July 19, 2006
The Universe Loves To Happen!
The ancient Greeks had a phrase that we might just find meaningful: philei ginesthai, the universe loves to happen! It was meant to describe the incredible exuberance of all things that exist and come into being at every moment all around us. It was also a way of getting us out of ourselves to connect with the world, with the world as teeming with life and endless creative activity.
Our own sexual drives and those of all creatures are part of that exuberance I mentioned, but you can find the universe at work in the motion of the tiniest particles that constitute our observable world. Everything is in motion, everything is endlessly joining and separating, combining, breaking up and recombining. It is only because we have minds and intelligence that we can begin to appreciate this vast tableaux of dynamic profusion. We can, that is, if we open ourselves up to the reality of it.
Ah, that brings us to the level of our personal experience. If we are so taken up with the activities of our life, so involved with the minutiae of schedules, demands and artificially contrived busyness then, of course, we will not notice what the universe may be doing at any time. Instead, our focus will be on just what is under our very particular and individual noses. There is a great novel by the Japanese writer, Kobo Abe, called Woman in the Dunes, which describes the main character, who is a schoolteacher and amateur entomologist, or insect collector. He roams the sand dunes by the ocean in search of a rare new strain of beetle, so that he can be the first to discover it and so have it named after him. Everything else is extraneous to the task of finding this elusive insect.
What happens is that he finds himself needing a place to stay one evening and is given shelter by local villagers who lower him into a deep depression in the sand where a house is barely surviving the onslaught of the movement of the sand dunes. A woman is there, alone, doing the endless work of removing the sand and having it taken away in buckets by the other villagers. Soon our hero finds he is trapped in the depression with this woman and doomed to help her remove the sand.
At first he is enraged and consumed with only one thought: escape. But escape to where and to what? His life outside that hole was no different in tone and texture from what it is in the sand house. Indeed, over time, he comes to appreciate the situation of the woman who works to survive every day without complaint and with relative good humor. Despite his own rage and transient cruelty, he gradually comes to appreciate her as a person and achieves a level of intimacy and feeling that he never was able to experience before. So paradoxically, being imprisoned was his path to liberation. He surrendered his totally impersonal, limited search for an insect and widened his vision to take in the broader realities of what the universe was doing. In other words, like the universe, he started to love to happen!
So my reader friend, how about you? Are you too self absorbed, too unaware of things beyond yourself, or have you taken the time to see how the universe loves to happen and taken the opportunity to join with it and love to happen as well? Let me know what you think.
Frank Mosca Ph.d. is a licensed mental health counselor, life and marital coach with a practice in Hampton Bays and Garden City. Find out about his putting minds in motion seminars and contact him at email@example.com.