The environment characters exist in is part of a (usually) benign greater whole which makes the characters, and by extension the audience, feel they play a small but spiritual part in the cosmos.
Often involves Powers That Be
, or other aliens initiating a grand design.
Compare to the view espoused by the Straw Nihilist
which is the opposite.
- The Foundation Series
- The Seldon Plan, on an abstract level
- Gaia, a planet that is actually a living computer to help the galaxy evolve consciousness
- In The Space Odyssey Series humans are part of a grand plan to seed intelligence throughout the cosmos.
- Parodied in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Arthur: Deep Thought's answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and whatever!
Ford: Everything! 42!
Arthur: Of course! The experiment to find the question to that answer. It's going on all around us, here. The Earth. The ground. The trees. The water. The rocks. The cavemen.
- In Cosmos Carl Sagan waxed poetic with "We... are stardust".
- The Force in Star Wars
Yoda: Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere. Yes, even between the land and the ship.
- In Deism, the whole of existence is the grinding of the gears of a great mechanism set forth by God.
- In Pandeism, the great mechanism is itself God, and the laws of physics are designed to bring about evolution by natural selection, resulting in intelligent life (and possibly in that life further evolving itself to godhood).