The Universe Is Neither Kind nor Unkind; That’s Our Job

Some say the universe is kind and caring.

Really? You want to look around and stand by that?

God loves the the birds in the field until a raptor swoops down and eats it, or another bird kicks its eggs out of the nest; well sure they got to eat too… not kind or unkind, good or bad..

No, it’s not that the manifest universe has the trait of being kind or not kind. Ask a gazelle mother and a lion mother. It wont work out for one of them today.

Watch a documentary about gazelles, you want the baby you followed from birth to survive. Now flip the script and watch the mother of a starving lion cub hunt. The lion cub you watched play, whose big cute eyes you looked deeply into, whose proud and strong protective mother you rightfully admired.

That’s how it is.

Buddhism 101, biology 101.

The manifest universe of samsara, of the relative, isnt kind or not kind. It is an evolution of Mind, the One Thought.

In that thought WE are the universe’s way of being kind. We have the potential to be that kind mind of the universe.

And being kind is active. It isnt just you are so special that you feel bad for the poor slobs.

Being is a verb. We make love, we show kindness compassion. All active. We take action.

In our world we may not take direct part in the dance of gazelle and lion, but we are stewards of the environment.

We do take direct part in the suffering of those around us.

Like guan yin, we hear the cries of the world, of those who are suffering.

If you support a culture of greed, and anger you are greed and anger.

If you claim you are spiritual but are too pure to do everything you can to actively support, work for and vote for Democrats at this juncture in history, you are a hypocrite.

I mean it. Look deep inside if you have and wont share. Many of us dont have resources, it is hard now, very rough and scary, I understand that. Sometimes the best way to deal with fear is take positive action. But if you do have resources, however limited, whether time, energy, attention, money, your voice, use them for justice. Your money and your deep samadhi and your voice wont mean shit when the environment is a nightmare landscape, your water is toxic, the air is poison, your economic system crashes, and your democracy and any sense of truth and decency and honor and responsibility is sold out to those that exploit racism and fear to gain power and riches.

We have a chance. Be part of it.


In Zen we say the relative and absolute are an identity. To say the great vision of Oneness means ultimately we are all energy and Mind is 100% true, but it is only half the Truth.

We dont reject the world of the senses, of experience, what is in front of us, we dont pretend we live in a peaceful state of nirvana if we dont, that our suffering and that of others is beneath our high viewpoint of One-ness or some such nonsense.

If as some say it is like a dream, this One Mind and our experience, then it is our dream, and in our dream we have a choice. 

Even after satori the Zen masters insisted it leaks away without post satori practice. And that includes compassion and action. Read Hakuin if you are into Zen. He wasnt afraid to talk truth to power, to get involved.

Yes ultimately it is all Mind and yes in the long run all suffering passes. Yes, quantum mechanics is consistent with a vision of Oneness, non-duality, Mind. So: Is that your true constant in the now experience? Really? Well if so, how do you share it? Or is it just emotional and mental masturbation, another delusion?

No, you’re too  spiritual for that, aren’t you? 

4 thoughts on “The Universe Is Neither Kind nor Unkind; That’s Our Job

    • Hi, thanks for the comment. As always, appreciated.

      Well, I don’t exclude or excuse myself, but in fact it was not really directed at myself. Quite the contrary, I had in mind very specific things I have heard or read recently first hand from people who have spiritual practices.

      Of course you are right, being kind to oneself is important, and I am not always.

      And I have written elsewhere that, superficially contrary to some of what I say here, the resting state of Mind is compassion. I do believe that, but I see that as a different aspect of this. Yes that is the resting state, the foundation of Mind, but what does compassion then mean for us in our lives if not action?

      So my point was compassion isnt favoring the predator or the prey, it isnt taking sides or being sentimental, but in this example being a steward of the environment and working to protect it.

      My motivation in stressing this less sentimental, more hands on view is that some seem to think “it’s all good” “God is Love” “we’re all One” means you dont have to strain yourself to get your hands dirty and help those in need.

      Help need not be money or very hard. A kind word may be all one can muster. Wearing a mask to protect others.

      The divine may be love, but the divine gave us eyes to see and ears to hear the suffering and abuse of others and hands and hearts and brains to do something about it.

      Right now mother earth is being ravaged and the people doing it are getting rich.

      People are dying and suffering because of ignorance greed and fear.

      I’ll try to be kinder to myself, I promise, that is wonderful advice, but if we’re all one, if I love as I imagine God might love, being kind to others is being kind to myself.

      Jesus wept. He healed the sick. He got nailed to the cross in part for hanging out with “sinners.” As you do to the least…

      As you DO. It is active as I read it.

      Love to me isnt just a mystical experience, a vision or a feeling, not even divine love.

      Some cant, they are too tapped out, physically, emotionally or economically. I get that, no judgment. Maybe they need help like so many now! Maybe all they can offer is a rare kind word. This wasn’t meant to be a criticism of those who cant do much, just those who can who use a kind of spirituality to justify not putting themselves out and doing the hard work to really try to make a difference when they can do so.

      I’d be curious what the SRF teaches about being hands on.

      Not sure if this gets to your point about my tirade, but happy to hear from you and hope it clarifies where I thought I was coming from.

      • Thank you for the clarification. It was the last line, “No, you’re too spiritual for that, aren’t you?” that made me feel that it was directed at yourself. So often our criticism of others is in reality (for lack of a better word) an examination of ourselves and commentary on our own weak points. Regardless, you are right about it all and I see your points more clearly.

        Re: SRF, all I can say is wow!–they are stepping up to the plate big time with a year old program (getting off the ground) they appropriately named Yogananda Seva. They are fundraising separately from the main organization, yet are spiritually connected with common goals–to serve the Guru, by serving others. Here’s a link to their programs, . I’ve entered my application, but haven’t chosen an area to work in yet. One program that you know something about (from your communal days) is Lay Disciple Intentional Community Support Forum which has peaked my interest. Not sure if it’s a good fit, since I’ve chosen a more reclusive life, at least for now. However, Yogananda always said that for the work to grow, lay people must be involved. SRF has attracted so much talent from around the world. I humbly hope there’s a spot for me with my limited intellectual and spiritual resources. Been praying and meditating on it and feeling encouraged.

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