Recently, I had a very stimulating discourse with an old school friend as a reaction to my article “Everything Happens For A Reason” (read it here). He’s a brilliant guy, and succeeding even in engaging him is a feat in which I take no small amount of pride. He’s also a believer in a totally random universe, finding difficulty in, as he says, “squaring the circle” of a guided/supervised universe with a world of tsunamis and car accidents and other seemingly meaningless, cruel events.
“Does God/The Cosmos/et al really have a plan?” was his rhetorical question. Or is it all really in how you look at it?
The answer is yes. To Both. To All. Our realities are designed and created BY our perceptions. No, I do not believe that “God” creates tsunamis or plagues or earthquakes. I DO believe that our expectations and reactions and even our emotional states create our individual realities, just as our reactions to the above-mentioned catastrophes serve to create our experience of those events.
For example, I understand and perceive that every seemingly random event carries something I need for my journey. Whether it’s a subtle lesson or a chance to shine as a teacher, a heart-softening glimpse at the special beauty of a smiling child or simply an opportunity to help another soul, there is nothing random in my world. Maybe, as happens so often now as I plan this book, it’s to inspire me to expound on a certain subject or lead me down a certain path of thought. As I constantly repeat to myself (and not always silently; ask Jacquelynn 😉 ), “everything happens for my best benefit”. A very real side effect of this line of thinking is that I almost never (everyone slips, right?) find myself avoiding or resenting anything that happens. I take what the universe gives me.
I look for the value in every moment, every seemingly random event and vague happenstance. And I find it. Invariably. Cynics will call it self-fulfilling prophecy, but if you look for meaning, it’s there. If you don’t expect it to be there, then it’s not. Perception. My random-shit-just-happens friend stated his hope that it really is all in how you see it, and I truly love that I can tell him that yes, it really is. One hundred percent.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. – William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
I would add to the great Bard’s thought that there is room for more philosophies than any of us could ever imagine.
Which is to say, my friend’s viewpoint is perfectly valid. That is the world he chooses to see, and it shows itself to him. Being the rare person that he is, he wonderfully refuses to judge those who disagree with him, and finds value in the diversity of thought and opinion that fills this world. That very diversity is one of the things that makes this world so precious and beautiful. Like him, I embrace it and celebrate it with every breath. My self-professed “contrarian” schoolmate has even stated his enjoyment in watching me find and walk my path. Finding joy in the joy of others rather than berating them for not thinking exactly as you do? Very novel.
Yeah. He’s further along on his path than many of us. Fills my soul.