No, you can’t. Next question? Oh, I see, you want me to expound on that one a bit. Well, you’re in lots of luck because that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
One of my favorite spiritual books is Dr. Michael Newton’s Journey of Souls, in which he describes how people choose the basic lineaments of their lives – the script (events that will unfold in a given life) and supporting cast of characters they will interact with – before they incarnate. And the life they subsequently live on earth is merely filling in the paint-by-numbers picture that they’ve already sketched out before they were born. Of course, there is some free will involved – the decision of whether you’ll have pizza or sushi tonight is within your compass of choices. But all the big stuff – your destiny – is unalterable. All you can do is accept it, or blow it.
That’s the only choice you have (and it’s also the reason why you can’t get your prayers and spells – such as for wealth or finding true love or curing your illness – to work: you gotta accept the big “D” first). This is what makes the much-vaunted “Secret” Law of Attraction and Positive Thinking so much male bovine fecal matter: you can have no real control or decision until you have fully accepted your destiny – i.e., have fully paid your karmic debt, the reason you were born. Only then will creative visualization (such as praying or casting spells) come true.
“The course of a warrior's destiny is unalterable ... The challenge is how far he can go within those rigid bounds, how impeccable he can be within those rigid bounds. If there are obstacles in his path, the warrior strives impeccably to overcome them. If he finds unbearable hardship and pain on his path, he weeps, but all his tears put together could not move the line of his destiny the breadth of one hair.” – Carlos Castaneda, The Eagle’s Gift
To not blow your destiny, you have to get rid of all your self-pity. A soldier in battle doesn’t moan and groan about his fate; or feel jealous of others who are luckier than he is. He just does his duty (accepts his destiny) without whining or complaining about it. That’s why spiritual seekers are called warriors. Nor will praying to God to save your butt (to provide you with an escape from your karma) help you any, because 1) God doesn’t give a damn; and 2) even if He did, if He stuck you in that situation in the first place, why would you believe He’d bail you out of it?
“All the prayers a man may offer and the good works he may do will affect the disinterested God as little as if there were neither prayers nor works, nor will God be any more compassionate or stoop down to man any more because of his prayers and works than if they were omitted.” – Meister Eckhart, About Disinterest
The “trick” to making the spiritual path work for you is to reach a place where you are looking out at the exact same landscape you see right now – of poverty, loneliness, illness, whatever – and find some sort of meaning and purpose in it, rather than trying to run away from it or crying to God to pity you. What if this – what’s going on in your life right now – is as good as it gets (as the Jack Nicholson character put it)? What if this is all there is? What are you going to do about it – commit suicide? Moan and groan? Daydream about the Lives of the Rich and Famous?
You can’t run away from your destiny (as much as people try to, especially in our frivolous society which offers so much in the way of superficial distraction). To accept your destiny means to stand your ground and take whatever life dishes out, without running away (being in some form of denial). To say, “If (fill in the blank) happened, then I would be happy”, is just postponing your happiness forever – pushing it away to a future which never comes. This sort of attitude – which is so common in our society – smacks of trying to dictate to God (as if He didn’t put you in that situation in the first place).
“When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.” – Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning