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The Awakening Universe

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To tell the story of anything you have to tell the story of Everything We will be alienated from the universe until we have a story, an adequate story of the universe that tells the story of the human as well as the story of everything else because it's part of one single process that's been going through sequence of transformative episodes. This idea of an emergent universe is very very new. There's no culture, no tradition, no sage, no prophet that could know that the way our generation is blessed to know it. When we begin to realize this tremendous sense of time that's orienting us and space that's grounding us, we are energized in a new way to take responsibility for the planet and it's eco-systems. In other words, our response to the magnificence of cosmology and the story, is a responsibility to its continuity. The universe story shows how profoundly related we are. It shows that we are involved with each other and have been for a long time. So it is not the case that the earth was assembled and than we were added to the earth and it was there for our purposes, rather we came out of the earth. Now the recovery of cosmology brings back a sense of community or it ought to. To rediscovery that we are kin with all other beings and if you run the the film of the universe backwards 14 billion years you realize that we all descend from an original pinprick smaller than a zigoat. It's really one being here, we're all relatives. Imagine nothing. Not space, not darkness, not even a vast emptiness but nothing. Now imagine everything. In a stupendous explosion of light, heat and energy radiating out in every direction, the universe erupted into existence 13.7 billion years ago We can see that everything that ever was, is or will be was compressed into a space smaller than a seed, tinier than a tear, more miniscule than a molecule. All space, all time and the potential for everything that would ever exist started as a single point. So in a very real sense, science has discovered what indigenous people have known all along: We are all one, we are all connected, we all come from the very same source. This massive fireball continued expanding, eventually cooling enough for the very first atoms to form. If the expansion had just been a little bit slower, the universe would have collapsed into an enormous black hole. Or if the expansion had just been a little bit faster, the universe would have expanded just too fast for the galaxies to form and so we'd have simply dust. If you altered the expansion just one millionth of 1% the entire universe would collapse. So what it suggests is that there is a profound wisdom at work in the universe. Then in a cosmological wink of an eye a hundred billion galaxies swirled into being. We didn't know there were any galaxies in the universe 100 years ago. We thought that there was maybe just one. Now we realize that there's 100 billion galaxies. So were just beginning to understand some of the dynamics of galaxies. And to think that they actually have intrinsically the intelligence or the ordering power to bring forth all of this elegance. And so the galaxies themselves they organize all of the material and give birth to new stars. And when scientists really began to look at the galaxies this way they realized they are something like a living cell. That's news, that's another way of imagining our way into the universe. And now these whirl pools of galactic creativity begin to fulfill their cosmic destiny as they each give birth to 100 billion stars. When these first stars reach the end of their life cycle they collapse in on themselves and erupt into an immense cosmic explosions called super novas. Thomas Berry refers to the super nova event as a "cosmological moment of grace." He calls it "a great sacrificial moment" because the death of the star is what enables all future life to evolve. The super nova embodies the archetype of death and rebirth. It's a mythic moment on a cosmic scale. Out of these clouds of stardust, billions of second-generation stars are born. One of them was the star we call our sun. Left over from the formation of the sun was a wisp of debris that swirled itself into a necklace of nine spinning planets, the jewel of which was the swirling mass of molten lava that was to become our home, the Earth. Out here on a tiny planet suspended in perfect equipoise the force that sent the galaxy spinning and ignited the stars produced its next miracle a universe within the Universe. It was the birth of life. Now this miraculous manifesting force began to cloth itself in biology. Expressing itself in increasingly complex and sophisticated expressions of beauty and elegance. Earth as we see her now has arrived at such a complexity, such a development, such a journey of that original fireball that she is now alive in her own right. In other words the universe in Earth has reached a complexity in which universe awakens into life and is alive. Think about it, everything we see around us has developed from the boiling caldron of the early earth, a sphere of lava that miraculously gave rise to the sea and the atmosphere and then life and its infinite expressions. As Brian Swimme says, "the earth was once molten rock and now sings operas." So all creativity and all consciousness arises in some mysterious way from the depths of the earth itself. Right into the heart of this immense celebration of this biological creativity, the universe produced its next surprise. An upright tool-using primate with an opposable thumb and the remarkable ability to reflect on its own existence. In essence after nearly 14 billion years, the universe had created a way to become aware of itself. We are the universe reflecting on itself. We are earth become conscious. And this changes everything. Human beings lived in harmony with nature for eons until they discovered how to cultivate crops and domesticate animals. While most human's continued on in their nomadic ways, some chose to settle in one place and in a mere 10 thousand years they created everything we now consider to be human history. Why out of stardust has this come to be? Why bird's song? Why green? Why the lushness of palm and the stability of Cypress and the grandeur of the mountains? And why the ocean's with their billions of teaming life forms? We are part of a journey so much more than we ever could even imagine. As we move into this understanding, we have a new identity of ourselves as cosmological beings. Were not just Americans, were not just French, were not just Democrats, were not any small category we are the universe in the form of a human and it's true of everyone. It's an amazing new understanding of ourselves that is so profoundly inclusive and everyone is part of this, everything is part of this and we discover as well a profound kinship that no matter what being were talking about on the planet, we are related. We're related in terms of energy, we're related in terms of genetics, we're all in one way or another like a form of kin. And that is overwhelming. So its just now coming into human awareness its going to take a lot of reflection to embody this fully but it is a massive change in human consciousness. The universe arose and gave rise to the galaxies the galaxies gave rise to the stars our sun gave rise to the earth and the earth gave rise to life and to all that we are. And now it is causing us to awaken from our dream of lonely isolation so we may rejoin the great community of life and take on our part in this stupendous unfolding story. As Thomas Berry say's, "this is our great work."

Video Details

Duration: 12 minutes and 35 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: The Pachamama Alliance -
Director: Neal Rogin & Christine Funk
Views: 4,495
Posted by: dotsublegacyvideos on Jun 25, 2007

This is an excerpt of a film written by Neal Rogin and Drew Dellinger. It is based on the book, "The Universe Story" by cultural historian Thomas Berry and Cosmologist Brian Swimme. The film was developed under the auspices of The Pachamama Alliance as a part of their Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream program. For more information on the film, take a look at the Awakening Universe web site.

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