an explorational aid
if I may ask: what is the point?
what is the point of living, of life?
the wisely adventurous receive
contents books podcast visuals about
two essays. purely optional, of course
life is an invitation
at the party you were born and bred into
I am a guy who tries to make sense of
his own life, and Life. What I have
done, what I cannot stop from doing,
is to observe, think, and consider.
To try, and experiment. To write, talk,
and encourage. The part you take, in
your life, in Life, is the one you choose.
LukeyoutheU is an idea in the form of a
website, books, and a podcast. It got its
start when I lived in San Francisco, its
name in L.A., its fulfillment outside of
Sacramento. Where you lived, who you
were, very likely influences who you are.
Your chance, and it is only your chance,
no matter where you started, is to take
what is good from the past, mix it with
your understanding now, and increase
your being. Make your life Life better.
All actions are a choice. Inaction is, too.
So many options in life usually, and now.
I invite you to explore LyU. Choose from
the menu. Click on the photo. Scroll
down the page, and read. As you wish.
look plan read hear view
the layout, in some detail
LukeyoutheU's website is a spacious, complex structure. You can think of it as a great big house. Major rooms are laid out in the contents; smaller ones on the content's second page, contents2. You can experience its main rooms, smaller rooms, additions, gardens, and secret passageways only by visiting them. If something on a page interests you, I suggest you read/ select it.
You are standing at the front door. The door is wide open. I welcome you in.
underlined words (and letters) are links
ones in light blue: new page, same tab (introduction)
ones in dark blue: new page, new tab (comment)
ones that are black and underlined: sequential page, same tab
LukeyoutheU's books books has two series, better step by step (experiential) and JesianChronicles (biblical). Both series have multiple topics all about the same thing: I try to be, I am, all about life, and Life, and that includes in my writing. How to enjoy, in-joy life more, presently; how to add to Life for the future, the future of our species and planet. LyU books are, universally, short.
The LukeyoutheU podcast
the podcast has six series. My cohosts and I are, fundamentally, though coming from different perspectives, discussing the same topic: what we think of life.
Our various backgrounds and beliefs include nonbelief. It is my guess that possibly most (or all) of us in the world, including you, dear reader, live not with one belief system about how life operates but instead many. Many amalgamated together in our thoughts and mind. You beliefs probably make sense to you. Mine do to me. The podcast's series discuss beliefs/ understandings/ stories that work for my cohosts (according to the series) and me (those of all the series).
some conversations with marc scm
a question-asking Christian who appreciates Greek myths, and believes in reincarnation.
the consciousness shift tcs
a spiritually awake, and increasingly self-realizing, Manhattan lawyer.
a considered life acl
a well-traveled, nonreligious humanist who successfully lives the good life he wants.
luke's perspective, and ours lpo
earliest of days eod
a text-first, believing Christian who cohosts with me two series.
heroes of the bible and the quran hbq
an ancient-Arabic reading, modern-day thinking and practicing Muslim, who is a also a pharmacist.
I am fortunate to cohost the six series. The recording of them has been a source of learning and encouragement for me. My end goal is not small or fixed: it is for the living of more Life for those who listen and for we who produce. It is an idea that sounds way out there. It is way out there. It is also both exceeding possible and practical.
visuals intrinsically include the website's font, paragraph spacing, and use of white space. But you may have been thinking about its photos. All the photos on the website were taken by me with the exception of some of the photos of me. The photos are meant to help establish mood. Possibilities. Wonder. Perhaps all (?) include skies and what we call nature; and, most, what we call human-made. I myself think it is all nature, including what is human-made, but that is me.
about has two parts. The first and primary one talks about living a full life and about what the name LukeyoutheU means. The second is information about me, jake knight. I direct LyU, and I am the designer and writer of this website.
I have noticed that it is oftentimes the shouters, and the promisers of something new, and the repeaters repeaters, who get most people's attention. In LukeyoutheU, I try not to shout. I offer (what I hope to be) useful repackaging more often than the brand spanking new. I aim to often enough reiterate, but not too often repeat.
I am not trying to dazzle, inveigle, or hoodwink. I am trying to intrigue, encourage, and invite.
a big picture
The universe is not indifferent to us; it also does not accommodate our every want. We are deciders, as individuals, as peoples, and as a species, in some parts of life, I do believe; and receivers in others. The proportions of our influence are not all fixed. We are not alien to life but inexorably part of it. We have no choice, zero, except to be active players in it. Deciding, consciously or unconsciously, to try not to participate is to actively withhold much of the potential good of our individual participation. Participate we all do, to lesser and greater extents.
