Sunday, September 23, 2012


It was so unexpected
and yet should not have been,
the way that fate dictated,
all was not as it seemed.
I had the plans so steady,
the order had been set,
and then it all just fell part;
illusion's cruel effect.
There was no certainty in life,
the lesson did proclaim,
and all demand that it exist
will bring you only pain.
When expectation calls account,
we step in foolish dance,
for certainty does not exist;
there is no place for chance.

So here’s out it works:
Write a poem that you did not expect to write today!  Or if you don’t have one, find an old poem that involved the unexpected.


  1. yes..i think certainty is an illusion we love to believe in..nothing is so sure as change...expected and unexpected and oh how we love to make plans but always lots of unknown figures in it..


  2. You said, "for certainty does not exist; there is no place for chance."
    Is that contradiction intentional -- is that suppose to be the unexpected?

    Type: "So here's out it works:" --> "So here's HOW it works"

    1. It was intentional but on the basis that certainty does not exist for it does not, but there is no chance - all happens for a reason and as it should but we often do not know the reason, nor expect what happens; the unexpected things in life fall into the category of : Life is what happens when we are busy making plans.
      We cannot know what will happen or what to expect but we can take a position of believing that nothing happens by chance!

    2. Ah. But if "all happens for a reason", what reason is that? What has ever made you come to that conclusion?
      [questions are OK, I hope]

    3. Questions are absolutely fine. Much pondering, since I was a child, on the meaning of life and the why and the what of it. Extensive reading over many fields and even more pondering has brought me to a belief that we live in a meaningful universe and an 'ordered' one. I suppose the first time the thought took form was many years ago when I was watching a programme on the human body. I was fascinated with how everything which happens in the body does so for a reason. Everything exists for a reason. And then I thought: So why do we have consciousness when we certainly do not need it to function in this world and many people make little use of it and my answer was that consciousness was the one thing we could take with us from this world.
      Since then I have come to believe that consciousness is this world and all we see is a manifestation of it and that what I call God (nothing to do with religion) is this consciousness and everything in it has meaning and purpose. The better we know ourselves and the more intuitive we are the more we might perceive our purpose although astrology is excellent as a guide - but there is purpose. So while we do not have certainty because we don't know exactly what our life holds, if we believe that life is meaningful and purposeful then there is no chance. That works for me anyway.
      And the 'reason' it happens is because we have chosen our life before we came into this world, and the set, and the stage, and the other characters in order to experience what we need to experience. We cannot change what happens to us in life but we can change how we respond or react to it; give our take the 'limitations' and skills residing in our natures.

    4. Well, yes, the "reasons" for all the finely coordination in the human body (or any organism) is successful reproduction.

      Concerning consciousness: It may be a spandrel (epiphenomena) secondary to other functions thus similar to all other body "reasons".

      Also, all quality studies of Astrology show it has no predictive value. YVMV.

      We can believe that life is meaningful without believing it has some transcendental meaning.

      But I get that all that may work for you -- beliefs are our slaves, it seems.

      If we can change how we react to things in life, then we are changing our lifes and then things aren't determined and nothing is controlled with meaning but instead, as always, we make meaning -- it does not make us.

      Just my opinion.

    5. hope you enjoy the "spandrel" link -- it is hard to see on this template.

    6. I have researched across the spectrum including the epiphenomena theory and it just does not answer enough questions. But it is an extensive subject and a hundred or more books later I am still reading and learning.

      Reducing life to a Darwinistic reproductive exercise also does not answer enough questions. Too many 'holes' left.

      As an amateur astrologer of some 30 years, prompted by reading a truly stupid book someone gave me, and as a continuing student let me just say that astrology, good astrology is not predictive and does not claim to be in any specific sense. Astrology as a psychotherapeutic tool however is invaluable. But it either interests you or it doesn't. I find it very useful and fascinating. It works and as someone who is at times cynical and over-rational ( as my chart clearly shows) I was as astonished as anyone when I saw its accuracy for myself, my family, my friends etc.

      We can believe life is meaningful without believing that it has transcendental meaning and there is nothing wrong with that if it works for you. But much of life cannot be explained or seen as meaningful without a transcendental perspective and no doubt this is why people have been spiritual seekers since the beginning. Some, I am sure, are more drawn to it than others.

      I agree that when we change how we react or respond we change our lives and I have an open mind on how much we can change the 'script' we have for this life... lots of interesting work in quantum physics which can make sense of that.

      I would disagree though that meaning does not make us. We make meaning absolutely, but the meaning we make will 'create' us, our relationships, our experiences and our lives....all is perception and as we participate in this 'dance of matter' we are co-creators.

      And that's just how I see it. But because something is right for me does not mean it is right for others.

    7. spandrels are fascinating. For me they are like fractals and mathematics and countless other complex and beautiful systems which sustain this material world.

    8. @ Roslyn,
      (1) You said, "Reducing life to a Darwinistic reproductive exercise ..." When actually, more drastic is the "reduction" to a very, very simple: "The Universe loves us and even if things don't make sense, it is all OK."
      Evolutionary perspective just explains organisms (and a few more things) but does not answer the human cognitive torments that consciousness brings. Our contrived solutions are humorous.

      (2) Astrology as psychotherapy is as valuable as I Ching, Tea Leaves, Taroh cards and much more. We can read meaning in and justify what we want to say. Kind of like throwing open a Bible and looking for god's guidance. Sure, it may be useful -- I get that. Just not the type of usefulness I embrace. I am OK with certainty -- I don't need big sweet answers for comfort. I am OK with complications, the unknown and such.

      The accuracy of charts at describing personality has been tested and shown to have not significance. But we remember what fits our view of the world and forget what doesn't -- data based on that is untrustworthy. Thus we have developed less subjective methods.

      I won't go on any further, we appear to have some important differences in perspective. You have opted for solutions I have not -- though I did at one time. That is cool, of course. And now when I read your poems and see hints at this sort of stuff, I will understand your point and can just disagree quietly. :-) But before you told me, I wasn't sure if I disagreed.

      Poetry often contains ideas and philosophy -- when it does, I think it should be fair

    9. ... game to discuss (as do you) and not just say "all poetry is cool".

      Sorry, forgot the last part.

      (3) Spandrel, btw, as I used it, referred to the evolutionary metaphor of a function which is merely a sideeffect of other processes which served a purpose -- I wasn't referring to fractals and such.

    10. I never reduced it to something as simplistic as the universe loves us and even if things don't make sense it is okay. It is more complex and more interesting than that. These are your words or perceptions.

      Yes astrology is as valuable as I Ching and Tarot and I use them as well but astrology is much more insightful and specific. I have never read tea leaves but from what I know of it, it is more basic, albeit, potentially useful.

      As to throwing open the Bible and looking for God's guidance - you can call it God and you can throw open anything and look for guidance and it is called synchronicity and can be useful but is more ephemeral than a science/ art like astrology, the I Ching or Tarot.

      And it is perfectly okay not to find such things useful. We are all different.

      I can only ask if you have studied astrology. If not, then let me say it is as unwise to criticise it as it is to condemn gardening without having a deep understanding of how it works. The accuracy of charts describing personality has in fact been tested and shown to have significance. I don't want to enter into a debate here but I could direct you toward that research if you were interested, which I suspect you are not.

      I have not opted for solutions - I seek understanding and that is a different thing. There are no solutions in any empirical sense; just different paths.

      All methods are subjective including science. One only has to read about the scientific paradigm over the past 500 years to understand that. Often the difference between subjective and objective is what we believe and the beliefs of the society we inhabit.

      Disagreement is absolutely fine. I happen to believe that all that matters in life is finding a set of beliefs which work for one and following one's own truth. I have absolutely no problem with people who do not believe as I do. I require no agreement, nor need it. I feel and think that if we all live our lives (and astrology also shows this) according to our own 'truth' then nothing else matters. There is not one way and never was.

      As to poetry containing ideas and philosophy, of course it does. One could ask what is fair? I happen to feel that any creative expression needs only to reflect the truth of the creator. No more, no less.

    11. Spandrel, btw, as I used it, referred to the evolutionary metaphor of a function which is merely a sideeffect of other processes which served a purpose -- I wasn't referring to fractals and such.

      I know you were not but I made the connection. Although it is different to the theory of epiphenomenon.

    12. @ Roslyn Ross,
      A long time ago I studied astrology -- Western, Indian and then Chinese. I have studied several other divination methods including I Ching. Here is a little post I did comparing I Ching to Tofu.

      I don't have to study Scientology, Jehovah Witness, Pentecostal Faith Healing, and many more in order to reject or criticize them.

      From what you write, I get a good picture of your New Age position. I am sure it serves you very well. Comparing scientific methods to New Age divination in terms of subjectivity is a joke, actually. But I have heard that ploy before. Certainly there is much politics, deception, subjectivity, bias and such in people who practice science but the method has ways to check it even when people try to skirt those methods. The method is committed to checking and doubting. Not true with divination methods -- whatever they may be. But again, I am sure we could go on all day about that.

      I too am cool if you think otherwise -- sometimes it is fun to understand where each other stand and then move on. As long as one person's ideas do not harm others -- the problem is, sometimes they do. Faith healing kills children, for instance.

      Concerning "the truth of the creator" -- well, if it is an empirical claim, we should test it. If it is otherwise, we can see if it hurts people or helps them. Since I don't believe in a creator, I will stop by saying "Creative expression needs only reflect truth" -- and thus I feel free to challenge when it doesn't.

      Sometimes people treat poetry as sacred and people should not question it because it is personal. But if it contains supposed proclamations of truth, then I think we have the right to question and should.

      This all started when you claimed that "all happens for a reason" -- perhaps I should just have made a more generous translation of that statement (as I write about here) -- but then we would never have gotten to know each other! :-)

    13. @ Sabio Lantz
      I am getting a sense that you have used or seen these things as divination tools. If that was in a literal predictive sense you are likely to have problems. If it is in an insightful sense in terms of accessing one's intuitive capacity and making a way around the dominant rationalist capacity it is more useful. At least that is how I found it.

      To my mind you can find 'guidance' anywhere, even in Tofu, but ancient systems like astrology, I Ching and Tarot and the like have been constructed and formulated to make it more embracing and concise.

      There are great differences between Western Indian and Chinese astrology. I happen to believe that things which emanate from one's general cultural background work better but that is a generalisation. Western astrology teaches that the forces 'impel' they do not 'compel' which embraces free will. Indian astrology in the main believes the opposite. I don't know enough about Chinese to know where it falls.

      Personally I do feel that if one is going to criticise something then one needs a good understanding of it first. In other words, you do need to study things to some degree before criticising but you don't need to study things to reject them. Although it is always good to know what you reject and why.

      I don't have a New Age position. That is a dismissive term which the scientific fraternity and those of an absolute material mindset tend to throw around. The things I read are across the spectrum and the knowledge is anything but new.

      You keep using the word divination which bothers me a tad. None of this is about divination - it is about understanding. I was not comparing scientific methods to new age divination since I don't do divination. I compare scientific beliefs assessed within the limitations of the current scientific paradigm with other beliefs drawn from everywhere. One of the most interesting fields is that where science and spirituality 'meet.' There are some excellent scientists writing on this topic.

      The scientific method is valuable. No-one denies that. But because it is sourced in a belief that the universe and everything in it is in essence 'mechanical' and can be understood and proven empirically it is limited. Quantum physics of course knows this is not true and that challenges the current mindset. Changing minds is always difficult in any system and particularly one where money, egos and 'face' hold sway.

      Again you use the divination word. Your statement that 'faith healing kills children' is rather subjective and no more true than the statement that 'allopathic medicine kills children,' for it does. Allopathy as a healing methodology kills hundreds of thousands of people, some say a couple of million, around the world every year - iatrogenic deaths are the second or third largest killer. But I would no more dismiss it because of that - merely call it to account.

      I am not sure what you mean by Faith healing so will not comment further.

      I don't know what you mean by a Creator either. I don't believe in a creator as envisaged by any religion but I do see intelligent design at work in this world and believe that there is intelligent consciousness underpinning this world (and all others).

      Questioning is crucial. No-one should ever believe what they read or are told - they should question, research, think and make up their own minds. Cherrypick it all is my view and accept nothing unless it fits with one's common sense and intuition.

      I don't mind talking in the least. Happy to do so and enjoying it.:)

    14. @Sabio

      I read your piece on 'everything happens for a reason' and it is an interesting article.
      I am guessing you are American and I would just say here that our perceptions are always sourced in our culture. There is nothing wrong with that but someone growing up or living in the US (and I have spent a lot of time there) is immersed in a highly religious culture of a highly fundamentalist nature (the most religious in the developed world) in ways that someone growing up or living elsewhere in the First World is not.

      When someone says in the US 'everything happens for a reason' it is generally sourced in a christian belief which pushes the message - trust God! Although I am always struck by how people will say when someone is saved in a tragedy, 'thanks to God,' while ignoring the fact that the 300 who died in the same tragedy are also, logically speaking, dead because of the same God! But I digress.

      What I mean when I say everything happens for a reason is that this world is far more connected and complex than we know and there are reasons for everything that happens - we just don't know them. Perhaps time makes a difference as well. I don't know how old you are but I have a few decades under my belt and my life has been varied to say the least and challenging and yet, it is in looking back that I have so often seen how things 'fit' and the why of things I did not understand at the time. You could say this is projection but I am more critical than that.

      It's a big subject and I have also found a 'path' through astrology - as has my husband (who is not into such things in the main) and my children (very much grown) and friends and family. I have come to see the world spiritually (nothing to do with religion although I can see the parts of religion which fit with a spiritual view and use them - all religions)and symbolically. There is a synchronous nature at work in this world and it fascinates me. If you have read Jung you know about his famous 'instance' and my life has abounded with them.

      When it comes to predictive as you earlier mentioned I am perhaps also swayed because I am highly intuitive and I do often 'know' things when others do not, or 'dream' things which come to pass. I am not clairvoyant but I do believe there is such a thing. In other words, I have experienced much which simply does not fit into the limited paradigms of either science or religion but I believe that in time we will develop knowledge and understandings which will allow both of these systems to change and grow - although much upon which they stand will be destroyed and released before that can happen.

      We live in a fascinating world.

    15. @ Sabio,
      I did have a look at the links you posted. You clearly have a wealth of experience on many counts - a journey of looking for answers, or perhaps one answer, and certainly one of discovery.

      What I find interesting is, having looked at your site it is clear we are sourced in similar things but have reached different positions on them, and yet, for some reason, you were drawn to communicate on my poetry blog. Perhaps we have things to teach each other. I would be fascinated to look at your chart because you and your journey appear as complex and as convoluted as mine.

    16. @ Roslyn
      I will reply a bit more later (only so much time in a day, eh?).
      But I put up a post today which links to the post I have about "uranai" -- why don't you look at them.
      Here is today's post.
      Please comment over there, if you are interested.

      You were disturbed at my use of the word "divination"

      I use the word "divination" as a translation for the word "uranai" in my head (I speak Japanese). I am not sure you have your browser Japanese compatible, but here it is: 占い.

      It is a term used to capture the many methods used in many cultures to understand peoples' personalities, propensities, limitations and strengths for how they play out in the past, present and future events. I will continue to call the methods "divination" unless you can come up with a better word in English. "Fortune Telling" is worse --- it is too narrow and has that one-sided notion of predicting the future.

      I will comment more later.

    17. @Sabio,

      I was not disturbed at your use of the word divination, but of course it does have connotations in English and in regard to the topics we have been discussing. Divided by a common language is a phrase which often comes to mind with other English speakers - even more so having lived in North America, the UK and South Africa! Even culturally the meaning of words can be radically different. Liberal being a classic in terms of what it means in the US and in other English speaking nations.

      Having explained your interpretation of divination we are on the same page but it is tricky given that you are using a Japanese interpretation for an English word and most English speakers would 'see' or 'hear it' in the sense of that language which is: The art or act of foretelling future events or revealing occult knowledge by means of augury or an alleged supernatural agency.

      As to another word, unfortunately, in English, divination is rather locked into fortune-telling which was how I reacted to the word. It's fine for me now I know what you mean but unless your interpretation of divination is explained others will react as I did. And even if one uses a Japanese/English dictionary it still translates as fortune-telling.

      We agree on fortune-telling. You are making me think about a word which reflects my use of astrology, tarot, I Ching and the like but the only one which comes to mind is that I use it as a tool for insight and understanding. More to ponder.

  3. A very interesting poem - and the rhyme works very well. I agree that it is impossible to live in accordance with plans - and yet they give an internal structure to thought which is very useful

    The closing two lines interesting too - I understand your and Sabio's debate and thank you for the explanation. The forces at work often are quite clear but only in retrospect! k.

  4. there is safety in our certainties we cling to...even in their falsity...and some carry on the plan regardless of the facts....really interesting as well on the rhyme, it def works...a rather enchanting verse....

    1. Thanks Brian. I have lived many years in the Third World - Africa and India and while I know certainty is an illusion I also know it is a comfortable one!

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