Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Steeped in (the divine's) burning layers

I was at my favorite cafe by work, the only cafe by work, but a great one at that, reading the free magazine 'whole life,' and came across an excerpt by David James Duncan, one of my favorite authors. (If you have not yet, read The River Why.) I excerpted from the excerpt - below - but if you want to read the entire excerpt, click here.

Cosmology, David James Duncan believes, is one of the most underrated and practical sciences of our time. “A cosmology,” he writes in his book God Laughs & Plays (Triad Publishing, 2006) “is a living relationship between humans and the universe that envelops them. It is creation and abstraction engaged in imaginative negotiation. It is mind, matter and spirit at play... A lively cosmology inhales what’s fresh and exhales what’s stale; cross-pollinates and migrates if needed; morphs if needed; intuits, imagines and responds to serve life as needed.”

"A new source of hope for me: the growing reverence for the 'infinite wild' and its mysteries among scientists. ...

I see two chief causes for the countering outburst of reverence in science, one famous, one infamous. The famous cause: the new physics. Quantum mechanics has changed the way we see the universe. ... physics is now telling us that Space, Time and Matter derive from a source infinitely subtler and greater than all three.

The infamous cause of the new reverence in science: suffering. ... How many more scientists have grown so dismayed by the world's barrios, biological dead or disease zones, slave labor and oil war zones, that they've abandoned their disciplines to become peace activists or humanitarians? ...

...a sentence that strikes me as pivotal: Humanity's most serious problems, Albert Einstein held, 'cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them.' What is needed ... is not just scientific or political problem-solving, but an actual upward shift in humanity's level of consciousness. ...What if every human's primary focus became the way in which she greeted the dawn, the moment, her every breath, and only then did she turn to face humanity's thorniest problems?

Paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin: By means of all created things, without exception, the divine assails us, penetrates us, and molds us. We imagined it as distant and inaccessible, whereas in fact we live steeped in its burning layers."

-- from "Science and Reverence" - excerpted from the anthology "The Future of Nature: Writing on a Human Ecology from Orion Magazine.

AND - Two new-to-me books from Duncan! "My Story as Told by Water" and "God Laughs & Plays."

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