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Written by Pierre Pradervand and Narrated by Marie T. Russell.

After returning from Africa in the early '80s, I was hired as a consultant by the Swiss Foreign Office to undertake a fascinating study of seven Western nations (Belgium, Holland, Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden and Western Germany) during which I interviewed over two hundred people in more than 100 organizations to see how they were raising public awareness in their countries of the great challenge of international development.

I ended almost every interview with the question: "It's easy to see what's wrong with the world today - anyone can come up with a long list of problems. So, I'd like to ask you to mention what you see as the three positive trends in the world - in any field."

Can you believe that almost everyone I spoke to - people exceptionally well-informed about these issues through their work - replied that they had never thought of the question. Some even replied "Nothing" or "I can't think of anything positive".

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Once again, it's all in the eyes. We all create our reality through the way we choose to look at the world.

Having the Eyes to See

And for those who have the eyes to see, there's so much good happening on the planet, whether it's the modernization of the countries of the South, the growing awareness that we live in a totally interdependent world, the realization of the urgent need to protect our environment, the new worldview emerging from the New Physics, technologies like the cell phone or the Internet that have literally transformed the world in just a few years, the revolution in healthcare thanks to the many alternative medicines.... Everyone can add to this list as they wish.

Why aren't we more aware of these positive trends? "Because good is boring for the media", a young schoolboy replied. So, what happens in a society where evil sells like hotcakes and good is consigned to oblivion?

Albert Einstein was once asked "what is the most important question you could ask about the world and the future of the human race?”. He answered simply: "Is the universe friendly?”

Although this quote may well be erroneously attributed to him, the question "Is the universe friendly?" is possibly the most fundamental one any thinking person can ask.

Is The Universe Friendly?

The notion that we live in a welcoming and caring universe is very close to my heart. Personally, not only do I believe we live in a very friendly – even exceptionally loving – universe, I believe this universe is moment by moment conspiring for our good. It is so incredibly restful to become aware of this and literally feel it in our bones.

Somehow, this conviction rests upon what one could call a primeval trust, a deep feeling born not of some logical reasoning but on what I believe are profound experiences from our very earliest childhood days that our surroundings and family were a safe place for us to be in. However; I also believe that someone who has not had such trustful experiences can reach this state of trust by constant work on themselves, be it of a spiritual or psychological nature.

Such a conviction is growingly precious in the rather wild world we live in, where change goes on at an ever-accelerating rhythm – at times literally a crazy one. And not only is this universe infinitely friendly and loving, but it has a built-in guidance system that operates, I believe, both on the individual and collective levels.

An Infinitely Benevolent Universe

So, precious friend, just let out that deep sigh and relax! You are totally taken care of. Even your own foibles and mistakes or what appears to some as a malign fate cannot foil the perfect plan for your life. Go into the deep silence. Listen, and listen again, and listen still deeper.

As A Course in Miracles says so gently, “If you knew who walks beside you on the path you have chosen, fear would be impossible”. With such company, in such a friendly universe, is there any alternative to trusting that Love is running the show?

Personally, after a professional life spanning more than 55 years in the four corners of the world, living among incredibly diverse cultures, in contact with all social classes, the wealthiest and those living in total destitution, I have come to the conviction and above all the feeling that the universe is an infinitely benevolent place.

This conviction was greatly strengthened by an out-of-body experience where I was projected into an infinite space in which there was nothing left but the feeling of boundless Love. For an indeterminate time (since I was no longer in human time and space, with mind and ego having totally vanished) this feeling was mine. In other words, infinite Consciousness (use whatever term you like) was mine, was my very identity.

The Law of Harmony

This conviction that the universe is infinitely benevolent is reinforced by the profound conviction that a fundamental law of harmony governs absolutely everything that happens, from the tiniest subatomic particle to the rolling of galaxies in this universe whose dimension exceeds the wildest imagination. And that nothing can escape the Law of Harmony, whatever the appearances to the contrary at the material level.

This "ontological optimism" is not the gift of an extraterrestrial godmother. For five years in Dakar, I lived between two shantytowns whose children would rummage through my garbage can for scraps of food or any other salvageable item. Such scenes, repeated daily for years, are an absolute insurance against the danger of seeing life as rosy.

For years, my work has forced me to confront some of the planet's greatest challenges: hunger, desertification, absolute poverty and child prostitution. I've visited villages whose starving inhabitants ate tree bark and sold their last jewels.

Our Vision of Reality

Our world is shaped by how we see it. We can never really justify our "Weltanschaung", as our German friends say, our vision of things, of reality, of the world. Mine developed, little by little, after years of listening, intense research, painful experiences but also intense joy. And I've come to the profound conviction that this planet (for I wouldn't dare speak of "the universe") is an astonishing collective as well as individual pedagogical laboratory, and that we're here for one reason only: to learn.

When I look back on my life, I see how certain events - which at the time seemed so pointless and painful - included lessons that sometimes took me years to understand. And today, I see life as a Persian carpet: seen from below, it's a jumble of scraps of fabric, threads and clashing colors, but seen from above, it's the perfect harmony of shapes and colors, all managed by a clear plan, a clear vision - and the result is sublime.

Practice: A Change of Perspective

Swiss writer Denis de Rougement once wrote that "the decadence of a society begins when people ask 'what's going to happen to me' rather than 'what can I do about it'".

For those of you reading this blog who might be asking de Rougemont the same question, I'd like to suggest this answer: Try a little more love - today. This practice, when it becomes a regular occurrence, has the tendency to open up ever-wider horizons, and one day you'll realize with wonder that you can see your Persian rug - from above.

This blog is taken from one of the chapters in my most recent book, Et ainsi coule la rivière (Thus flows the river, only available in French).

©2024 by Pierre Pradervand. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission from the author's blog.

Book by this Author:

The Gentle Art of Spiritual Discernment

The Gentle Art of Spiritual Discernment: A Guide to Discovering Your Personal Path
by Pierre Pradervand.

In this guide, Pierre Pradervand offers support for those embarking on an authentic spiritual search. He focuses in depth on helping you answer three fundamental questions: Who am I deep down? What am I really looking for in my spiritual quest? What is the deep motivation of my search? He shows how integrity, generosity, and discernment are essential components of any lasting spiritual path.

Showing how to cultivate your inner voice and intuition to become your own empowered spiritual authority, this guide reveals how to see more clearly, open your spiritual horizons, and move toward your own unique spiritual path.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Also available as an Audiobook and as a Kindle edition.

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About The Author

Photo of: Pierre Pradervand, the author of  the book, The Gentle Art of Blessing.Pierre Pradervand is the author of The Gentle Art of Blessing. He has worked, travelled and lived in over 40 countries on five continents, and has been leading workshops and teaching the art of blessing for many years, with remarkable responses and transformational results.

For over 20 years Pierre has been practising blessing and collecting testimonies of blessing as a tool for healing the heart, mind, body and soul.

Visit his website at

Interview with Pierre Pradervand: