LukeyoutheU did not pop up in a day, a month, a year; and it is more a process than a fixed thing. It is continually becoming more itself, that is to say, growing and changing. The same is true of me. And you.
LukeyoutheU is an idea. A belief. The belief that a better life is possible for you, and me, and earth's other inhabitants. That what is helpful, useful, and good can be found in the present and the past both, decided upon, and applied now. That we can, with hopeful expectation, plan for, and act toward, a better future.
The specific thoughts and belief structures/ systems that are presented in LyU are here because they speak to me. One, some, all, or none may also speak to you. Not one of them, in my reckoning, is required for a good life. If you consider them, I think you will gain. Whether you agree with any or not, by the considering of them, you will, I think, be aided in the development of your own beliefs.
A word about beliefs: everybody has got them. Having "no beliefs" is itself a belief. Sorry. You cannot get away, cannot live without beliefs. I figure it is smart, wise, and loving to consciously decide what one believes (as much as one can) rather than to unconsciously, sheep-like accept the beliefs of others.
Life has good. It can, I think, quite possibly, with intent and action, have more, be more good. It can become better. We are, whether we know it or not, whether we admit it or not, involved in its development; we are in and of the process. A part of Life.
This is the gist of LyU. If you want more, read below. Otherwise, I invite you to listen to an LyU podcast, read an LyU essay, or work through an LyU book.
The word LukeyoutheU is made up, of course (as all words at one time were). It was formed by linking together three concepts: Luke, you, and the U.
The name Luke points to 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; 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! Decided by us individually and 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 or the sole controller of your unconscious.
It is your life, in large measure, in other words, and yours to choose what you try to make of 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 now.
The U is shorthand for "the Universe." By "the Universe" I mean everything. All of it. The physical and the nonphysical, the seen and unseen. The know and the unknown. All of it. All of life. The whole of the world experience, including all of its smaller parts (quantum particles, cells, bacteria, small organisms, ants, etc.) and bigger ones, too, up to and including 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, and it is not only about humanity. We humans are currently part of the equation of life on this planet called earth but we are, by any 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. In combining, in relationship with each other, they transform. They transform from Luke, you, and the U to become LukeyoutheU, a complex idea and belief.The caterpillar crawling along the branch seems a simple thing and is but is also complex; life has simplicity in it but is undeniably complex. The caterpillar goes through radical change while remaining the same being. It becomes the butterfly which can fly and see the world from new perspectives. It can go farther, and further its understandings. Are you a caterpillar or a butterfly?
Tremendous, and tremendously good possibilities are before us.
We can, individually and/ or corporately, whittle our lives, the opportunity of humanity, away; we could, literally, blow ourselves, and everything else, up. Or we could choose to grow up, grow greater, and fly.
I hope, I think we will decide on the latter.
LukeyoutheU was created in California.
I was born in Maryland.
about Jake Knight
The evolution of
LyU had its starting point, if there is one particular place and time, in my bedroom, in San Francisco. July 28th, 2011. In that small room painted a brownish yellow, I heard a voice.
I had been sleeping in the same bedroom for the previous fifteen years. Indirect sunlight, some of it reflected by my neighbors' backside windows, had brought the room's walls to a golden glow. I was asleep one moment, awake and speaking the next. The sequence: asleep-> awake-> speaking-> conscious. Astute readers, and I think that may include you, dear reader, will notice that the speaking, the voice, came before I was conscious. The words were formed with my own mouth, for sure; but they came out before they were screened. My brain had not signed off on them. What came from my mouth surprised, 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. They upended me. I had not before ever seriously considered leaving San Francisco. I thought I had found my forever home. Had 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. But did this idea, this firm directive, come from me only, from only my individual unconscious? That is a serious question. I had never before seriously considered moving to LA. But here I was saying I was going to. Hearing the idea from my own lips. 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, made?
One thing was, at that point, perfectly clear to me: if I ever were going to allow myself to experience life as more than only a biological unit, as more than as only an accidental creation of evolution and chance, as more than an individual somehow separate from other life, this was my chance. I might not have another. I was a mostly happy biological unit, a physical being. This was an opportunity for me to understand myself as also part of something more. To be willing to go into the unknown, as a caterpillar must, into the dark and possibly painful process of change-but-remain-the-same being.
Some background. For the twenty years previous to the voice, I had, hard-core, practiced agnosticism. I was determined to not decide or act as if God, a spirit, a being that I could not fully fathom, had a role in my life. (And, for some of the months in there, I flirted with atheism.)
Going back further: for the ten years before the twenty, I had been what what would be called religious. Read the Bible almost every day, went to church most Sundays, participated in and led Bible studies, even was a paid youth leader for a few years.
Before that, in my first fifteen years on this planet, I did a lot of questioning and running through the woods. Spent a lot of time figuring out how I could be happy.
That morning at the end of July, 2011, the voice brought it all to a head. To, and in, my head.
I did what I had not done before. Not with the same degree of trust or willing abandon. Always before I had a plan or, at least, some money. This time I jumped from a high cliff into the sea. Not physically but spiritually. I plunged into the spiritual, not head but feet first. I was open to wherever the experience, that Life, would lead me to.
I jumped in with hope, desire, and trust. I subsequently learned, after years of swimming in the spiritual sea, that I need not throw out my conscious, rational mind; that I did not have to always swim; and that I did not need to live without standing on land to prove anything to anyone, myself, God, others, included.
I also 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 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. Is Life itself.
Now to bring it directly to you, dear reader. Please forgive me for my directness but sometimes candor is called for. These are crucial questions which we all must answer, and do. We do so knowingly or unknowingly, consciously, unconsciously, 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, some time on the beach, and also take time to swim in the sea.
A photo of Boney Mountain in Ventura County, CA.
A selfie from my SF days.
about Jake Knight