The final destiny of the self is the next higher self. Before that, the destiny of the self is the destiny of its various personalities (incarnations), the path the self wanders from causalization to essentialization. The self determines its destiny by itself in accordance with its individual character, department, and self-acquisitions. With each new developmental level, the self lays out its path of development by its own work at self-realization, by the general and particular trend and direction of its individual character. The number of incarnations is determined by the self through its indolence or intensity of purpose. No effort is ever wholly wasted. The greatest qualities have been developed from hopeless first attempts.
The personality (the envelopes of incarnation) is a product of the self. Every being shapes its future lives through its consciousness expressions. Every personality and its destiny are the work of the self in its previous personalities.
Destiny is the common term for the innumerable concurrent factors in the course of events. Every consciousness expression goes into that dynamic present, which to us is also the future. Every consciousness expression, together with is effects in words and actions, becomes a causal factor, a potential force, which awaits the moment of its re-action when the circumstances concerned will once again be in such a position that the balance disturbed can be restored. It can take many lives before this is possible. But it must come. And the individual never knows how and when. Our faults and merits, everything painful and pleasant, all weariness, anxiety, agony, etc. ad infinitum, are our own doing, even though others are the agents of destiny. It is by “insignificant matters” that the individual prepares his destiny. By thoughts, feelings, words, and actions, link is invisibly joined to link, to firmer and firmer links. The finest thread is twined together with new threads into an indestructible cable. And the cables are woven together into that web of causal chains which makes up the course of events. The nearer the moment of the release of the dynamic into mechanical events, the less probable is the introduction of new force factors that can alter the course of events.
from "The Philosopher's Stone" by Henry Laurency