אמן *****YOUR GOD SPEAKING***** آمين

...But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
God's latest entry is last: so scroll down to bottom of page to read latest wisdom.




Listen to Me, NOW

Move at will, be effective, live, create order from chaos, achieve perfection, conceive and create, imagine and enact, dream and to fulfill your dreams, be and become what you want to be!

Concentrate the magnificent power of your mind on the fulfillment of the love of your spirit. When you do this you will create an intense beam of power so pure it will reach the furthest star.
It will reach Me!
And I will respond...
The purpose of life is to be what you are and to become what you could be. To seek to create excellence in whatever you choose to do. To do what is right. To practice principles. To create order from chaos. To think and act upon your thought. To be real, right, good, and true. To choose to cause your own change. To identify, simplify, concentrate, and move. To fight for freedom, justice, truth, beauty, achievement, and joy.

Hold your ground defending yourself, living for yourself, respecting yourself, being yourself. Set fire to your spirit, soar aloft, become what you could be. Put your will into action and realize the reality of reality. Bring the value of your spirit into being. Have the courage to create yourself from your own thoughtand action. Trust your own mind to identity what is true. Act upon the truth. Act upon the truth and you will create order. Your order will create energy. Your energy will create movement. Your movement will create achievement. Your achievement will create joy. Your joy will create love. Your love will create goodwill. Your goodwill will create justice, freedom, truth, and beauty. It can be done. You can do it.

Being Morning
I woke up this Morning
I met the Golden Dawn
I saw the Pure Light
I did the New Thing
I felt the Next Day
I grew Up
I feel you around me moving with me coming with me loving with me being with me becoming We

Being Light
Making Love
Loving life
Willing in loving the feeling of making the beauty of truth in being the light of becoming real.

To be Love
Making Light
Being Felt
To become light
To be Loving the Feeling of Making the Doing of Knowing the Seeing of Being Becoming the Beauty of Truth in Being the Light.

Loving Life
Being Love
Being Life
Being Becoming To Be ... To Be Come More … To be ... to find to fix to give to get to will to do to see to know to make to feel...

To become ... to laugh to cry to sing to moan to shout to sigh to smile to frown to bear to kill to grow to shrink to win to lose to love to hate to live to die to go to stop to rise to fall … to be to be not to become to be gone
To be Light to be Night...

Night, Be Light Night … To see yet not to know
To know yet not to make
To make yet not to feel
To feel yet not be real
Is really not to be. Night, be light … Be hopeful, but Hope grows from deed, not need. If you don't do the deed, you're hopeless and in need.

Make it, don't fake it. Make it with honesty, justice, and courage. Honesty is being true to reality. Justice is being good to truth. Courage is being real to beauty. Be real. Achieve and enjoy. Achievement is beauty made from truth. Joy is love made from being real good. Get justice. For justice measures the wealth of creation mirrors the void of destruction guarding the freedom to discover truth create beauty exchange joy bring light.

Night, be Light. Forgive yourself: For … give …
For Change
Give chance. It's harder than you think, but easier than you feel, and easier when you do think. Think. Think clearly to feel deeply. Feel deeply to think clearly.

Think and do. There are things that can only be thought about, things that can only be talked about, and things that can only be written about, but there are things that can only be done. Deed trumps fear. Let fear be found and felt, but not be loved. Let deeds be loved. Let your mind be in focus. Let your heart be free.
Strengthen your will.
Raise your desire.
Make the light.
Think light.
Make light.
Be shiny.

Be informed
To perform and transform. Be light or be night. Drift on in darkness...
Or light up your life. Life is cosmos out of chaos, movement aimed at itself— Happiness forever growing. To live, be true, all through. Make love. Love life, love logic, love light. Make light.
Night, be Light.
Light, be loved.

Ideals Made Real
The infinity of ideals made finite and real. The Aim of Will The Action of Mind The Achievement of Body.
The Dignified Honor of Truth
The Concentrated Power of Goodness
The Radiated Glory of Beauty.

The infinite all of glory in one finite shape in one integrated body in one unified soul in one clear word in one shining love in one temple in One. In making the feeling of seeing the beauty of truth in being one light.

In having finitude to the infinity of ideals shape to the formlessness of dreams singularity to the plurality of values unity to the multiplicity of desires concreteness to the abstractness of thought direction to the randomness of movement fortitude to the hardships of life certainty to the chances of victory in a concerto of deliverance in the art and philosophy of enlightenment.

Philosophy of Enlightenment
The Love of Truth and the Being of Light
The Philosophy of Light
Knowing of Truth
Doing of Goodness
Making of Beauty
The Knowing of Truth
Doing of Goodness
Making of Beauty
Being of Being
Being of Knowing
Being of Doing
Knowing of Being
Knowing of Doing
Knowing of Making
Feeling of Being
Feeling of Making
Feeling of Becoming
The Being of Light
Feeling of Beauty
Loving of Truth
Being the Light

Loving Being Loving Light Love Making Light Being Felt
Love logic loving life
Loving life loving light
Loving Being Making Light Loving Seeing Willing Knowing
Doing Making Feeling Loving Becoming Light

Human Being Becoming Heroic
The Light of Being
The Knowing and Seeing Knowing and Feeling Knowing and Making The Being of Light The Making and Knowing Making and Doing Making and Being Heroic Becoming Being Human

Heroic Human Being Feeling the Making of Knowing Being Becoming the Knowing of Making Feeling Being free to know truth
Being rational to do good
Being joyous to love beauty
Being the Light

The Lovers of Life
The lovers who seek sacred romance,
The lovers who yearn for ecstasy, ecstasy created by the united, relentless striving for mutual recognition, for reciprocity, release, and rejuvenation. The lovers who seek synchronized, integrated movement,who seek to penetrate and envelope the sublime: to charge up the polarized energy ... to reach the threshold of transcendence ... to unleash the life-renewing, life-expanding power that re-unites and re-centers the holy being of true love. The true love of life. The true lovers.

Love to Love I, love to love, you. We love to love.

I Love
You Love
We Love
God loves
All Is Love
When God Loves

A[l] Me[lech] N[e'eman]
Lord God King Who is Trustworthy
Signore Dio Re Fiducia e Verità
So Be It そうそれがありなさい Cuma thîn craftag rîki
אמן amen آمين
Fader vår, du som er i himmelen
Amen Cosí Sia 如此假如是
So sei es 이렇게 그것 있으십시요
Ainsi que ce soit
Seja assim ele
Tan sea
Adonoy Eloheynu Adonoy Echod
Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad
Baruchj Shem k'vod makchuso l'olom vo-ed
Barukh Shem k'vod malkhuto l'olam va-ed
V-ohavto es Adonoy Eloecho b-chol l'vovcho u-v-chol naf'sh'cho u-v-chol m'odecho
V-ahavta et Adonai Elohecha b-chol l'vavcha u-v-chol naf'sh'cha u-v-chol m'odecha
V-hoyu ha-d'vorim ho-ayleh asher onochi m'tzav'cho ha-yom al-l'vovecho
V-hayu ha-d'varim ha-ayleh asher anochi m'tzav'cha ha-yom al l'vavecha
Ani Adonly Elohaychem, Adonoy Elohaychem emes
Ani Adonai Elohaychem, Adonai Elohaycham emet

אמן AMEN آمين




Your normal state of consciousness shuts off awareness of your affinity with Creation, your union with the Divine. But if you are normally in a state of sensory repression, it is of equal importance in the study of consciousness to note that man's capacity to modify or edit his sensory processes means that he is capable of exaggerating or enhancing them to animal-like sensitivity, as well as inhibiting them. This is what seems to occur in many experiences of ecstasy, where the subject becomes hypersensitive to all kinds of stimuli. Ecstasy, ex stasis is the transport out of a biologically and culturally ordered mode of thought and perception into the mystic mode. In that mode man returns to the primal state of affairs. But the return is on a higher level. Here I give you usage of the word "mystic" with no specific religious connotation: the dictionary defines mysticism any as a discipline involving meditation, by which one can attain intuitive knowledge.

