More About the Author
Brian Swimme is a professor of cosmology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, in San Francisco. His department, "Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness" (PCC), is the only graduate program in the western world that places equal emphasis on contemporary science, indigenous spirituality, classical philosophy, and feminist thought for its masters and doctoral programs. He and his colleagues at CIIS have created this program in order to re-imagine the human species as a mutually enhancing member of the Earth community.
The heart of Brian Swimme's work is his focus on knowledge that is transformative--of ourselves and of our civilization. His graduate program attracts intellectually engaged women and men who are in varying degrees dismayed by what they see happening in industrial societies and who are striving to find meaningful ways to develop their gifts to serve the future of the world. Keeping in mind Alfred North Whitehead's view that the function of the university is to enable the future to appear, first in conceptual thought, the PCC faculty and graduate students hold in mind three fundamental goals:
1. To open our consciousness, through learning and imagination, to those creative and evolutionary energies suffusing the Earth, the universe, and the deep psyche that will enable us to participate fully in the regeneration of human communities and their enveloping life systems.
2. To analyze the current devastation of planetary life and to strive to liberate ourselves and our communities from the underlying causes of alienation, consumerism, militarism, androcentrism, and unsustainable modes of life.
3. To draw from the deep wells of philosophical and religious wisdom together with other scholarly and scientific insights in order to bring forth a profound vision of a vibrant planetary era.
Brian Swimme's work joins with those scientists, scholars, and visionaries who recognize that the Earth community is facing an unprecedented evolutionary challenge, the most severe degradation of life in the last 65 million years. This multifaceted crisis requires a fundamental reorientation of our civilization, one in which a compassionate humanity becomes a mutually enhancing presence within Earth's complex systems of life. Cultural historian Thomas Berry, who is co-author of "The Universe Story", has called this task "the Great Work."
Brian Swimme's work, both as a writer and a professor in the PCC program, is committed to shaping the leadership necessary for profound, progressive transformation of social institutions and individual consciousness. Drawing upon some of the most powerful ideas of Western intellectual and spiritual traditions, together with insights from Asian spiritual philosophies and indigenous world views, Swimme and the faculty of PCC have constructed a multidisciplinary course of study to help accelerate each student's journey into his or her particular leadership role within this work.
Brian Swimme was born in Seattle, Washington, earned his Bachelor's degree in California, his doctoral degree in mathematics at the University of Oregon, and now teaches in San Francisco.
Photo Credit: Caroline Webb.