Interestingly one of the connotations of the name Odysseus is “trouble”. And Odysseus had trouble in spades. (See Odyssey Tarot)

And “trouble” is also the most fundamental property of the universe.

(Don’t forget that Odysseus needed the active and ongoing help of the goddess Athena to get him out of his troubles).

In fact, I like to sum up the first law of the universe as “it’s always troublesome”.

Or put in a more precise and explanatory manner,

“Whatever we do or try to do in life,

the universe is almost always working against us”

Immediately I state this I can see why it’s never caught on as the basic tenet of life, but I think it’s true all the same. I think all religions, myths or ideologies of life like to be “positive” and this kind of thinking of a troublesome universe is unacceptable.


I know that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a great man of letters but his quote is totally wrong from my perspective and I believe mine is more correct.

He said (the OPPOSITE to me)

“At the moment of commitment, the entire universe conspires to assist you.”

I believe Goethe announced his wish rather than the reality.

Or possibly, he gave that very biased view of a very successful man who saw more opportunities than crises. Anyway, my rule does say “almost always” and maybe Goethe is the exception to that rule.

It’s Important

My observation is important.

I come across too many people who think that the moment they commit to doing something it will all be easy. But no! The moment you commit to something the problems and troubles begin.

It’s better to be realistic rather than wishfully optimistic. Otherwise, you are taken by surprise that so many troubles arise when you are just wanting to get something done.

Over-optimism sets you up for failure or disaster. Realism enables you to plan for the troubles before they arise.

Odysseus was way too optimistic about journeying home to Ithaca. Pride is a problem for heroes who have been successful. They start to think they are more than they really are and the universe (intentionally or not) cuts them back down to size.

And look what happened to other returnees from their victory at the Trojan wars. For example, King Agamemnon was murdered on his return by his wife and her lover.

Trouble is endemic.


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