Reader comment on Albert Einstein's passage ...

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    On May 6, 2012 rahul wrote:

    A true friend is one who acts for your benefit.  So before you can answer whether the universe is friendly, you must deeply consider both the nature of what benefits you most and the question of who or what "you" are.

    If your concept of self is individualistic, then achievements, ambitions, dreams, fame, power, possessions, pleasures, successes, etc are the things that seem to benefit you the most.  From this lens, the universe is a decidedly unfriendly place, as all of these things come into your grasp only fleetingly, with circumstance, people, or time ultimately snatching or shattering them all.  Most of us begin our journey's as true believers in an individualistic self, only to be repeatedly crushed or slowly sapped by the universe until we're thoroughly convinced that we've swallowed a flawed or incomplete picture.

    If you begin with the truth that all you have will be taken from you, then you are forced to re-evaluate your notion of self and self-benefit.  The interconnection and interdependence you witness from acceptance of the inescapable impermanence around you and inside you are a pleasant ways of saying that you will both eat and be eaten in every domain of your existence.  Your first food was your mother's body through nursing, and this eating and being eaten were filled with affection, joy, even pleasure for both.  If you can get past the guilt of eating and the fear of being eaten, you begin to touch the joy of witnessing the flow of life.  And the more you witness that joy, the more it seems to be the only thing that makes sense about who you are and why you're here.

    The universe manifests you, maintains you for a while, and then mercilessly chews and crushes you until you have no choice but to burst with joy and wonder at every second and every square inch of the humming, buzzing symphony of existence.  And that chewing is probably the most friendly thing that's ever happened to you, even if feels like pain in every bite.

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