Fortunism and the ‘Fellowship of Fortuna’ are a body of teachings, a philosophy, and a contemporary way of living. The basic principles of this movement are ground in the assumption that chance or luck is the one and only trait that all people of our diverse world hold in common. As a result, the phenomenon of chance provides a platform from which human beings can unify, learn and grow. The realization of this potential for global harmony is the primary aim of the Fellowship’s teachings and practices.
Though the cornerstone philosophies of Fortuna are based upon Reason and are closely intertwined with Buddhist and Daoist value systems, the Fellowship of Fortuna is neither a cult nor a religion, but a culture. In fact, religious affiliation, according to the Fellowship, “is no more important than the label in your shirt collar.”
In regards to God, the members of the Fellowship of Fortuna, or Fortunates as they are called, believe that given the glorious and awesome nature of the universe itself, there must a supreme being or God. However, given the limitations of the human mind, identification of this being is an absolute impossibility. Assuming this, as well as the fact that the universe could very well have been created by chance, happenstance and the random spirals of Fortuna’s wheel, the ‘Master of the Infinite Universe’ must be none other than fortune itself. Their figurehead, the goddess Fortuna is held as the central representation of this ethos.
Fine art is an identification within the movement. The creation or appreciation of the arts serves as a physical embodiment to the intellectual and philosophical pursuits of chance.
The concept of fortune has been woven into the social fabric of most cultures and civilizations for centuries. Although the ‘Fellowship of Fortuna’ is a contemporary movement, their philosophical roots date back thousands of years.
The Roman goddess Fortuna is an important symbol of the Fellowship. Fortuna (whose Grecian counterpart is Tyche) represented luck, both good and bad. She was also the goddess of fate and fortune. Unlike Judeo-Christian and Islamic belief systems which maintain that the will of a supreme being rather than chance or luck dictates the past, present and future of humanity and of individual human beings, the Fellowship of Fortuna believes it is chance, fortune and luck, which largely determines an individual’s lot in life. With fortune as a constant, Free Will becomes the designation for living. With Chance as a wild and unpredictable absolute, gratitude and appreciation become the clarion call for successful living.
Today the Fellowship of Fortuna, with an emphasis in fine art, considers itself to be the fastest growing art-centric movement in the world.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FORTUNATES
Members of the ‘Fellowship of Fortuna’ celebrate those things that unite human beings, the first and foremost attribute being chance. Fortunates believe in love, unification, fortune and an uninhibited passion for the living of life itself.
Fortunates claim no political or religious affiliations; they are secular. Although there is a determined rebelliousness against all things of this nature, members of the Fellowship do speak out against human indecency as a whole, believing that no one person is better than or more important than another. Personal endeavor and action are the marks of character and success. Success is judged not in an outcome but in the quality of the journey. Fortunates strive for peace and love.
Members of the Fellowship are active and involved individuals. Collectively, they have several things in common: Intelligence, passion, a keen interest in learning, value for life and art as well as a desire for new and enlightening experiences. Empathy, grace and appreciation are an integral part of the Fellowship as well as an acceptance of the fact that our understanding of the Infinite is limited and life, in all its chaotic beauty, is beyond most control.
Fortunates tend to be easy going, loving and joyous individuals. They celebrate awe, wonder and the humility of unknowing. Through the understanding that every moment is a new, unrealized moment and that everything is always changing, Fortunates approach every experience, every act, and every instant as new. There is nothing that has already been done. Therefore, even though one might wake up at the same time and go to the same place every morning, the experience of Life is always fresh. Fortunates embrace a childlike curiosity to the universe and the nature of our planet. Awe begets appreciation. Appreciation is a choice borne of Free Will.
The ‘Fellowship of Fortuna’ teaches us that life is precious, and no person, no animal, no blade of grass or whip of the wind should be taken as anything less than holy.
Other Issues And Positions
The following principles of Fortuna have been quoted from the Fellowship of Fortuna text.
THE MEANING OF LIFE
For centuries, great minds have pondered this question to little avail. 'Why am I here?' 'What is my purpose?' 'What is it all for?' Through principles of Good Luck, Modern Minimalism and Neo-Nihilism, The ‘Fellowship of Fortuna’ believes it has uncovered the true responsibility of all humanity and the very Meaning of Life.
We have a purpose. We have a responsibility. Life is meaningful.
CHANCE, CHOICE AND GOD
Is there a Master of the Infinite Universe? Yes, totally. No, definitely. Maybe, wholeheartedly. It's a difficult question and a fascinating discussion.
Members of the Fellowship of Fortuna believe the world is an amazing place. Life is a miracle-a-minute so there's gotta be some reason, some explanation, some Higher Power to the whole heaven and hell of it.
