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Photograph from NASA

Ever have one of those days when the world seems “out to get you?” When nothing goes right and you’re ready to throw your hands up in the air and yell “Uncle?” How about when a relationship ends? Have you ever felt bereft and alone? What about when one last straw occurs in a situation, and you are at your wits end as to what to do? Do you often feel off-kilter or sometimes plain lost? How about viewing life as dangerous, feeling like you need to ward off potential threats that almost never materialize?

Welcome to the human experience! We’ve all been there but some more often and some more intensely than others. I’ve been there myself. When I’m stuck dwelling on past mistakes, I find myself getting depressed and when I’m stuck worrying about the future, I always get anxious. That’s when all thoughts of a helping hand from the universe evaporate for me. What’s a fella to do?

As Einstein is quoted:

“I think the most important question facing humanity is, ‘is the universe a friendly place?’ This is the first and most basic question all people must answer

for themselves.”

Someone once said:

If we ever travel far in the universe to

another planet with intelligent life, let’s just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Another one:

When they discover the center of

the universe, a lot of people will be

mightily disappointed.

Back to the point…what’s your "take" on the question about the friendliness of the universe? Well, I’ll tell you mine…have I EVER been shy about expressing myself or reluctant to open my big mouth with an opinion? Don’t answer that!

I do have to say that with my pea brain as compared to Einstein’s, I do believe this is a fundamental question most of us have faced OR we’ve been in so much avoidance or fear about the BIG unknowns that we block the question altogether. There are those who accept the work-eat-entertainment-sleep cycle as the entirety of life and have no desire for a deeper understanding of the universe.

Not me! I must have been a small version of my adult self because I can remember exactly where I was in the fourth grade when I discussed this topic with three of my girlfriends…I can only imagine that when I brought up this subject, there was much moaning, groaning and indifference, but eventually lively participation. Of course, at that point we drew no definitive conclusions and went back to riding our bikes! But at least we were curious.

Now you could think along the lines of filmmaker

Werner Herzog who said:

“The universe is monstrously indifferent

to the presence of man.”

or in the words of A. Lee Martinez:

“Humans…You want a nice warm hug from a cold,

indifferent universe.”

Here’s a rather bleak statement from Carl Sagan:

“The universe seems neither benign nor hostile,

merely indifferent.”

Oh, Carl…tell me it ain’t so!!! If you’ve always suspected the universe was out to get you or even could just care less…according to all these brilliant minds, you might just be right.

Wait. Not so fast. Let’s get a sampling of those who come from my camp on the issue. Paulo Coelho wrote in The Alchemist:

“And when you want something, all the universe

conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

From Mahatma Gandhi:

“There is a force in the Universe which,

if we permit it, will flow through us and

produce miraculous results.”

I call that force God; Lao-tzu called this current “the Tao;” and in more modern terminology, it is known as “the Force.” But let’s not allow words to get in the way of marveling over the wonders of the myriad of universal guidance that we receive every day.

Alan Cohen wrote:

“No matter what you call it, there is a river of energy that will take you where you want to go…to succeed in life, you must embody a sort of “reverse paranoia.” Paranoia traditionally means that you believe that life is out to hurt you. Reverse paranoia means that life is out to help you.”

For me, coincidences, synchronicities, and serendipitous events are all signs that the universe has a personal interest in and interaction with each of us. People, situations and things do not come to us by accident…they come from the Source.

Karen Casey agrees with me when she writes about it in speaking about the relationships we have in life:

“How freeing it is to know that we share this journey by design. Each one of us has a Director that works in concert with us. We are the players and the encounters we have with others happen according

to the script that moves us forward.”

Of course, some don’t see it this way.

Take Woody Allen who said:

“How can I believe in God when just last week

I got my tongue caught in the roller of an

electric typewriter?”

(I’m sure you have to be of a certain age to

really get THAT one.)

Someone else said:

“If there is no God,

who pops up the next Kleenex?”

For animal lovers, the following might make more sense. Dr. Linda Bender, a veterinarian, wrote a book called Animal Wisdom. She believes that animals exist in a “trinity of trust.” They fully trust themselves, the world and Source. Humans on the other hand live in the alternate universe, a trinity of mistrust. We mistrust ourselves; we mistrust the world; and we mistrust Source.

I can honestly say: I no longer experience that kind of mistrust and am VERY thankful for it! I have experienced for a long time that there is something supportive, life-giving, loving, intelligent, playful and humorous about the universal force that holds me in its hands and propels me forward. Not that I haven’t had my doubts many times in my life, but can now most easily state it this way:

I don’t understand it…

I’ve stopped asking questions about it…

I don’t need to prove it to someone else…

I just have to relax and enjoy it!

How about you?

Do you live in a friendly universe?


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