The will of the Force
Yabuturtle wrote: Does anyone believe that when something happens, it was because it was the will of the force? Or perhaps coincidence or both?
Was there something that happened in your life that you felt was the will of the force? Whether it was finding something, someone, spiritual enlightenment or learning a new skill? Have you always felt it was the force guiding you? If so, how and what did it feel like? Do you feel the force really does work in mysterious ways or perhaps is it more clear than we realize?
What a great question! I know my perspective contradicts others, but my answer is "yes".
I am recalling a point in my life when I was in crisis for an extended period. Amid the turmoil I was experiencing, seeming miracles seemed to occur ... leading me from one person to another, each one with something to contribute. I did not consciously arrange meetings with these specific people to occur; they just happened as a result of what unfolded as I pursued my day-to-day schedule. The timing, spontaneity, and regularity of their appearance was just too much to be coincidence. I believe I'd be a lesser person today without their influence, and I treasure their presence in my life still, even after decades.
I've never had anything sustained like that happen, with such perfect timing, before or since. I've always had the sense it was the result of a will beyond my own - something caring, kindly, and helpful. It may have been the answer to prayers offered a decade earlier ... I couldn't say for sure, but the outcome fits.
Those that require double-blind testing or subject-independent tests possibly won't be satisfied with subjective testimony like this. But, if we use the movie-themed version of the Force as an example - it is by definition something felt, something sensed. The fictional heroes repeatedly say "Reach out with your feelings," and emphasize how our experience of the Force is intertwined with our emotions. Luke, in his encounter with the dark side on on Dagobah, said "It feels cold right here." Yoda, addressing Dooku, asserted "The dark side I sense in you." Nobody in the films ever said "The needle on the Force-o-meter is off the scale." I do not think evidence is always meaningless because it is subjective.
That is my experience, at least. I hope its sharing is helpful.