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Accidental lives…

January 21, 2011


Today, I want to pose a real poser. A zinger. A dead or more accurately alive ringer.

The bigger, better question. A root issue, to be examined with courage.

I’d like to propose an axiom that all humans lead accidental lives.

My life, your life, your friends and relatives, everyone’s life is an accident. We go through life like a  ball in a really long snooker match.


Like that. from person to person to collective to solitary, bouncing off people and ideas and cushions and beds and institutions and situations….. vaguely but loosely in control of our physical vehicle (except the practiced few that is)…..

And the moment of birth would look something like this:

The question is, who amongst us can see this picture?

In my study, I’ve experienced that very very very few people in all of existence could reach back that far.

But only that point is vaguely sentient of what might follow the strike, the moment of birth. And for the rest of the game, the ball is completely at the mercy of the energy projection from the cue-tip.

We live accidental lives because our lives begin in a moment of complete forgetting, like an amnesiac after an accident.

You would develop a complete new, accidental persona, based on a new in-doctrination of who you are, along with visceral memories of who you were.

Nature and nurture.

Essence and person-ality.

You grow physically into your nature and mentally/emotionally into your nurture.

But the moment of your birthing was a moment between media.

Intermediate stage.

You carried your past in your essence (derived and formed according to the womb you were born in) and grew your present in your personality.

But born in a moment of complete amnesia.

Mother’s womb to world womb in one squeezing slide. How can the experiences of one medium translate to the other? How do you use land based skills in the water? Or in space? Except in your essence (autonomous functions).

And you had no clue of who you are in your post traumatic stressed state (birth, especially now, in the western way, is traumatic/traumatizing birth and should be completely outlawed for it’s deliberate debasement of the act).

Please consider this. In light of the pool, snooker analogy.

The cue master has a plan, but the ball is pretty much at the mercy of the cue-tip for the entirety of the game.

Of course you extend the analogy logically to match the under-tow here, i’m saying the ball in this game has the means to be self-realized. To be a game-changer as it were.

A wobbly ball.

But it’s tough to look inwards when at totally unknown moments and from completely unknowable directions and for completely unfathomable reasons, except to the cueist, you get to bounce around, meeting other balls and cushions, hard and soft, spun and straight, top-spun and under-spun…. the analogy is of course crystal clear, yes?

It is a perfect reflection of life. If you think you are the cueist and in control, I suggest you predict, to within 95% accuracy (any top cueist will shoot that), your income for the next 3 days. Or the number of people you will meet, exactly. Just three days. Any cueist, chess player, golfer has at least the next three moves down.

Can you? If you can answer that question in the true spirit of this dialouge, and answer no, then you have to realize the degree of randomness in life. Can you predict, with total accuracy how many kilometers/miles you will travel in the next three days? Down to say 300 meters/yards?

If you can honestly, deeply answer yes to any of those questions, to you everything I’m saying is self-evident.

Our lives are complete accidents till we have a moment of complete self-realization, total awareness… that awareness has the cueist’s view.

It can be found and many ways and paths have been illuminated by masters, but it is for each of us to weave our own path, create our own, fresh, deep context for our life experience.

But that reaching back, through the moment of impact, back up the cueists tip, his hands his mind and then finally his Im-pulse point.

I hope you see the point.

Today, I feel like I under-stood what Gurdjieff said.

Death is of course the knock into the black hole.

If you can be permanently wobbly, volitionally, you will not be put back in any  game.

If you prove to be broken, defaced, you’ll get to be kicked around by kids on the street.

If you preserve well, you’ll play the game again. and again.

Till you become volitionally wobbly or defaced.

A volitionally wobble person is like a fast spinning top, still to the eye but in perfect, centered, balanced motion.


26 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2011 3:43 pm

    The ability to Concentrate, and remain focused, is required in order to guide our lives,

    versus simply allowing ourselves to drift through it. Our minds constantly divert our

    thoughts, leaving our focus fragmented, keeping us in a state of anxiety and fear.

    As I’m sure you’re aware, Meditation increases our ability to concentrate, allowing us to

    remain more in control of our lives. If only more people were to try it……………..

  2. Vee Wong permalink
    January 22, 2011 12:10 pm

    A master piece, V.

    And thanks to MH for that additional comments.

    We must wrestle control back to our volitionally wobble person.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • January 22, 2011 6:55 pm

      Thanks V and your’re right, wrestle it back Aikido style… 😉

      True Budo calls for bringing the inner energy of the universe in order, protecting the peace of the world , as well as preserving, everything in nature in its right form.

