There are two questions which I have tried to answer, in one way and another, since my teens. Does life have purpose, is it good? Do I have purpose, am I good? Maybe that is four questions: purpose, good, what is outside of me, who am I. They have plagued and excited me, given birth to, bothered and engaged. Perhaps they have you, too.
LukeyoutheU is my effort to answer these questions. I think I have had some success; I work towards more. Whether you think the same, well, that is up to you. Rather than trying to explain LyU further here, I invite you to experience it. Check it out.
I do not know your ways in life. I do know that you, unconsciously and consciously, are choosing your ways, your path, even now.
look plan read hear view
LyU, the website, is a spacious, complex structure. You can think of it as a great big house. Major rooms are laid out in the contents c; smaller ones on the content's second page, c2. Like any great big house, you can experience its main rooms, smaller rooms, additions, and secret passageways only by visiting them. I suggest that if something on a page interests you, read/ select it. Photos included.
all underlined letters and words are links
ones in light blue replace the current page with the named one (books)
in dark blue open the named page on a new tab (comment)
black underlined words take you to a sequential page
LukeyoutheU's books b are on a bunch of topics all about the same one: I try to be, I am, all about life, and Life, and that includes in my writing. LyU's short books talk about some of my understandings of it from different perspectives. Not all may interest you. Some very well might.
The LyU podcast p is comprised of six series; the podcast is held together because I cohost, believe, and endorse them all. My cohosts come from rather various backgrounds, and beliefs. All six of us (the five cohosts and I) have our own mythologies/ stories to tell. The series concern:
-an inquisitive, nontraditional Christian who relishes Greek myths, and believes in reincarnation
some conversations with marc scm
-a spiritually awake, and increasingly self-realizing, Manhattan lawyer
the consciousness shift tcs
-an extremely well-traveled, nonreligious humanist who has been successful in living the life he wants
a considered life acl
-a text-first, believing Christian who cohosts with me two series: first a discussion of a book in the New Testament (Luke) and then four highly charged chapters from the Old (Genesis 1–4)
luke's perspective, and ours lpo
earliest of days eod
-an ancient-Arabic reading, modern-day thinking and practicing Muslim, who is also a pharmacist
heroes of the bible and the quran hbq
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 or may later decide to add. They are the ones that hold your individual and our societal understandings of life together.
you, dear reader, refers to you, you now reading this. Your personal experience. You are at the center of your 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 if life itself.
the U 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 individuals and as a species, that is not yet tapped and/ or developed.
Luke symbolizes the past, you the present, the U a future. All three exist concurrently though we tend to consider them as discrete, and all three are alive in you. Right now.
LukeyoutheU is one word, and not just three words and a letter without spaces in between them, with the idea that the stories of our lives, whether considered by others true or not, are true to us; and that they are inexorably interconnected within us. What we believe, how we believe, how we live the stories of our lives out and look for ways they are true, how they 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, of our anticipated futures. We cannot but be affected by our culture's stories, and are changed by our chosen reception and understanding of them. We are molded by them; 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 any or all of this make sense? Some of you will possibly understand it immediately. Even if at this moment you do not, please explore the offerings of this website that intrigue you. I think you will find the concepts of LukeyoutheU become clearer with investigation. LukeyoutheU 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 profound 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 good, on the whole; 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.
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, however, 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 the potential good of our individual participation. But participate we all do, to lesser and greater extents.
Put another way, life is like being at the beach on a hot and 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. On the so-thought solid land. The sand hard but not firm. Either way, you are going to work. You do the work of swimming in the water; or the work of baking in the sun.
Let's go at this one more way. 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.
LukeyoutheU is about finding, that is, making meaning in life. I correct myself: meanings in life, plural. None of us has the exact same 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, though 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.
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 a portion 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, well, 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. I myself did not see his black lines as marks of separation, of alienation. I saw them, instead, as connections. (links to Wikipedia.org except for the renowned scholar, which is to nytimes.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. Consciously or unconsciously, we 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 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 additions we put onto 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, the order we tell them in. 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 small city 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.
I have noticed that it is oftentimes the shouters, and the promisers of something new, and the 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.
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. (If you think 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 telling you parts of my story; I am 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.
-I ask you to think BIG. But not only BIG. I also ask you to to think also 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 knows, 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.
-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 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).