You Are Here

Stephen Crane, a nineteenth century novelist and poet wrote:

A man said to the universe Stephen Crane
“Sir, I exist.”
“However,” replied the universe
“The fact has not created in me
“A sense of obligation.”

When I was a teenager, I thought that was terribly profound; the universe has no obligation to care about me. In one sense, it is true. The universe, in the literal sense, is a physical thing, without a consciousness. It neither cares nor cares not.

Crane represented the universe as something with consciousness. Then he put his own spin on that consciousness.

Today, in my office waiting room, I have a poster. You’ve, no doubt, seen it. It depicts the Earth’s position in the Milky Way. In one sense, it shows how tiny we are in respect to our galaxy, and hence, the universe.

Yet, at the top, are the words, three inches high, saying “YOU ARE HERE.” In the physical sense, the maker of the poster is talking about location.You-are-here-poster

It always strikes me that it means, NO MATTER HOW SMALL YOU ARE — YOU ARE HERE. You are part of this universe.

If Crane had been objective, his universe would have replied, “Yes, that’s true.” Had he been in a better mood, his universe would have said, “I’m glad you’re here.”

A Different Perspective

It’s your universe. You get to decide what it thinks.

About almondhead

I am a mental health counselor in private practice. One of the focuses of my practice is helping people with fear, anxiety and their ugly stepsister, depression. I became a counselor after a long career in the technology world, so naturally, I think of the brain as an engineering problem. It can help to understand something about how the brain works. I decided to start this blog as a way to help other people learn about fear, anxiety and relationship. (All our problems are really about relationships.) You can also find me at:
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