Last updated on October 23rd, 2023.
Sometimes, people experience moments when they realize they need to trust in the universe. Maybe something in your life feels chaotic, or you are currently overwhelmed with emotions. It’s during these times that you might realize that it’s time to surrender to the universe and trust that things should work themselves out, no matter how stressed out you may feel at the time.
How do you trust the universe? Learning how to trust in the universe is both a practice and an art form. If you’ve ever been working hard and felt that things aren’t happening correctly for you, then it may be time to let go and trust in the universe. To do that, you’ll need to learn to let go and relinquish control. You’ll also have to learn how to trust things and realize those good things will happen eventually.
Trusting in the universe does require a lot of patience and effort. Since it can be challenging to focus in on that and achieve results quickly, we’ll cover how you can learn to trust in the universe. Below we’ll discuss what it means to trust in the universe, how you can let go and trust in the universe, how to tell if the universe is testing you, and how you can ask the universe for a sign.
What Does Trusting the Universe Mean?
So, what does it mean to trust in the universe? To understand what trusting in the universe means, you’ll need to reflect on your fear of failure. Many people feel a fear of failure for a wide variety of reasons, including things like:
- Looking like a fool
- Embarrassing themselves in front of others and looking like they lack confidence
- Not wanting to appear vulnerable to a tough and harsh crowd
- Wanting to appear calm and calculated
Many of us fear failure so much that we’ll go to great lengths to fool other people and even ourselves into thinking that we have the right approach to our problems. People often insist that they know how to solve their problems, and then they try to analyze every inch of the issue. That’s because most of us have been trained since childhood to think before we act. As a result, we often ignore emotion and intuition and stick with logic and rational thinking.
When we begin abandoning emotion and intuition and instead focus on logic, we tend to start living in our heads more often than in reality. And of course, that brings us farther away from the universe because those actions demonstrate that we aren’t trusting in the universe. Since most of us don’t want to suffer when we make mistakes, since we all know how horrible that can feel, we try hard not to make mistakes. So, many of us try to control things and analyze every decision we make.
However, by trying to pick the best outcome in every situation, we wind up overanalyzing every decision we make, and that can obstruct our path to achievement. When we try to review every possible situation in our heads and then weigh out those decisions, we waste time. That’s because no person can think about infinite possibilities and variables for any given situation.
What Fear and Worry Do
We all experience fear and worry, and everybody thinks about issues that they have no control over. By analyzing all possible outcomes of a situation or thinking that we can do so when we can’t, we justify in our heads the thought that we have some control over our lives. Everybody wants certainty and some control over their futures; however, none of us have that. And that’s why it’s essential to let go of fear and worry to trust in the universe.
Alan Watts worked as a British philosopher and popularized Eastern Philosophy across Western Civilization. Watts focused on Zen Buddhism and taught it not just as a religion but as a type of psychotherapy. Watts discusses learning to let go of control and to trust in the universe in many of his teachings.
How Do You Let Go and Trust the Universe?
So, how can you learn to let go and trust in the universe? First, let’s consider relationships with other people. It can be challenging to trust others for the most part. At some point in time, we’ve all been:
- Lied to
- Let down
So, we often shield ourselves from others to prevent the negative feelings associated with that type of pain.
Most of us would rather not trust again and experience pain because of it. It can be challenging to pick up the broken pieces of our lives and go on after yet another disappointing experience from somebody we were close to at the time. However, what’s our alternative to this? If we never allow ourselves to trust again, then we’ll never grow and learn from our mistakes. That means we can’t move forward and become stronger, better individuals. That means we’ve become closed off to the universe.
Letting go of this need to control everything means you can better connect to the world. That will allow you to learn and experience a lot of new things, and you’ll be trusting in the universe. Instead of trying to control every situation with other people, learn to let go of the control. If you can do that and go along for the ride, then you’ve finally learned to trust in the universe.
