The Foreword is online here.
Brian Swimme is humourous lecturer, but not so as a writer. Still he’s not as turgid as his fellow writer, Thomas Berry. They wrote The Universe Story together. However, ‘if we can live in awe and in the depths of wonder, we will continue moving into the only process that now matters – our authentic maturation as a species. It is in this way and only this way that we will enable the Earth to bloom once again.’
Here, Swimme expounds on the meaning in the cosmic story, which he writes as a dialogue between a youth and some wise guy named Thomas. At one point the youth asks Thomas, ‘What is our fullest destiny?’
THOMAS: To become love in human form.
YOUTH: Love? I thought we were talking about science and religion. And emptiness.
THOMAS: Yes, that’s right. The journey out of emptiness is the creation of love.
YOUTH: I’m confused.
While Swimme may not be confused, he doesn’t have all the answers either. The future remains a mystery, as it should be: ‘With the human a new quality of violence enters the Earth system, one coming from the power of self-reflexion. This new awareness is a risk as well as an achievement of the life process. In a sense, the earth wounded itself when it took on self-reflexive sentience: there appeared new powers of creativity, new dangers of destruction. The question hanging in the solar system today is this: Will the Earth benefit in beauty by risking human self-reflexive awareness? Or will the Earth suffer a new and permanently crippling violence?’
Maybe we are addicted. However, ‘the way to break an addiction is to break out of a limited world view. Break out of egocentricity. Break out of ethnocentricity. Break out of anthropocentricity. Take the view point of the Earth as a whole. In every fascination, in every allurement, include the vitality of the Earth. You are the Earth, too. The Earth is not different from you. This planet bloomed through millions of years and arrived at the stupendous achievement of self-reflexion.’