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Comment: Shared Knowledge is a not for profit public charity! Check us out on facebook. We provide funding for educational programs in Richmond, Virginia. PLEASE READ FULL DESCRIPTION -USED GOOD- This book has been read and may show wear to the cover and or pages. There may be some dog-eared pages. In some cases the internal pages may contain highlighting/margin notes/underlining or any combination of these markings. The binding will be secure in all cases. This is a good reading and studying copy and has been verified that all pages are legible and intact. If the book contained a CD it is not guaranteed to still be included. Your purchase directly supports our scholarship program as well as our partner charities. All items are packed and shipped from the Amazon warehouse. Thanks so much for your purchase!
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The Living Universe: Where Are We? Who Are We? Where Are We Going? Paperback – March 24, 2009


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The Living Universe: Where Are We? Who Are We? Where Are We Going? + Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1ST edition (March 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576759695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576759691
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Duane Elgin is an author, speaker, educator, consultant, and media activist. He pioneered the Voluntary Simplicity movement with his now classic first book, titled by the same name, published in 1981. Elgin has co-founded three non-profit organizations concerned with media accountability.

More About the Author

Duane Elgin is an internationally recognized speaker and author. His books include The Living Universe, Promise Ahead, and Awakening Earth. In 2006, he received the international Goi Peace Award in recognition of his contribution to a global "vision, consciousness, and lifestyle" that fosters a "more sustainable and spiritual culture." He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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This book touched me deeply.
Laura Satori
Elgin considers who we are as a species, playing out our collective story as cosmic, heroic, maturing, or witnessing species beings.
Kathy A. Kelly
I read a lot of metaphysical type books and I can tell you this is one of the most inspiring books that I have ever read.
Linda McMillan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Kathy A. Kelly on May 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
Is the universe a smattering of objects and gases in a vast, lifeless void? Or is the universe a living organism with its own consciousness and purpose?

In The Living Universe, Elgin articulates the concept that the universe is a living being. He documents current scientific knowledge alongside core beliefs from the world's spiritual traditions to illustrate that wisdom from these disparate arenas points to a shared impression that the universe is alive.

With an understanding garnered over decades of research and profound personal experience, Elgin contends that the basic nature of the universe is a creative force giving birth to self reflective systems at multiple levels. He presents the exciting possibility that the cosmos is a purposeful learning system. Humanity plays a vital role in the process as the universe manifests its creativity and develops its consciousness through us.

Elgin explores the significance and implications of a shift in how we see ourselves as part of a living universe rather than a dead one. This change in perspective brings new meaning to humanity's struggles. Elgin considers who we are as a species, playing out our collective story as cosmic, heroic, maturing, or witnessing species beings. In mythological terms, he poses the question, what if the crises we face on Earth right now constitute humanity's initiation process? At this stage of our developing maturity and growing consciousness, we have opportunities for transformation. Elgin names six vital tasks for the journey, and offers meditations and conversation initiators to engage us in co-creating our story of awakening.

Writing beautifully, the author employs an expansive array of jubilant descriptors to convey the awesome phenomenon and beauty of the universe.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Alan Zulch on April 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
In this remarkably potent and highly accessible book, Duane Elgin lays out a compelling argument for what is surely one of the most critical insights we as a collective humanity must come to know, and soon: life on earth isn't the only life in the universe...indeed, the universe itself is alive! And, knowing this, our entire way of seeing, being and doing is transformed, and made meaningful. One of the things I liked most about this book is that it goes beyond concepts and makes the notion of a living universe relevant in our individual, daily lives. If you want a book that is clear and profound, and are ready to have your worldview stretched to accommodate the universe itself...read this. Very highly recommended.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By emeritusprof on April 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
Whether we are living in an unconscious universe of dead matter or a universe that is genuinely alive and intelligent is a question that lies at the core of the intellectual transformation we are undergoing, and few writers speak to these issues as deeply and competently as Duane Elgin. Elgin has been ahead of the curve of our collective awakening for decades, and he continues to push our edges in this beautiful and powerful book.

Elgin's survey of the scientific evidence for a living universe is both compelling and accessible, a hard combination to pull off. Going beyond science, he draws out the existential implications of living consciously in a living universe, demonstrating the parallels with elevated spiritual teachings from multiple cultures and bringing it down to the nit and gritty detail of the choices we make every day. This synthesis of science, philosophy, spirituality, and ethical reflection is a powerful combination that will stretch the reader's mind and heart. Both the novice and the advanced student will be rewarded.

There are some books that have the rare capacity to actually trigger the awakening to which they are pointing. The Living Universe is one of these. It is a book for the years ahead.
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