Awaken to the Friendly Universe
“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”
~ attributed to Albert Einstein*
Is the universe friendly?
Is the universe friendly? For thousands of years, people have wondered about the essential nature of reality. Authors of the Bible claimed the the Creator of the Universe was friendly. However, more recently, evidence in support of evolution has suggested that the process of creation is random. If anything, nature is red in tooth and claw. Everyone “knows” that the universe is huge and indifferent. Some, with a scientific worldview may have chosen to “believe” in a friendly universe, despite any lack of evidence for this claim.
For others of us, data from the research of thousands of scientists, offers a different view. We now have actual evidence to answer the question “Is the Universe Friendly?”
And the answer is so radical it will blow your mind.
If we define “friendly” as “supportive of life, sentience and love” then the answer becomes a resounding YES! The Universe is friendly. Thanks to technology that gives us a clearer picture of the universe, we can now see that the universe is friendly in billions and billions of ways.
Not only that, the the universe is becoming ever more friendly.
The universe has a direction toward greater complexity, cooperation, consciousness and compassion. In short, the universe is becoming ever more friendly.
When you awaken to the friendliness of the universe, you awaken to grace.
To say that the universe is friendly is an extraordinary claim. Such an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence. Don’t “believe” me. Check out the evidence for yourself. Below, is a partial list of the facts.
Aren’t You Being Callous?
What about volcanos, asteroids, supernova explosions, pathogens, cancer, war, fire, climate change, disease and all the other “non-supportive” events that wipe out life and humanity? “My daughter has cancer. Doesn’t cancer show that the universe is unfriendly?” Yes, all those problems exist and cause terrible pain and suffering. In suggesting that the universe is friendly, I am not saying that there are no problems, no pain and no suffering. I agree that it’s important to be aware of these problems so that we can find solutions. What I am suggesting is that more events support us than destroy us.
By friendly universe, I’m not suggesting that the universe is always benign. More importantly, I don’t in any way mean to be callous to the suffering that all people experience during their lives.
I am aware of suffering, and it is my goal to relieve the unnecessary suffering that happens when people assume they are living in an unfriendly universe. When we focus on the benefits of our universe, our stress is reduced and we can think more effectively and creatively to eliminate the real problems facing us. Furthermore, by seeing the friendliness of the universe, we become open to ever greater possibilities for our future.
From Believing to Knowing
In the past, some people “believed” in a friendly universe, even without evidence. In an article in Psychology Today, author and news anchor Jeff Bell says “we cannot know if the universe is friendly.” Nevertheless, according to Bell, if we simply choose to see the universe as friendly, it will “all but guarantee you the best year you’ve ever had.”
I agree with Bell that choosing to see the universe as friendly will give you a better life. Unlike Bell, I see overwhelming evidence that the universe is friendly.
Data as Therapy
“Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions
for which you have strong supporting facts.”
~ Ola Rosling,
Most people assume that the universe is indifferent, just as they assume that humanity is in never-ending cycles of suffering, and even decline.
These outdated perceptions are beginning to change. For example, several recent books and websites have shown overwhelming evidence of human progress. Steven Pinker, Hans Rosling and Max Roser are all scientists dealing with BIg Data showing how the human world is getting better.
Steven Pinker’s book, Enlightenment Now, presents 70 graphs of human progress over the past 200 years.
“The story of human progress is truly heroic. It is glorious. It is uplifting. It is even, I daresay, spiritual.”
~ Steven Pinker in Enlightenment Now
Beyond human progress are the billions of years of physical, chemical, and biological progress required to make humans in the first place!
Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund describe the progress that humanity has made in health, education, wealth in their 2018 book, Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think. In this book, they show how humans tend to see negativity and overlook the positive. Their mission is to help people see the world as it is. In so doing, they are giving people hope and clarity.
According to Rosling, people notice the bad more than the good for three main reasons: “the misremembering of the past; selective reporting by journalists and activists; and the feeling that as long as things are bad it’s heartless to say they are getting better.
In a similar way, people don’t recognize the friendliness of the universe. Human psychology evolved for us to survive, not to see the world as it is. We evolved to excel in detecting potential problems while overlooking the many things and events that help us. Furthermore, as we become ever better informed, we know of disasters from around the world.
Following are facts about our universe. These are facts about how the universe supports us, ie, is friendly. This is not wishful thinking. This is data as therapy.
Billions of Blessings
Supportive events I call “blessings”. The non-supportive events I call “curses.” And in this universe, blessings far outweigh the curses. Here are some of these billions of blessings:
• 13.8 billion years of Cosmic Creativity bless you with existence.
• Energy flowing blesses you with light and power.
• Billions of ancestors bless you with the gift of life.
• Ten billion miles of DNA, just in your body blesses you with the code that uniquely expresses you.
• 50 thousand billion cells cooperate in your body to bless you with the gifts of dancing, singing, loving and rejoicing.
• 100 billion neurons bless you with ability to think.
• 1000 billion glial cells support your neurons to bless you with a functional brain.
• 100 thousand billion synapses bless you with the connections that allow you to feel, to think, to dream.
• Millions of color-sensitive cone cells in your eyes bless you with the ability to see rainbows.
• Thousands of hair cells in your ears bless you with the gift of hearing.
• A billion billion billion molecules of oxygen bless you with each breath.
• Thousands of billions of symbiotic bacteria in your belly bless you with vitamins and balanced health.
• Billions of chloroplasts bless you with each bite of salad.
• Billions of plants bless you with sunlight transformed into the sweetness of life.
• Millions of businesses bless you with goods and services.
• The sun blesses you each morning with the brilliance of a new day.
• Millions of receptors on your tongue bless you with the taste of chocolate and beer.
• Millions of receptors in your nose bless you with fragrances of flowers.
• Your limbic brain blesses you with emotions that move you toward an ever more wonderful life and away from that which no longer serves you.
• Buddha, Moses, Joseph, Mary, Jesus, Mohammed, priests, roshis, imams, senseis, rabbis, teachers, your parents, grandparents, friends and millions of other seekers bless you with their loving wisdom.
• Billions of neurons bless you with the insight to bring more light and love into the world.
• Your voice blesses you with the capacity to speak up for ever greater love and kindness.
• Children bless you with the possibility of billions of descendants.
• Billions of your decisions bless you with ability pursue your highest values.
• Millions of your words bless those you love.
Is the universe friendly? Let me know what you think.
* Did Einstein say or write this quotation? Several sources indicate that this quote is falsely attributed to Einstein. Whether or not Einstein asked this question, the answer could be the difference between flourishing in a state grace and suffering in anxiety and fear.