good that you are able to realize that these things aren't actually linked, but it does sound like this is causing you some pain. I wouldn't call it "delusional", but it is probably attached to your disorder, and I can't imagine such thoughts are very pleasant to live with.

saturday
04-14-13, 06:33 PM
yeah, I will bring this up next time I go.

dvdnvwls
04-14-13, 07:33 PM
Please have patience with this (probably pedantic-sounding) post. I feel like there's a point to it, if you keep reading.

I think it's clear that everything happens for a reason, if you are sincerely searching for a real reason for things. For example, the vase fell because you touched it just enough to put it off balance, and when it fell it hit the floor on a weak part (probably because of the vase's centre of gravity etc); and the relative immobility of the floor, coupled with the relative brittleness of the vase, caused the vase to break instead of smashing the floor. Whatever.

The point is, the real reasons for things, the kinds of things you're thinking of, are really boring and pointless. There are no interesting, significant reasons for any of the things you're talking about.

I can't see anything wrong with having superstitious types of thoughts occasionally, in a fantasizing kind of way. (Karma etc.) I've thought of karma sometimes when I've done something stupid that was wrong, and I've thought of it again when I've done something that I was proud of having done. Hasn't everybody had that type of experience? But if it's a lot of superstitious thoughts, and if you are starting to take them seriously and act as if they're true, that's when I would get concerned.

I guess the other side of this is, if you really do believe that karma operates, and if the only thing your karma-belief does is cause you to act kindly and honestly toward others, what would be the harm in that?

If you are starting to feel that the thoughts of special reasons for things are causing trouble or messing you up, then definitely talk about it with whatever professional you have.

sarahsweets
04-15-13, 06:10 AM
Things happen for many reasons. I am usually the last f**king person to realize what those reasons are or how important they are.

malaka
04-15-13, 09:11 AM
Yeah, I guess it's an interesting topic, we need to respect other people's thoughts and conditions, try not to take it too seriously and seek help if it's disturbing you and the others.

http://i.imgur.com/2Xgz7Ef.jpg

Fuzzy12
04-15-13, 09:29 AM
I believe in cause and effect and I believe that everything has a consequence but I don't think the cause or source of an occurrence necessarily has to be meaningful, at least not in the conventional sense.

I don't know if your thoughts are delusional but I don't think so. You are aware of them and I think, that you are making this post because you know that it's unlikely that these connections exist. Maybe you would just like them to exist to feel less helpless, stronger or more in control.

I guess, there is comfort in the thought that our individual actions can change the course of the universe or have purpose and meaning. I used to make deals with the universe, destiny, God, whatever, though I don't believe in any of those things. I still try to stick to my end of those deals, mainly because I'm desperate, scared and don't know what else I could do. I think, many people have these thoughts every once in a while but it depends on the extent, frequency and impact of these thoughts. If they impair your life, disturb you or lead to unreasonable and dangerous actions, then you probably need help.

daveddd
04-15-13, 10:55 AM
I probably the last person to say what's delusional or not

But I've always believed everything happens for a reason

Especially the people I may or may not cross paths with in life

Bazinga
04-15-13, 11:23 AM
Does everything happen for a reason? Do you ever try to find purpose behind even the slightest events in your life? Like, things or problems arise in life and are meant as a trial of your character?

I'm a Christian, so yes I do believe there is a reason and purpose for everything, no matter how big or small. I do not believe in things happening by chance or coincidence.

I to try to make sense of things by trying to determine what the underlying purpose is/was/will be; I think this is part of my human nature. I don't think it's wrong, I just think it's natural.

As far as it being delusional, that's not for me to say...

dresser
04-15-13, 11:33 AM
you got it Daveddd life's a black board the lessons are there every day. I meet Assrtonomicles that are an example of what not to be like.

I believe I'ts that way to govern/keep in check our overblown arroganceses N presumtions
especially to do with interrelations ships. 'wow'? the possibility of not having any /or even much-less discrimination, anger, greed ?????? mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Lunacie
04-15-13, 12:40 PM
Here is a more specific example of what Im questioning.

I lied to my roommate about using gas money to buy alcohol. I felt really guilty and it bothered me for several days. Four days after this I accidentaly broke my favorit vase while dusting. It felt like it was punishment for lying, or bad karma or something like that.

A short time after that I was riding my bike downtown and a homeless man was sitting on the side walk crying. I stopped and talked to him to see if there was something I could do. he told me he spent his last money on alcohol and was hungry. I gave him my energy bar and the rest of my water. This made me feel like I made up for the lie to my roommate and I was able to stop feeling guilty.

Logically, I am able to look at these events and see that they are not linked. However, I have to really focus hard on that logic because in the back of my mind part of me is saying they all happened to teach me a leason. Its really hard to fight these weird thoughts. Lots of time they overtake my reason and I just go with it because if I dont I feel like Im doing something wrong.

So because of more blatant expiriences like this, I wonder about everything, every thought of mine. Its always a god vs. bad type of thing.

So, you felt guilty about lying. The guilt was eating away at you, and
eventually something unpleasant happened and ... aha, you felt that
you were being punished. You felt like you deserved to be punished.

Guilt can be channeled into making changes or reparations / apologies.

