Living Universe or Dead Universe

Posted by Lynnaea Lumbard on August 16, 2016

living universe

“Would you rather live in a living universe or a dead universe?” a friend asks her friends. Do we know the difference? This difference in how we understand the nature of our Universe is fundamental for all other Great Transition Stories. Duane Elgin has developed this simple and marvelous chart describing the characteristics of a living universe and contrasting them with a dead universe. It’s a clear way of inviting thought and conversation about the world in which we live!

DEAD UNIVERSE

LIVING UNIVERSE

The universe is non‐living at the foundations. The universe is a collection of mostly dead matter and empty space that is not fundamentally alive. At the foundations, the universe is a cold, barren, unfeeling, and spiritless place.

The universe is alive at the foundations. The universe is a unique kind of living entity that is sustained by the flow- through of phenomenal amounts of Life-energy. The cosmos is a single living creature that encompasses all living creatures within it and is filled with feeling and soulful learning at every level.

The cosmos has no apparent purpose so any meaning must come from what we construct for ourselves as social beings. When we die, “the lights go out.” The soul is a superstition

The cosmos is a purposeful learning system. When we die, the clear light remains but we may not recognize our subtle body if we have not made friends with the invisible qualities of our soul while we are alive.

Consciousness is a product of biochemistry and is located in the brain. Consciousness is absent from the universe except in higher animals.

Consciousness is a living field of life-energy that permeates the cosmos and provides a reflective capacity for material forms at every scale throughout the universe.

Because we live in a physical universe, the only potentials that we can cultivate are materially based (physical, emotional, and mental).

Because we live in a living universe, our highest potential is to become Homo sapiens sapiens or beings who can recognize themselves as a body of light, love, music, and knowing.

We are bodily beings who are seeking spiritual experiences. We may think about a spiritual realm but we are basically physical entities and the two are separate.

Creation ended with the big bang nearly 14 billion years ago. Since then, all that has happened is the progressive evolution of ancient matter into more complex forms.

We are spiritual beings having a bodily experience. Our bodies are biodegradable vehicles for acquiring soul-growing experiences. Every experience plants its feeling-knowing- resonance in our soul.

Creation is ongoing, a continuing process. The entirety of the cosmos is sustained, moment by moment, with the flow through of stupendous levels of Life-energy.

Life mysteriously emerges from non-living matter as the forms become more complex. From the lesser the greater emerges. From non-life, emerges life.

Life is the foundation of all existence. The Life force that sustains the entire universe is fundamental and the aliveness manifest by beings such as ourselves is emergent. From the greater, the lesser emerges. From the greatness of the Mother Universe, we humble beings emerge.

The purpose in life is to achieve material security and success in a materially defined world.

The purpose in life is to learn how to live in eternity. It means developing our potentials for double wisdom as homo sapiens sapiens and to make friends with ourselves so when we die we recognize our subtle Self.

A dead universe tells no stories so we can each make up our own stories and they will have equal validity because none of them will ultimately matter.

A living universe is itself a story of immense meaning and richness as, within it, are the stories of a vast array and variety of life forms in their journey of awakening.

There are small islands of life in a vast field of non-living space and dead matter.

Islands of life are simply those places where the field of consciousness has become intensified and has gotten a hold of itself.

Materialism makes sense in a dead universe. We can protect ourselves from the surrounding deadness with material pleasures and demonstrate our significance with material projects and accumulations.

Simplicity makes sense in a living universe. We are motivated to minimize the clutter, complexity, and stress of the material side of life and to engage more fully the juice and joy of aliveness itself.

Because the world around us is dead, it is proper to exploit that which is dead on behalf of the most intensely living, which is ourselves.

Because all is alive and interconnected, whatever I do to the world I ultimately do to myself.

A dead universe is indifferent to human concerns.

The universe is a garden for growing living systems. The cosmos is compassionately non-­‐interfering in the unfolding of her offspring.

 

Download this chart as a pdf.

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