Tim and I had Chinese food for dinner last night. Yum. I love veggie fried rice :) Tim had dumplings and something else. I think it was General Tso's Chicken but I'm not certain. I was too busy scarfing down my own dinner to notice. It's not a pretty truth, but still true.
One of the things many things I love about occasionally indulging in Chinese take out, is the fortune cookies we get afterwards. I actually genuinely like the taste. And of course, I always read the fortune. Mine said: "Good Writing is Clear Thinking Made Visible". Hmmm. Not so much a fortune as a bit of philosophy I'd say. That was a little disappointing. Oh well, it's not as if I believed in Fortune Cookie Fortunes anyway.
As a matter of fact, I do not believe in fortune telling at all. Not of any sort. Which is kind of funny because I grew up learning how to read tea leaves. Yup. It's true. In my house that was a perfectly normal thing to do. And so I did it. Didn't everyone? My grandmother did. My mother did. So it seemed logical to a rather sheltered child that everyone did. It wasn't until I grew up and began spending more time with my friends in their homes that I learned it wasn't a regular sort of thing.
I wasn't embarrassed by it. Not at all. But rather than just accept it all unquestioningly, I did begin to think about it more and in a different way. Why on earth would soggy used tea leaves be a method of divination? Was there anything substantive in this process? Certainly there was nothing scientific, was there something, non-scientific?
Throughout history, science has had to change it's stance on almost everything it believed that it "KNEW" for certain. At one time, the earth was flat. Everyone knew that to be absolutely true. And if you sailed too far, you would sail off into an abyss. During the time of Galileo, he determined the the sun, and not the earth, was the center of the our known universe. He was arrested and spent the remainder of his life under house arrest for heresy. So is it not possible that there are some people who have the ability to see into the future?
I suppose it's possible, yes. But I am not yet convinced that I've met anyone who could. See here is the part that makes it so unlikely to be true:
The way it was explained to me - back in my tea leaf apprenticeship days - everything the tea leaf reader sees is based on the path the fortune seeker is on at this particular moment. As soon as they step off that path, it changes the future.
Well dang! Since everyone makes a zillion or so decisions every single day, any of which could change their "path", the fortune they've just been read is fairly worthless, if it had any value other than entertainment to begin with. Take a different route home and you've literally changed your path, change your hair colour -path change, get married - big change, different job - different future. Even something as small as making a new friend or starting a new hobby could, according to the tea leaf reading rules, completely alter your future. So , again, other than for entertainment purposes, I do not see any value in prognostication.
Have I done it? Sure! At a friend's request, I read tea leaves at her tea shop a few times. I've read tea leaves for friends parties and gatherings, again by request. But always always always, I made it very clear that it was not for real, but just for fun. They seemed to enjoy it. I haven't done it in years, but I am reasonably certain that I could still do it if I chose.
During high school, in my little gaggle of friends, at least one of us owned a ouija board. That was fun for awhile too. Did we believe in it? Not at all. It was just sillyfun. One time when Tim and I were in Las Vegas for some conference he was attending, we found what appeared to be a gypsy wagon while we were walking around after dinner. The woman in the doorway, dressed in stereotypical gypsy garb offered to read my palm. At first I declined, but after a little more encouragement, I went in. I don't remember exactly what she said to me but I do recall that it was incredibly generic. It was fun. It was a new experience. But would I ever do it again? Nah.
Think about it, "You are going to meet a tall dark stranger" That is the phrase nearly everyone associates with palm reading. It's always a tall dark stranger. What about short blonde strangers? Or medium sized red heads that you already know? Why aren't they the people we ever get to meet in our fortunes? I'd frankly find that far more believable.
Tarot Cards? Yup, at one point I had a set of those too. That was probably also in high school. I know I was given a crystal ball then too. Wild eh? Someone was setting me up for a fun career! I have no idea what happened to either the cards or the crystal ball. I just know that I don't have them now and haven't seen them in so many years that I only just remembered it now while writing this blogpost! Oh my friends and I had fun with both of them for a bit. But we never ever took it seriously.
One of the strangest experiences I ever had was when I was about 16. A stranger who came up to me on a sidewalk in front of a store, grabbed my hands and told me three things: One was that I was a writer (ok that's interesting) the second was that I would have three children, all of them boys (true) and the third was that I would marry three times. (twice is close but no cigar)
Then they walked away and I was left standing thinking, "did that just happen?" It still doesn't mean that I believe in fortune tellers or fortune telling. I do not.
I do believe that there are a lot of things that science does not yet know or understand. I am open to possibility about a lot of things. Life on other planets for instance? Absolutely. I think it would be the height of arrogance for us to assume that we are the only sentient beings in the entire universe. ESP? Maybe. Ghosts? Possibly. But fortune tellers. Nope. Big Nope. At least not in the traditional sense. No I-Ching, no ouija boards, no tarot cards or palm reading and for heaven's sakes absolutely not tea leaf reading.
But is there some poor soul out there who is cursed by knowing the future? Perhaps there is. But I've never met them.
And even if it were possible to always know what's going to happen in the future, would I want to know? I don't think so. I believe that I would rather be surprised.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.