The Invisible Hand

I know “the invisible hand” usually refers to Adam Smith’s notion of self-regulation in the economic marketplace, but in this sense I mean an invisible hand in terms of a guiding presence, a benevolent force.


As many of you know, I moved out of my beloved apartment in January because I wasn’t able to sleep at night. Months later I’ve still been upset by it because like I said, I really loved that place. I knew why I moved out on a practical level (no sleep, raucous neighbors, a pulsing noise), but I wanted to know the metaphysical reason. I wanted to know why the universe constructed it so I had to leave.


I finally found out.


I’m a part of Alerts SF, which is a municipal alert system that texts me when there are road closures or gas leaks, that sort of thing. Several days ago they texted me saying there was a road closure on Post two blocks down from where I lived due to police activity. According to this news article, police shot and killed a suspect who opened fire on police officers during a standoff. The suspect was contacted because he had a connection to a homicide investigation and then he shot at the police when they arrived. Nearly two dozen shots were fired.

The manager of my old building said our street had gotten rougher and this news report confirmed it. This event happened literally two blocks down from where I used to live. You may have noticed, but I’m very sensitive. I am not able to tolerate lower vibrations, especially where I live. So I can’t help thinking, that’s why I moved. I moved because the invisible hand that guides my life saw all this coming and pushed me out for my safety and happiness.

Now? I pass by trees on my walk home from BART or the bus. There is no graffiti on the main walkways. There is no one accosting me. There is only peace and quiet. And nature. That’s the other thing.

Today I went for a hike on Mount Tamalpais with a friend of mine.

This is a close approximation of what we saw today.

Coming back to the city was rough. For the first time, maybe ever, I realized I want to live near more greenery. That I wasn’t quite ready to come back to civilization. What struck me is that’s exactly where I’m living now. The other day I meditated on pine needles while surrounded by fennel, birds chirping, and shrubs. The invisible hand guided me to where I live now, which I didn’t even know I’d want because like I said, until today I didn’t know how much I missed trees. Often I don’t understand why things happen the way they do, but eventually I find out. And when I do, I’m always struck by how there’s a benevolent force in my life. How I may not like what’s happening in my life but it’s always in my best interest. I’m touched by how someone, somewhere, is looking out for me.

I dream of a world where we all have an invisible hand guiding our lives. A world where we are pushed to better places, people, and things. A world where we know we are being taken care of each and every day. A world where we understand everything really does happen for a reason.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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