Ka, from Stephen King's The Dark Tower Series

Ka, from Stephen King's The Dark Tower Series

A brief look into ka and spirituality as a driving force.


The Dark Tower series written by Stephen King is hands down the best collective story that I have ever experienced. Unfortunately, I do not set aside enough time to read every week, so reading these eight long books took me a while. However, each time I sat down and started wherever I left off, I was instantly back in the world created by King (which is actually multiple worlds). The combination of sci-fi, adventure, and Western themes was fantastic. The ending of the very last book caught me off guard in the best way, and I sat with the closed book for a long time in a sort of amazed shock at the way the entire tale was pulled off.

Within the Dark Tower series exists a religion of sorts, or at least a way of understanding the worlds and how they are tied together. One thing that I always found fascinating was reading more about these beliefs, much like one would enjoy studying religions of our world. Every religion has to start somewhere, so its not much different if this one starts from Stephen King. In the books, there is a force or will called Ka. It is described as the "will of Gan," who is a godlike figure who is said to have created the universe (not entirely different than the Christian God, or even the Big Bang, one might say). I have never been one to believe in fate, mostly because it is usually referred in a "everything happens for a reason" way. In the books, though, Ka is referenced in a less self-serving and optimistic way. Ka is described as the will of Gan but is not also necessarily a force of good or evil. It has no inherent morality of its own that might represent Gan. It simply exists as an unbreakable guide that manipulates both sides, and outcomes are never known.

I find this interpretation of fate fascinating. Of course, many people now see fate in a similar way. And, I am in no way saying one should not be optimistic, hopeful, or trying to find peace by thinking "everything happens for a reason." It is just interesting to say that perhaps there is a Higher Being, or a force out there that is driving the world and keeping life in motion. The optimism can come from within ourselves, not so much from a hope that Ka, or fate will serve you. It is force that does not serve the good people more than the bad, nor does it necessarily help anyone or hurt anyone for their own good. In fact, the novels are set in a time when the worlds are nearly crumbling in space-time. Even Gan and Ka are not necessarily protecting the world.

The most interesting thing about it all, is that no matter what this belief may embody in terms of existentialism and maybe even throwing your arms up in the air and saying, "what's the point," if Ka will make it happen anyway, is that the main characters still move forward. Ka, fate, or destiny do not work if you do not continue to live. That is to say, those who will change the world may feel this force and get up and change the world. I believe that we can all find our way and feel our way towards out path if we are open to it and willing to do the searching. In the world, there are treasures and truths out there, everywhere. Ka, God, Gan, Allāh, Deva, etc can show you where to find these treasures if you truly believe in them. However, something I find common in most religions is that these treasures are not on the surface. You must dig to reach them. Your faith and passion, spiritual or otherwise, can drive you to greatness and it can help you find it, but you must dig, or work to get it. Ka, or fate are merely a path. We can all try to find our balance between acknowledging the existence of a force or path, and choosing to fight the fight and do our best with the path we are on.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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