Our destiny lies in our own hands, and we can make or mar ourselves. No god forbids, no god imposes; we are children of the Divine, and therefore partakers of the divine freedom of will; and in our own feeble way as only partly evolved souls, we work out our destiny. As we shape our lives, so those lives shall become: good, bad, shapely, distorted, beautiful, or ugly. We make them such. There is no fatalism in this. All Nature surrounding us is not only aiding us, but at the same time strangely enough, to a certain degree restricting us so that it gives us an opportunity to exercise our strength against opposition, which is the only way to develop a good pair of biceps!
Exercise brings out strength. If Nature gave us no chance to prove the god within us, we should never grow. Therefore Nature is not only a beauteous, helpful mother, but also a stern nurse watching over us with an infinitely compassionate eye, and insisting by her operations and reactions to what we do or follow with our own will, that this will shall grow in strength through exercise; that our understanding shall become brighter and keener through use.
The Theosophical ForumTHEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE