Are our lives arranged for us?
. . . . and, why the caged bird sings . . . .
Greetings to all!
We encourage you to consider this insight from a high school teacher of ours many years ago (1970s). He told the class (paraphrasing from memory): “You have valid life experiences. You may not have as much experience as those who are older, but your experience is still valid.” (Funny (odd) – I still remember this after many years.)
Dear readers, young or old or middle aged, draw insights from your own life’s experiences. Reflect on your experiences to learn important lessons.
Are our lives arranged for us?
Have you ever considered that some of the unexpected and out of the ordinary things (situations, conflicts, obstacles, challenges, etc.) that come our way in the course of our lives are not by random chance or “luck”? I’m talking here about situations and events that defy explanation by asserting random chance is at work.
Over the years, some very unusual and quite unexpected (and un-asked for) things have occurred in my life. One can only say “rotten luck” or “strange coincidence” so many times before one begins to suspect that luck and coincidence are not in play, and are thus not satisfactory explanations. (If you have ever had a probability course or a statistics class, you can see where some weird chains of events do defy random chance.)
I won’t bore you with the specific details (from the past several years) that come to my mind. Let’s just say that a number of situations cannot be plausibly accounted for by invoking or resorting to chance, luck, coincidence, and perhaps not by “karma” either. So, what is my point?
Is it possible that some things that befall us are not “accidents”? Could it be that certain things have been planned out for our lives without our knowledge (and perhaps without our consent)?
Dear readers, the older I get and the more personal life experiences that I can draw upon leads me to think that this is not just possible, but is likely true to a certain extent. Not every aspect and every particular in our lives shows a hidden and guiding hand at work, but some things (events, situations, etc.) point in that direction.
Some contemporary “psychics” will say that between incarnations, one actually participates in the planning of the major events of their next tour of duty (so to speak). This strikes me as odd because I can honestly say that there is not much likelihood that I would have “voluntarily” taken on some of the onerous burdens and handicaps/limitations that have been with me throughout my entire life.
Perhaps, some things are planned in advance or arranged for us in our lives (by higher powers). But, it seems a stretch to think that we have any real say in what befalls us. And, so that you do not get the wrong idea, I recognize that many people the world over have had tougher hands dealt to them than what I have endured in my life.
When some of the same type problems continue to befall me, continue to seek me out or pursue me, even though I go out of my way to avoid such problems, I some times look up at the sky, and say out of despair: “Why me? Why always me?!!”
Just offered as food for thought.
why the caged bird sings
As a counter point to the above, we offer this short essay.
Happiness and joy are states of mind. They are interior states and are not dependent upon outer circumstances. One Christian convert in an Egyptian prison said that he felt more free – even though in prison – because of his conversion, than when he was “free” by being outside of the prison walls.
Do not let unhappy people take your happiness and joy away from you. There is truth in the saying that “misery loves company”. Unhappy people do not like seeing others who are happy. As well, do not let external circumstances, that are often trying and frustrating, get you down. Alas, easier said than done, but worth striving for!
The caged bird sings out of joy in its heart. It cannot roam the skies and go wherever it wants to, but it takes joy in the present moment. The lesson is that it is better to cultivate joy in one’s heart – even amidst adversity and limitation – than to cultivate unhappiness, depression, or despair.
. . . . random musings . . . .
Recently read an article on the “untouchables” in India. People are still suffering from the corruption of the ancient caste system. (We touched on this in our essay “maintaining sufficient detachment” on October 3 in the last full paragraph. Link below.)
The caste system with its divisions of society was originally based on qualification, and not birth. But, the elites (upper castes, especially the Brahmins) wanted to perpetuate their power, privilege and status for their families indefinitely into the future. Hence, one’s status is now largely defined by one’s birth and not one’s qualifications (talents and abilities).
Such a waste of talent and human potential in this now very corrupt system. And, such an injustice.
And, for those who have read (endured?) the entire essay, we include links to 2 nice songs (for those interested).
Ride Captain Ride – Blues Image (any of you remember the old turntables?)
Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty (1978) – this song was on the pop charts for months in 1978.
To all, best wishes!