Random or Preordained Universe?

I don’t think there is such a thing as random, really. Everything in nature is so precise. There is a cause and an effect. Trees don’t grow their branches randomly. It depends on where the sunlight is coming from and a host of other factors. Molecules aren’t formed randomly either. Two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom don’t sometimes form water and other times something else.

From an early age, children start asking that follow up question that adults dread. Why? Why is the sky blue? Why do clouds float? Because even early on we know there’s a reason for everything. Everything is structured and harmonious.

So why can our society accept this in the natural world but then reject the same concept for things like emotions and events? Are the things that happen in our lives completely unaffected by anything? The bird poop landed on your shoulder by chance? The fender bender you got into this morning was just an accident? The lovely service you received at that restaurant last night was simply good fortune?

It’s interesting because often when people begin to question if anything is truly random it leads them over to the question of whether everything is preordained. I suppose we find it preferable to believe that events are random rather than preordained because the latter leaves no room for choice.

But these are two extremes which feel equally uncomfortable for me. I think our Universe is right in the middle of these two options. It makes so much sense to me. If you throw a pebble into a pond, you’ll definitely create ripples. But you chose to throw it. If you believe without a doubt that a certain restaurant always has wonderful service, you’ll definitely line yourself up with good service, even from that waiter who your friend says is always grumpy. Because you chose to believe that. And if you are in a poo poo mood and don’t take a few moments to shift to a better feeling place, you may just get a little gift on your shoulder from a passing bird that reflects your inner state.

We are in a Universe of free will. We choose how we wish to be and what we wish to believe, but once we choose, those choices send out ripples just as surely as the pebble striking the surface of the water does.

Let Logic Work Its Magic

“The One is the All.  The All are the One.”

This morning I was thinking about the relationship between logic and the creation process.  Spirituality teachers say that we create our own reality and that we can have any of our heart’s desires.  I believe this to be true, but I was having a hard time fitting logic into this.  Logic to me has always set limits; defined what could and couldn’t happen. And looking around at nature, everything makes sense. Everything relates to everything else in a way that we can study and understand eventually. So how could these two ideas of “anything is possible” and “there is a logical explanation for everything” co-exist?

A new perspective came to me.  It isn’t logic itself that is limiting but rather my definition of it.  I had been using it to create walls and exclude possibilities; to restrict my world to a finite pool of potentials.  But I had been looking at reality backwards.  Logic is not meant to be the starting point, the thing that tells us what is and isn’t possible, but rather, it is meant to weave every thing into an ordered whole.

Logic is a facet of harmony.  Logic is a facet of cohesion.  Logic is what takes every component of our Universe and relates it to everything else.  When a new element is dreamed into being, logic is the thread that braids it seamlessly into the whole, not the scissors that cut it out.

I think we are meant to dream our dreams, hold them in our hearts clearly, and let logic work its magic by creating new knots, new stitches, to weave those fresh, new patterns into the fabric of our reality.  

Logic is the thread that holds the ever expanding, infinitely-layered quilt that is our Universe together.

Speak to Us of Giving

I just wanted to share a small excerpt from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.  A wonderful little book, if you haven’t read it.  

The books is set up as a series of questions and answers from the towns people to the prophet before he leaves their city.  This excerpt is from page 24 of the book.

I’ve come to realize that fear of need or lack is one of my biggest areas of resistance — like a lot of people, I’m sure.  This passage really resonated with me.

Then said a rich man, Speak to us of Giving.

And he answered:

You give but little when you give of your possessions.

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them to-morrow?

And to-morrow, what shall to-morrow bring to the over-prudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?

And what is fear of need but need itself?

Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable?

There are those who give little of the much which they have—and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.

And there are those who have little and give it all.

These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.


First Post

Finally.  I’ve moved past my excuses and imagined hurdles and started my blog, and this, as the clever title of this post suggests, is my first blog post.

First, I have to say thank you to my wonderful friend Danushka and her lovely husband Yuta for providing the final nudge I needed to start.

So, what will Stumbling Towards Serenity be about?  My occasionally frustrating but overwhelmingly illuminating journey down the spiritual path that I started about five years ago.

I also think humanity as a whole is stumbling along towards a more serene future.  We’re reaching for more balanced and harmonious relationships with each other, the planet, and, most importantly, ourselves.  So I may also include topics that I think exemplify our expansion as a species.

One very cool thing that I’ve realized is just how closely related physics  and metaphysics are, so I’ll also write about any interesting physics topics that I come across.

And I promise that the post titles will get a bit more creative.

Here we go!