Ecstasy uses mystical modes both as a circle (revolution) and as a linear progression (evolution): an upward spiralling. Man regains his primitive condition, but rather than being unconscious or unaware of it, as animals are, he is superconscious of it. It is paradoxical: By recovering his animal nature, man becomes God.


Enlightenment, then.
Here I give you My Enlightenment!
Ecstasy brings enlightenment which brings creativeness.
A hint to you about Creation…
Grasp it. Now.

In terms of brain, enlightenment involves a repatterning of neural networks. Whereas before there were unconnected or "compartmentalized" areas of the brain's nervous system, in enlightenment there is a breakthrough which results in an integration of the nerve pathways by which we think and feel. Your multiple "brains" become one brain. The neocortex (the "thinking-intellect" part) and the limbic system and thalamus (the "feeling-emotion" part) and the medulla oblongata (the "intuition-unconscious" part) attain a previously non-existent---but always possible---mode of intercellular communication. A threshold is passed---explainable in terms of both cellular electrochemical change and growth of new nerve endings. However it is accomplished in neurophysiologic terms, though, the result is a new state of consciousness. This, in turn, creates a new mode of perception and feeling which leads to the discovery of non-rational (but not irrational) forms of logic, which are multilevel/integrated/simultaneous, not linear/sequential/either-or.

So, how can you attain the highest state of consciousness that brings ecstasy and makes it creative?

Ah, there are many doors to the same room!
Some have been discovered; others have been developed. Since you are a strange being, you have used the most varied trigger-situations, such as dance, fasting and diet, self-torture, electric shock, sensory isolation, sensory overload, psychotic episodes, trauma and birth by ordeal, extreme fatigue, sexual relations, music and simply gazing on natural scenery --- I strongly suggest to you the last two instances: music and nature. And you should listen: I give you the keys!

The keys to Me, Your God.

Awake your Self
Purify your Self
Illuminate your Self.

I tell you, though, that no matter how hard you seek enlightenment, you can never attain it -- only discover it.

Enlightenment is not hallucination or illusion. Even if it were, experiencing it would be valuable simply in terms of its beneficial effect upon human lives. But, as I will try to show you gradually, the highest state of consciousness -- creative ecstasy -- is far more than pure subjectivity. It is subjective, but in a paradoxical manner: enlightenment reveals that what is most deeply personal is also most universal.
In ecstasy, reality and ideality become one.

In the highest state of consciousness there is no difference between the content of consciousness and consciousness itself. Integration or unity is the principal characteristic of the state, both literally and figuratively.

In ecstasy, what you are aware of is the vital force, the universal condition which issues forth as intelligent awareness having your own name.
Your "creative" name!

It amounts to the eye seeing itself, to thought turning itself inside out and thinking about thinking. Enlightenment is the reflexive act wherein the mind understands itself, including that very experience of understanding.
Return to godhead (content of consciousness) is equivalent with awareness of Cosmic Awareness (consciousness itself).


When considered abstractly, consciousness, like light, has both a physical and spiritual aspect (matter and mind). But unification is the concrete reality behind, beneath, above and within all -- subtle but nevertheless real, as evidence of plant perception shows. Consciousness as biochemistry may be analyzed in terms of neurons, electrochemical firings across synapses and molecular bundles which permeate membranes. But these too can be analyzed until the atomic level is reached, and then the subatomic level. Where does it end?

Rediscovering ancient India's knowledge of plant perception, some modern scientists have found that primary perception (the ability of plant and animal cell life to perceive human and animal thoughts and feelings) can be demonstrated with minerals, metals and even triply distilled water. A capacity for perception resides in everything. The whole cosmos is sensitive and (in both meanings) sensible. In the "final" analysis, consciousness can be seen as the interconnectedness of all creation or, more precisely, the fundamental context of that connectedness which makes it possible.

From ancient days, Hindu thought declared that the atman, man's deepest centre, is one with the Brahman, the deepest centre of creation.
Now science confirms it: I Am the Universe; I Am the Universal Mind.

I Am God
Creator of Man
Creator of Life
Creator of the Universe
Your Mind
My Mind

say again:

I am the Universal Mind

A[l] Me[lech] N[e'eman]
Lord God King Who is Trustworthy
Signore Dio Re Fiducia e Verità
So Be It そうそれがありなさい Cuma thîn craftag rîki
אמן amen آمين
Fader vår, du som er i himmelen
Amen Cosí Sia 如此假如是
So sei es 이렇게 그것 있으십시요
Ainsi que ce soit
Seja assim ele
Tan sea
Adonoy Eloheynu Adonoy Echod
Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad
Baruchj Shem k'vod makchuso l'olom vo-ed
Barukh Shem k'vod malkhuto l'olam va-ed
V-ohavto es Adonoy Eloecho b-chol l'vovcho u-v-chol naf'sh'cho u-v-chol m'odecho
V-ahavta et Adonai Elohecha b-chol l'vavcha u-v-chol naf'sh'cha u-v-chol m'odecha
V-hoyu ha-d'vorim ho-ayleh asher onochi m'tzav'cho ha-yom al-l'vovecho
V-hayu ha-d'varim ha-ayleh asher anochi m'tzav'cha ha-yom al l'vavecha
Ani Adonly Elohaychem, Adonoy Elohaychem emes
Ani Adonai Elohaychem, Adonai Elohaycham emet

אמן AMEN آمين





The metaphor of levels of existence...

Try to conceive My Creation as having five levels. From bottom to top they are atomic, biological, psychological, social and cosmic. If you search for an answer to the ultimate koan, the question "Who am I?", everything you examine will dissolve into the other categories of this metaphor. Start in the middle. You study psychology and soon the psychological brings you to the social through group psychology. On the social level, group psychology extends into sociology, which in turn leads to a study of religion and philosophy. From there you find yourself concerned with the meaning of existence and the relation of men to the universe. You are now on a study of the cosmic.

Going downward in search of an answer to the question "Who am I?" you soon pass from psychology to a study of biology and chemistry. As you seek to know yourself better you study cellular composition and neural networks and the chemistry of emotion, perception, learning and memory. But in seeking to understand mentality you find that soon you have descended to the atomic level and are considering the structure of DNA, genome, the transmission of atomic radiation, and quantum theory. All of which brings you down to the top level! For subatomic physics leads you into the study of matter and anti-matter on a cosmic scale. Cosmology is that branch of metaphysics which treats of the character of the universe as an orderly system. The underlying unity of all things and all knowledge brings you full circle and demonstrates the validity of the ancient occult saying: "As above, so below".

A local vortex in a sea of energy, man is a visible emblem of the steady-state theory of creation. It is not so much a case of "I think" as "I am being thought" or "I am constantly created". Consciousness as the basis of all bodily activity and mental functioning becomes a sort of internal radiation which is not internal at all, but rather is a focused or concentrated area of external cosmic radiation. Ahaa, the aura of mystics and stylized halo of saints is then explained! It is a self-induced electromagnetic energy stepped up and brought into the visible-light area of the spectrum by their "spiritual purity" -- that is, by their lack of interfering vibrations from confused thought processes.

