Those Pivotal Moments

One of the benefits of having done a thorough whole-life recapitulation is that you get to see those pivotal moments around which life changes or rather starts to change dramatically. This makes you more alert and generally less complacent. It also shows just what a huge role selective perception plays in all of our lives.

Life can change totally around things that take only seconds or minutes to do. We may in those moments plant a seed which later grows into something, or a tiny thing can be the straw which broke the camel’s back. We might chance our hand and get into something dodgy, we might find God. We could meet someone who changes our outlook, or a book could fall off a bookshelf in front of us in a book shop. {This actually happened to me with the I Ching, it “jumped” off the shelf and onto the floor.} We cannot know beforehand the extent of change started at these pivotal moments, it might be very large and fast, or slow and evolving. Life can change with a single ‘phone call or blood in the stools. That certainty we imagine is not so certain. If I had gotten two more marks in my degree I would not have taken the Ph.D. place I did, and my entire life would have been different. There may have been thematic similarities as per fate, but the players, the actors on the stage of my life, would have been different.

Many do not like this notion of fate, it implies that we are not in control and that there is no choice. But somehow all those pivotal moments point us, they nudge us, they are a hand on our tillers. If we need to tack, we get tacked. If this notion of fate be true, then we cannot avoid it. We can either surf with our fate or struggle against it. One of these is more comfortable and intelligent that the other.

These pivotal moments are the points, the fulcrum around which the force of fate is brought to bear. There is an applied torque and things change. Our life direction is altered around the pivot.

There is another type of pivotal moment which is door-like. Suddenly out of nowhere a door opens and we are beckoned to walk through to a new chapter or a corridor we are walking along has a door at the end which slams shut. If we don’t walk through the open-door type, we may never know, and the door only stays open for so long. Failure to take the door-possibility leads to a sense of loss. If it is a door slamming case, then we have to look around for another door whilst acknowledging that the universe does not want us heading along that corridor any longer. This happened in the mark situation I mentioned earlier. I would have stayed at UCL and done a Ph.D. there but the universe pointed me elsewhere.

Unless we are alert we may miss these pivotal moments time and again or make the wrong choices at the pivot. If we are fated the same or similar situation occurs again until such time as we gather sufficient courage to do what we are fated to do. The more we struggle against our fate the harder it becomes, we learn irrespective of cooperation with or struggle against our fate. The method of learning is different. Some of these pivots are once in a lifetime and the choice never comes again. Failure at these has a very long and far-reaching impact ongoing.

Fate, in my eyes, is the lesson-plan for each given life. It is the true curriculum which we have intended for ourselves. Fate is the sum or integral over all our karma.

Having cued this up:

How many pivotal moments have there been in my life?

Was the resultant change wholesale?

How many of these moments might I have missed?

What would I say my overarching fate in this lifetime is?

What does it look like and how is it evolving?

What are the key life lessons that I need to learn?