The KUU is an acronym for The Knowing Unknowable Universe. A new belief-free religion for The twenty first century. The KUU is based on the idea that a relationship can be cultivated between the knowing unknowable universe and the sentient individual on Earth. With the help of this manuscript, the open minded will soon find their life enriched with surprises big and small, subtle, and astonishing. I will start with an overview which will introduce the key concepts, and then move onto how and why these ideas were formulated. For many years now The KUU has had an influence on my life and the life of my more liberated contemporaries, but, until now, we had not given it a name or even seriously considered that a benign force might be at work. In fact The KUU began as satire and critique of the established religions. I had always been a sceptic, with a deep distrust of any organisation that had unreasonable and anachronistic expectations of the individual, but I was fascinated by what drew people to them, or kept people involved once they had reached adulthood, and learnt to think for themselves. I couldn't understand how people could still have such beliefs when there was so much scientific evidence to the contrary. The events described in these pages caused a gradual but profound change in my views. The idea that there might be something out there resisting lucid comprehension but nevertheless active in our lives would have seemed like fanciful wishful thinking to me only a few months ago. Now that same idea has become hard to resist. If you are reading this I imagine you are a sceptic rather than a believer. So I would like to pre-empt your suspicions that you are going to be treated to one deluded and possibly psychotic individuals descriptions of visions/hallucinations increasing in intensity and absurdity as the manuscript goes on. Not so. These events are grounded in reality and effected several other people too. So why the dramatic change in spiritual perspective? Well, read on.
A Born Again Questioner
I am now a born again questioner. My mind is once again open to possibilities . To a child everything is remarkable. If something seems to defy the laws of physics it is no more or less fantastic than the sight of spreading ripples on a pond from a thrown stone. The child has no sense of what should be possible. The dropped toy could just as easily float away as fall to the ground. We are talking about a mind that doesn't yet know the rules. That is the rules of science and the rules of culture. By the time we are ten we are safe and yet dulled by our knowledge and lack of expectation. We know the rules of science and their pervasive influence has spread to every area of our lives. It is now part of our hard wiring that the unexplained is not worthy of our attention. UFO's and ghosts are fanciful ideas. If you haven't seen one then they don't exist. The fact that you might never have seen a serious car crash doesn't mean they don't exist. However, once again, don't panic, this manuscript doesn't involve little green men either! The point I am making is that in certain areas of our lives we are not encouraged to dwell on. One of these areas is coincidence. After all coincidence is just coincidence isn't it? Well, I propose that coincidences are the subtlest form of supernatural phenomena. They will surprise us without making us question their meaning and significance. This is where the idea of the Cosmic Nudge comes in.
The Cosmic Nudge
Central to The KUU is the idea that The KUU will acknowledge your existence with what I have decided to call cosmic nudges. The purpose of these nudges is to remind you that there is more to life than the blinkered view that has been imposed by your society and your senses. I propose that the more one 'tunes in' to this notion the more cosmic nudges one will get. The main body of this text is a recording of a series of increasingly astonishing 'coincidences which occurred over a three month period while I was working on the central ideas of Kuuism. 'The Cosmic Nudge' is the label we have given to the phenomena which is otherwise known as synchronicity. We believe that there maybe purpose, intelligence, and even a sense of humour, behind these unusual and unlikely chains of 'coincidence,' which you are about to read about, and that The KUU is the source of this meaningful mischief. The cosmic nudge is The KUU's way of telling you that there is more to life than you have been lead to believe am now in the happy position of having a reawakened sense of the spiritual without having the need to quantify it. Once you have 'tuned in', The KUU will acknowledge your existence with cosmic nudges. You are probably getting them already but have ignored or simply not noticed them. The cosmic nudge takes several forms, but more on them later.
Entertaining The Possibility
It is important to mention at this point that we Kuuists only 'entertains the possibility' that these ideas have any grounding in reality. So don't be put off by what might appear to be a rather unhinged premise to base a religion around. The KUU is a non-religion anyway, which looks upon the believer with a certain amount of suspicion. Belief has a history of being more trouble than it's worth. You will probably have heard of the example of the alarm clock always reading 11.11, when ever you happen to look at it. Or the friend that calls just when you happen to think of them. This is just chicken feed compared with the kind of mind boggling entertainment that The KUU may have in store for you. Here are will also find guidelines and suggestions for how to make KUU contact, while also improving the quality of your life. For the Kuuist there is no dividing line between art and life. Art, or an artistic way of looking at things, is as far as we have so far ascertained, the key to getting the attention of The KUU. Cosmic connections can be made in the most surprising ways at the most unusual times, if you immerse yourself in this new approach to spirituality. The KUU has no political agenda, though inevitably, in discussing an individual's relationship to the real world, political matters (in the widest sense of the term) cannot be totally avoided. Here, firstly, is the story of how The KUU got its name, and the extraordinary chain of synchronistic events that followed. A Brief History Of The Brief History Of The KUU
In the beginning was the acronym and the acronym was The KUU.
Where did the name come from? The KUU in a sense seemed to name itself. I was involved in an exchange of Emails with friend and similarly synchronicity-challenged Claire Grant on a particularly logic-challenging series of incidents, and with no for-thought these words sprang from my clicking keyboard:
" You have nothing to fear from The Knowing Unknowable Universe (or the KUU as I shall hence forth refer to it)". Immediately the look and sound of the words had a powerful resonance as if the catchall expression and it's acronym had always existed. To be totally truthful, at this point we were just having fun with the seeds of an idea of a pseudo-religion which would make fun of the existing big boys while possibly challenging their stranglehold on the planet with a few playful jibes. 'The KUU' had sinister but nice echoes of the KKK and so sounded perversely cult. However through the medium of 'coincidence' this name would gain multiple resonance's which in turn would slowly encourage me to take more seriously the ideas which had originally come into being in the name of satire. I realise that, in episodic e-mail form, with the indispensable input of fellow Kuuist Claire, I was writing a guide to living a more meaningful life without having to fall back on the stale, outdated, and, mostly worryingly dangerous, organised religions and cults.
A Throwaway Deity
Creativity at its most fluid and lucid is partly a subconscious activity. We write, paint or make music, and the muse (for want of a better word) guides our pen / brush / fingers. I had typed these words without any planning. They were lucky improvisations. Over the next few weeks my old friend synchronicity, which had always come into my life at irregular intervals, was going to increase it's appearances by tenfold with strange and astonishingly unlikely coincidences, which would cement the significance of my throwaway Deity. I only had to wait a few days before the thought came to me that "KUU" was a possible phonetic expression for the sound one makes when something unusual or suprising happens: "Kuu, who'd have thought it!"
For some reason it didn't immediately hit me that there was more to it than that. When it did, it sent the proverbial shiver down my spine. When one says "kuu who'd have thought it!" 'KUU' is really a stand in for the word God, as in;
"God, who'd have thought it!"
What had started out as playful electronic banter was solidifying into something far more thought-provoking and potentially life changing. The thought couldn't be resisted that The KUU was "The God"- or rather, the Universe, and it was letting us know we were on the right track.
"coup d etat"
I was talking to my sister the following weekend about the phonetic properties of KUU and without hesitation she pointed out that it also sounded like "coup" as in "coup d etat" which the dictionary defines as "The overthrowing of the established system." What a lovely idea that was. That our throwaway deity had the potential to save the world with its irreverence and humour.
Kuuist = Quest
Then, while putting this very document through a spell check on my computer, it came up with the word "quest" for my new word "Kuuist." As you will come to learn, one of the main principles of Kuuism is about questing, though, paradoxically, it isn't about finding. The next part of the synchronistic chain is, without a doubt, the most astonishing. It happened when my wife Marcia, went to a meditation session. I have, on the whole, left longer anecdotes to the Correspondence section, but in this instance, as this episode is so essential to the development of our interest in the KUU, I tell it in full here; A Malaysian friend of Marcia's called Jasmine had been trying to persuade her to go to a meditation class for about the past six months. As it was with these things she knew she'd have to go sooner or later, having made excuses the last time she was asked. This was the day, and that morning she moaned to me about the place being "in the back of beyond" - West Finchley, to be precise. I met her in town that afternoon, and I could see that she could barely contain her excitement about something. I immediately thought that she had become an instant convert to one of the religions I so distrusted, and my heart sank. It turned out that the session had been pleasurable enough, though fortunately, she was not about to take on board all the spiel that went with it. Her heightened state came more from what she found in the toilet afterwards. Stuck to the inside of the toilet door was a ring binder flip book with a 'tasteful' ethereal abstract picture attached to it. Each page, she was to later discover, had some kind of Buddhist saying on it. The one that now faced her, causing her to stifle a cry and then continue to stifle giggles (you don't giggle in a stranger's toilet), said this (their italics):
"KUU" (VOID) DOES NOT MEAN NON-EXISTENCE BUT EXISTENCE. (All things undergo constant change) I couldn't believe it. The central ideas of humour, paradox, and synchronicity, had been in place for just only a few weeks, when The KUU brought them all together in this extraordinary incident. There was HUMOUR in the notion of religious affirmation found on the inside of a toilet door. You had to be sat on the 'throne', before the message was unmissably in front of your nose - toilet humour of a higher order? There was PARADOX in this toilet door revelation. A quantum leap from the ridiculous to the sublime. A word that I did not know existed outside of my own imagination, was already part of the real world, had spiritual significance, and this major KUU-message was to be found in, of all places, the smallest room in the house. It was also part of a SYNCHRONICITY chain that was still to be completed. A phone call to a friend in Tokyo verified that in Japanese, KUU did in fact mean void, though, strangely, it is rarely written with two 'U's. This added to the unlikelihood of its fortuitous appearance. There is, in fact, a Chinese symbol which denotes when a vowel sound should be elongated which usually replaces the second 'u'. The words hanging on the toilet door were written by a Japanese man who has given himself the title 'Leader and President of The Institute For Research in Human Happiness.' He's apparently also the figurehead to one of the most popular religions in Japan. I liked the fact that happiness seemed to be a central idea in his religion, and I was also amused by the fact that this man, who had a shrine dedicated to him in a suburban house in Finchley, was only two years older than me. Maybe this was The KUU telling me that starting a new religion was not such a far-out, far fetched concept after all. It was now time to have a look on the World Wide Web to see what could be found on 'KUU'. The next day Claire sends me the missing part of the equation. The only other language that had the word 'kuu' with two 'u's in it was Swahili, where 'kuu' means, and I quote: "Head/Chief/Great/Important/Major/Elder/Old."
So there it was! The KUU was the void, and it was the Head. It was important and it was nothing. It was, to sum up, a paradox.
It now felt like there was no turning back. Something had changed in my mindset. A heightened awareness was taking root. This had began as some kind of game we felt like we were in control of. Now the game seemed to be playing us.
The astute reader will already be wondering what is contained within these pages if not some 'quantifying' and defining of the Knowing Unknowable Universe? The answer is, imaginative conjecture and nothing more. Plagued as we were by a dramatic increase in events which challenged our preconceptions, and the laws of probability, our new non-religion, which began as an excuse for two bored ex art students to exchange Emails, ended up as a new way of life. The joke was on us.
If you would like to know more about The KUU email:
[Aug 08 2002, last modified Aug 11 2002]