Predicting the Future

January 8, 2010

My habitual pattern is to drop my car keys on the kitchen counter.  That means it’s a pretty good prediction most days that the kitchen counter is where my car keys will be.

But that’s not true every day.

What if I arrived home last night really really really needing to pee?  The kitchen counter might not have been my first stop.  (Hopefully not, really.)

If I’m not paying attention at that point, those keys might be harder to find today.  But just the thought, “I better put these keys in the kitchen,” (followed by doing so) would restore the pattern, making today’s prediction of keys on counter a pretty darn accurate one.

Alternately, I might arrive home, keys in hand, enter the kitchen and think, “I’m tired of having things strewn on the counter – I need a new system.”  So, I find a basket or a hook or suddenly the potted plant by the door looks like just the right home for them.  Now the prediction of keys on the counter becomes a pretty bad prediction.

Knowing the future relies on these three things:  seeing the pattern that has come before, assessing the degree to which that pattern is in place in the present, and realizing how human awareness is operating in relationship to this pattern – either deliberately restoring a pattern that’s been disrupted, or intentionally instigating a change in pattern.

The future is easy to predict if it’s easy to see the pattern in the past, not much has changed in the present, and there’s little human awareness affecting how this pattern will move forward in the future.  But shift any of those and the future just grows in its mystery.


The Meaning of Destiny

January 1, 2010

They say it is important that we do what we have come here to do, to live our life’s purpose.

So much of my life I have worried that I would never figure that out—never find the written instructions that spell out exactly the work, the accomplishment, the contribution that is MINE to make.

But really, there is no one thing.  There is no roster with names in one column and destinies in the next, all spelled out.  There is nothing to be checked off.

And what a good thing that is.  How antithetical that would be to the nature of being human, to the nature of life itself.

We are not born only to accomplish a task, and then once that is complete return to the throbbing unformed miasma to repeat the process again.  We exist for the more, for living each moment explicitly for the stunning opportunity to discover it, to create it, to leap with abandon into the adventure of breathing and seeing and knowing and loving and dancing and struggling and…

There is no one thing to be or do.  There are only the acts of being and doing.  Being me.  Doing it my way.  Each moment, each nuance, each look, each task and test, each elegant spot of grace.

That is the meaning of destiny.