Invitation from the Living Universe


A living universe paradigm: A self-consistent pattern of thoughts, concepts, and assumptions about the nature of reality is rapidly emerging. Simply stated, we are seeing a profound shift from a non-living view of the universe to a view that regards the universe as uniquely alive. This is not a “new” perspective as, more than two thousand years ago, Plato said that, “the universe is a single living creature that encompasses all living creatures within it.” What is new is how a living systems perspective is drawing upon insights from science to validate this emerging paradigm that regards the universe as a unified system that is sustained continuously by the flow-through of phenomenal amounts of energy and whose essential nature includes consciousness or a self-reflective capacity that enables systems at every scale of existence to exercise some freedom of choice.

A bio-cosmic identity: The paradigm of a living universe reveals that we are much more than biological beings whose identity extends no further than our skin. Instead, we are “bio-cosmic” beings that participate in the aliveness of a living universe. The energy of divine aliveness pours through and sustains the entire universe. Awakening to our identity as both distinct and intimately interconnected within a living universe transforms the feelings of existential separation and species-arrogance that threaten our future. We are participants in a cosmic garden of life the universe has been patiently nurturing over billions of years. A living universe invites us to shift from feelings of indifference, fear, and cynicism to feelings of curiosity, love, awe, and participation.

A surpassing purpose: Living is more than “only not dying.” Our purpose in being here is to learn how to live sustainably and compassionately within a living universe. Our life is our gift from the universe and how we choose to live is our gift to the universe. We are on a sacred journey of discovery. In freedom, we are discovering our identity as beings of both earthly and cosmic dimensions. After nearly 14 billion years of evolution, we stand upon the Earth as agents of self-reflective and creative action at a time of great transition for the entire Earth community.

A thriving planetary civilization: Through history, humanity’s capacity for self-reflective consciousness has developed progressively—from the magical world of the hunter-gatherer, to the nature-based world of the agrarian farmer, then into the dynamic world of the urban-industrial society, and now into a holistic perspective and collective consciousness rapidly awakening within our global brain. This new consciousness provides the basis for a new, global civilization. If our lives are nested within the larger aliveness of a living universe, then it is only fitting that we treat everything that exists as alive and worthy of respect. Every action has ethical consequences that reverberate throughout the ecosystem of the living cosmos. Our collective purpose shifts from seeking high-consumption lifestyles toward simpler ways of living that enable us to connect more directly with a living universe of which we are an integral part. Humanity’s journey of awakening has reached a critical turning point. We now confront the supreme test of living sustainably on the Earth, in harmony with one another, and in communion with the living universe.

By: Duane Elgin

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