Seeing Things a Different Way

Day Two: Vision Quest in Brazil

My girlfriend and I went on a road trip a few hours away from the city where we're staying. We went to a canyon. Before we got there, we stopped to pick up the hiking guide. While picking him up, his dog came up to me in a friendly way. I petted his head, and he seemed really happy.

Then I had this insight. I thought that the human mind tends to come up with reasons for why things happen, and believes them as if they're right. It thinks, "I bought this fabric because I'll need it for my quilting project." But what if we're wrong? It seems weird to question that. But what if our assumption is incorrect, even when it seems obviously true?

For example, what if the reason I was petting the dog's head was because for years the dog's head has been itching and nobody had scratched it. So the Universe decided to do something about it. It introduced me to my girlfriend, we decided to start going out and we stay together for four years. Then, because my girlfriend is a scientist, the Universe set up a special science conference in Curitiba, Brazil. She heard about it and the Universe made her decide to go. Then I felt compelled to go with her. We traveled the 15 hours down here, then the Universe places a tour brochure in our hotel lobby and lights it up in a way that draws us to pick it up. The Universe then makes us interested in this particular canyon hike, and voila! The dog finally gets its head scratched.

What a relief!

Essentially, I don't think we can ever know why we do anything. Sometimes we make ourselves feel badly because of something we did, as if we're at fault. But what if it's to get a dog's head scratched?

That's not saying that we have no responsibility and we can do whatever we want. It essentially means that there are bigger forces at work doing things that we don't understand.

It takes a lot of pressure off us to have an openness to the possibility of other reasons for our actions that we can't comprehend.

Hopefully, that openness removes some of the guilt and fear that can cripple us.

Exercise for today: Pick an event in your day, and use your imagination to find a wild, random explanation for why the Universe may have caused that event. See how that explanation makes you feel.