this line of thought is the basis for “not a pattern”, and is why i enjoy i ching and tarot and astrology and the gods and rituals of all religions.

there’s something profoundly human about our search for narrative and meaning, and too-eager atheists run the risk of losing touch with the immensely fulfilling… well, spirituality i guess, that is a part of each of us, regardless of what we specifically believe or choose not to believe.

i find a lot of value in playing with stories, in temporarily believing things for a minute or an hour or a week, in putting my thoughts and fears and inner desires into words in order to speak prayers, in intentionally taking coincidences seriously. there is a richness of experience there, and it’s pleasant to acknowledge the chaos of existence and then simultaneously believe the world is good and there is some purpose to being alive in it.

we are highly-tuned pattern recognition engines, and so we may as well look for good and hope and beauty and happiness, because looking will find it and strengthen and create it.

see also: pronoia.

19. Is the world a dangerous, chaotic place with no inherent purpose, running on automatic like a malfunctioning machine and fundamentally inimical to your happiness? Or are you surrounded by helpers in a friendly universe that gives you challenges in order to make you smarter and wilder and kinder and trickier?

Trick questions! The answers may depend, at least to some degree, on what you believe is true.

Formulate a series of experiments that will allow you to objectively test the hypothesis that the universe is conspiring to help you.

— written in chrisamaphone’s journal, 6/27/2011