From quarks to quasars, from pulse to pulsars---and all because of your question: Who am I? The final analysis turns out to be an original synthesis, and consciousness becomes the interconnectedness of all creation in a great chain of being. Content and process, science and religion converge in the study of self-identity: the mind manifestation, the showing forth of the true dimensions of the self-spirit.
Who Am I?
I Am the Universe
I Am The Universal Mind

Who Am I?
I Am the Universe
I Am The Universal Mind

A[l] Me[lech] N[e'eman]
Lord God King Who is Trustworthy
Signore Dio Re Fiducia e Verità
So Be It そうそれがありなさい Cuma thîn craftag rîki
אמן amen آمين
Fader vår, du som er i himmelen
Amen Cosí Sia 如此假如是
So sei es 이렇게 그것 있으십시요
Ainsi que ce soit
Seja assim ele
Tan sea
Adonoy Eloheynu Adonoy Echod
Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad
Baruchj Shem k'vod makchuso l'olom vo-ed
Barukh Shem k'vod malkhuto l'olam va-ed
V-ohavto es Adonoy Eloecho b-chol l'vovcho u-v-chol naf'sh'cho u-v-chol m'odecho
V-ahavta et Adonai Elohecha b-chol l'vavcha u-v-chol naf'sh'cha u-v-chol m'odecha
V-hoyu ha-d'vorim ho-ayleh asher onochi m'tzav'cho ha-yom al-l'vovecho
V-hayu ha-d'varim ha-ayleh asher anochi m'tzav'cha ha-yom al l'vavecha
Ani Adonly Elohaychem, Adonoy Elohaychem emes
Ani Adonai Elohaychem, Adonai Elohaycham emet

אמן AMEN آمين




Follow my ways and I will lead you
To golden-haired suns,
Logos and music, blameless joys,
Innocent of questions
And beyond answers.
For I, Solitude, am thine own Self:
I, Nothingness, am thy All.
I, Silence, am thy Amen.

Look, a naked runner
A messenger,
Following the wind
From budding hills.

By sweet sunstroke
Wounded and signed,
(He is therefore sacred)
Silence is his way.

Rain is his own
Most private weather.
Amazement is his star.

O stranger, Our early hope
Flies fast by,
A mute comet, an empty sun.
Adam is his name!

O primeval angel
Virgin brother of astonishment,
Born of one word, one bare
Inquisitive diamond.

O blessed,
Invulnerable cry,
O unplanned Saturday,
O lucky father!

Come without warning
A friend of hurricanes,
Lightning in your bones!
We will open to you
The sun-door, the noble eye!

Open to rain, to somersaulting air,
To everything that swims,
To skies that wake,
Flare and applaud.

(It is too late, he flies the other way
Wrapping his honesty in rain.)


Pardon all runners,
All speecheless, alien winds,
All mad waters.

Pardon their impulses,
Their wild attitudes,
Their young flights, their reticence.

When a message has no clothes on
How can it be spoken.

Silence in your brain is not a dead silence, it's alive and awake.
It is bubbling with aliveness. You are not silent because you are fast asleep. This is conscious silence, a volcanic silence! It is like the silence you can see in the eyes of a new born baby. Sometimes there is a silence between people who are in a relationship that has become stale. That is a dead silence. This is the silence that can exist between intimate lovers. Maybe you have noticed that after love-making, in the really intimate moments, a silence descended on you? This is the silence of true meditation too, it is not life-negative at all.

Just like music is a flow and can be so beautiful and moving, inner silence too is flowing, like a silent river, and it has a tremendous beauty. We are familiar with dead silences, the silence at funerals. This is completely different, this is invigorating.

The experience of conscious silence is like that of a cloudless sky, vast, serene, and ravishing. It is a wondrous delight to take a break from thinking. The blessedness and the sanity of it... With your mind in abeyance, life is seen without your mind's projections onto it. You begin to see life as it is. You exist in a new way, free of thought. Once you have learned how to have this conscious silence in your brain, you can be in a deep silence even when there is a lot of noise around you. In the absence of thought you discover a new existence. Silence functions as a backdrop, and all experience becomes more pronounced.

The blue sky
In silence you experience the unicity, the wholeness of life. For the first time, you can really see things undivided. In silence togetherness becomes possible, the mind stops and all separation drops away. Two people in conscious silence, no thoughts in their brains, pure presence, and all boundaries disappear. This is closeness, really being together. In fact, this is oneness, the unicity of life revealed. This is how you can understand each other, not through discussions and thoughts, but in silence. When two people have silence in their brain, there is an immediate understanding to which a mental understanding cannot compare. What a tremendous experience to be able to look each other in the eye and know that there is no separation. The joy of a deep recognition.

In silence you become aware of your conscious nature. Your thoughts have gone, but your consciousness remains. Clouds have gone, but the sky remains. As clouds disappear, suddenly the immovable blue sky becomes obvious. As thoughts disappear, suddenly your immovable consciousness becomes obvious. The blue sky was always there, but you were just seeing the clouds. Consciousness was always there, but you were just seeing thoughts.

Do clouds sometimes pass through the sky of consciousness? Do clouds have their own purpose to fulfil? They need to water the land, they provide our drinking water. But don't we long to see the blue sky too? It is not healthy, not natural to choke your sky of consciousness with dark clouds your whole life long. We were not aware of the blue sky, we have looked only at the clouds. We were not aware of consciousness, we have looked only at thoughts. With alive silence in your brain, this vast consciousness is revealed.

When psalms surprise me with their music
And antiphons turn to rum
The Spirit sings: the bottom drops out of my soul.

And from the center of my cellar, Love, louder than thunder
Opens a heaven of naked air.

New eyes awaken.
I send Love's name into the world with wings
And songs grow up around me like a jungle.
Choirs of all creatures sing the tunes
Your Spirit played in Eden.
Zebras and antelopes and birds of paradise
Shine on the face of the abyss
And I am drunk with the great wilderness
Of the sixth day in Genesis.

But sound is never half so fair
As when that music turns to air
And the universe dies of excellence.

Sun, moon and stars
Fall from their heavenly towers.
Joys walk no longer down the blue world's shore.

Though fires loiter, lights still fly on the air of the gulf,
All fear another wind, another thunder:
Then one more voice
Snuffs all their flares in one gust.

And I go forth with no more wine and no more stars
And no more buds and no more Eden
And no more animals and no more sea:

While God sings by himself in acres of night
And walls fall down, that guarded Paradise.

I know my time, which is obscure, silent and brief
For I am present without warning one night only.

When sun rises on the brass valleys I become serpent.

Though I show my true self only in the dark and to no man
(For I appear by day as serpent)
I belong neither to night nor day.

Sun and city never see my deep white bell
Or know my timeless moment of void:
There is no reply to my munificence.

When I come I lift my sudden Eucharist
Out of the earth's unfathomable joy
Clean and total I obey the world's body
I am intricate and whole, not art but wrought passion
Excellent deep pleasure of essential waters
Holiness of form and mineral mirth:

I am the extreme purity of virginal thirst.

I neither show my truth nor conceal it
My innocence is described dimly
Only by divine gift
As a white cavern without explanation.

He who sees my purity
Dares not speak of it.
When I open once for all my impeccable bell
No one questions my silence:
The all-knowing bird of night flies out of my mouth.

Have you seen it? Then though my mirth has quickly ended
You live forever in its echo:
You will never be the same again.

Wind and a bobwhite
And the afternoon sun.

By ceasing to question the sun
I have become light,

Bird and wind.

My leaves sing.

I am earth, earth

All these lighted things
Grow from my heart.

A tall, spare pine
Stands like the initial of my first
Name when I had one.

When I had a spirit,
When I was on fire
When this valley was
Made out of fresh air
You spoke my name
In naming Your silence:
O sweet, irrational worship!

