Do you live in a friendly universe?

Do you live in a friendly universe?

  “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.” Albert Einstein

I’ve been reading a wonderful book by a veterinarian, Linda Bender, DVM, called Animal Wisdom. I expected to read Dr. Bender’s perspective on animals in the world, how humans are messing up their habitat, and what we can do about it. What I didn’t expect was that my whole view of reality would shift.

Dr. Bender’s explanation of quantum physics takes these complex concepts and makes them not only understandable, but directly applicable to spirituality. As she takes us through the levels from cells to molecules to atoms to the subatomic particles, she describes the huge amount of space that is us—and all matter.

…these subatomic particles are so infinitesimally small and so sparsely concentrated that they occupy only about 0.0000000000000000000042 of the space in the universe. All the matter units on Earth would, if you squeezed out the space between, result in a pellet about the size of a pea. (pg 63)

That all is mind-blowing enough. But it’s how she describes what exists within that space that caught my attention:

…this chamber, though physically empty, feels suffused with something like hospitality. It actively welcomes you, enveloping you in a warm embrace. It’s as if the space is saying, “We’re thrilled that you’ve finally come in.”  There is also something very lively about it, something intelligent and playful and humorous–an effervescent quality that makes you feel a bit giddy. (pg. 65)

I was 35 years old before it occurred to me that perhaps my view of life as dangerous and other beings as the enemy might not be exactly accurate. Until that time, I was continuously–albeit unconsciously– bracing and defending myself, warding off what I imagined to be ongoing potential threats. These dangers rarely materialized, but when they did, I saw this as evidence that I was right all along about life waiting to hurt me. Fortunately, somehow therapy, workshops, and my loving relationship found a way to permeate this wall of defense that I’d erected. I began to notice anomalies to my somewhat paranoid belief system. But that initial chipping away at this barrier of fear was far from what I now see as possible—that the basis of all of life is love and joy.

Bender describes the experience of non-human animals. 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.

In the past I’ve aspired to be more like my dogs, but now I have a whole new level of aspiration. I want to live in the world of an animal. I want to breathe into the space that is mostly me and experience the love and joy that naturally bubbles out of it. I want to cultivate my inner world, my experience of the external world, and my ongoing connection to Source as the loving, supportive, exhilaratingly life-giving energy that I now believe it to be. I want to live in, I want to be, the friendly universe.

Join me for my weekend retreat in April. The Big Life Essentials retreat happens April 24-26. You can find out more information and register here.


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