Monthly Columns

As Above, So Below (How the Stars Became Our Hearts)

Does the Universe Care?

Throughout the ages, human consciousness has sought to scratch the surface of reality, and those who are able get peek behind the scenes have a different takeaway.

For every NDE (near death experience) where a person claims to have seen god and a universe beyond understanding and been reunited with loved ones, you have a claim of those who saw nothing at all. Locally, with experiences like church and psychedelics, some report profound experiences, other’s experience profound boredom.

If you dig deeper into the wisdom of the sages, you’ll still be disappointed. While it is popular to believe great minds think alike, it would seem they are quite divided when it comes to this particular issue. While some believe life comes baked in with perfect order, destiny, and purpose. Others see it as a torture chamber, and a lawless wasteland at best. What sets these great minds apart?

Friedrich Nietzsche

Philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer share a characteristically pessimistic view of reality when contrasted with more religious based philosophies. While the works of each of the individuals different in many ways, there seem to be two types of conclusions to arrive at.

One that alludes to the universe being perfect beauty and intelligently crafted perfection. And the other alluding to a cold unalive universe of pure random chaos.

Each comes from years of contemplating life. Life that actually happens. And minds that interpret the information that is actually found in reality. Yet reach vastly different conclusions.

A seeker is bound to come to one of these conclusions or another if they dig deep enough. While there is unspeakable beauty and wonder in the universe, it seems to be equally painful and chaotic. If you use the mind to try to understand the universe, you find that entropy tends to interfere with anything you could possibly plan, or hope or wish for. Things naturally tend towards death and decay. Whole life order and beauty take work and energy to maintain.

As an animal brain evolved for survival, it would seem inevitable that we would arrive at the conclusion that the universe is hostile and emotionless. Even spiritual paths that don’t feel the universe is just cold and uncaring still account for the tendencies of the universe to induce suffering. Life can feel downright absurd and pointless at times, but most of us can admit. Even if reluctantly, that life IS worth the suffering. Some of us can even agree that the suffering can be helpful to our growth as individuals. But what causes us to draw such vastly differing conclusions?

On the surface, it’s easier to identify with pessimist philosophies, but these philosophies, whilst being deeply thought out and then later deeply studied by millions of intellectual people. Their logic in deducing the apparent disposition of the universe (if there is one) has a fatal flaw. They are developed from a place of the mind, and therefore the ego.

The universe is obviously more complex than our ideologies about it. If we base our ideas on the universe conduciveness to manipulation by the will of it’s organisms, then maybe it is pure chaos. Any attempt to assign the universe with any intrinsic polarity fails, we it would seem the universe had existed trillions and trillions of years before organisms ever existed, and will exist for an unfathomable amount of time afterwards. Which logically leads us to two opposing conclusions. That 1: Obviously the universe doesn’t really NEED organisms… And 2: The Universe induces the manifestation of organisms.

Upon closer inspection from a perspective not bound by the mind, it seems that the universe benefits all organisms equally. And that may seem like chose to the fly as they say. But something eats the spider. Something eats the bird. Something destroys everything eventually. But we were all borrowed from the universe, and ultimately belong to it. We only return what was borrowed.

When you look deeper and deeper, this web, this deep interconnectedness looks more and more like Magick. More and more like an intelligence. And this is where you find the beautiful. Those of us who have learned to let go to the pure chaos of the universe tend to see the magick and blessings open up before us. It’s this pain that ultimately induces growth and evolution. The universe is in balance. Between agony and ecstacy. Balance is the only intrinsic property of the universe. Whether intelligently guided or not.

So is the universe chaotic or altruistic? The answer is yes.



About the Author:

Alexiel Raynes is a shaman, philosopher, and musician from Louisville, Ky. He has studied religion and science for over 20 years. His spiritual path focuses on self realization, the liberation of the constraints of the mind on consciousness. He also studies plant medicines and their use in indigenous cultures world wide. He is fascinated with exploring the world beyond the veil of mainstream western science, and postulates at what lies beyond general consensus reality. He, together with his business partner are the owners of Saol Bandia, a holistic herbal apothecary based in their hometown. They are also very active in raising pagan awareness in their community, and helping give witches the courage to stand up to a world that has forgotten our ways.

You can visit their store at

For contact visit

Or email [email protected]