You are like the universe
By Ilchibuko Todd, Sedona Mago President
The universe is vast. So large, in fact, that most people (myself included) struggle to comprehend its staggering size: 28- billion light years in diameter (and it continues to expand by the moment).
For reference: if the Milky Way Galaxy was shrunken to the size of a grain of sand, the observable universe would be roughly 372 meters wide (1,220 feet). That’s about the size of the Empire State Building.
All of this is to say: it’s hard to understand the Universe. It’s a swirling, ever-expanding space full of cosmic energy, storms, planets, galaxies, creation, destruction and everything in-between. Our planet and all of us on it are specks floating about this seemingly unknowable sea of everything.
However, I hope you’ll consider something amazing—something I’ve discovered after decades of spiritual journeying, instruction at Sedona Mago and across the world:
You are just like the universe.
Now, you might be thinking: “Ilcihubko, if I’m like the universe, then how am I ever supposed to know my true self?”
When I compare you to the universe, I’m not talking about astrophysical knowledge—how fast light moves, the temperature of stars or the complicated nature of black holes. Rather, I invite you to think about the universe in its simplest idea: a place in which everything exists with purpose.
It’s not an easy concept to grasp. Let’s discuss a few thoughts to help understand this vast ocean we call the universe and how it can help you better understand your true self.
Re-creation, Recycling and “Eternity”
The universe is in a constant state of re-creation. That’s one of the reasons it is beautiful! All matter in the universe is recycled material. Stars grow old and explode, only to have gravity eventually reform them into something new. You, me, the ground we walk on and every star in the sky—all stardust and cosmic atoms, reformed from millennia of universal change.
Inside you and right here on Earth, the same occurs. Our planet grows food for you to eat. You enjoy that food and give your body energy. It passes through your body and returns to the earth, only to make more things! On a larger scale, your birth and death are not bookends. Those are illusions. The stardust you’re made of will eventually return to the earth— more material for the universe to make something else beautiful.
At Sedona Mago, we often mention “the grand consciousness of life”. This is exactly that. It is a 10,000-year-old scripture that we’ve adapted to our practical lessons here—that all living things are part of a cycle that has no beginning or end. Embracing this idea is one of the first steps to freeing yourself from struggling.
The Tree, Your Senses and “All Knowing”
Imagine a tree, it’s impressive arms and vivid foliage reaching out over a stretch of green grass. What are you picturing? Roots, bark, leaves, branches, even something like photosynthesis—all physical aspects of the tree that help it thrive. But there is much, much more to this living thing than its life support functions.
Energy flows from the Sun, through the tree’s leaves, down through its roots and dispersed into the soil. The tree is a conduit for our planet to connect and grow as part of this grand cosmic network, just like you. Grasp this thought and hold it tightly: no single living thing is completely independent. Everything is connected from one end of the universe to the other.
We often struggle with concepts like this because of our five senses. We’ve been conditioned to understand things through our sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste. This isn’t a flaw. Our senses are how we learn about the world! But truly knowing the universe—knowing your true self—is achieved by thinking beyond your five senses.
We must know without learning. Understand the spiritual beyond the physical viewpoint.
The universe does not expand, create, destroy and exist by sense. It simply does.
At Sedona Mago, we understand that the process of “all knowing” is no simple feat. It’s a process much easier said (and written) than done. But it can be summarized as a journey from your body (your physical self), recognizing your sensitivity to the energy that circulates through your body and nature, and—finally—your awakening to the spiritual senses deep within you.
That connectivity our guests feel upon finding their true selves is like understanding the universe.
Your Brain is Key
Like many other lessons we teach at Sedona Mago, our objective is to guide you inward. To know the universe, you must know yourself.
Your brain is an excellent place to start. There are three major layers in your brain in which you operate: the neo-cortex, the limbic system and the brain stem.
The top layer, the neo-cortex, is the most evolved part of your brain. It helps you learn sophisticated information, recognize important details and determine individuality. This is a critically important part of our brain that makes us human, but does not help much in the way of knowing our true self (and the universe). Here, we are limited by our thirst for details and understanding.
Further down is the limbic system. Here, our emotional responses and kinetic coordination reside. Many mammals’ brains are permanently affixed to this part of the brain. Pack animals like wolves use this part of the brain to determine “collectivity” and blood relationships for survival. As humans, we use our limbic system to distinguish our familial ties—even likeness among other defining characteristics like race, culture and personality. But we’re still limited here. We “otherize” families and groups that don’t belong to us.
However, the deepest layer of your brain is your brain stem. Here lies your most basic, necessary functions for survival: your fight-or-flight instinct, self-preservation and reproduction. But it also contains your “oneness”—the universality of nature. Here, we begin to understand the grand nature of the universe and dissolve the differences we perceive between living things. We begin to feel our unlimited potential. The earth shifting beneath our feet, the wind moving as we breathe, the energy we receive and give back to our surroundings—it is all us. We are the universe.