629. Deeper

Whether or not the universe is essentially “loving” as it is called here is one of the Big Questions of spirituality, religion and philosophy since the dawn of humankind. Anyone who asserts that this is so should IMO be able to answer why and how this is so, when the world we live in is obviously not so.

And a lot of people assert it, especially if they sell books or courses about how you can change your thoughts and beliefs about the universe and then goodness, especially money, will start flowing to you.

But … in case you forgot: Try Google News for awhile and see how many articles it finds about children being killed for the most insane reasons (some weeks ago I read one about a mother throwing her daughter off a bridge). I can only assume that the Google algorithm delivers news that most people click on. And it has always been so that bad news have a magnetic attraction … but I digress: the bad news is there. The question is how to interpret it.

How the hell (yes, hell) do we square that kind of experience of … well, evil … with a “loving” universe?

Well, we can try. We should try. Otherwise … what else is there to do but sink into frightened escapism or superior atheistic cynicism or argument-proof and ultimately irrational religiosity? 

I have personally gotten a lot from constructing a worldview based on near-death experience reports, reincarnation research and a few select modern mystics, such as my fellow Dane, Martinus Thomsen (1890-1981), who did an impressive book series about why the world is as it is and why that is ‘good’ anyway.

But as with the smaller things in life, that general experience that the world is actually ‘good deep down’ does not become real until you, well, experience it. Often in very concrete ways. And it can be set back, for example if you have trauma as some here have mentioned.

But for myself I am mostly reminded that I believe the universe is … somehow better than I feared … in times of trial. Like when I was hospitalized with a serious illness 13 years ago, or when our first child was born and it was a very difficult birth. Not immediately, obviously, but after a period of trial when I have tried to reconnect with the universe, so to speak. I usually use prayer to connect with that Greater Something Or Other which some call “God”; but also affirmations, and I have a feeling that both work and move me, either to better situations or give me the strength to endure.

I can’t accept that the universe is “loving” through superficial proof alone, though, like having 200 synchronicities happen each year when I ask for something or other. And I have had my share of synchronicities that seemed Very Hard to explain away as coincidence, and I feel I have been helped by Something Greater as explained before – in times of need.

However, for me personally I need a cosmology – and a rational one at that – to allow myself to interpret these events positively. And to accept that some children get thrown off bridges, but that there may be more than just that horrible outcome. If the universe is “deeply loving” then there is more. As well as some kind of meaning behind what happened there, even if you might have to delve deep into concepts of karma and past lives to produce an explanation that helps. And even if that explanation helps you, it might not help the grieving family.

I recommend reading books like Conversations with God to get a very good supplement to and foundation for the view that the universe, at its core level is “deeply loving”. I also recommend, as mentioned, reading about near-death experiences – e.g. on iands.org. But it is my strong experience that each person needs a slightly different shared insight, such as another version of these sources – and then a slightly different personal experience – to accept that positive world view.

And even then … acceptance of a positive world view (with this particular spiritual flavor) is often something that flows and ebbs. For pretty much all human beings. It does so for me all the time, when I see bad news or experience it myself and then I have to remind myself of my particular ‘faith’ and seek out reinforcement for it – somehow.

449. Think About Your Soul Often (Even If You Don’t Believe You Have One)

It doesn’t matter if your objective, metaphysical ‘Soul’ exists or not, and survives physical death or not, or what happens afterwards if it does.

What matters is thinking about your soul.

Despite all the looser spiritual world views you can subscribe to nowadays, and despite their more dogmatic religious equivalents, surprisingly little attention has, in my view, been given to just what a Soul Is.

And how it feels to think about it.

And what that thinking does to how you feel about … yourself.

436. Doing It

And now, today, I felt again afraid that I – for some reason – would not make it. Would not draw all the things I really want to draw. Or write all the things I really want to write.

Very afraid …

And I think I know why … 

I felt afraid because I was not spending enough time doing it.

For when I don’t spend enough time doing it, then … it is obvious to feel afraid: “What if I die tomorrow or next year? … Without having … ”

Obvious.

I see that now.

And I shared that.

I hope you can use it. I can.

365. A Year and The Beginning of Connecting

It doesn’t matter if I succeed at work, with my family or with art. There is always something to tell – to blog. If I have not said this before, I will gladly say it again, because it is worth remembering.

It is not just about saying things, it is about sharing them. And giving something to others thereby. Something we all strive for deep down, I believe.

It is a blessing that this is possible in the day of the Internet, even if you fuck up most other things in your life.

349. The Empowering Choice Despite Circumstances

Whatever choice my mother makes there will always be uncertainty for me, and probably for the rest of us as well. Chemo won’t kill that. The chances of her surviving until 80 or 75 or 85 aren’t really as important – really – as the quality of time that we spend together and the quality of time she makes for herself until she needs to leave this dimension … It is a choice of how to live best that does not really require an answer to how long we will live or whether or not my mother decides to have chemo or not. 

It is a choice about how to empower and uplift and improve relations. And that is always something that should be in focus, although sadly it rarely is until the demand is great.

But I feel empowered even so. I feel encouraged thinking about all the things I can do to share some beauty and joy and power, no matter what turn events take.

306. Illumination

“Beauty is the illumination of your soul.”
― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

In a strange way this quote doesn’t relate directly to the threat of death and sorrow, but indirectly it has very much to do with it. It makes me feel, as I read it, that Soul exists – that I am Soul. Not just as a concept or metaphor, but something real, yet … undefinable.

And that is the power of all of John O’Donohue’s writ

304. The Search

“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.”
― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

296. Wonderings

… when I was visiting Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam, and I looked out the window and saw the church across the street and I almost froze, because a Thought came to me … solid and real and insisting upon itself:

THIS house is the real church.

That house was the church. Not the ‘real’ church across the street.

I wonder …

267. The Soul Opportunity

There’s a very real opportunity, however cliche, to reconnect with our souls on a long commute, by doing nothing in particular but looking out the window and let thoughts fly.

If you don’t believe in Soul then substitute with the term “feelings”. Those are the ones we so often leave un-noticed in the everyday drone and race. We ignore them. Act habitually and frantically, trying to get everything to ‘work out’.

Ignoring if the basis for wanting to work out something in particular has changed; if we feel differently about this or that matter.

We just act automatically, re-actively, habitually. Or at least I do. Maybe you are different?

Well, I didn’t think so. 

So there’s the deal: Try looking out the window, next time you commute. Try to do nothing. And just feel what you feel and what comes up.

Maybe when you commute next time it will be to somewhere entirely different.