Review: The Living Universe

5 Star, Communications, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Cosmos & Destiny, Culture, Research, Economics, Education (General), Environment (Solutions), Information Society, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum), Intelligence (Extra-Terrestrial), Intelligence (Wealth of Networks)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Evolutionary Activism Takes On New Life

December 6, 2009

Duane Elgin

I was led to this book by Tom Atlee, whose earlier book, The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All completely redirected my thinking in positive directions, and whose new book on Reflections on Evolutionary Activism (soon on Amazon, now at the Public Intelligence Blog) pointed me toward this book as well as Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, Holistic Darwinism: Synergy, Cybernetics, and the Bioeconomics of Evolution and other books on cultural evolution.

In the face of the almost complete collapse of the post-World War II political, economic, and social paradigms (see my free chapter on Paradigms of Failure at the Public Intelligence Blog or within Election 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Substance of Governance; Legitimate Grievances; Candidates on the Issues; Balanced Budget 101; Call to Arms: Fund We Not Them; Annotated Bibliography), I feel POSITIVE, and this book and the many human minds and hearts this book represents are the reason I am confident that Conscious Evolution: Awakening Our Social Potential and Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution are on the immediate horizon.

Paul Hawkin's captures the spirit of WHY this book on the Living Universe matters–his most recent book, Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming is the tip of the iceberg.

The greatest value for me of this book is that it is a superb overview of many different concepts from both science and the world of religion–this is a sense-making book not a simple book.

Now for my notes from this 199-page double-spaced quick read that I strongly recommend for anyone who wants to be part of the tsunami of human evolutionary activism that is upon us.

+ Foreword by Deepak Choprah makes two points useful to me:

—Humanity is a very special emergent property of the living universe, serving as its emergent nervous system with the potential to radically expand the consciousness of the living universe

—Humanity fights over 20% (its differences) while ignoring the 80% that is common ground, and I have a note to myself about the urgent need for broad reconciliation across all boundaries.

+ 1992 “Warning to Humanity” by 1600 scientists was a modern starting point for deeper reflections

+ Science and spirituality are converging. I add my own note from Holistic Darwinism, the social sciences are retarded–they are not making a significant contribution.

+ An “ecology of consciousness” is both emergent and has always been around, we are just starting to understand consciousness in both plant and animal life outside our own species

+ Different paradigms of perception are converging

+ Humans are virtually in the center of the universe in terms of size, with the cosmos being 10 to the 30th power and the tiniest known entity being 10 to the negative 33rd power.

+ Author provides a compelling two page table comparing the dead and living universe options

+ The author was a pioneer in the SRI investigations into both remote viewing and psychokinesis subsequently classified into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), my former employer, and I note the author's conclusion: both are real and they REDUCE his acceptance of paranormal intermediaries; and my own conclusion: governments should not be allowed to classify stuff like this (or extra-terrestial intelligence).

+ The author provides a brilliantly concise summary of multiple religions and their views of God and the universe, here are some tight notes:

—Overview: God as a “boundless spiritual presence that infuses, sustains, and transcends the universe.

—Catholic: Continuous creation

—Hindu: One relentless force

—Buddhist: inter-dependent co-arising

—Tao: life force with chi energy, dance of becoming

—Confucian: Heaven as life force, Earth as nature, Humanity as social architecture

QUOTE: The Mother Universe actualizes her infinite potential through our evolving experience.”

QUOTE: In stages, I progressively discovered that the scope of my identity is equal to the scope of my conscious participation in life. These experiments [remote viewing and psychokinesis] demonstrated that we are boundless beings whose participation in the deep ecology of the universe is limited only by the scope of our conscious awareness.

QUOTE: Matter and consciousness support one another in their mutual ascent toward an ever-wider scope of integration and differentiation, unity, and diversity.

+ Three stages of consciousness (focus on one line only): Witnessing to Connecting to Co-Creating. This is meaningful to me because my personal view is that the sooner we give each of the five billion poor a free cell phone, the sooner we create infinite stabilizing wealth for all.

+ Humanity is a halfway house, a place where “culture and consciousness co-evolve,” where “soul and society tend to grow together.”

+ Humanity's separation from nature was its weaning period, the first half of the journey, now we must re-integrate ourselves with nature to create a conscious unity and acquire a “strong sense of bio-cosmic self.”

The book concludes with a marvelous discussion of six vital tasks and six reconciliations that I only list here.

Six vital tasks:

1. Co-creating our story of awakening

2. Cultivating reflection and reconciliation

3. Living simply and sustainably

4. Creating new kinds of community

5. Becoming media-conscious citizens of the Earth (this means demanding intelligent media, not the CNN-FOX idiocy we have now)

6. Bringing our true gifts into the world

Six reconciliations:

1. Religious reconciliation

2. Racial, ethnic, and gender reconciliation

3. Economic reconciliation

4. Ecological reconciliation

5. Generational reconciliation

6. Species reconciliation

This is a really excellent book that will positively provoke anyone.

See also:
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace
Unspeakable Truths: Facing the Challenges of Truth Commissions
All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity (BK Currents (Hardcover))

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