I’ve done several blog posts about Brian in my zeal to turn the world onto his seminal thinking. Here are the posts and excerpts from them:
A two part interview In This is Enlightenment. Excerpts are from the Intro to the interview — why Brian can matter so much:
“In this interview with Brian Swimme…our understanding of the deep time evolutionary perspective that Swimme espouses was profoundly enriched and expanded. And that helped to shift the philosophical ground here.”
“Brian Swimme is on a mission to make us aware of the miraculous fourteen-billion-year evolutionary process of which we are a part. He is calling us to “reinvent” ourselves, to redefine what it means to be human in an emergent universe. The paradigm shift we must make, he believes, may be more challenging and more significant than any that has occurred in the course of human history. Evoking the vast panorama of cosmic becoming, he arcs back through deep time and then forward again, dissolving everything we know as real and relatively permanent into a morphing, unfolding, infinitely creative process. In that, he challenges us to cognize the fact that we are citizens not just of our communities or of our nations or even of planet earth. We are citizens of an evolving cosmos.”
“It became increasingly apparent to us that the spirituality of
the twenty-first century has everything to do with the cosmic evolutionary process that we are part and parcel of. Indeed,
as we comprehend our place in a swirling, unfurling universe,
it makes sense that the spiritual quest, the quest to understand who we are and why we are here, would be seen in an entirely new light.”
Brian speaks about my crop circle documentary, What On Earth?:
Albert Einstein once remarked that for the human there is no more powerful feeling than that of the ‘mysterious.’ In fact, he was convinced this feeling for the mysterious was the cradle for all works of science, art, and religion. In light of Einstein’s conviction, one might ask: ‘What is the opposite of a feeling for the mysterious?’
The opposite would be the sense that one understands it all.
The opposite would be the feeling that one is in possession of a system that explains all the phenomena in the universe. For such
a person, the universe loses its appeal for it becomes something
we don’t really need to pay attention to. The universe becomes an exemplification of a theory that one has already understood. No real surprises are possible, only the working out of a logical system through time. When a feeling for the mysterious is lost, one becomes vulnerable to the various fundamentalisms plaguing our planet, each one with its passionate certainty that it has all the answers while every other system is just superstition.
In moments of stress and breakdown, there is a powerful drive in us to acquire answers and explanations. Certainly in our own time when we are dismantling ecosystems around the planet and deconstructing the stable climate upon which our civilization is based, we feel a deep need to know what is real and what is good and how to proceed. This need can become so great we are liable to latch onto one of these simplistic pseudo-explanations just to quell the feelings of fear and doom surfacing in us. What on Earth? does not provide any such simplistic explanations. This restraint is one of its greatest achievements. By insisting that the Crop Circles are beyond any easy explanation, What on Earth? enables us to make peace with living in the ambiguity of not knowing. This ability to live with ambiguity is related to a sense for the mysterious and together these two may be the most important factors for deep creativity to take place. At the very least, we need to realize that an embrace of ambiguity is a form of humility when confronted by the magnificent complexity of nature.
One of the great benefits of viewing What on Earth? is the feeling one can get of wading into the mysterious. Through its balanced and wide-open approach to the phenomena of Crop Circles, the film has the power to ease us out of some of the prior certainties we might have had. What on Earth? explores and celebrates the fact of the existence of these designs. And as we are guided into this reflection, we find ourselves considering new ideas about the nature of our universe. We begin to imagine that things might be different than we thought. We might even begin to release ourselves from some of the tired explanations lodged into our minds by the media. But most important of all, as we view the film we might even begin to feel stunned by the simple fact that here we are in the midst of this overwhelming mystery, the universe.
Brian is talking cosmos — where it came from, what we are doing in it, all the basics of being human. It was part of Evolutionary Worldview, an online daylong presentation that you’ll here talk about at the beginning of this 22-minute recording.
Interviewer: My head just exploded again.
Brian: May it grow back quickly.
*******************************************************************************Here’s the beautiful introduction Brian wrote for my life story that will be a chapter in a book for young girls.
“What is the most mysterious thing in the universe? The answer among scientists may surprise you. It is not the black hole, it is not the exploding galaxy, it is not the relativistic effect where time itself slows down. Among scientists, what is most mysterious are the moments of transition when something utterly new flashes forth into existence. Such as the moment when life emerges, or the moment when a cell learns to consume the light from the sun. Amazingly, we are in the very middle of one of these cosmic transitions. It is the moment when disparate groups of humans — whether they are French humans or Indian humans or African humans or Democratic humans or religious humans or skeptical humans — the moment when the fragmented groups of the human species discover their profound unity.
“The universe is making this transition happen through the activities of a number of creative personalities, and one of the most impressive of these is Suzanne Taylor. She is the source of an energy that draws together anyone who happens to be in its range. Using the sacred techniques of humor, play, drama and intellectual insight, she brings forth a most powerful magic. This cosmic transition can also be understood as a transformation of mammalian sexuality, for Suzanne evokes an intimacy as deep as the emotional closeness of two mating mammals, but with a form that will enable, not just two, but vast numbers of humans to enter communion together. She is a cosmic catalyst for a world that is moving beyond war and is taking the first steps into the exploration of the infinitely powerful energy of love.”