“Do you live in a friendly universe?” Redux

I wrote this back in January, 2015. As I was meditating this morning, it occurred to me that my attention has shifted back to focusing on what I see as the unfriendly aspects of the universe–chemical warfare, warmongering, political strife, potentially irreversible climate change–what is wrong. And I know that, once I go into Narrow Focus, there is always something else to find that is “wrong.” 

The full quote from Albert Einstein is:

 “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.

“For if we decide that the universe is an unfriendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to achieve safety and power by creating bigger walls to keep out the unfriendliness and bigger weapons to destroy all that which is unfriendly and I believe that we are getting to a place where technology is powerful enough that we may either completely isolate or destroy ourselves as well in this process.

 “If we decide that the universe is neither friendly nor unfriendly and that God is essentially ‘playing dice with the universe’, then we are simply victims to the random toss of the dice and our lives have no real purpose or meaning.

 “But if we decide that the universe is a friendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to create tools and models for understanding that universe. Because power and safety will come through understanding its workings and its motives.”

 “God does not play dice with the universe,”

Today I recommit to living in a friendly universe, to shifting into Open Focus where there is always something else to find that is full of joy, of light and love. I recommit to anchoring into the high vibration of Love, where together we can face every challenge, solve every issue. Would you like to join me?


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.

I’m teaching “Conscious Relationship Essentials” at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY over Memorial Day Weekend. Here’s the link to that–come and play!

6 thoughts on ““Do you live in a friendly universe?” Redux”

  1. I love a lot of your work. I’m a social worker by training, and I use your workbook with my couples all the time.

    That said, I’d like to point out a couple of caveats that are important when are approaching any form of self improvement, but rarely get addressed. If at all.

    There is an underlying assumption that the target audience off this type of practice are those who are somewhere near the top two tiers of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

    Otherwise, this kind of meditation is ill advised, and not because of any personal or moral failing (which is the conclusion that some of my more vulnerable clients come to when they read these sorts of articles.)

    If someone does not know where their next meal is coming from, or experiences harassment or threats whenever they leave the house, which is a common concern for my trans and queer clients (Especially my clients of color, the universe *is* a hostile place.

    This type of core work is also extra hard for trauma survivors, whose brains are wired to constantly be on the lookout for threats.

    None of this is intended to discredit anything you put forth in your post.

    And I’d appreciate a blog post on what to do and how to cope when the universe is actively dangerous vs. posing a less immediate threat.

    Does that make sense?

    1. Hello Samantha!

      Oh, good–I’m so glad you’re using my workbook.

      I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your question. And, being someone who is sitting in a warm home with dinner cooking, I know–it’s easy for me to say. On the other side of that, though, is my own pretty reactive physiology (coming from my own childhood trauma). Over and over I see how my brain shifts in an instant and then I quickly am having different (and certainly less friendly) interactions with those around me. And I’m generating very different responses as a result.

      I aspire to be someone who, when faced with active danger (especially from fellow humans or other threatened animals), would be able to shift my physiology to a loving or appreciative vibration, thereby potentially shifting the outcome. That’s really the gist of my work, and what I believe to be the potential shift for our species, to move beyond the ways we continue the chain of trauma through our own Reactive Brains.

      So, yes, I’ll muse on your request for such a blog post. Again, thank you for engaging with me at this level.



  2. As an Entry Level, imperfect Christian, I have a problem getting my arms of belief around the overall belief that this world is crumpling into evil. And, that man is basically sinful, bad and headed directly to hell lest he repent and ask for forgiveness. I think human nature is imperfect but basically good and wanting to do the right things.

    1. Hi Alex!

      Great to hear from you. I appreciate you taking the time to add your perspective.

      Out there with you, creating the friendly universe,


  3. Kia ora Julie

    I am interested in this question – and recently found the Eistien quote in William Ury’s book – Getting to yes with yourself. I found this article through a google search.

    I am personaly on a mission to get more support for the carers of our babies (our Future) in their first 1000 days. I am currently exploring the hypothysis – that we answer the question as to whether the world is friendly or not during those early days, based on our expereince with our main care givers. i would be interested to hear your thougths on this

    Also do you have a source reference for the full Einstien quote?

    nga mihi
    Carolyn (Aoteroa / New Zealand)

  4. Hi!! I’m loving ALL of this!! I had experienced emotional, physical abuse as a child AND spiritual abuse. But there WAS a Good loving energy All around and through me that I could forgive them and Love them!!! People may do evil but GOD IS GOOD and love is/was MORE POWERFUL!! I experienced deep solace and love and joy when I would bike ride, sleigh ride or play in the brook BY MYSELF!! AT 3-7 YEARS OLD!! LOVE IS OMNIPOTENT AND OMNIPRESENT and waiting to allow us to simply open our hearts and receive it, right?

    Now, politically can we TRUST love or fear people? This question is paramount. If we trust love and encourage other people to embrace love then we can dismantle our ridiculous expenditures on weapons of mass destruction and Contemporary warfare… and invest in caring for people. The question in America politically is thus trust the liberal supposedly loving left or the liberty minded right OR WHAT ENLIGHTENED FOLK TRUST – The Green Party Which has policies that embrace THE GOOD!! If we spread love consciousness to our supposed enemies then maybe they Will become love conscious!! If we feed into fear then fear will destroy us… maybe a Jewish family could adopt a homeless child of a Hamas soldier… AND TALK ABOUT IT IN THE MEDIA. Israel’s genocidal actions will not EVER yield peace or security for Israel or the Middle East but create more terrorists… what’s so difficult of love, trust and sharing the beautiful world?

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