Put another way, life is like being at the beach on a hot, sunny day. You have two likely options. You can swim in the water and body surf the waves, treading water while you wait for the wave you want. The rideable ones appear on their time, not always at a time convenient for you. Or you can stay on the beach, sunbathing, chatting, eating, playing volleyball, building sandcastles. On the so-thought solid land. The sand hard but not firm. There is, in my thinking, a time for both. Whatever you choose to do, you are going to work. You do the work of swimming in the water; or the work of baking and playing in the sun.
LukeyoutheU is about finding and/ or making meaning in life. I correct myself: meanings in life, plural. None of us has the same exact meanings of life. Nor can we. We all find, and put, meanings into and onto so very many ideas, things, people, habits, understandings. I do not think all meanings found or decided on are of the same value or use; it is plain to my sight that they are not. What I try, through LyU, in life, is to continue to improve my meanings. I want to help bring about what I consider a better life for me, for others, for the planet (not always in that order of hierarchy). I hope, in LyU, to assist you, as you allow, in discovering, finding, making your own meanings towards the betterment that you desire.
Life, the universe, is highly complex; and there are simple parts to it. We can know some of its complex parts and probably not all of its simple ones. I think a model, an idea to follow, is to go for the useful and good. Not just the useful; not only the good. The useful and good.
whence cometh the name LukeyoutheU
Luke as in the hero in that space movie, and Luke in the Bible. The name represents stories and mythologies, histories, truths, and imaginations. It represents the word and belief structures that you have, and also those that you may later decide to add. These stories/ understandings of how life operates are the ones that hold your individual and our societal life together.
you, dear reader, refers to you, you now reading this. Your personal experience. You are at the center of your own experience, like it or not. You have decided, and continue to decide, consciously but probably mostly unconsciously, what you believe. From what you believe, from what you know, from how you understand life to be/ work, comes what you do. Your actions, and the spirit in which you do them, have a profound impact on your life; and not on yours alone. You also affect, play roles, in the lives of others; and in life itself.
theU stands for the Universe; that is, the future, and the possibilities in it. We are in the universe. Parts of it. Infinitesimal parts of it in one way, and the center of it in another. Infinite numbers of prospects stretch before us. Some, I would say, are more appealing, more beneficial, than others. I personally believe humanity is doing a decent job of surviving but not a great job at living. We have great, amazing, immense potential, as a species and as individuals, that is not yet tapped and/ or developed.
Luke symbolizes the past, you the present, theU a future. All three exist concurrently. They are all part of one, though we tend to think of them as discrete. Consider where you are right now, where you were yesterday, and where you plan to be tomorrow. All three are alive in you. Right now.
LukeyoutheU is one word, and not three words (and a letter) without spaces in between them, with the idea that the stories of our lives, especially the meanings we assign them, whether considered by others true or not, are true to us; that they are undeniably interconnected within us; that they, largely unconsciously, guide most of what we do. What we believe, how we believe; how we live the stories of our lives out, and look for ways they are true; how the stories and meanings of our lives play out in our lives, have an impact in us and on those around us; and in the greater world. The stories of the past, from our current perception of the now, directs much of what we anticipate in our futures. It is not a journey we take in a vacuum. We cannot but be affected by our culture's stories; and are changed by our chosen reception, repetition, repetition, and understanding of them. We are molded by them, and continually molding them; continuously forming ourselves/ being formed. We have a hand (or both) in the production of our current and our future realities.
Does the name's meaning now make sense to you? Even if at this moment it does not, please explore the website, buy a book, listen to a podcast episode. I think you will find the concepts of LukeyoutheU become clearer with investigation. LyU is more an assemblage of thoughts than a single thought that can be contained/ explained in one sentence. It takes an entering-into to realize, see, experience its implications and results.
Life is a pretty, big, and vast thing. It is worthy of consideration, worthy, I think, from the smallest, to the mediumest, to the largest part of it. I find reason, on many days, and hope, on most days, in the living of it. My continued development of LyU, and learning from it, give me hope for myself and our species. For the world.
Life, I think, is on the whole good. I think also it can be made better. Better much.
I have a role in its betterment. Please forgive my presumptuousness for saying: I think you do, too.
If you choose, enjoy.
story time for adults
Once upon a time, in collegeland a long time ago, I took a modernist art class. A close friend suggested it to me; I went along for the ride. In the class, we were shown photographs of some of the world's most famous modern art. I was drawn to much of it visually, some of it intellectually, and a few examples viscerally; as for some other pieces I scratched my head. We were presented well-supported, impassioned theories on the work of Pablo Picasso, especially Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, our instructor being a renowned scholar of the artist and the piece. I wrote a paper on Jean DuBuffet's L'Hourloupe series (here are photos of the series). I myself did not see the black lines as marks of separation, of alienation. I saw them, instead, as connectors. (artist, piece, series links: Wikipedia.org, renowned scholar: nytimes.com, photos: Google.com)
As much as I enjoyed the class (and I did, thank you, close friend), over the course of the semester I began to understand something that has proven more significant to me than the artists, that is bigger to me than the pieces themselves. It is one of the great gifts available, I think, from modern art as a whole. It is this: an understanding of perspective and participation.
Art is often thought to have two parts, that of an active creator and a passive viewer. A giver, and a taker. Art (and life) can look like a one-way street; be talked about as a one-way street; feel like a one-way street. An avenue on which there are producers, and there are consumers. Probably many see art (can only see it?) that way: we who are viewers are separate from, and looking at, fixed work. Consumers buying visual goods with the attention of our eyes. Art (life) can certainly be seen that way if you want to see it in that way. In the larger, dare I say real-er, whole-er, picture, art, however, involves, and reflects, both the artist(s) who produced it and the viewer/ reader who considers it. Really, art is a two-way thoroughfare. The viewer is, or at least can be, an active participant in it. That is because we viewers, consciously or unconsciously, decide what the art (and what life) means to us. Even if we decide that that meaning is "nothing."
I encourage you to take the latter understanding, and make it broader. Apply it to your own as-you-have-experienced-it life. I think you will likely get to this: that each and every one of us, and all of us, apply meaning in and to our lives, to life, all the time. We apply it always. Sometimes multiple types of it. To all the things, events, and people in our lives. We usually do so, I think, on an unconscious level. (And thank goodness for that, as, otherwise, we could easily be consciously overwhelmed.) Nevertheless, we do. Whether we are ever consciously aware of applying meaning, or not.
The meanings we give, the truths we hold on to, are the footings and foundations of our lives. Are the renovations we make on, the additions we add to, the house we were born into. We reveal the meanings we have given/ are giving by the stories we tell, the way we tell them, and the order in which we do. By the nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, speech we use. We continuously describe/ ascribe meaning to the people (foolhardy, smart, attractive), things (shiny, clunky, ancient, new), and events (thrilling, devastating, boring, significant) in life.
I carry in me stories that help me to live, to make sense of life. I would guess you do, too.
The particular story I hold among the uppermost: Life, including my little, itty-bitty life, a life being lived out here in a suburb not too far from the western edge of the North American continent, has meaning. Multiple meanings. I would like to suggest to you that your life, wherever lived, however lived, does, too.
Some additional notes which can further help you with this site. You earned them by scrolling down this far.
-If you are unsure about a word or phrase's meaning, give yourself a present: look it up. You are very likely reading this text using a computer which is connected to the internet. If not, find a computer that is; or look up the word or phrase in a magical book called a dictionary. Lots of words in there. A richer vocabulary can help build for you a more creative mind and a more robust, enjoyable experience of life. Think of the joy and good of creating new synapses. (And if you think, or find, in the course of your reading this website, that I have used a word or phrase wrongly or poorly, please correct me.)
-There are, quite possibly, even likely, parts of LyU that will not appeal to you. One or more of the podcast's series, or the topic of a book. Great! I am/ we are telling you parts of our stories; we are not telling you about, or predicting, yours. If you find something you do not like in LyU, please do move along. Now you know what not to consider further. Try something else on the site, or off of it.
-I ask you to think BIG. But not only BIG. I also ask you to think small, Medium, and tiny. Each in its own good time and place. LIfe is vast and miniscule and inbetween.
-You are a marvelous being, dear reader. Really, you are. You have a body, a mind, physical senses; an inkling that there is more to know, more ways to grow, than you have yet experienced. In addition to who you currently are, and what you have already given to the world, you are a being who can know, perhaps already does know, that you want to even more live. To give better, and more. You can. We are players in, active characters in, inexorably part of, Life. The decisions you make (yes you, dear reader, you, even now) have an impact on, sometimes visibly determine, your future; affects the futures of those in your orbit; and, even, possibly, can aid The Future itself. I have said that idea before, in other words; and will, likely, say it again, in a way that I hope is lasting for you.
-LukeyoutheU is not a religious faith. It does not ask you to have a particular faith. I happen to have one but having one, or having mine, is by no means required or requested. LyU does, however, ask for faith: for you to have faith that you can be, and that it would be good for you to be, at least partially aware of your greater self. In whatever form that increased understanding takes. And by moving into, becoming more of your greater, not only bigger but more universally conscious, self, I believe you will add good to the world. To Life.
Your next step, as it nearly always is, is yours to decide. Life awaits; it often seems/ does respond to decisions acted out (even if that decision is not to decide).