      The founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba

  3. Michael permalink
    January 22, 2011 9:50 pm

    I like Aristotle, who talks about the 1st mover. Someone, for lack of a better pronoun, got the ball rolling and all the subsequent chain reactions that came from it. My faith tells me that someone knew and knows what He was and is doing. Because of this faith, I believe nothing is accidental. Although, I believe we as human beings have free will and thus can deflect the inertia of a prior impact into another direction if we so imagine and choose, I also have confidence that whoever got the ball rolling from the first impact is superior enough to use billions and hundreds of trillions of redirections from our collective choices into the scheme the first mover has planned anyway. So, why fight the first mover, He wins, no matter what we do, he is that good and superior. This of course is faith. Faith in the goodness of the first mover. And this type of faith can accept anything that happens and bear whatever injustice with the confidence that somehow whatever has happened will be in the end be a positive in the bigger picture. So, with this theory, nothing can really go wrong, it’s just, when all is said and done, does one want to be on the winning team of supporting the first mover or fighting the first mover. Course it’s all faith and intuition. I also have faith that all when digging deep enough into themselves and their own understanding of their existence will come to the same conclusion, their primitive understanding of right or wrong is merely an acknowledgement of the truth of what the first mover wants.

    • January 23, 2011 3:35 am

      Thanks Michael, from a faith based perspective, that is a very clear POV. Mine differs a tad but, many paths, eh?

      • Michael permalink
        January 23, 2011 3:56 pm

        I agree, you have to RESPECT and ADMIRE the many paths. I personally never forget that Aristotle was a pagan, yet he has been instrumental in providing a basis for a better understanding of the many faithful in their journeys.
        So too, have you given others the opportunity to appreciate the finer things that challenge us all. Not saying you are a pagan, in fact I don’t know ‘what’ you are, however, I do appreciate you.
        Only the first mover knows who truly believes, and He is loving, humble and secure enough not to demand the most formal and narrow acknowledgements as an all mighty dictator might or a simple narrow minded fundamentalist believer would. Simple living expressions of acknowledgement of the very basics. like the ‘golden rule’ will do for him, as if one does not have those, one simply lacks that Real acknowledgement anyway. One can believe without the formal acknowledgements, and one can believe without even knowing he does. The first mover understands the complications and limitations of even the most basic forms of communication. Because, after all, we are indeed talking about the most deepest of all dimensions within the human psyche.

  4. John Russell permalink
    January 23, 2011 6:29 pm

    Life is a lottery, that is to say random chance determines who you are and what you become, do you choose your parents? No you don’t, fate determines who your parents will be and therefore how you will be raised/nurtured, and probably your potential intelligence, (do intelligent parents pass the intelligence gene onwards, or does their nurturing cause innate intelligence to flourish? or some of both? Some of both is what I personally would like to believe, but that is my prejudice for rationality showing). I’ve understood the “Lottery” metaphor for life for a long time and have cultivated the attitude of considering myself to be,”lucky” as in; Lucky is he who thinks he is! and I do consider myself lucky, at least so far, I don’t know where I fit on the Bell curve of intelligence and I’m not concerned to find out, I do have sufficient intelligence to allow myself to create a philosophy which allows me to live my life as a “Lucky” man. I think being lucky may be more valuable than being rich- but then again this is my personal prejudice affirming and confirming myself, I’m lucky not Rich! I enjoy your site and your insights- Thank You!

    • January 24, 2011 6:32 am

      Thanks for the appreciation John and yes, the Lottery analogy works just as well.
      Luck/chance/accident. Between those three lie most human lives.
      The challenge, if there is one, to get above and beyond or through, to a place of self-determination.

  5. steveo permalink
    January 23, 2011 8:31 pm

    Perchance Gold is not a random kickdown….appreciate the Aikidoist comments too. Bears must be Aikidoists to win. I detest any comment like “bears have to get going”. Bears can only use gravity, not rocket launchers.

    Gold is at a critical support point. Very few if any other analysis methods would show this. The PRS177, which is a channel line extension, tells us something that very few can see, much less understand, much less act upon.

    We have got a nice 11% profit on a mechanical trading system [SHORT] on GDX from BreakPoint Trades, however this PRS channel line has caused me to close out that trade. That is good enough.

    The “Cable” British Pound / USD currency pair has 2 reasons to want to push higher. The 78 Fibo and the PRS 177. This would also push US equities higher, although the multi-year correlations may be now at risk of no longer working.

    Also, Expiry week is done. The Monday after expiry often finds some good size fireworks to correct the antics of Expiry week. Sunday futures will be interesting. We banked some serious coin last Sunday playing the futures, which seemed to move in perfect 5 and 3 wave patterns, almost like shooting fish in a barrel. Not that I will complain, any win is a win gratefully accepted.

    Bond Interest Rates are at a 61Fibo, also looking a near perfect bull flag. Choose your own poison on how to play this. Perhaps TBT or even JNK? However, one concern is that there is so much media coverage about muni bonds being risk, and States being allowed to declare bankruptcy–defaulting on pension obligations and bonds. I have to take this amount of media coverage (it is large) as a contrary indicator–when they pimp it out that much, there must be some opposite plan coming out….like a TARP for borrowing for State Governments.

