Parabola Volume 40 No. 4, Winter 2015-2016: Free Will and Destiny

The Current Issue of ParabolaParabola Volume 40 No. 4, Winter 2015-2016: Free Will and Destiny

Parabola’s new cover depicts a woman gazing into a crystal ball. Presumably she is trying to divine the future.

Are the days and years to come foreseeable? If so, then what of free will, our apparent ability to make choices  and to influence the course of events? If our futures are determined, what does that mean for our spiritual search? How is liberation possible?

We may have a destiny to fulfill, or a fate, perhaps self-created, that’s best avoided. Is the course of our life changeable—and how can we change it?

These are some of the questions a distinguished group of authors, poets, and illustrators explore in this Winter 2015-2016 issue of Parabola. Jungian writer James Hollis begins, with guidance on how to accept our fate no matter what its form. He is joined by Sufi master Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, who speaks of his own astonishing journey to destiny, and by Parabola editor-at-large Lillian Firestone, who offers ancient teachings on how we might influence for good not only the future, but the present and the past.

What part does karma play in our lives? Advice on working with the consequences of our actions is given by Tibetan Buddhist scholar Traleg Kyabgon, while overcoming tragedy, finding one’s true path, and creating a personal mythology are other aspects of free will and destiny explored here.

There are further rewards in this issue as well, including rare leaves from the notebooks and chapbooks of Zen pioneer Paul Reps; a heartening report by Roger Lipsey on a new kind of monastery; and a reconsideration of Sleeping Beauty from a young English novelist.

We hope that you will enjoy and benefit from this new issue of Parabola. May your will be free, and your destiny blessed.

—Jeff Zaleski

Cover Description: John William Waterhouse (1849–1917), The Crystal Ball, oil on canvas, 1902

Purchase the current issue.

Table of Contents


Hakim Sanai, How can you go forward?: a twelfth-century sage points the way.

James Hollis, Amor Fati: How to embrace your life

Tracy Cochran, Part of an Ancient Story: A conversation with Sufi master Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Lillian Firestone, Can You Change Your Destiny?: Sacred teachings on repairing the future, present, and the past

Ravi Ravindra, Knowledge and Being: Uniting the wisdom of the West and the East

Hane Selmani, I Waited, I Pleaded, I MarriedAn honor killing, a life recast

Roger Lipsey, Signore: Behind the walls of a new kind of monastery

Swami Vivekananda, To Come Out of Bondage: Here lies liberation, says the teacher who brought Yoga to the West

Paul Reps, Free: Rare art and wisdom from a Western Zen pioneer

Ralph White, On the Road to Machu Picchu: A young man on a mission

Traleg Kyabgon, Working with Karma, Hope abounds in this advice from a Tibetan Buddhist adept

P.D. Ouspensky, The Wheel of Fortune: A meditation on the Tarot

Megan Whilden, Out of the Wound is Born the Gift: A conversation with African healer Sobonfu Somé

Doug Thorpe, The Road Taken: Reflections on fate and fortune

Alberto Villoldo, One Spirit: Creating a personal mythology

A.R. Orage, On Dying Daily: How to see your life and know yourself


Zeami Motokiyo, Kiyotsune | Japanese Noh. Retold by Kenneth E. Lawrence with Artwork by Kumiko Lawrence


The Highest Possibilities Are Here

Winners of the 2015 Poetry of the Sacred Contest

Sharron Singleton, I praise unsalted butter
Elisabeth Murawski, Hopkins Room, University College, Dublin
David Denny, Day Hike
Christina Hutchins, The Sun Visits a Farmers’ Market in Northern California


Rhiannon Thomas, Waking Up Aurora: Reconsidering “Sleeping Beauty”