The Living Universe
Where Are We? Who Are We? Where Are We Going?
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By the bestselling author of Voluntary Simplicity (over 150,000 sold) • Brings together cutting-edge science and ancient spiritual wisdom to demonstrate that the universe is a living, sentient system and that we are an integral part of it • Explores the power of this new paradigm to move humanity toward a sustainable and promising future Science has traditionally regarded the universe as mostly made up mostly of inert matter and empty space. At one time this point of view was liberating, part of the Enlightenment-born rationalism that helped humanity free itself from superstition and fear and achieve extraordinary intellectual and technological breakthroughs. But this paradigm has outlived its usefulness. It has led to rampant materialism and environmental degradation—if the universe is essentially dead and we are alive, then the inanimate stuff of the universe should be ours to exploit. But we now know that not only is the view of a dead universe destructive, it is also inaccurate and misleading. In The Living Universe, Duane Elgin brings together evidence from cosmology, biology, physics, and even his participation in NASA-sponsored psychic experiments to show that the universe is permeated by a living field and that we are always in communion with that field of aliveness whether we are conscious of it or not. This is a world-view that, as Elgin explains, is shared by virtually every spiritual tradition, and the implications of it are vast and deep. In a living system, each part is integral to the whole, so each of us is intimately connected to the entire universe. Elgin eloquently demonstrates how our identity manifests itself on a whole series of levels, from subatomic to galactic. We are, he writes, “far more than biological beings—we are beings of cosmic connection and participation.” To confront our ongoing planetary crisis of dwindling resources and escalating conflict, we need to move past an ideology of separation, competition, and exploitation. Duane Elgin asks us to see humanity sharing in the same field of aliveness, to discover how to live sustainably and harmoniously within the living universe.
- Berrett-Koehler Publishers, April 2009
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