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Magnificent or Insignificant?
Issue 79

After you read The Pale Blue Dot that you can find in this issue (page 9), you’ll know why I’ve been asking myself this question: Am I infinitely important or infinitely small, in the grand scheme of things?

Am I the reason this whole world was created, so I could experience it all?  Or am I as a grain of sand on the beach, a drop of water in the ocean?

I live my life as though I came here to the Earth to experience all of Who I Really Am.  That’s a choice I’ve made quite a while back and it’s one that has brought me joy and peace and a real feeling of fulfillment.

On the other hand,  I often see how small my life really is.  When I look at the stars in the sky, how can I not feel infinitesimal?  Or when I see the enormous problems facing humanity today and the very little I can actually do about any of it, how can I think of myself as important, powerful, great, an infinite being of light?

I’m getting depressed just sitting here, thinking about that!  :-(

Can I make even a dent in the world’s problems?  And if I can’t, why the heck am I even here?  Is my journey intended to be this small?  This insignificant?

How do I explain to myself why the world is as it is while still believing that the Universe, the Creator, the Source of All, is all that is good, is a loving and compassionate Being?

I look at the Earth and its place in the cosmos and I wonder.  Surely it’s not all about me?  Surely it’s not all about humankind?  Surely all of creation is not only or even mostly about little old us?

What do I make of this feeling of insignificance when I also feel the magnificence of my Beingness deep inside me?

And here lies the real dilemma.  I can see how small we all are in the cosmos, how insignificant.  At least physically.

But I also know our potential.  Potential for greatness and smallness. Potential for both hurting and healing each other.

I’m thinking of 9/11, when I had a first row comfortable and safe seat in front of a TV screen watching insanity happen.

But from that same seat, I also witness man’s greatness.  While most people fled the scene, many actually ran toward it, as did the First Responders, of course, those magnificent human beings whose job it is to run toward hell instead of away from it.

Many others also did whatever they could to try and help: bringing food and water; building makeshift stretchers to carry what was believed to be an enormous number of victims; lining around city blocks to give blood.

Magnificent all!

I cannot accept the fact that such greatness of spirit is insignificant, even in the grand scheme of things.  I just refuse to.

So there!  End of depression!

I believe Humans become magnificent when they allow themselves to act in Love;  completely, without expecting or needing anything back, without allowing fear to block the loving flow that comes from deep within us.

I believe humans become small when they allow fear to dictate their every act, thought, idea, and feeling.

The Dalai Lama said, “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.

And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.”

But that’s the problem isn’t it?  When we fear, one of our first reaction is often to hurt back.  A pre-emptive strike as it were.  We see it happen in our own lives, in the lives of friends, family, communities, and even countries which, as we know, can lead to war.

Fear contracts us, makes us harder, more rigid, needing to preserve and strengthen our defenses.  Fear makes us smaller, all in the name of self-preservation.

Love expands us.  It opens us up, allows us to let people in, to open our hearts and minds in order to understand problems and misunderstandings.  It allows for solutions to be created.   Love makes us grander, more magnificent than we ever thought we could be.

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Fear divides, love unites.  So one wonders why we choose fear so often.

Fear is contagious.  It is all around us, it permeates almost everything we hear and read about on the news.  Fear is also in so much of what we call entertainment, from the latest blockbuster movies to the most popular drama-filled TV shows.  Violence abounds.  And there is no
violence that is not in reaction to some kind of fear.

So if all I’ve said is true, or at least if it feels as true to you as it does to me, how can we put our fears aside and live in more and more love?

I believe fear has been growing within us for a very long time.  Since childhood at least, if not from other lifetimes.  Fear is deep seated and cleverly hidden under some very interesting coping strategies: anger is one of the best since it deceives us so completely about who and what is responsible for our feelings.

“If you only stopped doing that, I wouldn’t get so angry” is a very effective way of pointing the blame of our anger on someone else and keeping our fears well hidden.  The same is true of all our so-called negative emotions.  They all cover fear.

But what if we choose to air our fears out?

I am blessed to have in my life some very good friends who know what fear is really about and who allow me to vent my anger without taking it personally.  They allow me to let go of my rage, a bit at a time, so that I can finally see and let go of the underlying fear.

Surprisingly to me, this is not a very complicated process.  It needs but some willingness on everyone’s part to delve deeper than the superficial issue that caused the anger in the first place.  Accepting that anger is but a reaction to someone touching our pain.  And knowing that when someone touches our sunburn, what is needed is to heal the sunburn, not to blast the person who, most often quite unwittingly, touched it.

So if you can, find someone in your own life who is willing to go below the surface of things, who is willing to let go of any argument, let go of the need to be right at that particular time, and see what the wound is that was touched.  Once the wound is identified and aired, it will loose its ability to hurt us and the fear will subside.

The Universe is truly a miraculous place, filled with magnificent beings.  No wonder it’s so huge.  It needs to be to encompass it all.

Yes, fear is contagious.
But then, so is Love.

So smile, for you are deeply loved!