    This feeds back into my tin foil hatter theory of Fed Gov as the economic hit man, enslaving everyone, including State Governments with debt. What a great plan to consolidate power at the Federal Level. Time will tell.

    • January 24, 2011 5:07 am

      “Bears can only use gravity, not rocket launchers”

      Thanks for that classic steveo.

      And yes, debt enslavement seems to have been the plan for a long long time now. Funny thing if you think about it is the enslavement began with the enslavement of the Kings who went to war. Ironic.

  6. enicar333 permalink
    January 24, 2011 5:42 am

    Yes, indeed, all lives and contacts are accidental. I enjoy that I get to read your thoughts. You always have a thought to share… that stimulates more thought. It is what separates the Wheat from the Chaff. Your thoughts are never never Profane, yet that is the ERA that we now find ourselves in… and so we come through another Turning.

    • January 24, 2011 6:34 am

      Enicar, thanks for the attention to the lack of profanity here. It is an important change to usher in, in my POV. Thanks too for the link.

      I saw an awesome fireball over a lake last weekend. They have a “portend”-y feel to them all right.

  7. enicar333 permalink
    January 24, 2011 5:47 am

    As the Comet streaked through the Night Sky, The Romans looked on with dread. They knew the Sign had appeared, the end was near, it would all change soon. So too, will we witness, that spectacle in the SKY… that harbinger of DOOM… telling us, Humanity, your time is up… you have squandered your opportunities, you did not get it right, it is too late… your succusor is awaiting in the evolutionary timeline.

  8. January 24, 2011 11:21 am

    Anadianant lovely post. ‘The challenge, if there is one,…’ fabulous.
    It is good (maybe) to provoke the ego into accepting that he/she is not doing it. Just a rider pretending to guide an automaton. ‘I did that, I meant to pick up that coffee cup and have a drink’ ,’ ‘Gold rally saw that coming back in 2001’, ‘Yep that was me inventing the iPod and making billions’ etc.
    I’ve been telling my ego for sometime now and I feel a lot happier/freer/lighter. But I do find the sneaky chimp frequently manages to persuade me otherwise. Constant vigilance is required for me.
    ‘Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one’ – Albert Einstein.
    I found this useful too

  9. Usman permalink
    January 25, 2011 4:46 am

    Thoughtful thoughts in thoughtless times… thank you, Vivek.

  10. Jeff permalink
    January 25, 2011 4:11 pm

    Hi Vivek,

    Your writing got me thinking…

    By observing the world around us, it’s possible to see some of the traits of your cue master. For example, one may ascribe limitless intelligence and creativity to him. However, going
    from observing traits to “the cue master has a plan” requires a leap of faith, or a belief.

    Using your analogy, let’s say that all the balls (including yours) exude bits of gum and tar as they roll around the pool table. Some of those deposits will stick to our balls as we’re rolling around. Those bits of gum and tar represent faith and belief. To keep your ball rolling freely on the table, each of us needs to be aware of when we pick up those sticky substances and then clean them off.

    Of course, this assumes that one really wants to remove all that sticky stuff. The fact is, many people feel the need to have those things stuck to them… they derive a sense of identity and security from it.

    And sorry for throwing all that sticky stuff on your pool table… 🙂


    • January 26, 2011 12:51 pm

      Nice extension of the pool/snooker analogy Jeff. That’s why they have the guys with the white gloves cleaning off the ball before it returns to play, eh? 🙂
      Methinks the gum/tar are things of the table, our environment. And the volitionally wobbly ball can choose to take them on, exhibit wobble and get ejected.
      What say?

      • Jeff permalink
        January 26, 2011 5:03 pm

        > Methinks the gum/tar are things of the table, our environment.

        Yep, makes sense. From the perspective that each of us has constructed a self to live in the environment, then the gum/tar that gets stuck to each ball would also comes from the table/environment.

        Put another way, we are “on” the table, therefore we are part of the environment. But that gum/tar doesn’t just appear, rather, each of us is responsible for creating or propagating it. For example, any time two balls come into contact with each other, some gum/tar may be exchanged. The same exchange can happen if one writes a book about their gum/tar and another reads it.

        Thinking more about the environment, I’m wondering where your cue master fits in? Is he part of the environment? Or is the cue master the ground on which the table/balls (environment) is built?

        If the cue master is part of the environment, then I could aspire to “meet” him someday (in time). However, if he’s outside the environment, then the best I can do is develop an (incomplete) understanding of him, based on his actions.

        > And the volitionally wobbly ball can choose to take them on,
        > exhibit wobble and get ejected.

        I like your idea of a volitionally wobbly ball! But is that an ideal? I have a feeling that one can not (or perhaps, should not?) ever be content to remain perfectly centered.