So, no matter what comes, learn to accept it, and live with it. You’ll need to trust others and learn from the experiences that you share with them. That way, you can be open to the wisdom that the universe has to offer. While you may still experience fear, you’ll no longer allow that fear to turn you off to learning new things or trusting. Remember, Hamlet, said, “There is nothing good nor bad/ Only thinking makes it so.” So, your experiences are about how you want to perceive them.
How Do You Tell if the Universe is Testing You?
Watts didn’t try to enforce religious overtones when describing the universe. Regardless, many people feel that when we encounter a challenge, the universe is offering us a type of test. We’ve all thought that the universe was testing us at some point in our lives. While things can pass us by because they might not be right for us at the time, the universe doesn’t exactly create terrible situations for you to test your faith.
For the most part, Watts believed that the universe didn’t test us; it was only busy responding to us. If we take that into account, then the situations that we attract reflect what’s going on inside of us as individuals. While that might sound sad at first, there’s some good news behind this idea. Because the universe responds to us and doesn’t test us, that means it’s in our power to turn things around when times get challenging.
How Do You Ask the Universe for a Sign?
If you want to ask the universe for a sign, then you’ll need to be willing to collaborate with the universe. You’ll need to be able to release control to the universe, and then you can ask for a sign. Remember, if the universe doesn’t give you a clear indication, then that’s probably a sign of something, too. However, you’ll never receive clear guidance from the universe because you’re supposed to be already trusting in it.
When you have given all of your trust to the universe, you should clear your head with meditation, and then ask the universe for a sign. It’s best to ask for a sign when you aren’t sure about a decision or when you want to know if you are headed in the right direction. Also, don’t place too much emphasis on what you think the sign should be. Instead, let whatever comes to your mind after that be your sign.
Depending on what comes to your mind, you may experience a sign like
- A number sequence
- A song
- A fragrance
- A person’s name
After you’ve received your sign, say a prayer, and turn your desires and control back to the universe.
Summary of How Do You Trust the Universe by Alan Watts
Alan Watts provides us with a nonreligious exploration into some of the core questions many religions have tried to answer across time, including things like:
Watts explores the universe and people’s place in it. Watts starts by looking at how traditional religions might answer questions about the universe.
When commenting about traditional religions, Watts said,
“The standard-brand religions, whether Jewish, Christian, Mohammedan, Hindu, or Buddhist, are — as now practiced — like exhausted mines: very hard to dig. With some exceptions not too easily found, their ideas about man and the world, their imagery, their rites, and their notions of the good life don’t seem to fit in with the universe as we now know it, or with a human world that is changing so rapidly that much of what one learns in school is already obsolete on graduation day.”
Watts knew, even during his time, that people were living hectic lives, and that’s even more true today. That has caused people to lose sight of their place with the universe, and it’s also made people more focused on controlling their outcomes. People are more likely to think they have the power to make their destinies when something out of nowhere can come out and simply destroy them.
The Sole Ego
Watts also mentions how people have a core illusion that creates their sense of loneliness, and that’s the myth of the sole ego. Our only ego is what leads us to believe we can control things rather than giving into the universe. If we can learn to overcome our sole ego, we can learn to become one with the universe.
“We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our existence as living organisms. Most of us have the sensation that “I myself” is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body — a center which “confronts” an “external” world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange. Everyday figures of speech reflect this illusion. “I came into this world.” “You must face reality.” “The conquest of nature.”
By exploring the thoughts of Watts, people can learn how to let go of their concept of control and become one with the universe. By listening to the universe and merely going along for the ride, individuals are more likely to achieve ultimate happiness. By continuing to fight against the ideas of control and power, people can find their dedicated paths and achievements in life.
Trust the Universe - Alan Watts
Alan Watts is known for many things, especially his books. This is one the most most popular YouTube videos in circulation with a profound message embedded in the recorded speech in it. What we have above are just quick summaries of what Alan Watts says about the universe. It’s a good place to start, but, if you want to know the rest of it listen to his explanation from the man himself!