In regards to choice, there is certainly a choice. People believe in so many different Gods. Which is the right one? What happens if you pick the wrong one? Is there a higher power than all the Gods? It is impossible to know. Until we learn differently, members of the Fellowship of Fortuna call the 'Master of the Infinite Universe' Fortuna.
SUCCESS IN BALANCE
The ‘Fellowship of Fortuna’ believes that success in life comes from having Sea Legs. This is the ability to stand tall when misfortune slaps you down. It is grace when good fortune clouds our heads. It is an appreciation for Life with all of its sweet and sour. Sea Legs is a nautical term. A sailor with Sea Legs can hold his ground in high seas. He (or she) stands upright on a pitching deck.
To have Sea Legs is to appreciate life.
Laughter is a very important part of the Fellowship. Life can be rather rough and harsh. One antidote to the pain is a good laugh. It smoothes the hard edges.
'Better Than' is a Fortuna Salvo, an ideological term for a mantra, a moral or principle to live by. 'Better Than' is an attitude with a clear purpose: "I want to leave everywhere I go, better than I found it. I want to leave everyone I meet, better for the encounter."
LUXURY AND MATERIALISM
We look at luxury in a different way. Luxury can also be a state of mind. It is a sense of well-being, a heightened state of feeling real good. One can achieve this through 'A and A', Awe and Appreciation. The greater your sense of wonder and gratitude, the more luxurious your life becomes. Our luxury accessorizes with any handbag.
Becoming a master of Modern Minimalism is a goal of every Fortunate. Replacing the dark and troubled clutter of the mind, heart and physical surroundings with light, space and glorious freedom creates a life of inspiration, appreciation, ease and brilliance.
The beauty and potentiality of art is both inspiring and enriching regardless of whether you are an artist or not. Without art, without creation, we would live in a purely utilitarian world. Imagine: no Eiffel tower, no awe inspiring creations of Frank Lloyd Wright or Ed Ruscha, no Sistine Chapel. Imagine!
SPACE AND OUR UNIVERSE
Space is philosophically important to the Fellowship because the physical vastness inspires awe and wonder. Furthermore, space discovery brings out the very best and the brightest in mankind. Author Ray Bradbury comments, “If we would only look up, all of the world’s troubles would be gone.
Oddly, we know more about deep space than we do about the deep seas of our own planet. Our oceans offer mystery, history, life and great beauty. Our world is a water planet. Water creates Life.
FREE WILL AND THE TEMPLE OF NOW
You name it -- 9/11, a tsunami, another hurricane or everyday human stupidity -- it's all a Hand-of-God reminder of the importance of 'now'.
Strive to make every moment precious, meaningful and beautiful.
THINGS WE JUST DON’T KNOW
“In Life, there are some things you just don't know. There are questions, which will never have answers. You can understand this by looking into a night sky full of stars.
We will never really know how the earth evolved or when life began. How vast is our universe? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? All we can do is scratch our heads and marvel with awe at those things we just don't know.”
The true genesis of The Fellowship of Fortuna remains a mystery. In the late spring of 2004 Los Angeles based artist Gordy Grundy began to receive a series of anonymous communiqués. The sender was identified only as the Viceroy of the Western States (Of Mind).
The messages, written in regards to the Fellowship of Fortuna, contained detailed instructions which Grundy was to carry out, most notably in the construction of a vast website, www.FortunaNow.com and a series of art works. In an interview, Grundy states, “In the beginning it was outright blackmail. Then it became more of a gentle coercion.” Since then Mr. Grundy has received periodic communications with more instructions, dictates and philosophies. He continued, “I was given complete freedom in the creation of the elements as long as I stayed within certain parameters of a concept. I have learned alot.”
Over this time, and continuing today, the alleged Viceroy has used many strange and elusive methods to contact the artist. Grundy states, “The e-mails never came from the same address. Letters had disappearing inks. I got notes stuck on my windshield.” Carrier pigeons, singing telegrams, postcards from around the world, throwaway cell phones and vanishing notepaper are among the many methods."
To this day, Grundy claims he has not uncovered any conclusive information about the identity of the Viceroy, gender, nationality or otherwise. Nor, he adds, are the principles of the Fellowship of his making. In fact, Grundy claims complete ignorance and initially felt annoyed at this new and unexpected role irrespective of the appeal of the Fellowship’s philosophy.
Despite his early apprehension, Grundy finally adopted the tenets of the Fellowship as well as his role in the procreation of its philosophy. "It's hard to describe," says Grundy, "But it's changed my whole life. I see things differently now and I'm grateful for it." He has now come to be known as The Messenger to the movement.
“Grundy's inventive Fellowship of Fortuna, which claims the organizing principle of "Chance."
We are all connected! The Fellowship of Fortuna
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Gordy Grundy, American Artist
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A Mantra with a clear purpose: ‘Better Than’
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