"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them."
They say that a good manager is one who emphasizes catching people doing things right. And yet, in our view of the world we tend to emphasize all the places where we think the cosmos is getting it wrong. The evolution of our brains emphasized threat detection over appreciation. From the point of view of the continuation of the genome, it is more important that a prairie dog detect the hawk overhead then to appreciate the quality of the sunshine or the abundance of air it's able to breathe. Our minds are so often busy threat detectors worrying about what's wrong or could go wrong. We don't often stop to notice all the things that have gone right in the present moment. For example, right now you are interacting with an oracle and therefore you probably have eyes, and unlike all the other species on the planet you are able to comprehend complex language and explore new ideas.
This is an abundant universe. Put quotation marks around the voices in your head that are endlessly worried about scarcity of money, resources, opportunities, romantic partners, etc. Look up at a clear night's sky and think about how much real estate is out there — ca. 100,000,000,000 stars in just our galaxy, and by some estimates 500,000,000,000 galaxies in the universe with many physicists now saying that our universe is just a tiny bubble in an ever expanding foam of multiverse. The universe has created 50,000,000,000,000 cells just to sheath you in a corporeal body for this one difficult incarnation where apparent scarcity and other hardships are part of the abundance of developmental forces.
My friend Rob Breszny wrote a book entitled Pronoia
. According to the book, Pronoia is a term "…coined in the mid-1970s by Grateful Dead lyricist and cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, John Perry Barlow, who defined it as the opposite of paranoia: 'the suspicion that the universe is a conspiracy on your behalf.' "
It is easy to view life as a catastrophe, a catastrophe we can head off only by a white-knuckled grip on our body, money, possessions and relationships. But maybe your life is more of a "euchatastrophe" than a catastrophe.
Eucatastrophe is a term coined by J.R.R. Tolkien that refers to the sudden turn of events at the end of a story that result in the protagonist's well-being. He formed the word by affixing the Greek prefix eu-, meaning good, to catastrophe, the word traditionally used in classically-inspired literary criticism to refer to the "unraveling" or conclusion of a drama's plot. It could be said that the ending of The Lord of the Rings is a Eucatastrophe. Though victory seems assured for Sauron, the One Ring is destroyed beyond all hope. Essentially a bad situation suddenly turns good.
For more on Pronoia, go to Rob Brezsny's site, freewillastrology.com, and/or read my review of Pronoia:
Is the World Spiraling Toward Eucatastrophe or is that just my Pronoia?
The latest edition of Pronoia
was available on 9-22-09.