Albert Einstein is said to have told a reporter, "I think the most important question facing humanity is, 'Is the universe a friendly place?' This is the first and most basic question all people must answer for themselves.
"For if we decide that the universe is an unfriendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to achieve safety and power by creating bigger walls to keep out the unfriendliness and bigger weapons to destroy all that which is unfriendly—and I believe that we are getting to a place where technology is powerful enough that we may either completely isolate or destroy ourselves as well in this process.
"If we decide that the universe is neither friendly nor unfriendly and that God is essentially 'playing dice with the universe', then we are simply victims to the random toss of the dice and our lives have no real purpose or meaning.
"But if we decide that the universe is a friendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to create tools and models for understanding that universe. Because power and safety will come through understanding its workings and its motives."
(Sourceless quote from http://www.nlpu.com/Articles/Sept_11.html)
Byron Katie, riffing on the good physicist/philosopher, has lately been asking as part of the "turnaround" portion of The Work, "If the universe is friendly, then why is _______(insert apparently detestable reality-based turnaround here)______ a good thing?" How is it that the very thing we most fear or object to could be for our highest good, best for our loved ones, or serving the planet? It's a marvelous exercise for opening the mind and preparing it to embrace all that is.
I think Einstein himself would have liked The Work, as a "technology" for understanding our universe through understanding ourselves.
©2007 by Carol L. Skolnick; all rights reserved.