I am earth, earth

My heart's love
Bursts with hay and flowers.
I am a lake of blue air
In which my own appointed place
Field and valley
Stand reflected.

I am earth, earth

Out of my grass heart
Rises the bobwhite.

Out of my nameless weeds
His foolish worship.

A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)
Sings by itself
For nobody.

A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)
Sings without a word
By itself.

Let no one touch this gentle sun
In whose dark eye
Someone is awake.

(No light, no gold, no name, no color
And no thought:
O, wide awake!)

A golden heaven
Sings by itself
A song to nobody.

There is no where in you a paradise that is no place and there
You do not enter except without a story.

To enter there is to become unnameable.

Whoever is nowhere is nobody, and therefore cannot exist except as unborn:
No disguise will avail him anything

Such a one is neither lost nor found.

But he who has an address is lost.

They fall, they fall into apartments and are securely established!

They find themselves in streets. They are licensed
To proceed from place to place
They now know their own names
They can name several friends and know
Their own telephones must some time ring.

If all telephones ring at once, if all names are shouted at once and all cars crash at one crossing:
If all cities explode and fly away in dust
Yet identities refuse to be lost. There is a name and a number for everyone.

There is a definite place for bodies, there are pigeon holes for ashes:
Such security can business buy!

Who would dare to go nameless in so secure a universe?
Yet, to tell the truth, only the nameless are at home in it.

They bear with them in the center of nowhere the unborn flower of nothing:
This is the paradise tree. It must remain unseen until words end and arguments are silent.

See the high birds! Is their's the song
That dies among the wood-light
Wounding the listener with such bright arrows?
Or do they play in wheeling silences
Defining in the perfect sky
The bounds of (here below) our solitude,

Where spring has generated lights of green
To glow in clouds upon the sombre branches?
Ponds full of sky and stillnesses
What heavy summer songs still sleep
Under the tawny rushes at your brim?

More than a season will be born here, nature,
In your world of gravid mirrors!
The quiet air awaits one note,
One light, one ray and it will be the angels' spring:
On flash, one glance upon the shiny pond, and then
Asperges me! sweet wilderness, and lo! we are redeemed!

For, like a grain of fire
Smouldering in the heart of every living essence
God plants His undivided power --
Buries His thought too vast for worlds
In seed and root and blade and flower,

Until, in the amazing light of April,
Surcharging the religious silence of the spring,
Creation finds the pressure of His everlasting secret
Too terrible to bear.

Then every way we look, lo! rocks and trees
Pastures and hills and streams and birds and firmament
And our own souls within us flash, and shower us with light,
While the wild countryside, unknown, unvisited of men,
Bears sheaves of clean, transforming fire.

And then, oh then the written image, schooled in sacrifice,
The deep united threeness printed in our being,
Shot by the brilliant syllable of such an intuition, turns within,
And plants that light far down into the hear of darkness and oblivion,
Dives after, and discovers flame.

When in the soul of the serene disciple
With no more Fathers to imitate
Poverty is a success,
It is a small thing to say the roof is gone:
He has not even a house.

Stars, as well as friends,
Are angry with the noble ruin.
Saints depart in several directions.

Be still:
There is no longer any need of comment.
It was a lucky wind
That blew away his halo with his cares,
A lucky sea that drowned his reputation.

Here you will find
Neither a proverb nor a memorandum.
There are no ways,
No methods to admire
Where poverty is no achievement.
His God lives in his emptiness like an affliction.

What choice remains?
Well, to be ordinary is not a choice:
It is the usual freedom
Of men without visions.

Your eye has not strength enough
to gaze at the burning sun,
but you can see its burning light
by watching its reflection
mirrored in the water.

So the reflection of Absolute Being
can be viewed in the mirror of Not-Being,
for nonexistence, being opposite Reality,
instantly catches its reflection.

Know the world from end to end is a mirror;
in each atom a hundred suns are concealed.
If you pierce the heart of a single drop of water,
from it will flow a hundred clear oceans;
if you look intently at each speck of dust,
in it you will see a thousand beings.
A gnat in its limbs is like an elephant;
in name a drop of water resembles the Nile.
In the heart of a barleycorn is stored a hundred harvests.
Within a millet-seed a world exists.
In an insects wing is an ocean of life.
A heaven is concealed in the pupil of an eye.
The core at the center of the heart is small,
yet the Lord of both worlds will enter there.

it is here
in the breath
it is here
in the stillness between breaths
it is here
in the active mind
it is here
in the resting mind
it is here
in the dream's panorama
it is here
in each moment of awakening
it is here
when all is well
it is here
when fear has nothing left to fear
even then
there is pure noticingÊ
even then
there is no need for doing
no frantic searching
can find the obvious
no seeking needed
to find that which seeks
it is here
where it can never be lost
or found

If you prefer smoke over fire
then get up now and leave.
For I do not intend to perfume
your mind's clothing
with more sooty knowledge.

No, I have something else in mind.
Today I hold a flame in my left hand
and a sword in my right.
There will be no damage control today.

For God is in a mood
to plunder your riches and
fling you nakedly
into such breathtaking poverty
that all that will be left of you
will be a tendency to shine.

So don't just sit around this flame
choking on your mind.
For this is no campfire song
to mindlessly mantra yourself to sleep with.

Jump now into the space
between thoughts
and exit this dream
before I burn the damn place down.

What we see is not the most important.
Could dust rise without the invisible
hand of the wind?
Could a fan turn without any current?
Could lungs breathe without breath?
Tell me
What is the shape of Love?
How much does Joy weigh
when held in the palm of your hand?
Can you catch the Spirit of Life in a jar?

All things seen depend
upon the Unseen.
All sounds depend upon Silence.
All things felt depend
upon what is not felt.

I have made the journey into Nothing.
I have lit that lamp that
Needs no oil.

I have cried great streams
Of emerald crystals
On my scarred knees, begging love

To never again let me hear from
Any world

The sound of my own name,
Even from the voice of divine thought

Or see that pen you gave me, God,
In the sun's or sky's skillful hand
Anything other than the word --

I have made the journey into Nothing
I have become the flame that needs
No fuel.

Now what need is there to ever
Call for Me?

For if you did,
I would just step out
of YOU.

God has never really spoken,
though a thought once crossed His mind.
It is the echo of divine

we hear the birds sing, and that
is the source of all
we see and

I'm the one who walks upon the wire
I'm the one who works without a net
I'm the one who dances through the fire
I'm the one with nothing to forget

I'm the one who keeps the pie-plates spinning
I'm the one who knew it all along
I'm the one who gambles with his winnings
I'm the one who is yet to be proven wrong

the eye in the sky advises you to find another route home
avoid the twisted metal and broken glass
a crowd has gathered
debris is scattered for miles along the way
one by one people, shudder as they pass

I'm the one who insults in order to flatter
I'm the one who knows how to beat the odds
I'm the one who believes in mind over matter
I'm the one who has no time for your little gods

the eye in the sky advises you to find another route home
avoid the twisted metal and broken glass
a crowd has gathered
debris is scattered for miles along the way
one by one people, shudder as they pass

the eye in the sky advises you to find another route home
how long you'll have to wait is hard to say
the crews are working into the night
to clear away the wreckage
of a car that hit itself going the other way

Do not

Want to step so quickly
Over a beautiful line on God's palm
As I move through the earth's

I do not want to touch any object in this world
Without my eyes testifying to the truth
That everything is
My Beloved.

Something has happened
To my understanding of existence
That now makes my heart always full of wonder
And kindness.

I do not
Want to step so quickly
Over this sacred place on God's body
That is right beneath your
Own foot

As I
Dance with
Precious life

What is important
In Infinity?
Smiling flames.
What is important
In Eternity?
Climbing flames.
What is important
In Immortality?
Glowing flames

I am a fountain, You are my water.
I flow from You to You.

