new age spirituality

Just My Luck

We often blame our luck, or credit that of others for the various ups and downs of life. But does luck really exist, and if so what is it all about?

Albert Einstein once said, "God does not play dice with the universe". But when we observe how so-called luck is distributed it seems to be exactly the product of someone upstairs playing games of pure chance. Invariably we hear of decent, honest, hard-working folk suffering the most awful misfortunes, while the apparently unworthy pick up huge lottery wins. Where is the justice, if there is any at all?

Firstly we need to examine our judgement of good and bad. In the context of a single lifespan, which is infinitesimal against the backdrop of eternity, these terms represent only the values that we ourselves apply to what we experience and observe. Though it is true that some are further along the path of Spiritual growth than others, and thus tend to make less elementary mistakes.

Second, we are but actors playing out our roles on the earth stage, albeit with some improvisation.

Third, Spiritual wisdom teaches that we choose our life path - our experiences and lessons to learn - before we are born, ie our karma. Once we get to the earth-plane we are gifted with free will and may even try to avoid our previously worked-out plan. But though we are free to do this, we will continually be presented with reminders and prompts as to why we're really here.

To some extent luck depends on your point of view. It's like the old definition of optimism and pessimism; is the glass half full or half empty? For example a man has an accident and writes off his car but walks away with cuts and bruises. Is he lucky, because he wasn't killed or crippled? Or unlucky, because his car is wrecked beyond repair? Different people would view it differently. In fact he is neither lucky nor unlucky, he has simply undergone yet another of life's learning experiences.

Good Luck Charms and Superstition

Human beings are superstitious creatures. Don't walk under ladders, cut your nails after dark, open an umbrella indoors, break a mirror..... We also take every opportunity to purchase good luck charms of various descriptions. But do these illogical beliefs have any real meaning?

Yes, they can, at different levels. Take for example walking under a ladder. This is believed to originate from the ladder forming a triangle with the horizontal and vertical aspects, which represent the Christian holy trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), which it is ill advised to break. But at a more practical level a ladder may be supporting a person working at the top who may be holding tools, which if dropped on a passer-by could cause a nasty injury. So superstitious or not, ladders are best walked around rather than under.

If you believe in a superstition or good luck charm, it will mot likely work for you. Your belief will tend to push you in a more positive direction, making the superstition or charm a self-fulfilling prophecy. There is nothing magical about this; it is the so-called placebo effect in medical science or plain old mind over matter.

A higher level at which superstitions and good luck charms work is the archetypal. This refers to beliefs and symbols that have built up considerable power over long periods of time as a result of continued mass belief in their potency. They become part of the human group psyche and thus acquire a power that can be tapped into.

Adopting good luck charms and following superstitions is a bit like making sure your car is regularly serviced and maintained before driving it. There is no guarantee the serviced car won't break down, or that a neglected car will - but the probability of the well-maintained vehicle successfully completing the journey is greater. The superstitious approach tends to increase our propensity for attracting good or bad things.

The more pragmatic viewpoint is that we make our own luck. If someone tries hard, and makes the best of the hand they've been dealt, they are more likely to find success than someone who simply bemoans the misfortunes they are handed.

Science, or more specifically quantum physics, has discovered that far from being the predictable reality of our experience the universe is actually a highly unpredictable entity. The certainty that we know is actually the product of vast numbers of uncertain, probabilistic events at the micro-level. These "random" events combine to create the causal world with which we are so familiar. It is by subtly influencing these micro-events that the Spirit can impose its will upon the physical, and luck can impose its influence upon our experience.

We can maximize our "luck" by learning to go with the flow. To recognize what this life is trying to teach us, and embracing it. Life is not equal, not even meritorious. We all tread different paths, and sometimes the results don't reflect our best efforts. But we can improve our chances both of satisfaction on the earth plane, and Spiritual growth, by taking responsibility and control of our own destiny.

© 2006