Is the universe around us dictated by the collective? Or is there something else at play which guides us through challenges with a sense of purpose, feeling and ease but still hangs slightly out of our control?
In French the Uni-vers is written without the E at the end. As it literally translates as United Towards,
it got me thinking. In a way when we speak of the “universe”, are we saying that the universe is God? when we employ universe meaning that the general state of the world is pushing one towards something in particular? We can perceive the universe as some omnipotent force which somehow guides us towards our highest interest or some higher good?
Though, deep down as a rebel, one wonders if we really have to follow the collective direction, or if there is some sense of freewill we can apply to create our own path..
Do we have to participate in where the world tends to be going? Or is it entirely possible that we create our own path and walk in a different direction to where everyone seems to be going?
There’s a quote I like by Nir Eyal, although many other authors such as Zig Ziglar or Jim Rohn have said similar things:
“If you don’t plan your day, someone or something else will.”
The same goes for your life. If you don’t have a plan and direction for your life, someone else will have one for you and you’ll end up going in the wrong direction, especially if you have a vision of where you want to be.
So, it stands to reason that, if the universe guides you in a direction you don’t want to be going in life, you’ll generally have to adapt and use where the universe is guiding you as an opportunity, or refuse to flow with the current of life and be bull headed about creating your vision on your own.
Generally I’ve found that if you’re forced to go in a direction which is not of your choice, we can perceive the universe as going against us, and when things are working for us favor life tends to work for us. But if we deconstruct this perception, it becomes a question of mindset. Because whether we’re here or not, life continues and the universe plods along non-the-wiser.
I suppose that in the general sense, people are mostly carried along by life and life happens to them, or somehow pushes them along. Instead of being in control of the direction they are headed,
many seem to be like kites flowing in the wind, just gliding without a particular direction in mind.
They feel lucky when somehow money comes their way, and ill of luck when they lose it.
Though, is luck anything other than the amount of preparation we have to endure those up or down moments?
If you’re a race car driver, chances are that your skills allow you to be more in control when something dangerous happens on the road. And by the same logic, the chances of you enjoying those same skills in great road conditions are extended too!
Our skills are like the sails of a boat. We must harness them in order to make the most of the opportunities of wind. Also, We can’t take a direction if we’re not clear on where we’re going in the first place… And to find those skills and passions that we enjoy so much, we must first undergo some in depth searching, trial and error. One needs time to ponder and dig within. We’re either lucky and we’re born with the right set of circumstances which allow us to know what we want to do from the get go, or we get the chance to discover it for ourselves over the course of circumstances as “the universe” unveils” it for us.
Being someone who’s deliberately chosen to go through pain in order to confront his “inner demons”, to discover himself, and also to find a degree of confidence from within. I can assure that it’s a long process in which we’re not in control, we go through many pains and internal difficulties, to then somewhere along the path have “Aha” moments where we confirm what sticks, what repeats and what doesn’t.
Having also let go of my locus of control in order to witness “Life”, I let life happen to me. And what I found wasn’t entirely of my choosing. Without being the one in control of what circumstances one wants to be in, life simply happens to us, we spend long waits in waiting rooms, long waits in uncomfortable environments, long bus rides with noisy people, and so on. We’re also pretty much just floating aimlessly in any direction and at the mercy of anyone who happens to be going that way. Not the most enjoyable process.
Getting back to personal control, letting life happen to us seems pointless, as we’re not consciously working towards a goal, or fighting to make it happen. If we don’t have an internal propulsion to strive with purpose, our life becomes empty and even a little bland. Long waits in silent places, where only the sound of clock hands ticking accompanies you to your never ending, never arriving destination. Waiting for Godot.
Though, from my comprehension, life must come neither solely from dependency on external circumstances, nor should it come from giving up all will to some intangible source of power which gives no orders, no clear directions, or even any understanding. We don’t want to be kites in the wind. We must define the purpose in our life, the direction we’re going in, and the definition must be in sync with where we are and where we want to go. We must be able to work with it and it must be accessible for us to use as a base point to go forward from. Otherwise we’re dealing with dreams and achieving near nothing. Sitting idle in contemplation (which isn’t a bad thing, though everything has its time and place) isn’t constructive, as the very nature of contemplation is to contemplate.
To be subtly guided by the collective can be perceived in other terms such as “Keeping up” with technological advances, whats happening on social media, having a phone which is up to date with the last update, the latest scientific advances, the latest Ted talk and so on.. Or to be driven by an external force, as if sitting on a train going in a direction without having a say over the direction of said train. For example working for a big corporate company, where you represent only a tiny cog in a very large machine.
We might coin the term serendipity when we start to follow our own path, where things start to pop up and make sense to us in a way or another. Though, it’s simply that the reality happening outside of ourselves is aligned with what we’re thinking, to a degree and we’re seeing synchronous
happenings. Which begs the question, do we materialize our thoughts, or do we simply witness external events because we are already aware of them?
Even though we don’t know clearly what we’re doing, we must have a direction, a plan; something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for. And in doing so, we strive for something, a sort of change or evolution, in which we’re somehow a part of, or which we’re the causation of. We need to feel a sense of importance, a sense of transcendence in relation to a point of being perceived as stagnant and consistently always the same. Which underlines how important work is. Work is a guideline, a north-star,
which we strive for day in and day out. It’s what keeps us in our process. And this doesn’t have to be for someone, or solely for money. Work is what keeps us evolving, progressing, moving towards something.