A couple of weeks ago I was playing the Higher Thought game via Zoom with a couple of friends. We drew the question, “Do you trust the universe? What does it mean to ‘trust the universe’?
One friend responded that he used to trust the universe but now he’s not sure. He used to believe that somehow all things would turn out okay, but the unfolding events in our world have shaken his faith. Now, although part of him still does trust the universe, it’s a much wobblier trust.
My other friend talked about how she came close to dying twice last year, and indeed thought she was about to die, due to a health crisis. What she trusts now – believes (and perhaps knows) in her bones – is that there is a reason why she is still here.
My own answer was that clearly things are not okay, because a lot of people die horribly and that’s always been true, and sentient beings are suffering all over the planet. So from the perspective of my ego – the individual human I experience myself to be – things have already NOT turned out okay and that’s a done deal.
But of course my perspective is inconceivably limited. What do I know about what’s “okay” from the perspective of infinite time and space?
So I trust the universe to know better than me. I’ll give it that much.
And here is one thing I feel convinced of about the whole “virus crisis.” As a result of the slowing and shutting down of so much human activity, there is less suffering in a whole bunch of spots.
Somewhere, right now, someone is feeling a lot better.
People are saying that they’re hearing birds again for the first time in years – seeing birds they haven’t seen. People who live out by the Portland airport can’t believe how quiet it is. And according to this essay I read on Medium:
The New York Times reports that New Delhi measured an air quality index of 38 last week; citizens there are used to a standard of about 150. (According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a “good” AQI falls between 0 and 50.) Sick people say they are using their inhalers less, and Venus can be seen in the night sky.
… [and] in the U.K., levels of the harmful pollutant nitrogen dioxide have dropped up to 60% compared to the same period last year, reports the BBC.
How can there not be less suffering in many places?
This is a sweet and delicate time for so many of us. I hope it feels that way to you, at least some of the time.