How is the concept of a predatory universe different than the notion that there are dark forces at work in a battle for men's souls?
When I think of predatory, I think of something actively stalking its prey. From what I have seen, the universe, or things in it, are not as interested in stalking us, as they seem for the most part indifferent to us.
That isn't to say there aren't things out there that wouldn't like to have you for breakfast - there are - but they aren't concerned with us on the level a lot of religious sects seem to think.
I tend to work from a natural perspective, that nature itself represents in some ways how the universe at large functions. The problem is, we all want to see things on a deeply personal level. Our egos want us to be special, maybe even the most special things in the universe. Sea Lions eat penguins. It's nothing personal; they don't have dark, evil, ulterior motives like taking over the penguin universe - they're just hungry. Now I guess the question is, are we any better than penguins? Not in my book, but then again, maybe my book is out of print. The major religions of the world, with the possible exception of Buddhism, all present this sort of war between good and evil, the advancing armies or darkness who want to steal men's souls. People can really get behind that - it makes sense, in a way. It feeds their need to be important, to really matter. But it always bothered me that they never stopped to consider that in almost all of them, their quite human leaders were at the top of the food chain. In other words, the poor spiritual foot soldiers, the rest of us, are just so much cannon fodder. I never liked the idea of being cannon fodder. I'm too curmudgeonly for that.
Are there things out there that will eat your 'soul'? Absolutely. But they aren't after you for 'who' you are, but for 'what' you are - a tasty-snack treat. They like human energy, they feed on human energy, manipulate human energy, feed off the fear, but like the Sea Lion, it isn't personal.