Human beings have been projecting human-like features and living qualities to physical as well as metaphysical entities since the evolution of consciousness. And the Universe is no exception when we consider statements such as The Universe fulfills all our wishes, The University looks after us, and many other assertions that bestow human attributes to inanimate masses that have been expanding since the Big Bang. By assigning consciousness and human emotions to the Universe, we give ourselves permission to believe that our wishes could be granted, as if asking a higher power concerned with our individual needs.
I propose that the Universe is incapable of caring about us because it does not have consciousness: An awareness of self. In other words, I know that I am, and I also know that you are not who I am. Thus, if there’s no consciousness there’s no self to feel emotions.
One of the concerns with attributing consciousness to the Universe is that it diminishes personal agency: The capacity to act independently, and make free choices. When we dismiss agency, we can sit back and wait for our wishes to be granted as well as disown our actions, not unlike saying, The Devil made me do it, when excusing bad deeds. But personal agency empowers us, and yields results that can be attributed to our free will.
Fortunately, we already own a more exciting and accessible alternative to a conscious universe that can actually grant most of our ordinary, and at times, extraordinary wishes. And the name of this internal universe is in the realm of personal agency: One’s own volitional actions in the world. It is one’s capacity to originate and direct action for given purposes. In other words, agency is an awareness or internal sense that it is I who is executing actions or thinking thoughts.
Although awareness of personal agency is very reassuring, I will identify how to make this internal capacity work to achieve your goals (wishes), and navigate challenges (adversity).
In my theory of biocognitive science, I propose that personal agency has three identifiable stages: Intention, action, and attribution. Describing the components of personal agency, and how to apply them to your life is essential for any mindbody process you want to assimilate. The empowering benefit of personal agency comes from knowing how to generate creative thoughts and transform them to productive movement within a defined time/space required to achieve tangible results. In other words, we cannot produce without first imagining what we want to achieve. And all can be accomplished from our own volitional actions without supplicant appeal to the Universe.
An aim or plan to do something that we wish to achieve. Focusing on agency we can formulate our intentions based on what we can do for ourselves without relying on inanimate forces or entities.
Executing our aim or plan using the resources needed to achieve the goals we identify with our intention. Applying agency we attend to what we can do for ourselves; that others, including the Universe, can’t do for us. Then, if we need help beyond our own resources, we can ask those who love us to assist our actions in the pursuit of our goals.
Designating cause to the actions we extract from intentions. With agency, we can assign cause to our own efforts rather than to the Universe. Additionally, knowing that we are the architects of our actions, we can select and improve the strategies that work best for us.
I should note however, that if you believe that the Universe is a granting entity, your belief rather than the Universe, gives you a sense of belongingness and security that is health enhancing. Conversely, if your wishes are not granted, it leads to disappointment, self-blame, and a sense of abandonment, that is not good for your health.
Following my argument, I invite you to consider that you posses impressive power inherent in your beliefs, whether with our without awareness of agency. The good news is that if you start believing in what you can achieve with agency, and take empowering action, you will no longer need to concern yourself with a universe that has no time to stop its expanding journey to meet your earthly needs.