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What’s a Deeptime Perspective?

“Where did we come from?”  “Where are we going?”  “How do we belong to something larger than ourselves?”  These are primal questions. A DTP connects our personal and communal lives to the larger arc of cosmic evolution.

Five Principles of a Deeptime Perspective

A Deeptime Perspective (DTP) embraces the discovery of an evolving Universe as a stunning development that changes our understanding of the Universe and who/what we are as humans.

Five principles are below.  A DTP: 1) orients us to our largest context, a vast evolving Universe; 2) connects us to our matrix, the Earth; 3) transforms us into our larger identities; 4) guides our actions for creating the future; and 5) it serves as a learning continuum throughout life.

When a science-based grand narrative of the Universe is infused with the humanities, it becomes a cosmology—an origin story and unifying worldview—for our time, unifying the person with the Cosmos and Earth.

Is This Perspective New?

Integrating science and the humanities for exploring a grand narrative and its implications has been practiced for decades in many settings by different names — Montessori Cosmic Education, Universe Story, Journey of the Universe, Environmental Evolution, Big History, Deep History, and others. Our goal on the DTNetwork is to explore what is already being done in so many remarkable ways. What follows are five principles, some or all of which are shared by those named above.

Deeptime Learning

To read a paper about how these principles extend to Deeptime Learning, click here.

1. Context

Orient to the whole, a vast evolving universe.

The starting point for understanding, in a deep time perspective is the whole, the largest context, the universe itself, and we now know that it’s not static. It’s been evolving for 14 billion years and continues to evolve. With a DTP, we can see human identity as emerging inside of, integral to, and dependent upon, the universe.

2. Matrix

Understand our embeddedness in the Earth.

A DTP makes a priority of understanding the primacy of the Earth as our interdependent matrix from which all life emerges and on which life depends. There’s a sense of urgency, that our future depends on this foundational understanding. Without this central understanding, creating a flourishing future will be far more difficult if not impossible.

Understanding patterns of emergence—such as increasing differentiation, interiority and communion—can serve as templates for understanding transformation underway right now.

3. Subjectivity

Experience inner growth and intense engagement inside the whole.

Every individual is part of the 14 billion year flow of evolution and will contribute to the trajectory of
evolution based, in part, on personal growth and engagement. How? Awe and wonder; sense of connection to the whole; envisioning future possibilities; reflecting on experience; and experiencing a sense of purpose by transforming into our deeper identities inside an evolving Cosmos. Our interiority is an important driver of evolution.

4. Action

Participating in evolution to create a vibrant world.

Understanding the universe in deep time leads to the most comprehensive framework and heart connection for on the ground problem solving. A deeptime perspective is a “cosmology” which has two parts: 1) an origin story and 2) a guide to how to come into alignment with the larger reality, the universe.

5. Continuum

Continue deep time learning across all stages of life.

A deeptime perspective can be a continuum moving in a spiral from birth throughout all the stages of life in levels of expanding understanding, experience, love and action. Each generation inherits a shared cosmology from the previous generation, incorporates new discoveries, and shares it with the next generation. The story of the universe is a cosmology we can all share.

It’s Seeing How the Universe Works Through Increasing: