- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: New Story Press (September 23, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0985933909
- ISBN-13: 978-0985933906
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #526,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Holy Universe: A New Story of Creation for the Heart, Soul, and Spirit Paperback – September 23, 2013
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From the Author
From the Introduction to The Holy Universe . . .
Like so many people who left the faiths of their youth, as an adult I still yearned to believe in something. But just as the religious interpretations of the scriptures I grew up with proved deeply unsatisfying to me, so too did the cold, factual stories of modern science fail to speak to my spirit. Like the Seeker in the pages of this book, I left the story of the scriptures I was given, but I also couldn't reconcile myself with the "Big Dumb Rock" story of creation put forth by the mechanistic worldview that emerged out of the European Enlightenment and persists to this day.
At the same time, I struggled with being in an unjust world seemingly bent on ecological self-destruction. I craved a spiritual direction that encompassed more than self-help, a story that could help me create meaningful work for myself that made a difference in a world of mass extinctions, deep injustices, and spiritual poverty.
So I quit my corporate training job, then my flying career, to seek an outlet for my passion for humanity and for protecting the ecology of Earth that also satisfied my soul and spirit.
During the exploring and teaching I've undertaken in the decade or so since, I've heard the refrain "we need a new story" from many thinkers of our time, who were themselves raised within the worldview of what I call "Modern Mind." They write and talk about how this worldview has created a global society that--for all its technological prowess and brilliance--has become dysfunctional to the point of becoming a danger to itself and to the Web of Life. And there are people among them--including Thomas Berry, Sidney Liebes, James Lovelock, Elisabet Sahtouris, and Brian Swimme, as well as "big historians" such as Nancy Ellen Abrams, Cynthia Stokes Brown, Eric Chaisson, David Christian, Joel Primack, and Fred Spier--who tell of a new worldview based on the latest science of the modern world, who speak beyond the traditional story of "pure" science.
There are other writers, thinkers, and activists who have at the same time struggled to awaken those of us caught up in the overarching Story of Modern Mind to another story that's been there all along. Many of the ideas of these people were brought into the Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium, created by The Pachamama Alliance in San Francisco. I became one of many facilitators of this Symposium, and I've always loved presenting the segment that illuminates the new worldview now coming into being.
But even as I dove deeper into this new worldview, this new story, I felt something missing. I missed the poetry. I missed the cadence and the sound of the scriptures. I wanted more. I wanted a story that also felt like the one I grew up with.
So I took my (admittedly limited) understanding of these ideas and fashioned my own telling of the story of creation, one that feels reminiscent of the scriptures and helps me make sense of the profound crises of our times.
It felt audacious, still feels audacious. I present the resulting dialogues to you simply as an offering, most certainly not as a final answer, an authoritative text, or a replacement for all other stories. My own teacher cautioned me to treat this work as "notes on my journey": thoughts and ideas forming a framework from which I will continue my explorations into the mysteries of life and the cosmos, yet written in a way that feels familiar and warm and welcoming. Of course, this framework will inevitably change as I continue my life's dance, especially as I explore ways of being in and relating to the world that are well outside the norms of modernity.
Although my life now doesn't always flow more smoothly than before this story came to me, and though I still carry old wounds and concerns, I no longer have such a deep nagging sense of ennui, of alienation, of being lost in a meaningless Universe. These dialogues have helped me make sense of both the science and the spirit, have helped ground me in the cosmos.
Perhaps you will find them useful, too.
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My second time reading through this book gave me even more food for thought and a call to action which makes me want to share this review and get going with activities which raise more consciousness regarding the interdependence of all life on this planet. Do not hesitate to get and read this book. THEN, share it with everyone you know, who can read (and who cares about helping the world move into the next generations...)
I have been recently inspired to create a community of supportive people who wish to raise their consciousness, called: Masters of the Journey. I am recommending this book for all new members!
Christopher makes his points through an earnest dialogue between a Seeker - a proxy for the average modern person - and a poised and patient Sage who teaches a deep understanding of the new universe story and of human potential. Christopher uses this dialogue to convincingly show how the Sage's step-by-step presentation of the new story, blended with teachings from other wisdom traditions, activates the seeker's desire to participate in the Great Transformation as he becomes aware that his personal actions, though small, are important and meaningful in the Universe's story. This opening of the Seeker's heart after hearing the new story is just the kind of spiritual awakening that Thomas Berry, and Teilhard before him, predicted and on which they based their hope for humanity as a species on Earth.
The book shines as an inspiring teaching resource which is full of fertile and accessible opportunities for pausing, reflecting and discussing. Christoppher's capacity to tell the story in a way which leads the Seeker tocreate new dreams and new actions reflects, I think, what he has learned by participating as a teacher in the Pachamama Alliance and his exposure to other wisdom traditions.
Minds and classrooms will ring with excited, clear thought as students discover what this book, and the Holy Universe, holds for them. My plan to use this book, in combination with Swimme and Tucker's wonderful Journey of the Universe DVD, has me feeling cheerfully well prepared to teach a class on evolution and the new story this winter.