We live in a benevolent universe. . . .
The benevolence of the soil is endless; it helps one single seed to multiply into millions of seeds for hundreds of years, producing colourful, aromatic, juicy and delicious fruit, feeding birds, bees, humans and animals. The tree celebrates the benevolence of the soil and becomes benevolent in return, offering its fruit to whoever is in need, without condition and without judgement. . . .
The benevolence of the sun is beyond the capacity of words to describe. It burns itself to maintain life. . . . It provides conditions for photosynthesis for the whole plant kingdom to nourish itself and give nourishment to bacteria, insects, birds and animals.
The moon is benevolent. It maintains the cycle of life and cycle of time. Time and tide are sustained by its presence. . . .
Rain is benevolent. It . . . delivers itself to every farm, field, forest, mountain and human habitat, free of charge, without needing any external supply of energy. It moistens the soil, quenches the thirst, fills rivers, ponds, lakes and wells and in partnership with the sun it feeds the world. . . .
Air is benevolent. We breathe; therefore we are. Air is related to the spirit, to inspiration, to spirituality. . . . Air is breath of Brahman, breath of the universe, breath of God. In Sanskrit air is prana, which means life itself. . . .
Space is benevolent. All and everything is held in space and by space. All movements, all changes and every kind of dynamism are sustained in the stillness of space. We always need to be mindful of reducing our clutter and maintaining spaciousness in order to be detached and free.
Soul is benevolent. Compassion, kindness, generosity and inner luminosity are the qualities of the soul. Mind, intelligence, and consciousness are held in and processed by soul. Soul is the seed of life. Feelings, emotions, sentiments, intuition and reason pass through soul and manifest in the world. . . . It is not only humans who have soul; animals, birds, insects and microbes have soul. Soil, trees, rocks and rivers have soul. . . .
The world is how you see it and what you make of it. If you look at the world with benevolent eyes, the world reciprocates with benevolence. If you project suspicion and self-interest, you get the same in return. Trust begets trust and fear begets fear. Recognizing the benevolence of the universe is not to deny the shadow side but seeing nature as red in tooth and claw and people as selfish and greedy makes us respond in similar vein. If we sow seeds of malevolence, malevolence will grow; if we sow seeds of benevolence, benevolence will grow.
Satish Kumar, Soil, Soul, Society: A New Trinity for Our Time (Brighton, UK: Leaping Hare Press, 2017), 160, 161–162, 163.
Satish Kumar, a former Jain monk, is an activist and educator who has studied both Eastern religions and Western economics and cultures. He writes that recognizing a benevolent universe helps us participate in the flow of generosity .