If you expect life to be given to you fully-formed and not requiring your participation, your decisions, well, good luck with that. We are given much—a body, physical life, a mind, a habitable world, others—but the decision to not only live but be alive is up to each one of us. From the moment we are born, from the moment of first birth, we are the ones who grab at breath, who suck in and make use of what we are given.
Life is such an amazing and wonderful thing.
Our chance, the opportunity we have now because of our circumstances, sometimes despite our circumstances, is to so live it. To be alive in it. To see and know it as amazing and wonderful on a not just circumstances-are-just-right but frequent, if not usual, basis. To live life as fully as we are able to now, with as much joy as we can now even if, at the moment, that is not a lot, not just for the now but for our future and the future.
This living that I am talking about, this being alive, requires not just existing but participation in life, with life, at least some, if not yet most, of the time.
I am going to use a four-letter word here, a much-maligned and often misused word in my way of thinking, and that word is work. Living life fully and being alive is going to require work. Work is a four-letter word but not, at its strongest, one of the four-letters you or I may at first be tempted to think of. Work is, or at least can be, aligned with other four-letters like, hope, life, rest, love, and live. Work is active mental and participation in and with life. It is much more important than only to make money, though that in some situations is one of its benefits. Work is purpose, a purpose which includes oneself and, in its stronger forms, includes our efforts to assist others now and those in the future. When we know/ find/ make our own individual work, when we do what is the better things for us to do, we add to life. Not only depend on life (which we all always do) but also add to it. We make it, ourselves, help others, ourselves, life better.
As we choose, step into, live in, the reality that life is an amazing and wonderful thing, that we are part and parcel of the universe, that work is part of the expression of who we are, that we are of life, we can and do live more joyfully. Even when some days or weeks (months? years?) suck. Because some hours or days or weeks or months have sucked. May in the future suck. But that foundation of joy, and the work before us, the undergirding knowledge of our individual and corporate connection with the universe that we have ourselves to know and build, will hold us through the storms. Through the suckiness.
These are the big hopes, the big understandings of LukeyoutheU. It you are willing, dear reader, to allow the possibility that this view of life might possibly be useful to you, that it may show you new ways of living your life, then reading and listening to what is presented in LukeyoutheU can/ will help you build that foundation, that building. The building, the life, that you want to live and work in. Your house. Your home. A home you want to live and rest in, to work in, and to invite others to visit.
Options and possibilities often lie before us, wherever we are in life. One such time is now.
To hear what others think and believe: the LyU podcast listen
For short reads of my thinking: LyU essays read
If you love long form: LyU books ponder
For more about LyU meta-thinking: poke around the site.
Whatever you decide to do, I ask you to make it an active, conscious decision. Accept that all knowledge is not known to you, and never will be, but that we can, you can, always learn more. I ask you to be willing to see things differently. To make a choice allowing more, and step into it.
For more of the meta-thinking:
How can I say, given all the problems we have in the world, and those you may have in your personal life, that life is amazing and wonder? I am glad you asked.
Start with this fact: you have physical life. You are where you want to be, or you want to be differently or live in other circumstances, but, in any event, you have physical life. You have life, and, I suggest, you can be alive. Alive to your connection with and participation in the universe. Your physical life is a starting place, a foundation, an objective, touchable reality on which you can stand and build. My job is to help you see, explore, know, make, create more aliveness, more good in your own life/ the world. This is what LukeyoutheU, what I, aim to do.
Many, many claim the world is lost. That it is doomed. In so believing, they consciously and unconsciously work toward that doom. Many say that this or that, or that everything is "broken." It may surprise you to hear me say: from certain perspectives, these understandings are true. It is true that there are many, many, many things about this world which are, to say the least, not good. That are bad. What we would call evil. That could be improved. But just because something is true, that something exists, does not necessarily mean it is useful or good. Lots of things are true. But what are we going to do with them? Useful, and Good, are, in my mind, what we want to go for. If we head toward them than what is good will become true.
This, these, are beliefs born from, ones decided on, from experience and observation. Not mine alone (probably yours, too, in at least some situations). It is from mine that I write and speak. Which takes us to the heart of the matter: beliefs. Belief itself. I am not talking, necessarily, about specific religious, societal, or scientific beliefs, though they are part of my soup. I am speaking of belief in how it actually plays out in our lives. Belief in the abstract and the concrete both. Because both are part of the same. Our beliefs form who we are (who we be-) and how we live (how we -lief). Be-live.
Why talk of beliefs? Because it is in what we believe, what we have no choice to believe (that the sun will rise tomorrow) and what we choose to believe (that life can get better), that shapes how we live. That shapes how things are and how they will become.
What you think->
is a part of what you believe.
What you believe-> leads to how you act->
which changes the possibilities of how things are.
We could put it this way:
have an effect—>
on what is.
Beliefs, in the way that I think about them, in the way that I think they are, are integral to life. You, because you are a human being, have beliefs. You may or may not have religious beliefs; or commonly-shared beliefs; or, even, be consciously aware, or able to express, a great number of your beliefs; but you have them. You believe other people are going to stop at red lights when you go through intersections. You believe that eating food is necessary and good for you. You believe the chair on which you are about to sit down has a physical form and will support your mass. And, cutting to the chase, you believe money has value (even if you say it does not).
You, at least at this moment in time, hold a collection (a big collection) of beliefs, beliefs about how life operates/ is. Your beliefs hold your life together. Enable you to operate, think, do, move about. How do I know? Because you are now here reading this. Because otherwise you would be insane.
All humans have beliefs.
The questions are, I think: are the beliefs we have, that you have, that I have, useful and good?
What is useful and good, and if useful and good are good, are up to each of us to decide.
Can we change our beliefs? Will changing them change anything?
Yes, we can change our beliefs. At least some of them, and at least to some degree. Yes, changing them will change some things, possibly some relationships. It will, at the very least, change the quality of the experience of our lives. It may, possibly, help others to live better lives. It could, potentially, help to increase the likelihood of a better future for those who will come after us.
That is a lot to put into opening paragraphs. I felt, however, negligent when I tried not to. Our beliefs are the core to the quality of life. I want to make sure you have the chance to know it.
Welcome to LukeyoutheU. I serve as its project lead. Thanks for looking in. I encourage you to do what you now feel and think is the better thing for you to do.
Note: in LyU, I speak of specific beliefs and belief systems. They are ones I know/ am learning about, that speak to me. They may, some or all, resonate with you; they may not. There are certainly other useful, good belief systems in the world besides those talked about in LyU. Whatever beliefs you have, I think that by considering these, whether you agree and to what extent with them or not, you will be more clearly knowing your own mind, and your own beliefs.
more, including about the movie Iron Man
explore the LyU website
page update: 01-26-20