Or guilt and shame can fester, causing depression and resentment and
feelings of no self-worth.

It's up to you what you do about it when you feel guilt.

dvdnvwls
04-15-13, 12:52 PM
Hmm. Yes, I agree with Lunacie. I call it "good guilt" and "bad guilt". To me, "good guilt" is guilt that makes you feel bad until you do the right thing, and then you feel good again. If you have guilt but you still don't do the right thing, or if you do the right thing but you don't feel good afterwards, then IMO you have to change something.

emily848
04-15-13, 04:31 PM
I don't believe in "Karma," exactly, but I'm going to copy something I wrote in a different thread because it seems relevant here:

QUOTE:
My faith mainly comes from the ideas in "The Seat of the Soul" by Gary Zukav. He calls this the "Earth School" and says that we have all incarnated the parts of ourselves that we need to learn specific lessons that our spirit has set out to learn in this lifetime. Every person involved in or touched by any interaction has something to learn from it. You can't determine what someone else can learn, but you can think insightfully about what you personally can take away from it. He also says that we have each chosen all of our life circumstances because of things we want to learn.

It's not far from that view to imagine that rather than incarnating parts of an individual, we are each incarnations of parts of a cosmic whole.

That belief has helped me tremendously in casting life experiences in a positive, forward-moving way, and also trusting that things are unfolding as they are supposed to.

This is such an integral part of my life, I could give many examples, but here are a couple of big ones:

(1) I was misdiagnosed with BP II disorder over 4 years ago and spent a tortuous 2 years trying different medications that didn't work. When I finally received a correct diagnosis of ADHD, I briefly tried medications, but because I'd had such a bad experience previously, I quickly moved on to looking into lifestyle changes. That led me to discovering meditation which has improved my life in many ways. If I had never been misdiagnosed and spent those two horrible years trying incorrect medications, then I would be on ADHD medications now and would never have found the more overall fulfilling path of meditation.

(2) My wife (of 17 years) developed alcoholism which led to her spending seven weeks in an in-patient rehab facility last year. The years of her worsening alcoholism were nightmarishly painful, and I was hurt by her many times. During her recovery, I have leaned heavily on the belief that both she and I chose to experience that alcoholic path before we incarnated into this life so that we could learn and develop in specific ways. Our spirits decided that we would walk through this life side by side to help each other and learn together. If she had never developed alcoholism, then we would have both continued to drink casually and not have been forced into introspection and the search for true fulfillment that becomes necessary when inebriation is not an option. In many ways, alcoholism is a blessing because there are so many people who don't think twice about having to drink after a hard day or even just to have fun with their friends. I believe it is leading us to more fulfilling lives. My wife is still struggling, and every time she slips it hurts me terribly, but we are working toward something better and I believe very strongly that together we have the tools to get there.
END QUOTE

So, in terms of the Earth School, your higher self has a lesson to teach you about spending money on alcohol. That is a complex issue for you to explore for yourself. Until you resolve that issue, you will continue to run into problems around the issue of spending money on alcohol. Those problems will become increasingly worse until/unless you resolve the issue.

This isn't necessarily a spiritual belief, and you can leave the "higher self" part out of it. Basically, you're doomed to repeat mistakes until you learn from them.

I don't think knocking over the vase had anything to do with it. You might just be clumsy :) Maybe you need to learn to slow down and focus on what you're doing to not repeat that kind of mistake (easier said than done, of course).

slouchpotato
04-15-13, 06:53 PM
Karma as i understand means 'action' ie doing something, being active or even meditation, as long as you're doing good isn't that what matters? not all of what happens makes sense to me tho, as people who do bad keep getting rewarded for some reason?! and denial, reasoning for bad things that happen, allowing bad things to continue, tie and time again, and people that try to do the right thing get punished when they speak up or act. Confused!!! Action and consequence of action, the energy thing of everything is connected theory from Buddhism.

Andi
04-16-13, 08:41 PM
Given that the discussion is moving in and out of spiritual topics, the thread has been moved. Please keep in mind that the OP is concerned as to whether their...shall we say, preoccupation with consequences of their actions is cause for concern with their diagnosis and not necessarily looking for a discussion on spirituality.

fracturedstory
04-17-13, 05:01 AM
I've believed things happen for a reason since I was a child and still do, but I don't think this is a part of any disorder. Yes, I am a Christian and yes this does shape my view of the world and what happens in it.

So many coincidences have happened to me lately and it all has to do with breaking away from the 'causal' scientific view of mind.

I'll not go much into it but ever since opening up to the acausal view I've opened myself up to so much. Eastern rituals which once seemed odd and backwards to my Western view of the world. Other theories that complement science so that breaking things down to the very simple elements can unite with looking at things as a whole.

My mind is now open to so many things this logical thinking person once instantly rejected. And I feel so much better now that I can consider the alternative without delving too much into conspiracy theories or mysticism.

To the Western world I am delusional and disordered, in the East my preoccupation with patterns and finding meaning in the timing of events would be widely shared.

It's a great coping mechanism too. Thinking that you have to experience bad events in order for something good to come out of it.

It's up to you whether you think this line of thinking is wrong or not. Anxiety would make thinking like this more uncomfortable as it makes most things you think about uncomfortable.