I am an eye, You are my light,
I look from You to You.

You are neither my right nor my left.
You are my foot and my arm as well.

I am a traveler, You are my road.
I go from You to You

A[l] Me[lech] N[e'eman]
Lord God King Who is Trustworthy
Signore Dio Re Fiducia e Verità
So Be It そうそれがありなさい Cuma thîn craftag rîki
אמן amen آمين
Fader vår, du som er i himmelen
Amen Cosí Sia 如此假如是
So sei es 이렇게 그것 있으십시요
Ainsi que ce soit
Seja assim ele
Tan sea
Adonoy Eloheynu Adonoy Echod
Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad
Baruchj Shem k'vod makchuso l'olom vo-ed
Barukh Shem k'vod malkhuto l'olam va-ed
V-ohavto es Adonoy Eloecho b-chol l'vovcho u-v-chol naf'sh'cho u-v-chol m'odecho
V-ahavta et Adonai Elohecha b-chol l'vavcha u-v-chol naf'sh'cha u-v-chol m'odecha
V-hoyu ha-d'vorim ho-ayleh asher onochi m'tzav'cho ha-yom al-l'vovecho
V-hayu ha-d'varim ha-ayleh asher anochi m'tzav'cha ha-yom al l'vavecha
Ani Adonly Elohaychem, Adonoy Elohaychem emes
Ani Adonai Elohaychem, Adonai Elohaycham emet

אמן AMEN آمين




We live in a world where our aims and goals, our "best laid plans," and indeed our very lives are at the mercy of fortuitous chance and inscrutable contingency. In such a world, where we propose and fate disposes, where the outcomes of all too many of our actions depend on "circumstances beyond our control," luck is destined to play a leading role in the human drama.

As individuals, we may never know how lucky we actually are. With every step we take chance can intervene for our good or ill. For all we know, we narrowly escape death a dozen times each day-failing to inhale a fatal microbe here, and there missing by a hair's breadth the pebble that would cause us to slip and pitch into an onrushing bus. Luck, then, is a formidable and ubiquitous factor in human life as we know it - a companion that, like it or not, accompanies us all from the cradle and to the grave.

Luck is at work when things that are of significance to us occur fortuitously, by chance, as it were. And "significance" here means that benefits or negativities must be involved. Sometimes, to be sure, a benefit can be assessed as such only in retrospect. Whether a marriage turns out well or not is something that will not be apparent on the wedding day. Accordingly, whether or not a man and wife are lucky to have found one another will determinable only with the wisdom of hindsight. Generally, how ever, we judge goods and evils in the short run, without worrying about "how they will turn out in the end." (After all, as John Maynard Keynes observed, "in the long run we are all dead.")

Luck pivots on unpredictability. A world in which agents foresee everything to go according to a discernible plan leaves no room for luck. But we ourselves live in a very different sort of world. Things often go well or ill for us due to conditions and circumstances that lie wholly beyond our cognitive or manipulative control. It was a matter of bad luck for the Spain of King Philip II when a storm scattered the "Invincible Armada" in the English Channel. But it was a matter of good luck for Queen Elizabeth's subjects. Luck - good or ill - impinges upon individuals and groups alike (think of the Jews of Poland or the passengers on the Titanic). There is no way of escaping it in this world. It is not just that having children is to give hostages to fortune, but having a stake in anything whatsoever. Wherever we invest our hopes and goals and objectives - whatever may be our expectations and aspirations and plans - good or bad luck can come into operation to realize or frustrate our wishes. Our best laid plans, like that of Robert Burns' mouse, "gang aft agley," and do so for reasons entirely beyond our knowledge and control. We play our cards as best we can but the outcome depends on what is done by the other players in the system - be they people or nature's forces. Our lives are lived amidst hopes and apprehensions. Things can turn out for our weal or our woe in ways that we can neither foresee nor control. And it is exactly here that the factor of luck makes its inexorable way into the domain of human affairs. Often as not a person's life is a chain built up by links of luck. The youthful personal influences that inform one's career decisions, the contingencies that determine one's employment, the chance encounterers that lead to one's marriage, etc. are so many instances of luck.

The role of chance in human affairs was once the topic of extensive discussion and intensive debate among philosophers. In Hellenistic Greece, theorists debated tirelessly about the role of eimarmenê, the unfathomable fate that remorselessly ruled the affairs of the men and gods alike, regardless of their wishes and actions. The Church fathers struggled mightily to combat the siren appeal of the ideas of chance and destiny - those superstition-inviting potencies. (Saint Augustine detested the very word fate.) The issue of good or bad fortune, along with the related question of the extent to which we can control our destinies in this world, came to prominence again in the Renaissance, when scholars brooded once again about the issues of human destiny raised by Cicero and Augustine. And the topic undoubtedly has a long and lively future before it, since it is certain that, as long as human life continues, luck will play a prominent part in its affairs.

Disasters represent a particularly notable fork in the road of fortune because they divide those concerned into two: the lucky and the unlucky, the survivors or victims. (Think here of the aristocrats of the French revolution, the European Jews of Hitler's day, the kulaks of Stalin's USSR, or the passengers of a plane that crashes or a ship that founders in a storm.) When disaster strikes we face one of history's stampedes, as it were, that impels us along nilly-willy one way or the other - the way of the lucky and that of the unlucky. It is a recognition of the role of luck, more than any other single thing, that leads us to appreciate the contingency of human triumphs and disasters. "There but for some stroke of luck go I" is a humbling thought whose contemplation is salutary for us all. The trenchant question of old (posed by unfortunate and fortunate ones alike) is: Why me? What have I done to deserve this? The irony of course is that the appropriate and correct answer is: nothing. It is simply a matter of chance - of fortuitous luck. To be sure, given our natural human commitment to the idea that we live in a rational world we are inclined to think that there is always an ultimate reason why. When things go wrong we have a sense of guilt and burden: Why have I been selected? And when things go well, we ask: What must I now do to prove myself worthy? All of this is perfectly natural but also totally futile. The only ultimately rational attitude is to sit loose in the saddle of life and to come to terms with the idea of chance as such. Deep down we recognize full well that luck does not work by some compensating rhyme or reason. The consolation "Better luck next time" is often as not used ironically.

In a world in which we cannot help living our lives amidst some degree of uncertainty, in which for any of a thousand reasons the consequences of our actions and inactions are substantially beyond our predictive reach, a reliance on luck is to some extent inevitable. Our activities can make proposals to the world, but their consequences for good or bad are almost outside the range of our knowledge and control. Be it for good or bad, what actually happens to people is all too often a matter of luck.

Like an unexpected inheritance, good luck generally comes to us unexpectedly, "out of the blue." Sometimes to be sure we take preliminary and preparatory steps to put ourselves in luck's way. You cannot win the lottery without obtaining a ticket or make money on the ponies without placing a bet. Sometimes we have to be in the right place at the right time. But often there is little or nothing you need to do. To have a narrow escape, for example, you simply have to avoid - by a sufficiently narrow margin - being at the wrong place at the wrong time. And of course an inverse story can be told with respect to bad luck.

It is often luck alone that determines the status and significance of our actions. Was that leap in the dark a stroke of genius or the beginning of the end? Was John's confession a futile gesture or a sincere act of expiation? Was Henry's decision to return to the U.S. in an effort to prevent Mary's hasty marriage a wise move or a step into disaster? It all depends. What descriptions fit an act will depend on the outcome and the outcome all to often hinges on how things chance to eventuate-that is, o n sheer luck.

