Excerpt | We the People of Living Earth: An Authentic Story for Our Time

By David Korten

A Living Universe Cosmology

As contemporary science observes the behavior of subatomic particles, the inner life of living cells, the self-regulation of complex ecosystems, and the scale of the universe, we witness a grand, complex, and wondrous reality far beyond the imagination of previous human generations. The more science reveals of these mysteries, the more evident the yawning gaps in our understanding become.

When we look beyond the details we see a universe unfolding on a clear and persistent underlying trajectory toward ever greater complexity, beauty, awareness, and possibility. Creation’s expression bears far greater resemblance to a living seed bursting forth to grow into a magnificent flowering tree than a giant mechanical clock playing out the tension in its spring.

The most advanced observations of physical systems by quantum physics and of living systems by the life sciences reveal extraordinary capacities for self-organization, even in seemingly solid matter. It is as if the universe unfolds through a self-directing, cosmic scale trial-and-error learning process in which agency and conscious intelligence (spirit) are pervasive and integral to everything. To know God as spirit, we need only observe how s/he expresses with an apparent drive to know and to express her/his possibilities through learning and becoming—the same drive that manifests on a micro-scale as integral to our human nature.

Put it all together and we can discern an emerging Living Universe cosmology that evokes a radical vision of deep intentionality and purpose. For humans, it evokes a profound sense of meaning, the deep possibilities of radical democracy, and a story frame to guide the transformation of our relationship to living Earth as our source of birth and nurture.

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