LukeyoutheU is an idea, a belief. The belief that what is useful and good can be found in the present and the past; decided on; and applied now, in the expectation of, planning for, and acting toward a better future. That a better life is possible probably now in one's own individual experience, and that we can create a better the likelihood of a better future for all of earth's inhabitants, human and otherwise.
Executive summary: life is good. It can, quite possibly, become better if we work toward making it so.
I want to talk about the parts of the word LukeyoutheU first, and then the whole.
The name Luke suggests two heroic figures: Luke Skywalker of Star Wars, and Luke from the Bible. Story, history, and myth intermingle and play overlapping roles in our lives.
Luke is a reference to the past. We think of the past as definite and done and, in most ways, it is. But what the events of the past mean, what we decide the events of the past mean to us today, is largely up to us. Really, it is! Up to us individually and up to us corporately.
The pronoun you, dear reader, is about you, you now reading this. You are at the center of your own story. You are the centerpoint of your own life. You are the focal point of your own experience no matter how much people may try to make you only an object in theirs. No matter how much you may want others to take control of your life, you are responsible for your conscious and unconscious responses to your circumstances. This is true even as you can never be the sole cause of your circumstances, whether you consider those circumstances good or bad.
It is your life, by and large, in other words, and yours to choose what you make with it. When is the time to think, rest, and/ or act? Now. There is no other. You have your own time frame: the present. The now. It is good and smart to learn from the past, yes; and to plan and act for the future, yes. But the only time you can be and do is in the now.
The U is my shorthand for "the Universe." By "the Universe" I mean everything. All of it, the physical and the nonphysical. All of life. This world experience, all of its smaller parts (quantum particles, cells, bacteria, small organisms, ants, etc.) and bigger ones, too (mountains, oceans, the earth, other planets, solar systems, galaxies). All that happens in it. Everything. Let us be clear: life is not only about you, or me, it is not about only humanity. We humans are currently part of the equation of life on this planet but we are, by no means, necessary for life on this planet. Or in the universe.
Implicit in the term the U is the future. The majesty and opportunity for new creation. Possibilities.
These three concepts, the past (Luke), the present (you), and the future (the U), combine and, in combining, transform. They transform from Luke, you, and the U to become LukeyoutheU. The caterpillar crawling along the branch becomes the butterfly who can fly and see the world in which it lives from new perspectives.
Tremendous, and tremendously good possibilities lie before us.
We can, individually and/ or corporately, whittle our lives, humanity away; we could, literally, blow ourselves, and everything else, up.
Or we could choose to grow up, grow greater, and fly.
I think we will decide on the latter.
LukeyoutheU was created in California.
I was born in Maryland.
more about Jake Knight
The evolution of
LyU had its starting point, if there is one particular place and time, in my San Francisco bedroom. July 28th, 2011. In that small room painted a golden yellow, a color I had carefully roughed up by painting over it imperfect swirls of burnt sienna brown, I heard a voice.
I had had the same bedroom for fifteen years. Indirect sunlight, some of it reflected by my neighbors' backside windows, had brought the walls to a glow. Asleep one moment, awake and speaking the next. The exact sequence: asleep-> awake-> speaking-> becoming conscious. Astute readers, and I think that may include you, dear reader, will notice that the speaking, the words, the voice came before I became conscious. The words were formed by my own mouth, for sure, but came out before they had been screened. My brain had not signed off on them. What came from my mouth surprised me. Surprised, changed, enlargened, and directed me. I listened, and decided to follow. Eventually, I also led.
"I'm moving to LA."
These may not sound like momentous words to you but they upended mine. I had not before ever seriously considered leaving San Francisco. I had found my home. Planned to live there for the rest of my life. But then came these words. This idea. It gripped me.
Did this idea come from my unconscious mind? Of course. It had to have. But did this idea, this firm directive come only from me? That is a serious question. I had never before considered moving to LA. But here I was saying that I was. Did these words come from something, some spirit outside of me and through me? It was possible, I supposed. Then I took the next logical thought step: could this be God speaking? Yeah. Well. I said to myself, not aloud. Do I really want to go there?
What if, I wondered, what if all three are perspectives, are views, aspects, parts, angles, ways of looking at the same thing? My unconscious, spirits, God all of the same?
What if God, Life, is intrinsically inside me, outside of me, all around me (and you, dear reader)? Actively waiting to be discovered and created?
One thing was perfectly clear to me at that point: I realized that if I ever were going to allow myself to experience my life as more than only as a biological unit, as more than as an accidental creation of evolution and chance, as more than an individual somehow separate from life, this was my opportunity. I may not have another. I was happy to be a biological unit, a physical being. A generally happy being. But this was an opportunity to understand myself as also part of something more.
For the twenty years previous, I had practiced hard-core agnosticism. (And, for some of the months in there, I flirted with atheism.)
For the ten years before the twenty, I had been what what would probably be called religious: read the Bible almost every day, went to church most Sundays, participated in and led Bible studies.
Before that, in my first fifteen years on this planet, I did a lot of questioning and running through woods.
That morning at the end of July, 2011, the voice brought it all to a head. My head.
I did what I had not done before. Not with the same degree of trust or willing abandon: I jumped from a high cliff into the sea. Not physically but spiritually. I let myself do it. I plunged into the spiritual, feet first. I was open to wherever the experience, that Life, would lead me.
I jumped in with hope, desire, and trust, not with plan. I learned, after years of swimming in this sea, that I need not throw out my conscious, rational, materialistic mind; that I did not have to always swim; or that I needed to live without standing on land. I learned that it, the conscious, rational, material mind, is not the only mind that exists. I learned that it is of, but not the whole of, the greater mind. Of Life. Whether we know it or not, acknowledge it or not. Life which transcends but sometimes is known in religions, and other belief systems. Each and all are a perspective, a part, a reflection of the Great Mind, the Spirit, which holds all life together. Of Life itself.
Now to bring it directly to you, dear reader. Please forgive me for my directness but sometimes directness is called for. These are crucial questions that we all must answer, and do. We can do so knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or by following the herd. The questions:
What are you about? Who are you? What are you doing, who are you being in this life?
These are the questions I explore and try to find answers to. In LukeyoutheU, I present what I think are helpful, useful and good thoughts on what life can be about. The hope is that we will all be led to newly green hills.
A photo of Boney Mountain in Ventura County, CA. The twilight hours there can be magical, with pinks, and purples, and golds.
A selfie from my SF days.