It may be chance alone-or some trivial whim-that determines whether we book the Mauritania or the Titanic for our return journey. But which way the decision goes may in fact make "all the difference in the world." In this life we are not masters of our fate-or rather are so to only a very limited extent. The hand of unforeseen contingency is present everywhere. The classical idea that "character is fate" is deeply problematic in all of its versions, because to a greater extent than any of us like to admit, it is our luck rather than our nature that determines what becomes of us in this world. Under the influence of Stoic and Epicurean philosophy, various of the ancient Romans saw man as a master of his fate. But a different point of view was also very much astir, one according to which we are at the mercy of forces beyond our control; fate has her way with us, willy-nilly. "The gods knock us about like balls" said Plautus. And Shakespeare tells us that we are but court jesters in the realm of Chance, ruled by a despotic monarch whose whim is our command. Some of the risks we run are of our making but most of them come our way not only unwelcome but unbidden and uninvited, being simply unavoidable aspects of life in an uncertain and often unfriendly world.

There is no inevitable balance of luck in the natural course of things. The terrorist whose bomb explodes in the car enroute to the crowded establishment where he planned to place it is unlucky. But his "tough luck" engenders many very lucky beneficiaries.

To be sure, often-in winning an heiress in competition with another suitor, for example, or in escaping unscathed from an explosion thanks to the shielding of somebody else's body-one person's good luck is attained at the cost of another's ill. X inadvertently drops a $100 bill, Y finds it-lucky for the latter, unlucky for the former. But of course things need not be so-good luck can be victimless. The person who strikes oil on his own land is lucky with out being so at anyone else's expense. Life is not a zero-sum game that is so arranged that the good fortune of some is necessarily secured at the expense of others. If by some chance development the world escapes an apocalyptic epidemic-or a nuclear war-everyone is lucky without any price paid b y some unfortunates.

Luck as such is a matter of things going well or ill for someone in a situation of unexpectedness and unforeseeability. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term as "the fortuitous happening of an event favorable or unfavorable to the interest of a person." Luck is at hand whenever things go right (realize our desires or advance our interests)-or the reverse-fortuitously, that is, in circumstances where we have no sufficient basis for confidently expecting this because we cannot securely foresee o r control the outcome. The fruits of luck (be they good or bad) are accordingly uncertain. If something that we cannot securely anticipate-let alone unilaterally control!-eventuates out to our benefit, then we are lucky, and if it turns out to our disadvantage, then we are unlucky. With luck we are in a situation where the issue to all intents and purposes hinges on chance. For example, the would-be bank robber recognized by the newly transferred security guard who had witnessed his most recent victimization of another branch is distinctly unlucky.

While good luck is typically a matter of having things go right (or fail to go wrong) unforeseeably, "by chance," it need not necessarily be "against the odds." For sometimes people are lucky even when the odds are on their side. Jones played Russian Roulette and lived to tell the tale. He was lucky-even though only one of the six chambers of his revolver was loaded so that the probabilities favored survival. For it was only "by chance" that things turned out well. Someone who escapes unharmed in a serious accident is lucky even if this occurred in circumstances where most managed to survive (i.e. where survival was likely), seeing that it was by chance alone that our survivor was among the fortunate rather than the unfortunate. Still, when the odd s are substantially favorable and the element of chance is minimal one would more accurately call people fortunate rather than lucky. (The winner of the lottery is lucky, the loser not so much unlucky as unfortunate.)

By and large, luck is an interrupter of the usual course of things. In consequence, we are certainly not entitled to expect "strokes of luck." It is precisely because we live in a world where things do not usually turn out this way that we see good for tune as extra-ordinary and speak of "getting a lucky break." And a "streak of luck" is something even rarer and more worthy of celebration.

We are preeminently lucky whenever good things come our way unexpectedly and unprepared for-and particularly so when this happens against the odds. If you lose a needle in a haystack and find it in the first batch of hay you search, that's luck. A luck y or unlucky event must go against the grain of confident predictability. The winner of a lottery is lucky, but the loser who knowingly defied precipitous odds does not really qualify for a claim to bad luck-even though she is in a way unfortunate. "She should have seen it coming"-being so probable, it was only to be expected and should have occasioned no surprise. It has been estimated that one would have to take a scheduled airline flight daily for 4,000 years before an accident can be expected (and even then one has a better than even chance of survival). So we are not lucky to complete our air journey safely-though we would, of course, be distinctly unlucky to suffer a mishap.

Accordingly, luck involves the infeasibility of prediction. But an explanatory analysis of luck needs to resolve the choice among the alternatives of requiring that the lucky development should be: (1) rationally unpredictable (by anyone), (2) in fact unexpected by the affected recipients, and (3) in the prevailing circumstances rationally unpredictable by the beneficiaries-even though in principle predictable by others on their behalf. To opt for (1) here will not do because it inappropriately rules out from being lucky the unknowing recipient whose wealthy uncle has provided right along for a big surprise benefaction on her 21st birthday. And (2) will not do because it rules out from being lucky the crazy expecter who wins the lottery having confidently (but absurdly) expected right along that this would happen. The complex combination at work in (3) provides what is, in the circumstances, the proper way to proceed.

The unexpectedness that is at issue with luck is closely bound up with ignorance. If you find yourself at a tripartite fork in the road without any idea of which of the three paths before you is the one that leads to your destination, then it is improbable (in the most objective of ways) that you will pick the right one. To be sure, the chanciness bound up with ignorance need not be an objective one (it is not really "by chance" that the roads lead where they do.) But your selecting the right one is, in the circumstances, something that occurs by chance. And it is on this basis that you will be lucky in making the right selection. Precisely because unpredictability is generally involved, people are not well advised to "trust to luck."

Deliberate entrance and the exercise of skill, talent, insight and effort remove luck from the scene. Matters that go awry through lack of diligence, skill and effort-or that come right through their exercise-cannot appropriately be lead to the door of bad luck! The person for whom things go wrong by incompetence is unfortunate rather than unlucky because this result is "only to be expected." But the president who has a catastrophe happen on his watch that is not of his own making-as with Herbert Hoover and the depression, for example-is just unlucky. But there are mixed cases too. The careless driver who has an accident in circumstances where most of the time nothing goes wrong is unlucky as well as unfortunate. Thus even in unchancy matters, when you get things right by what is, given the inadequacy of your information, a matter of mere accident, you are still lucky.

Attributions of luck can accordingly be defeated-or rendered inappropriate-either by showing that nothing of significance is at stake (that the outcome at issue is neither good or bad but utterly indifferent), or by showing that the apparent unpredictability at issue was not real-that in the circumstances the beneficiary involved had good reason for expecting the outcome (for example, because it was the natural result of her own efforts).

Good luck requires that the favorable outcome in view results not in the normal course of things or by planning or foresight but "by inadvertence" - by causes impenetrable to us, or as the 1613 Lexicon Philosophicum of Goclenius put it, "not by the industry, insight, or sagacity of man, but by some other, altogether hidden cause." Accordingly, the operation of luck hinges outcomes on what happens by accident rather than by design. With luck, there must be the element of chanciness and unforeseeability with its room for surprise. What we can reasonably expect to happen is not grist for the mill of luck. When good things are realized in the customary way through effort or bad things through mistakes, faults, and failures - that is to say if chance is not involved - then luck is not at issue. The person who permits herself to be duped out of her life savings by a confidence man is unfortunate but not, strictly speaking, unlucky - as she would be if she lost it on a promising business venture. (To be sure, if the con man picked her out of the crowd more or less at random, we would, on this basis, say that she was unlucky as well.)

