Universe Story

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* Book: The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era – A Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos. By Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1992

URL = https://thomasberry.org/quote/the-universe-story-from-the-primordial-flaring-forth-to-the-ecozoic-era-a-celebration-of-the-unfolding-of-the-cosmos/


“Always and everywhere, it is the universe that holds all things together and is the primary activating power in every activity.” (Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, 27).

“To tell the full story of a single particle we must tell the story of the universe, for each particle is in some way intimately present to every other particle in the universe.” (Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, 29).

“Scientific knowledge in a developmental universe is no longer understood as information about an objective world out there. Scientific knowledge is essentially self-knowledge, where self is taken as referring to the complex, multiform system of the universe.” (Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, 39).

“The adventure of the universe depends upon our capacity to listen.” (Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, 44).

“And besides the very unborn nature of the future, we must also deal with the inadequacies of our present forms of consciousness. For even if the future were determined, its complexity would be beyond our capacity to articulate it. We will find our way only with a deep and prolonged process of groping – considering with care a great variety of interpretations, weighing evidence from a spectrum of perspectives, attending with great patience to the inchoate, barely discernible glimmers that visit us in our more contemplative moments. Out of this welter will slowly emerge our way to the star.” (Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, 58).

“In the very first instant when the primitive particles rushed forth, every one of them was connected to every other one in the entire universe. At no time in the future existence of the universe would they ever arrive at a point of disconnection […] Nothing is itself without everything else.” (Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, 77).

“Beginning with these harmonies of the universe that could in some manner be expressed in mathematical equations, an intense scientific mediation on the structure and functioning of the universe was begun by western scientists some centuries ago. Among the insights attained by this meditation has been a sense of the curvature of the universe whereby all things are held together in their intimate presence to each other. This bonding is what makes the universe what it is, not a collection of disparate objects but an intimate presence of all things to each other, each thing sustained in its being by everything else.” (Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, 219).

“That the universe is a communion of subjects rather than a collection of objects is the central commitment of the Ecozoic. Existence itself is derived from and sustained by this intimacy of each being with every other being of the universe.” (Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, 243).

“The comprehensive objective of the Ecozoic is to assist in establishing a mutually enhancing human presence upon the Earth. This cannot, obviously, be achieved immediately. But if this is not achieved in some manner or within some acceptable limits the human will continue to exist in a progressively degraded mode of being. The degradation both to ourselves and to the planet is the immediate evil that we are dealing with. The enhancement or the degradation will be a shared experience. We have a common destiny. Not simply a common human destiny, but a common destiny for all the components of the planetary community.” (Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, 251).

“The Ecozoic era requires a comprehensive human consensus. It needs such support for its planetwide programs. The entire planet would then be considered as a commons. Already the atmosphere, the seas, and the space above the Earth are being recognized as areas of universal relevance. There are also biological areas of concern.” (Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, 255).

“The human professions all need to recognize their prototype and their primary resource in the integral functioning of the Earth community. The natural world itself is the primary economic reality, the primary educator, the primary governance, the primary technologist, the primary healer, the primary presence of the sacred, the primary moral value.” (Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, 255).

“Education might well be defined as knowing the story of the universe, of the planet Earth, of life systems, and of consciousness, all as a single story, and recognizing the human role in the story. The primary purpose of education should be to enable individual humans to fulfill their proper role in this larger pattern of meaning.” (Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, 256).

“…we have so far had a human-centered language. We need an Earth-centered language.” (Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, 258).

“What the Ecozoic era seeks ultimately is to bring the human activities on the Earth into alignment with the other forces functioning throughout the planet so that a creative balance will be achieved. When the curvature of the universe, the curvature of the Earth, and the curvature of the human are once more in their proper relation, then Earth will have arrived at the celebratory experience that is the fulfillment of earthly existence.” (Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, 261).


More information

The companion book, focusing on the historical role of humankind:

* Book: The Great Work: Our Way Into the Future. By Thomas Berry. New York: Harmony/Bell Tower,1999.

URL = https://thomasberry.org/quote/the-great-work-our-way-into-the-future/

“The Great Work now, as we move into a new millennium, is to carry out the transition from a period of human devastation of the Earth to a period when humans would be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner.” (Thomas Berry, “The Great Work,” in The Great Work, 3).