Many consider the number thirteen very lucky and others try to avoid it like work. I was going to say the plague, but lets face it, we don’t avoid the plague, what we really shy away from is important work that we know we need to get to. I place no value on the number thirteen one way or another, but I do embrace it on occasion, because it seems to be a lovely source of irritation for others.
It is phenomenal that if you enter many buildings in North America, you will not find a thirteenth floor, nor will you find an apartment with the number thirteen in it. I always found this amusing because if you have any basic math skills, you know that the number fourteen is actually thirteen. You just have to count up, but thats besides the point.
Today is Friday the 13th, the high holiday of superstition, but superstition is not good for us. It erodes our human will. It denies in some part our incorruptible power of autonomy and freedom. Yes, of course there are many things outside of our control, we get acted upon all the time, but how they impact us, and what credence we give those moment are ours, and ours to dispense alone.
If you think a broken mirror, or some spilled salt will impact your day today, God bless you. If you avoid matters, wear your underwear backwards, and believe things happen in threes God bless you. And for those that are really religious, ask yourself why you bless yourself so much? Doesn’t it become a bit superstitious when it is employed for everything and anything that frightens you?
It makes no difference to me if you read the horoscope, or follow a chart pattern. It makes no difference if you believe you hear voices and see visions. I’m apt to believe you. I’m open to a lot of things, but I am always on guard to protect my freedom.
I think living in an affluent society presents a hidden problem. There is no war here. There is no-one actively taking our freedom away from us, but we do a great job taking that freedom away from ourselves.
We do this by undervaluing what we do and by being ashamed of not fitting in. We give up our individuality for the perceived comfort of being part of something. Culture and identity is a wonderful thing, but be very careful when that culture and identity expects you to act and live a certain way.
Your life is yours. It is a gift, given to you and nobody else. It is not up to the collective to place you where you are needed. Yes, you are free to accept, but you have the autonomy to reject and choose a different path.
Friday the thirteenth is a reminder that we need to hold on to our freedom. We need to be on guard for little things we say and do that enslaves us to things that promise a hallow future.
Break a mirror sometime. Spill some salt. Adopt a black cat.
See if you’re thrown into unbearable chaos and the eternal fires of hell.
Test your reality and don’t hide on the fourteenth floor.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Wang Xi via unsplash.com