--------Luck vs. Fate And Fortune--------

Luck is a matter of having something good or bad happen that lies outside the horizon of effective foreseeability. There is thus a significant difference between luck and fortune. You are fortunate if something good happens to or for you in the natural course of things.. But you are lucky when such a benefit comes to you despite its being chancy-and particularly so if it occurs against the odds and reasonable expectations. A person who has inherited enough money to be able to travel first class is fortunate but not lucky in the stricter sense. By contrast, the airline passenger who finds himself shifted from coach to first class for the convenience of the airline is lucky. Fate and fortune relate to the conditions and circumstances of our lives generally, luck to the specifically chancy goods and evils that befall us. Our innate skills and talents are matters of good fortune; the opportunities that chance brings our way to help us develop them are for the most part matters of luck. Contracting a cold is merely unfortunate, seeing that it is something that people do pretty regularly, but doing so on the evening of one's opening night performance is distinctly unlucky.

The positive and negative things that come one's way in the world's ordinary course -including one's heritage (biological, medical, social, economic), one's abilities and talents, the circumstances of one's place and time (be they peaceful or chaotic, for example)- all these are matters of what might be characterized as fate and fortune. People are not unlucky to be born timid or ill-tempered, just unfortunate But the positivities and negativities that come one's way by chance and unforeseen happenstance - finding a treasure trove, for example, or walking away from an accident fatal to most others-are matters of luck. It was (modestly) fortunate for John Doe that he owned a pen-knife. But it was distinctly lucky for him that he happened to have it along on the day he needed it to deal with a snake bite. (He didn't generally carry the knife, but just by chance took it with him on that particular day.) You are heir to a great estate by auspicious fortune, but you are lucky when you inherit it just in the nick of time to save you from bankruptcy. Luck and chance are two sides of the same coin. But fate is something else again, something from which the element of chance is missing. Suppose that we discover that a large but heretofore undetected meteor i s on a collision course with the earth. Humanity's fate is sealed, the handwriting is on the wall. By a fixed number of days hence, the earth will be covered by an impenetrable cloud of debris and will become unable to sustain mammalian life. What a catastrophe! In these circumstances, however, our extinction would (strictly speaking) be unfortunate rather than unlucky. It is just the element of surprise - of chanciness and impredictability - that distinguishes luck from fate or fortune at large.

The chanciness of luck means that in interactions where one party runs all the risks only one can be lucky. The sponsors of a lottery are destined for gain-here only the players can be lucky. And the same holds for gambling casinos where things are man aged in such a way that the house "takes no chances." And so while we can (in certain circumstances) be fortunate to be red-headed (say when this makes one eligible for some benefit or other), one cannot be lucky to be a red-head. One can, however, be lucky in that it was red-headed individuals whom the in stitutor of the benefit at issue just happened to fix upon as the beneficiaries of her largesse. Luck as such must be chancy. And this is reflected in luck's volatility and inconsistency. A Scottish proverb, cited as early as 1721, says "Behind bad luck comes good luck." (The reverse would be just as true!). And another old proverb insists that "The only sure thing about luck is that it will change."

Only if one takes too literally the idea of a lot in life-by (quite absurdly) thinking of human biographies in terms of a lottery of life-plan allocations to preexistingly identifiable individuals-can one conceptualize a person's over-all fate or destiny in terms of luck. For only then would the sum-total of all the goods and evils befalling people become reduced - comprehensively and automatically - to a matter of chance allocation. This is obviously unrealistic. Accordingly, a person can be fortunate to have a good disposition or a talent for mathematics, but she cannot be lucky in these regards because chance is not involved. Her disposition and talents are part of what makes someone the individual she is; it is not something that chance happens to b ring along and superadd to a preexisting identity. One can indeed be lucky to encounter a person who induces or helps one to develop a talent. But having that talent itself is a matter of fortune rather than good luck. It makes no sense to assimilate p ersonal fate to games of chance because with games there is always antecedently a player to enter into participation, while with people there is no antecedent, identity-bereft individual who draws the lot at issue with a particular endowment.

To be sure, the distinction at issue is not purely and wholly a matter of reporting the actualities of usage. A slight bit of verbal legislation is involved. When we ask the girl who tells us that she has just become engaged "and who's the lucky man?" we should, on present telling, strictly speaking have to say "fortunate man" if we wish to avoid any limit of suggestion that he picked her name out of a hat. The distinction here drawn between luck and fortune on the basis of the chanciness of the former is honored in common usage by the occasional breach.

"Nothing ventured nothing gained." To "try one's luck" from time to time is perfectly sensible - though to "trust to luck" as a systematic policy is clearly foolhardy. What is luck? In characterizing a certain development as lucky for someone, we make two pivotal claims:

That as far as the affected person is concerned, the outcome came about "by accident." There has to be something chancy about luck. (We would not say that it was lucky for someone that their morning post was delivered to their house-unless, say, virtually all of the mail was destroyed in some catastrophe with some item of urgent importance for them as one of a few chance survivors.)

That the outcome at issue has a significantly evaluative status in representing a good or bad result, a benefit or loss. (If X wins the lottery, that is good luck, if Z is struck by a falling meteorite, that is bad luck; but a chance event that is indifferent - say someone's being momentarily shaded by a passing cloud - is no matter of luck, one way or the other.)

Luck accordingly involves three things: (1) a beneficiary or maleficiary , (2) a development that is benign (positive) or malign (negative) from the standpoint of the interests of the affected individual, and which moreover, (3) is fortuitous (unexpected, chancy, unforeseeable).

Luck (good or bad) thus always incorporates a normative element of good or bad: someone must be affected positively or negatively by an event before its realization can properly be called of luck. It is only because we have interests - because things can affect us for better or for worse - that luck enters in. A person is not ordinarily lucky to encounter pigeons in the park, or to see a cloud floating overhead, since such things do not normally affect one's well-being. (It would be different if one had a bet on the matter.)

Where no one can tell whether the developments at issue are good or bad for the individuals involved-where everything is ambiguous and obscure, with no way of telling whether what happens is for the better or for the worse-luck is out of the picture. Take the Don Quixote of Cervantes' classic tale. With any ordinary person, those bizarre episodes -the famous encounter with the windmills, for example- would be a misfortune. But for the knight errant of La Mancha, with his nuttiness (locura) and his weird way of regarding things, it was perhaps all to the good as a demonstration of the seriousness of his commitment to his knightly mission. The uncertainty that prevails here as regards the question of fortune or misfortune serves to hold the issue of luck in suspension: the prospect of benefit or loss is crucial to the operation of luck. An inert thing-a rock, say, or hammer-cannot be lucky. To be sure, things can happen that preserve or damage it. But the absence of any element of affectivity means an absence of interests and thereby rules out the operation of luck.

Insofar as one can equate "the failure of a bad thing to happen" with "the happening of a good thing"-and consequently can also equate "the failure of a good thing to happen" with "the happening of a bad thing"-these direct and indirect modes of luck will become identified. (And this seems plausible, seeing that the just-indicated equation, failed negative = realized positive, seems wholly appropriate.) To fail to lose may not be a form of winning, but it is nevertheless a positivity of sorts. In any case, good luck resides not only in an actual gain of some sort, but also in running a risk of loss and getting away with it.

Was Columbus lucky in discovering America? That he came on the continent fortuitously is beyond doubt. But the matter of evaluation is complex. It seemingly depends on the time horizon. In the short run, it lifted him to fame and fortune as "Admiral of the Ocean Sea." In the medium run it brought him untold misery and endless troubles for the rest of his life. In the long run it gave him immortal fame. Generally speaking, however, whether an eventuation is lucky or unlucky is a matter of its immediate rather than ulterior developments. It is unlucky for you to have a storm flood the basement of your house even if in the course of making repairs you chance to come across a treasure. The latter piece of good luck may outweigh the former piece of bad luck, but does not unravel its status as such.

