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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

fortune cookie fortunes

We have not entered the Department of Redundancy Department. It is simply a given that American "Chinese food" (as cuisine it is not to be confused with food of/from China) is accompanied by a crunchy hollow cookie containing a small slip of paper that ostensibly presents a fortune. A fortune is, of course, that told from a Fortune Teller, or contained within a Fortune Cookie. Less tautological is that it is an instant of clairvoyance or prophecy.

Which is why it irks me when the Fortune Cookie contains something that is not clairvoyant. If it simply sharing an aphorism or advice or a philosophical axiom it is not a fortune! If it is attempting to tell me something about myself in general it stretches the limits of being fortune for it certainly requires some property of clairvoyance but it is not telling the future. That said the axioms and aphorisms are not only unwelcome beyond being good advice they are not fortunes and every time I crack open a fortune cookie my first judgment is whether or not the cookie contains actual fortune cookie fortune.

That said this post goes off-topic as it suddenly includes experiences from my life. But the principles still apply in general. All fortune cookies should contain fortunes. Now we shall delve into my four favorite fortune cookie fortunes, whether they be fortunes or not.

The first is definitely a fortune:
You will be unusually successful in business.
Since I am a small business owner this is certainly welcome news.The second that comes to mind is a fortune if one infers that the advice is conditional and a warning about upcoming obstacles.
Keep your plans secret for now.
The next is both a descriptor and an actual, applicable fortune. It implies that I will overcome something and how:
You will always get what you want through your charm and personality.
Obviously this one is only true if one clarifies the context and definition of "what I really want" aka, the circumstances of genuine desire. If my yearning is holy or the ways are set my intentions may become manifest in their results. Now the last one is pure descriptor and I enjoy its seeming accuracy, or its ability to flatter me. I keep it for it seems pertinent to what I do for a living.
You have the exceptional ability to understand the fancies of marketable ideas.
If I do not certainly engaging in a different profession is critical.

Now do not misinterpret.  The odds that the little strip of paper, dead tree material, with ink printed into in the form of odds, presenting the actual stuff of prophecy, are slim.  Yet that actual prophecies can be communicated in this fashion is possible.  For the most part I have no investment in these ideas manifesting into reality and likely most instants of this stuff ending up true are just coincidences.

Just the same I believe in prophecy.  I believe in prophecies.  I believe the Lord gives people knowledge and visions of things yet to come that will come to pass.  The spiritual mechanics of this is beyond my understanding.  There are no more Old Testament style prophets; the last prophet of the old covenant was John the Baptist.  He foretold Christ to his followers and in his own corporeal end he was beheaded by a politician's wife (remember that).  Prophets after that are certainly less impressive and certainly not  important enough to merit grand mentions.

(I believe the prophecy revealed to the Apostle John the Revelator, during his exile on Patmos is not quite in the vein to make him a prophet per se but I could be wrong).

Certainly most fortune cookie fortunes are just well composed ideas by future-Twitter-addicts, poorly-translated Chinese notions, blind guessing, flattering sentences, aphorisms, proverbs, and such.  Yet if prophecies are real and prophets still exist, in some form, certainly the Lord can pass me knowledge of what I need to know through whatever avenue, including the little slip of paper hidden inside a hollow crunchy cookie.

Or it is all a coincidence and I am keeping these 'fortunes', even the ones that by definition are clearly not fortunes, out of sentimentality.

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