on 15 June 2009
Is the universe a smattering of objects and gases in a vast, lifeless void? Or is the universe a living organism with its own consciousness and purpose?
In The Living Universe, Elgin articulates the concept that the universe is a living being. He documents current scientific knowledge alongside core beliefs from the world's spiritual traditions to illustrate that wisdom from these disparate arenas points to a shared impression that the universe is alive.
With an understanding garnered over decades of research and profound personal experience, Elgin contends that the basic nature of the universe is a creative force giving birth to self reflective systems at multiple levels. He presents the exciting possibility that the cosmos is a purposeful learning system. Humanity plays a vital role in the process as the universe manifests its creativity and develops its consciousness through us.
Elgin explores the significance and implications of a shift in how we see ourselves as part of a living universe rather than a dead one. This change in perspective brings new meaning to humanity's struggles. Elgin considers who we are as a species, playing out our collective story as cosmic, heroic, maturing, or witnessing species beings. In mythological terms, he poses the question, what if the crises we face on Earth right now constitute humanity's initiation process? At this stage of our developing maturity and growing consciousness, we have opportunities for transformation. Elgin names six vital tasks for the journey, and offers meditations and conversation initiators to engage us in co-creating our story of awakening.
Writing beautifully, the author employs an expansive array of jubilant descriptors to convey the awesome phenomenon and beauty of the universe. Words of others - from Rumi to Sagan, David Bohm to Walt Whitman - elaborate and supplement Elgin's descriptions.
Containing seeds from Elgin's earlier works and expanding on his life's passion, The Living Universe is rich with insight from this wise, well-informed, and caring man.
Already known as a researcher, writer, teacher, visionary leader and media activist, Elgin - through The Living Universe - reveals himself to also be a healer.
How do you view the world? Is the universe friendly and purposeful with all things interconnected or is human existence merely a one time extraordinary event? Essentially, is the universe we live in alive or is it dead?
On the surface, this sounds like such a simple question but how we choose to answer it says a good deal about who we are as individuals and as part of greater society. Beyond just showing if we are intrinsically optimistic or pessimistic, this world view influences the way we work with others, how we view nature, and ultimately our priorities.
The Living Universe asks us each to think about where we are, who we are, and where are we going? It's time for each of us to look within for these answers to determine what kind of world we want to live in.