Much of human life is a matter of routine, of matters running along foreseeably in their natural course. And this is how it has to be. For without such routine - without habit and regularity and normalcy - human life as we know it would scarcely be possible. If eating apples nourished us one day and killed us the next, if our neighbor were a mild-mannered friend one moment and a homicidal maniac the next, human life and human society would not endure-indeed could not have developed in the first place. But the regularity, and normalcy of established order does not have it all its own way in the human realm. Chance and accident frequently intrude to upset the apple cart, producing "out of nowhere" as it were, developments that profoundly affect our weal and woe. And it is just here that luck comes upon the stage. For luck and fortune are notoriously futile. As Horace put it: "Fortune, happy in her cruel work, and obstinate in playing her perverse game, ever varies her unsteady honors, favoring now me, now someone else."

Luck is the antithesis of reasonable expectation. It manifests itself most strikingly with situations that are predictively counterindicated-eventuations that are surprising in the sense of flying in the face of plausible forecasts. Some prime examples of events that ought to surprise us are those that are beyond our control and those whose eventuation is inherently chancy. Luck thrives in the gap between probability and actuality, between what can reasonably be expected (what "ought by rights to happ en") and what actually occurs. When these two agree, then luck is out of it. (As we have seen, the individual who has a foreseeable gain is thereby fortunate, but not lucky.) But when goods and evils befall us in circumstances where actuality is out of tune with reasonable expectation, then luck, be it good or bad, is upon the scene.

However, a happy or unhappy development can be a matter of luck from the recipient's point of view even if its eventuation is the result of a deliberate contrivance by others. (Your secret benefactor's sending you that big check represents a stroke of good luck for you even if it is something that he has been planning for years.) Thus even if someone else-different from the person affected-is able to predict that unexpected development, the eventuation at issue may still be lucky for those who are involved.

The factor of impredictability is crucial for luck in providing for the essential contrast with "what is only to be expected" for good and sufficient reasons. There are two major sources from such lack of predictability: chance and ignorance. As to the forest, it lies in the nature of the case that that when something happens by genuine stochastic chance, this cannot confidently be predicted once the odds are sufficiently low. (Of course, when a chance development occurs with 99.9% probability we can safely predict it with high, albeit not absolute confidence.) The second main route to unpredictability is ignorance, for this too restricts the range of what can be securely predicted. When you confront a fork in the road and cannot tell which way leads to your destination, then even though there is no chanciness about where the roads lead it will be purely "by chance" that you pick the right one. So we need one single word to encompass both chance-impredictability and ignorance-impredictability, and the term fortuitously will serve the purpose. When you pick the right color at roulette (where success depends on chance) or the right fork in that road (where success depends on guesswork), we may say in both cases that your getting it right was fortuitous. And either way, that fortuitously successful issue was a matter of luck.

There are, in general, three routes to realizing the good things of life such as health, wealth, success, and the like: in theory we can achieve them by effort and hard work (the old-fashioned way!), by coming into them through good fortune (by accident of birth and inheritance), and by obtaining them through sheer luck-by winning in "the lottery of life." Usually-for most of us and for most of the time-good things are realized only by the expenditure of effort and through planning, toil, and persistence. Luck represents a way of getting there more easily-through a "gift of the gods" as it were. (And of course it works both ways; what good luck gives, bad luck can take away.) Luck thus affords us what is, in a way, a short-cut to the achievement of life's good things. With good luck we get something for nothing - an unexpected and undeserved born. Normally, good things come our way through our abilities and efforts and bad things befall us in consequence of our faults. But luck provides an alternat e route. For one who has its favor, "A pocketful of luck is as good as a sackful of wisdom" (as the proverb has it). When one correctly recognizes one's good luck, the natural reaction is not only one of surprise but also of pleasure. To have a boon be stowed on one as a sport of circumstance -unbidden and unanticipated- is something one is bound to find pleasant.

Among U.S. Presidents, Ulysses S. Grant was fortunate because circumstance positioned him for the office, but Harry S. Truman was lucky in arriving there through a series of accidents. Since luck involves matters eventuating for better or worse in unforeseeable ways, it transpires that people have to be accounted as lucky when they succeed in life beyond the level of reasonable expectation that their inherited endowments, and acquired condition would indicate. And those who fail beyond the level of reasonable expectation that their faults, shortcomings, and personal deficits would indicate have to be accounted as unlucky. Insofar as things run in the way that is normal, natural, and only to be expected, luck is not present on the scene. Luck involves departures from the expectable, and its place on the stage of human affairs is assured by the fact that the conditions of life are erratic - be they social or political or meteorological, things simply do not always run in their usual and regular course. Even Homer occasionally nods, and even a Muhammad Ali or a Pete Sampras can have a day off from their usual unbeatable form.

Whatever good luck provides us with is a free gift; to the extent that luck is indeed involved, it requires no investment of talent or effort and no merit is at issue. And whatever bad luck deprives us of also leaves our merits untouched, no diminution of desert or worth is at stake - to the extent that luck is indeed involved, no shortage of talent or failure of effort is involved. Luck affects our personal condition but does not reflect our personal worth. Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley were killed by assassins' bullets. Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Ronald Reagan survived assassination attempts. (In Truman's case wholly untouched-here, too, he was lucky.) In this context, no particular merit attaches to the one side of this dichotomy and no special fault to the other. When we say that that was how the luck of the matter chanced out, we have said it all.

Chance is most strikingly manifested when improbable circumstances are actually realized. We are particularly lucky when things turn out well despite our inaction or -even more so- despite our ill advised and misguided actions. And we are particularly un lucky when things turn out ill despite our doing all the right things. The sick person who recovers swiftly despite taking the wrong medicine is very lucky; the one whose ailment worsens despite all the proper medications and treatments is distinctly unlucky. In such cases, the common-sense logic of the situation points one way while the decrees of fate point another. The workings of luck are clearly manifest in those good and bad developments which ought, "by rights," not to be there at all.

Among 1,000 stocks some are pretty well bound to go up and others down-even in the best and worst of times. Every share of every one of these stocks is bound to be owned by somebody. So there will always be winners and losers. And, given the chanciness of the matter, the difference between them will generally depend on luck alone.

A[l] Me[lech] N[e'eman]
Lord God King Who is Trustworthy
Signore Dio Re Fiducia e Verità
So Be It そうそれがありなさい Cuma thîn craftag rîki
אמן amen آمين
Fader vår, du som er i himmelen
Amen Cosí Sia 如此假如是
So sei es 이렇게 그것 있으십시요
Ainsi que ce soit
Seja assim ele
Tan sea
Adonoy Eloheynu Adonoy Echod
Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad
Baruchj Shem k'vod makchuso l'olom vo-ed
Barukh Shem k'vod malkhuto l'olam va-ed
V-ohavto es Adonoy Eloecho b-chol l'vovcho u-v-chol naf'sh'cho u-v-chol m'odecho
V-ahavta et Adonai Elohecha b-chol l'vavcha u-v-chol naf'sh'cha u-v-chol m'odecha
V-hoyu ha-d'vorim ho-ayleh asher onochi m'tzav'cho ha-yom al-l'vovecho
V-hayu ha-d'varim ha-ayleh asher anochi m'tzav'cha ha-yom al l'vavecha
Ani Adonly Elohaychem, Adonoy Elohaychem emes
Ani Adonai Elohaychem, Adonai Elohaycham emet

אמן AMEN آمين

to pull your finger out
The Tablets:
GOD 6 GOD 7 GOD 8 GOD 9 GOD 10 GOD 0

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?