        Let me explain. There are times in life when I feel perfectly centered — balanced — the volitionally wobbly ball! In those moments, I see how everything is connected… it all makes sense. Now, each time that happens, I suppose I have a choice:
        (1) I could run off and become a hermit, or write a self-help book describing my journey (path!), or maybe join an order of monks content in my knowledge that I “got it.”
        (2) Or alternately, I could take on a new challenge from the environment, one that may cause me to go off balance again, but in some different way.

        In retrospect, it seems I keep choosing (2)! Wait! So did I really HAVE it?! 🙂

        Could this concept of a perfectly centered ball be just an ideal? Is it the result of a misplaced desire that comes from oneself… and is of time (i.e., “someday I WILL BE that”).

        Perhaps life is supposed to be a continuing balance, between the balanced and unbalanced ball?

        Hmm… and now I’ve confused myself so I’ll stop here! 🙂


        • January 27, 2011 7:07 am

          Good thought stream jeff. But looks like you picked up a little lint in the end, eh?

          By volitionally wobbly I really mean that. once you know your center, you can be off-center anytime you want, knowing full well that you will re-balance as and when needed.

  11. Michael permalink
    January 26, 2011 11:22 pm

    Hi Jeff, I believe you are quite right about the ‘leap of faith’ comment on whatever cue-master, however, I do believe that in order for anyone to make a value judgement, hypothesis or acceptance of any type of scientific theory, one needs some kind of ‘faith’. When it comes down to it, we don’t know if there is a cue-master, we don’t know if anything was accidental or not, the only thing we truly do know is our predispositions to be drawn to whatever theory we’ll need as a base to leap from to acquire more knowledge. So, someone believes there is no God, OK, and they will accumulate evidence to somehow refute or support their base theory, but there is never a time for us mortals to absolutely know something with unquestionable empirical data. Not saying we don’t know anything, or that it is impossible to know anything with some DEGREE of certainty, but what I really want to say is any knowledge must have roots in some kind of faith and that includes the discipline we know as ‘science’. Faith is not a bad thing, it is simply a necessary spring board to more knowledge, and yes, a stronger faith.

    • Jeff permalink
      January 27, 2011 5:46 pm

      I like your description of volitionally wobbly, Vivek!

      Two tiny thoughts came to mind as I was reading it:

      (1) What if we change the words “your center” to simply “center.” Now we’re using the word “center” to give a name to that shared/connected self-LESS state. Here, it is not “my center” any more than it is “your center!”

      (2) Can we “know full well” that we will always re-balance? This would entail knowledge of the future (a belief or faith in it). I’d like to leave open the possibility that something could come along and throw me off balance to the point that I cannot recover, however unlikely that may seem at this moment!


    • Jeff permalink
      January 27, 2011 6:03 pm

      I think I understand your meaning Michael.

      You are talking about using ‘faith’ as a basis to understand “what is.” Used this way, it includes all the scientific discoveries (gravity, the orbits of planets around the Sun, the atom, etc.). These require objective observation and creative intelligence to form hypothesis that work toward our understanding of “what is.”

      The ‘faith’ that you speak of here is that reality is indeed what it appears to be (or perhaps, a faith that “what is” is “what is!”). When “faith” is used in this manner, I find that I also have a degree of faith in this reality (while still remaining open to any evidence to the contrary).

      Returning to the analogy of the pool table…

      I have some degree of faith in the existence of the table and balls (especially one of them :-)). And while I suspect the cue master is ultimately unknowable, I see clues everywhere that can be used to better understand and align ourselves with him. It seems that when stated this way, “him” and “the reality he has created” become one in the same.


  12. ian permalink
    January 29, 2011 9:45 pm

    Life an accident, haphazard, fate, like snooker balls rocketing around a table?

    I think not..

    My belief: God – Creation – Law – Man (Prodigal Son) – Freedom of Choice – Action – Result of Action – Repeat until school finished.

    Unembodied, we choose our parents and the exact circumstances of birth, from dire to blessed, according to what we need (have ‘done’)

    There are no accidents in life; for example, every meaningful relationship has its reason & purpose (think Soul Mates – and it’s opposite).

    This Iron Law operates at an individual, nation & World level. Every thought, word & deed has its consequence. No escape, none what-so-ever. Sorry about that.

    And in this Kali Yuga looks like we’re heading into payback at all levels, big-time.

    But it’s no accident. It’s actually extremely just and very beautiful. Enjoy!

    • January 30, 2011 8:34 am

      Ian, thanks for sharing. There is indeed an absolute (relative to our “dimensionally” limited existance), absolutely.
      That, to my mind, is the cueist’s view.
      My point in the post, can we realize it that we are living accidental lives inside the plan, unconscious of the design.
      And I say we can become cognizant of it. That is self-awareness, which to me, translates to full awareness. Design and all.

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