The Living Universe

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-04-06
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
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Traditionally, science has regarded the universe as made up of inert matter and empty space. Duane Elgin brings together extraordinary evidence from cosmology, biology, and physics to show that the universe is not dead but rather uniquely alive, an insight that, he shows, is in harmony with all of the world's major spiritual traditions. He explores how this view radically transforms our concept of ourselves, our place in the cosmos, and the evolutionary trajectory of the human family. The nonliving view of the universe has led to rampant materialism and global environmental degradation. To transform our planetary crises we need to move past a paradigm of separation and exploitation and learn to live sustainably on the Earth, in harmony with one another, and in communion with the living universe. Book jacket.

Author Biography

Duane Elgin is a visionary author, speaker, and educator. He is the author of Voluntary Simplicity, Promise Ahead, and Awakening Earth. In 2006, he was the recipient of the international Goi Peace Award in recognition of his contribution to a global "vision, consciousness, and lifestyle" that fosters a "more sustainable and spiritual culture."

Table of Contents

Forewordp. ix
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: The Great Awakeningp. 1
A Personal Perspective
Living in a Dead Universe
Cosmophilia: Love of the Universe
Does Aliveness
Make a Difference?
Where Are We?
The First Miraclep. 19
We Are Giants
The Nearly Invisible Universe
Just Getting Underway
Our Intuitive Connection with the Cosmos
Imagine Building a Universe
The Science of a Living Universep. 33
A Unified Universe
An Ocean of Background Energy
A Continuously Regenerated Universe
Sentience at Every Level
Freedom at the Foundations
Able to Reproduce Itself
An Integrative View from Science
Who Are We?
Spirituality as Intimacy with a Living Universep. 59
Judeo-Christian Views
Islamic Views
Hindu Views
Buddhist Views
Taoist and Confucian Views
Indigenous Views
Western Views
Harvesting the Wisdom of Human Experience
The Mother Universep. 83
The Meta-Universe in Science
The Mother Universe in Wisdom Traditions
An Integrative View
Growing in the Mother Universe
The Soul's Body and Our Cosmic Identityp. 93
The Size of Our Soul
Qualities of the Soul's Body
A Body of Light
A Body of Music
A Body of Love
A Body of Knowing
Recognizing Ourselves Before We Die
Where Are We Going?
Where Is the Universe Going?p. 117
Life Within Life Within Life
Growing Self-Organizing Systems
Humanity's Central Project
A Garden for Growing Life
Humanity Is Halfway Homep. 131
Humanity's Heroic Journey
Humanity's Journey of Separation
Our Supreme Test and Time of Initiation
Humanity's Journey of Return
The Second Axial Age
Awakening into the Living Universe
Stage I: Reflective Consciousness
Stage II: Oceanic Consciousness
Stage III: Flow Consciousness
Actions for the Journey Ahead
Six Vital Tasks for the Journey Homep. 159
Co-Creating Our Story of Awakening
Cultivating Reflection and Reconciliation
Living Simply and Sustainably
Creating New Kinds of Community
Becoming Media-Conscious Citizens of the Earth
Bringing Our True Gifts into the World
The Promise of the Journey Ahead
Living in a Living Universep. 189
Notesp. 201
Indexp. 219
About the Authorp. 227
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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